The UMC, a global church, prides itself on its democratic and decentralized polity. All this shapes its response to LGBTQ couples and clergy.
The Episcopal Church was and is right to affirm same-sex marriage. Now we should be willing to face the costs.
by Ross Kane
The aftermath of the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision included some thoughtful responses from evangelicals who don’t support it. Mark Galli’s is pretty good. So is this piece by Carey Nieuwhof, a useful list of things for anti-SSM church leaders to keep in mind.
I do think Nieuwhof oversells his first point, “the church has always been countercultural.”
I hate to be the one to point this out to the Reverends Knapp, but they are not, in fact, pastors of a church. They own a wedding mill.
It's often said that in a tolerance-obsessed culture, everything is tolerated—except intolerance. Actually, this gets said a lot more often than perhaps it should, because being intolerant is not the same sort of thing as being black or female or gay or Muslim. Tolerating people is more fundamental than tolerating their ideas.
Yet tolerating ideas matters, too.
A few years ago, my family started sponsoring a child through World Vision. I knew that the organization was generally evangelical, and that we are generally not. But this massive parachurch organization does good work, and I trusted them enough for a minuscule portion of that good work to be on our behalf. For 35 dollars a month, we’ve been contributing to the health, education, and general welfare of a little girl in Haiti, who was born the same day as our older daughter. Whatever theological differences I have with World Vision seem immaterial to this.
Theological differences may be slightly more material for some of the organization’s conservative supporters.
I sometimes envy my colleagues whose denominations have already fought this issue out, voted and moved on. We Disciples don't work that way.
On Tuesday, the general assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) approved a resolution calling on the church in all its expressions to affirm the faith, baptism, and spiritual gifts of everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. This was timely, given the Defense of Marriage Act decision, though the resolution doesn’t specifically mention same-sex marriage. Nor does it mention ordination—the other hot-button issue around sexuality in the church—though it does affirm that neither sexual orientation nor gender identity is “grounds for exclusion from fellowship or service within the church.”