closeted gay United Methodist Church minister requests cartoon

united methodist church book of discipline gay bashing cartoon by nakedpastor david hayward

“The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church” (nakedpastor David Hayward)

A United Methodist Church minister contacted me yesterday and asked if I could draw a cartoon idea they had. I told this person I would try. Here’s the result.

This pastor said that they’ve been pastoring for a while, but…

“it’s getting much more difficult to stay. I’m tired of being alone… Feel free that to say it was requested by a ‘closeted’ gay United Methodist pastor and let the witch hunt begin.”

You can read the story that led up to this here.

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About David Hayward

David Hayward runs the blog nakedpastor as a graffiti artist on the walls of religion where he critiques religion… specifically Christianity and the church. He also runs the online community The Lasting Supper where people can help themselves discover, explore and live in spiritual freedom.

  • GuruMike

    You can stay and fight if you want to, but you don’t have to. There are sane denominations who will love and support you for who you are, not who they think you should be. There is no shame in leaving an abusive relationship, even if it’s with a denomination.

  • Pat68

    That pretty much sums it up. I came out of a denomination with a book of discipline, but it was called Faith and Practice. Here’s the thing, some people treated it much like they did their Bibles–literally. There was little to no leeway in their minds for interpretation. They also were some of the same people who might not be able to tell you much about what was in the scripture, but they sure could quote Faith and Practice, particularly when it came to their pet issues. Also, some of these books, just like the Bible, are not to blame as much as the adherents who think they have to be applied literally and rigidly. If you talked to some of those involved in crafting these documents, you mind them saying they were meant to be a guide. But as usual, we find it easier to just follow the letter of the law than to wrestle with it’s implications and the best way to apply it.

  • llee611838

    Another of version of this would feature one person beating on the person with the rainbow shirt, and a group of others using the books to hide and shield their view from the unpleasantness.

  • pugsley

    I believe that they refrained from immediately defrocking Pastor Frank in order to avoid being the obvious “bad guys” that they are. With his unrepentant response and vow to continue he – in their minds perhaps – is sealing his own fate. But they of all people should know that God knows the truth and so do the rest of us. I am a lifelong Methodist and have been an active layperson at all levels of the church. But I am losing my patience with the denomination. Due to my job/financial/housing catastrophes of the past few years I have learned much firsthand and am becoming an even more tenacious advocate for the poor, homeless, unemployed and underpaid. It infuriates me when the churches back off from working for any real change that might involve “politics” – heavens no!!! Feeding and housing – and praying – is important. But the stereotypes and “them and us” attitudes are cruel, kill self-esteem in the recipients and perpetuate dependence. The true goal it often seems is the outward appearance (and warm fuzzy feelings) we get from charity to and show of love for the needy.

  • Brenda Porter

    Our UMC pastor made note of the UMC motto, “Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors.” during announcements last Sunday. We are a small, rural, church in NC, and when he asked if there were any questions, I asked what his position was on same gender blessings (NC amended it’s constitution specifically to prohibit same sex marriage about a year ago, hence blessing vs. marriage here is moot.). He said he would immediately lose his job, and went on to say as far as he’s concerned, everyone is welcome at our church, and noted the irony in the church motto in light of current events. He is an amazing person, and is all over our community helping our vulnerable residents, and serves as pastor in 2 churches, changing minds and lives, one person at a time. Sooner or later, the UMC will change it’s position.

  • Scott

    Since we’re left with making assumptions based on one sentence, my question is why is this pastor looking internally and focusing on his/her own wants and neglecting our purpose of serving God. Without getting into the debate of homosexuality, we have become an extremely selfish, narcissistic society that demands we be “treated fairly”. It’s not how about I’m treated, but how I serve the one true God.

  • Gary

    Scott I’m not sure you read the same article I did.

    He was willing to make a huge personal sacrifice expressly in order to serve an oppressed minority. I cannot comprehend how you get that he is “focusing on his/her own wants” or is in any way displaying “extremely selfish, narcissistic” attributes in the least. I find his actions to be those of serving God with honor and standing up for some of the most basic of Christian principles voiced by Christ.

  • Scott

    “I’m tired of being alone” I’m gathering that the pastor wants to live an open homosexual lifestyle and go against the teachings of the church. If it’s wrong, it’s wrong. Basically wants to serve his own needs over serving God. If you substitute “gay” in this scenario for any other teaching in the Book of Discipline, how is it any different?

  • Gary

    So your beef is with the pastor referenced and not with the one in the article? And if he clearly believes the church to be in error, according to you, voicing such conviction (even in confidence) can only mean he is “focusing on his/her own wants” or is displaying “extremely selfish, narcissistic” motives?

    I personally find such allegations to be extremely offensive.

  • Scott

    I was talking about the cartoon and the referenced anonymous quote. If you’re thinking about the related article about the pastor that officiated his son’s marriage, you say he served an oppressed minority. I say he’s willfully violating God’s law in order to appease the culture. Treating people with respect and teaching them about Jesus, is not the same as blessing a sinful act. Jesus loved the worst of sinners, but He never condoned their actions. We can not confuse the two.

  • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

    Brenda, your Pastor sounds like a great guy. Hopefully he is of a new breed of pastors coming along. For now, though, perhaps the UMC should change its motto to “Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors. unless you are gay, lesbian, atheist, Muslim, or Democrat.”
    There is a UMC quite close to where I live with an older Pastor and I’ve been there a bit for a few sermons and meetings and such and I remember back in the lead-up to the 2004 presidential election, every door there was plastered on the inside with Bush/Cheney campaign literature. Perhaps they were a bit excited because Bush was Methodist himself. Anyway, this church was very conservative with attitudes towards same-sex and whether or not you accepted Jesus and all.

  • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

    Scott, you have quite a legacy going on here with three comments so far through disqus. Are you enjoying your new email address?

  • Gary

    And I thought you said you did not want to get into the debate on homosexuality?

    Of course what is clearly on display here is your homophobic bigotry. You are so bigoted that you ascribe the the most vile kinds of motives you can imagine to those who disagree with you. This represents one of the worst kinds of institutional abuse, to represent all who disagree with you as evil. Oh and of course to make the preposterous claim that YOUR bigotry is “God’s law”. Homosexuality is NOT sinful. And attacking the character of those who would seek to stop the abuse is most certainly not defending ANY law of God.

  • R Vogel

    Open hearts. Open Minds. Open Doors (except closet doors which are to remain firmly shut!) ;p

  • Scott

    And here’s where the discussion ends – and will forever continue. I simply speak the (unfortunate) truth and suddenly I’m a bigot. He’s supposedly standing up for oppressed and abused, and I say he’s conforming to the world and not to God (using God as an excuse to do it). We’ll go in circles, etc.

    I was asking an honest question to begin with. Are the intentions of people who want to change the teachings of the church selfish? It’s an honest question. If we were not looking at our own motives, would we look at God’s law and come back with the same conclusion?

  • Gary

    Nope…not buying your justification. When you accuse those who you disagree with of having selfish motives and as being narcissists rather than allowing for an honest discussion of views…you demonstrate the definition of bigotry with great clarity. Look it up.

  • Mark

    As a lifelong member of the UMC, I believe it is the church that is neglecting its purpose of serving God, and not this minister. There is an ongoing battle within the UMC over whether to quit discriminating against LGBT members and clergy. Many are fighting for more inclusion (sorry, David), but it hasn’t happened yet. Some individual churches are very receptive to gay members and gay clergy, while others, like this minister’s congregation, are not.

    We once had a wonderful music director who was gay. The story I was told was we allowed him to remain on staff only when he agreed not to have sex with his partner. How awful is that?

  • Mark

    Scott, this is the same mentality that was used to condone slavery, prohibit interracial marriage, and keep women out of the clergy. And when I used to believe homosexuality was a “lifestyle” freely chosen, I felt the same way. I have only fairly recently come to see the error of that belief, and how hurtful and unchristian it is to treat LGBT people as second class. The church needs to wake up and get its head out of its ass.

  • Scott

    Bigotry: intolerant of other’s opinions. When we’ve turned a discussion about God into who has which opinion and which opinion is better, then we’ve all lost. I’m attempting to live my life according to God’s word and if that offends, so be it.

  • Kerry Grogan

    I heard this same argument by many Christians speaking against the Marriage Equality law here in Hawaii. I find it interesting that when a minority group asks to be treated with fairness and justice they are “narcissisitic” and selfish. However, that same group of Christians are now claiming they are being persecuted because society is being asked to treat all people equally. It’s very easy for someone who has the rights and protections to practice their calling, or marry the person of their choosing to say “it’s not about how I’m treated.”

  • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

    IMO, scripture is the opinion of the scripture authors of what was God’s opinion. Or stated differently, scripture is an opinion by a 2nd (or 3rd or 4th or 5th) generation of people to “elevate” the opinions of a 1st generation of people up to coincide with the opinion of God. Just because one group of people 2nd the opinion of another earlier group of people, does not mean that the opinion is the opinion of God (assuming God even exists and has an opinion on the matter). All to often throughout human history bigotry is justified by believing that various deities back up the same bigotry. In modern time we are starting to move beyond this propping up of bigotry with what people once believed and wrote down (and claimed it was God’s word). Yes, it is a slow and painful process for many. Most will not actually change their beliefs on the matter. It is mainly driven by generational dynamics. The old people indoctrinated into the beliefs of the past will eventually pass on and the younger generations not so indoctrinated will start to hold sway.
    We saw inter-racial marriage become accepted by this dynamic a few decades ago. We are starting to see same-sex marriage become accepted in our time. Perhaps the future will see Christians accepting that even those that don’t believe in the Virgin Birth and being “saved” and such things not being confined to Hell.

  • Anna

    Since when is it “unchristian” and “hurtful” to say something the Bible clearly says is “wrong” is wrong? No one is endorsing treating any LGBT like a second class citizen. No, it is NOTHING like the issue of slavery, interracial marriage or female clergy. Like fornication, adultery, and bestiality, God does NOT condone sodomy. Sorry. How can I possibly say that? I read the Bible. What are you all reading?

  • Donn

    Sometimes people who want to change church teachings are selfish, sure. But often they are not. Was Martin Luther selfish? Martin Luther King? Francis of Assissi? The nuns calling for reforms within the Catholic Church? Those who pioneered the ordination of women in the churches where it is allowed? I do not believe those were selfish people. Was Paul selfish in telling the council at Jerusalem he did not think the circumcision rule should apply to gentile converts? Jesus said sabbath was made for people, not people for the sabbath. Was that selfish? What you see as people listening to culture I see as people listening to the Holy Spirit. I’m not demonizing you. You believe you are speaking the truth. I believe I am speaking the truth. It is exciting to see the Spirit changing minds and hearts more quickly than I would have guessed even five years ago. Thanks be to God!

  • Richard Poole

    OPEN MINDS OPEN HEARTS–COME ON UMC GIVE IT UP–CLOSE MINDS CLOSE HEARTS SHOULD BE THE NEW MOTTO for a small minded church that I HAVE BEEN A MEMBER FOR 32 YEARS

  • Gary

    Except that the views you just espoused are so NOT biblical, and completely discriminatory and judgmental. Homosexuality most certainly IS JUST LIKE these other examples of discrimination. Your bronze age phobias are based upon fear and a very faulty understanding of scriptural truth.

  • Curt Naeve

    Congratulations to you both for collaborating on this powerful call to justice.

  • Gary

    No Scott, you are abandoning a great deal of biblical teaching to prop up your bigotry based upon false representation of scripture. And your character assassination of others to somehow attempt to make yourself look more spiritual most certainly does not give you some sort of moral high ground.

  • http://nakedpastor.com/ nakedpastor

    thanks. it was fun.

  • Gary

    And if you want to talk about what the bible actually IS CLEAR on….let’s do. The bible absolutely supports slavery. The bible absolutely supports misogyny. The bible expressly forbids inter racial marriage. And yet you have no qualms about claiming some sort of difference between these and homosexuality. And then in the most disgusting display of bigotry yet, you dare to equate homosexuality with bestiality. You take hypocrisy to a whole new level.

  • klhayes

    When you want to force everyone to live like you believe God want’s you to and discriminate against those who don’t that is bigotry. No one is stopping you from living your life. Don’t stop others from living theirs!

  • klhayes

    It’s the idea of using the Bible to discriminate and deny others the right to live how they want to.

  • Debbie Mallis

    Where do you live Jeff? This is not true in all parts of the country. The northwest tends to be more liberal. I belong to a Reconciling Congregation in a very red state. It is a great place for progressives to share with others with the same views, although we do have a mix. We are in a reconciling conference in a reconciling jurisdiction. My pastor is a progressive Christian and she is not young.

  • Anna

    “[I] dare to equate homosexuality with bestiality”??? No, I did not. I equated sodomy with bestiality, and I included fornication and adultery. The act versus the person. I have no problem with any group of people. I want all people to have their civic rights. If that means legalized civil unions, I would not oppose it. However, I do have a logical problem with people who want to put the Christian Church’s “Stamp of Approval” on the sexual act of sodomy. I have been guilty of the sexual act of fornication. It is a sin. I know it is a sin. Not once while having sex outside of marriage did I think or feel that it WAS NOT A SIN. I also NEVER thought to myself, “I think I’ll go to church and try to convince them that having sex outside of marriage is NOT a sin. I’ll tell my fellow Christians that they have been reading the Bible incorrectly all this time! God is cool with fornication as long as it is between two consenting adults. Oh, AND, if you don’t agree with me, you are a bigot that hates single straight people.” Nope, nada, it would never happen. Do you approve of “adultery” and “fornication”? or Is that a “bronze age” idea too?

  • alethia agape

    What is sad here on the discussion board just as it is in the real world is that most everyone falls into the false dichotomy of positions on this matter. Either it is ‘love’ the homosexual and he/she is right or it is be conservative and hate the homosexual. Neither position is biblical or of Christ. Christ constantly calls us to a third way, one that might cost us everything. The bible is clear in its proscription against the homosexual act. The bible is also clear in its command to love everyone. We are to love others until they become like Christ so that they may be empowered to love others. This ‘love’ means that we point them towards the Way, the Truth, the Life – anything else that we affirm falls into sentamentalism, ignorance, or mean-spirited evil. This looks like inviting those who claim homosexuality into our congregations – eating with them, praying with them, crying with them, studying with them, loving others with them. We need to do this and not shrink our God by thinking that we need to cut out a few passages from Romans and 1 Corinthians and elsewhere for their faith to grow. We have a big God. Christ asks us all to have our identity first in him. Personally, I find it demeaning for conversations to label me and ask whether I choose heterosexual activity, homosexual activity, or chastity. My identity is in Christ and I set it all at his feet as a Christian first. If anything detracts from that, then I must remove it and run full to Christ.

  • Anna

    I think you are a bigot for calling ME a bigot! Who gave you the “bigot labeling” power? I do not hate people. I don’t have hate in my heart. I have NO problem with differing opinions nor do I choose to get in the way of how anyone chooses to live their lives. I I, as a Christian, am entitled to my belief. BTW: It in no way makes me hate anyone nor does it deny anyone their civic rights for me to hold that belief. Contrary to your ignorant stereotyping of a virtual stranger, I am evolved enough to know and believe in the beauty of separation of church and state. This topic is one of many reason why church and state should be separated.

  • Gary

    Yes I did. And you attempt to defend your accusations by some ridiculous hair splitting exercise? You stand for oppression based on a stone age belief and a horribly faulty understanding of it at that.

  • Gary

    No you are wrong. The bible is absolutely NOT clear in it’s proscription against homosexual sex. Study up a bit. These kinds of absolute declarations with no consideration for opposing viewpoints make a mockery out of this very critical issue.

  • Anna

    Accusations? Hair splitting exercises? It’s in the New Testament. It’s crystal clear. You either believe the word or you don’t. I won’t judge you if you choose NOT to believe in the word. Plenty of people do not, but don’t judge me if I choose to believe. How is that “hair splitting”? It seems very clear.

    Romans 1:26–27

    26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

  • Gary

    Sigh. Seriously? Clearly you have not even investigated these verses as understood by those who recognize homosexuality as it is understood today is not represented in them. Not surprising. Your level of absolute certainty is usually accompanied by a lack of objective evaluation.

  • Gary

    So then you support slavery?

  • Mark

    The bible does not “clearly say” homosexuality is wrong. In fact, Judaism has no problem with lesbianism – look it up. And 2000 years ago, they knew nothing of what causes homosexuality.

    I maintain this is pretty much exactly like slavery and interracial marriage. For many years, the church used biblical scripture to support its endorsement of slavery, and to say interracial marriage was wrong. Now, most of us see things differently.

    The bible says we are to stone to death disrespectful children, and that divorced people are forever adulterers. It says we must make our raped daughters marry their rapists. Do you believe that, too? In for a penny, in for a pound. Let’s go back to marrying our daughters off at age 12 again, perhaps?

    The bible should be used as a guide, adjusted for the culture we live in. We don’t stone people. We no longer accept slavery, or multiple wives. Most of us understand – now – that there’s nothing inherently wrong with you, Anna, teaching in church, even if it is to men.

  • Caryn LeMur

    Shocked at what the criteria was for the gay music minister to use his God-given gifts…. I find that if the Spirit considers a gay man, lesbian woman, gentile Roman soldier, or Samaritan to be a holy vessel for His use, that we set our throne higher than He, and judge His mercy and gift-giving as improper.

    Then again, perhaps I am too harsh on the UMC… I assume if the man was a heterosexual and wished to marry a woman, that the church would have made the same requirement – after all, they would live in ‘adultery by remarriage’ according to Jesus [Luke 16:17-18]. Someone living in adultery is seldom allowed to be in ministry… right? The church would have said, “You can marry in another state, and live together, AND so long as you have no sexual consummation in your heterosexual marriage, then we will allow the man to lead the worship songs.”

    Yep… I am sure the UMC knows the ‘wisdom from heaven is impartial….’ Otherwise, if heaven did not give them their wisdom, I wonder which spiritual being offered the advice to them?

  • Mark

    So you’re OK with gay marriage? No discrimination, separate the church’s belief from the state’s enforcement of legal contracts?

  • Mark

    As long as we agree we are picking and choosing, the bible is also “clear” that we must stone our disrespectful children, force our raped daughters to marry their rapists, and forever consider divorced persons adulterers. Yet the UMC, to get back to the point, has no problem with divorced pastors. Why single out the gays, and not the adulterers?

  • Mark

    Oh, and you can’t find anything in the bible prohibiting lesbianism. If there was, Judaism would most certainly consider that a sin; but, it does not. Find a rabbi and ask her/him.

  • Cecilia Davidson

    If your goal is to stone, then your identity is not in Christ.

  • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

    I’m in Virginia

  • Cecilia Davidson

    What is sad here is that so many come to this page, cowering behind their ignorant notions and interpretations of what God may or may not have said and what someone who others believed to be the son of God, are using their messiah as a shield from behind which they cast stones.

  • Caryn LeMur

    Anna:

    A certain church asked the women to not sing in the choir if they were still on their period, because the Bible calls it unclean (basically, for 7 days). They also requested any of the men that had ejaculated as a night-time emission to also not sing in the choir, because they were also unclean. They even had all the verses lined up as references.

    They rejected for church membership any man or woman that had premarital sex, and had not married the ‘first man that entered you’ or the ‘first woman that they had ‘known’ ‘. They had the verses lined up.

    No divorced man or woman was allowed into membership, unless they could prove ‘no fault’ and provide a ‘certificate of divorce’ (normally from court records/recordings)…. after all, the divorcer was forcing the divorcee into ‘adultery’. They had the verses lined up.

    What would Jesus teach about these things, in your opinion?
    Much love in Christ always and unconditionally; Caryn

  • Caryn LeMur

    Richard: may I ask why you stayed for 32 years? If it is too personal, I understand. However, your post has me quite curious.

  • Anna

    I would support legal civil unions. I’m also for legalized marijuana, and I support a women’s right to choose. I do not believe the government should be in the morality business. I,personally, would not chose any of the above for myself (based on religious beliefs), but I don’t think it’s the government’s place to tell any one what is moral and what is not moral. Rights and religion are and should be separate.

  • Anna

    First, Caryn:

    Thank you for being respectful. The laws you are referring to in the above post come from the Old Testament. As I’m sure you already know, Christians are not bound to Jewish law which is why we do not practice these laws. BTW: The justification used for slavery and not marrying people of different races also comes from the Old Testament. What would Jesus teach about these things? I think Jesus would say, “I didn’t come into this world to condemn it, but to save souls in the world.” He loves all people equally, and died for all of the world’s collective sin. “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” He adores me, you, everyone equally, but abhors sin equally too. His imperfect followers should strive to do the same using his perfect example.

  • Anna

    No! You can’t believe any one would support that! Those who argued that God somehow, somewhere blessed the institution of slavery did so using scripture taken from the Old Testament. The law, history, and culture of the Old Testament was changed by the coming of Christ. Those laws and beliefs were meant to be replaced with the New Testament’s teachings of Christ.

  • Anna

    You are not differentiating between Old Testament Jewish law and the New Testament teachings of Christ. Everything you have cited above is supported by scripture found in the Old Testament with the exemption of women teaching men.

  • Anna

    Please, Gary, shine your “objective evaluation” on the quoted Bible verse! I want to see “objective evaluation” as you define it.

  • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

    Anna, would the following be an accurate paraphrase of your position?

    God unambiguously communicated His intended moral code through the bible. You, in being in good with Christ, have chosen to follow this moral code. This makes you a good moral person who will probably go to heaven. In honoring free will, though, you will graciously allow others to not be in good with Christ, to not follow the moral code written in the bible, not be a good moral person, and probably go to hell.

    If this characterization is accurate, although I find your stance somewhat condescending and arrogant, I do appreciate you not being an advocate of using and leveraging government to enforce the moral code that you have chosen to adopt.

  • Gary

    Of course I can believe people would support that if it was culturally allowable. It was less than 50 years ago when we finally passed the federal voting rights act in this country and less than 150 years since slavery was abolished. During both of these struggles much scripture was used in defense of racial prejudice and countless lives were lost in the struggles. Many of these passages are based in the new testament where slavery was simply accepted as normal practice with no moral condemnations given for the practice at all save for extreme physical abuse, so your notion of it only being supported by OT law are simply unfounded. The NT passages indicating that the practice of owning another human being is perfectly acceptable, so long as we treat them well, are in abundance. Yet you seem to speak as if the truth of the practice of slavery being immoral is universally understood and appeal to the teachings of Christ to support this notion…yet He Himself never condemned it, even including the practice in many of His parables. And of course Paul spilled much ink about the proper treatment of slaves and the proper behavior of those slaves towards their masters without ever raising the question of whether owning another human being was morally objectionable. Hell even today the notion that the darker skin color in many races is due to them being descendants of Cain and are accursed because of it is still taught in many fundamental churches.

    No you can make the claim that it is because we never treated scripture faithfully that we supported slavery all you want…but the truth within the scripture itself simply does not agree with you. The same is true of women’s rights. According to the NT Paul was very clear about a woman’s place both in the church and in the home, even going so far as to say it was shameful for them to even speak in church in His 2nd Epistle to Timothy. And it is this NT scriptural support for the discrimination of women that helped to deny women the right to vote in this country until 1920. I may be going out on a limb here…but I suspect you agree with women’s rights to vote and to speak in church?

    You see Anna, you view these passages of scripture through the lens of present day society and our present day moral sensibilities. But the fact is that this is entirely different than how they were viewed and understood in the time period they were written. We have come to recognize that Paul (or whatever forger used his name in 2 Timothy) was simply wrong about women. We have also come to recognize that the practice of owning another human being is morally reprehensible, yet our moral outrage comes not from clear scriptural teaching against the practice, but rather from societal progress.

  • alethia agape

    Gary, I am glad that you feel like an expert in the subject. However, saying someone is wrong and having actual evidence to back it up is another story. Please explain to my ignorant worldview how Romans 1:18-32 does not at least speak of homosexual activity as perversion and how 1 Corinthians 6 does not speak against the homosexual act when the Greek Paul used clearly states in his sin list both partners in the homosexual act. Also, please do not make absolute declarations with no consideration of the opposing viewpoint as it makes a mockery out of this critical issue.

  • wanderer

    It is so selfish for people to not want to feel disenfranchised and alone and shamed and disregarded. Bastard people.

  • Gary

    First of all I would like to point out that in another comment you appealed to the teachings of Christ to counter other false views. For example…Jesus declared men and women equal, however Paul declared that it is shameful for a woman to even speak in church and that this practice was to be upheld in “all the churches”. He also concludes that women are not allowed to teach over men and that they bear the burden upon their sex of being uniquely deceived and being “THE transgressor” in a unique appeal to a special kind of sinfulness based solely upon gender. It is this teaching that lead early theologians like Tertullian to blame women uniquely and hold them clearly as an inferior sex as illustrated in this following gem.

    “Do you not believe that you are (each) an Eve? The sentence of God on this sex of yours lives on even in our times and so it is necessary that the guilt should live on, also. You are the one who opened the door to the Devil, you are the one who first plucked the fruit of the forbidden tree, you are the first who deserted the divine law; you are the one who persuaded him whom the Devil was not strong enough to attack. All too easily you destroyed the image of God, man. Because of your desert, that is, death, even the Son of God had to die.”

    So now you appeal to the teachings of Paul in your case against homosexuals, even though you clearly reject them in the case of sexual discrimination. For the record it should be noted that Jesus NEVER addressed homosexuality…not even once.

    As for the your request for an “objective evaluation” of this most commonly distorted clobber passage in Romans 1, I’ll be happy to respond. I am linking to an outstanding blog written by Joel L. Watts that does an excellent job of answering your questions.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joel-l-watts/bible-homosexuality_b_3612634.html

    Of course it is a simple task to find others, including many outstanding biblical scholars, who share his views on the proper analysis of this passage. And one can just as easily find others, again including many outstanding biblical scholars, who disagree. My hope is that perhaps you will take the time to read this short blog and come to the realization that your claim that “It’s crystal clear” is at the very least grossly overstated. I believe that such declarations of clarity represent a willful ignorance of the complexities of biblical analysis/interpretation.

    At the end of the day Anna, the bible is found to be far less reliable in condemning homosexuality than it is in supporting slavery and misogyny. Yet we have reached a point in society of recognizing that some teachings are representative of bronze and early iron age societies and their barbaric prejudices and beliefs. Today we are simply at the point of recognizing the same truth concerning homosexuality. But the progression beyond our bigotry should come even quicker considering the bible is even less clear on support for this prejudice than it is for the ones you yourself reject.

    Thankfully…we are indeed seeing a rapid awakening on this subject and a large percentage of the church is recognizing their error. And hopefully 50 years from now we will be saying “No! You can’t believe any one would support that!” concerning this social injustice just as we presently have for racial bigotry and misogyny.

  • Gary

    Please see my reply to your comment above.

  • Gary

    You’ll find two comments of mine posted this morning which address your objections. And I’ll set aside your personal condescension concerning my expertise since it is clearly based in emotion rather than logic. I am not the one claiming perfect clarity in a biblical passage for which there is abundant disagreement. Shine your condescending tone on yourself…it is you declaring the silly notion of clarity for your analysis.

  • Oswald Carnes

    No, you are definitely the bigot. I was raised by and among people like you, and you are most certainly hateful bigot trash.

  • Gary

    So you as a Christian are entitled to the belief that blacks are cursed by Cain and are an inferior species…even though such beliefs have lead to the oppression, enslavement, and slaughter of millions. Or perhaps you are entitled to the belief that the Germans are the master race even though such belief gave birth to a campaign of world domination and the slaughter of millions of innocent Jews.

    Understand I am not stating you hold these views…simply illustrating that the claim of entitlement to beliefs which are harmful to specific groups of people is inevitably destructive to them. Your beliefs you claim entitlement to have lead to the oppression of an entire population group today and the shunning of this minority by much of the church. This has lead to prejudice, oppression, exclusion, and an alarming rate of violence committed against and suicide from within this group. Unethical views adhered to and shared with others most certainly does have destructive consequences. And your comparing homosexual sex to bestiality is both absurd and exceptionally offensive.

    Spare me your righteous indignation. It carries no weight with me.

  • Caryn LeMur

    Anna: I think I am beginning to follow your philosophy.

    Allow me to return to the question on divorce. Jesus taught that for as long as the earth existed, that marrying a divorced man or woman would be considered adultery (that is, adultery-by-remarriage). [Luke 16:17-18]

    How do you read this passage?

    Much love in Christ always and unconditionally; Caryn

  • alethia agape

    Gary, thank you for having me reference up your other quotes. I still have not found any answers from you, but only a reference to a blog that referenced very little scholarship. It really clears up a lot about as to why you are unable to see how your own arguments are defeated by your own logic as well as your extreme hatred for anyone having a viewpoint other than yours. And you were claiming clarity by saying bluntly ‘you are wrong’ and using ‘absolutely.’ Here’s to hoping you return to the logic that you claim to uphold so that regardless of which side of the issue you fall you will still do your argument justice.

  • alethia agape

    Amen Cecilia! We must accept all who turn towards Christ. And yet it was Christ himself who said ‘Go, and sin no more.’ Transformation is fundamental. We do not add Christ to our identity. We, you and I, die at the foot of the cross and pick up our fulfilled identities in Christ.

  • Gary

    If you cannot see the difference between claiming that one’s view is absolutely clear in scripture (as you have done) and stating that this is a false statement since there is in fact much disagreement on the subject…then I have little hope of ever engaging you logically to begin with. Even your simple out of hand dismissal of my well articulated posts, as well as the excellent work in the referenced blog, reveals you as one who places bias well over and above evaluation.

  • alethia agape

    Exactly…still waiting on your argument…also, if you claim not to have a bias, it might help if you did not call others names and use demonizing adjectives in telling them what they are thinking. Wish you well Gary.

  • Gary

    You are so full of yourself and frankly…full of shit!! I find this hysterically funny coming from one who believes THEY are the keeper of the truth.

    LMFAO

  • Gary

    And of course this statement that you are “still waiting” for my argument is a blatant lie. It never ceases to amaze me when those who claim some sort of moral high ground engage is such blatant dishonesty.

  • Cecilia Davidson

    You seriously miss my point, and may your god help you if you are this dense when you reach the Gates.

  • Cecilia Davidson

    As Gary said, you are full of garbage and excrement. What you have argued is not at all Christ-like, but Pauline at best, purely editorial and ignorant at worst. You claim to be Christian, yet you are like those in Acts 19:13-16 who tried to act in the name of Jesus in exorcising a demon, only to leave completely defeated and brutalized. You claim to act in the name of Jesus, but you do so weakly.

  • Cecilia Davidson

    You serve your own needs by trying to make yourself above a “sinner.”

  • Cecilia Davidson

    You need to stop cherrypicking.

  • Cecilia Davidson

    Wow, “you’re a bigot for calling me a bigot” – no, you’re a bigot for saying that I can’t be gay because you want to metaphorically throw the book at me.

  • Cecilia Davidson

    Those are regarded as PUNISHMENTS for other sins. Learn to fucking read context.

  • Cecilia Davidson

    ah, but PAUL supported slavery.

  • Cecilia Davidson

    No.

  • Marsha

    I could comment, but I won’t…

  • alethia agape

    it really is scary that those who claim to be offering the truth can do so with such hatred…wish that you could see behind your prejudiced perspective at how your rhetoric comes across, maybe then someone else could hear your concern or have some dialogue with whatever it is you have to say

  • alethia agape

    Thank you for your careful language there. It really helps to see the prejudices which blind you. Never got that memo to cut out the Pauline epistles. Also, just like Gary, you shouted against my statement without providing an argument of your own. Looking at sin is a messy thing that cuts deeply, but that fact does not mean that we should not address it. My God is big and he is calling all to his house, even me, even those who scream insults at others. Praying you can find a way to offer your version of truth with love so that dialogue is possible.

  • alethia agape

    please explain so that I may no longer be ignorant

  • alethia agape

    From a Christian perspective, the first mentioning is part of the fulfilled law from the Torah, the second is as well (and it is more than what you put there), the last I agree is a bit touchy, but it comes with qualifiers as to why the divorce occurred. It really saddens my heart when I think about how little the Christian church thinks about divorce – and all of the ripping and tearing it does in relationships

  • Cecilia Davidson

    You have no argument of your own, so why bother when it’s clear that you will only use the Bible blindly to justify hateful action?

  • Cecilia Davidson

    WOW, you seriously have missed the point. Jesus’ mission wasn’t to condemn, but save. Your words condemn. You are like those who would rather stone the woman for adultery rather than hear her out.

  • Gary

    Have you ever stopped to ask yourself what it is you find so terrifying about admitting you might not have absolute knowledge? This fear seems to have the affect of reducing you to lies and condescension.

  • Richard Poole

    I am in the New York Conferance I don’t understand this thinking for a Church that says Open minds Open hearts then does this. It is crazy to think someone should think they can decide who to love.

  • Richard Poole

    It will take the government to do it this is the same Church that fought Civil Rights so get ready for a hundred years on this

  • Karinetta1

    Scott,
    Out of this entire array of comments, yours is the only one that appears to be concerned about the word of God.

  • alethia agape

    Gary, i love you man. That is a claim you have made for me. I have only pointed out that the Bible (Paul’s letters included) includes homosexual activity among sin lists and in descriptions of perversion. I asked you to explain why those passages do not point that out and you have just shouted about this and that rather than responding. I love that I am ignorant seeking clarification. It would be too much weight to know so much that I refuse to open myself to Truth.

  • alethia agape

    again, read the rest of the passage. Christ loves her, accepts her, saves her, and still says go and sin no more. I am sorry for whoever represented Christianity to you as ‘God hates ______’ because that is wrong. I pray some day you will see that God loves you where you are at, but the same with you, and with me, and with others – he loves us so much that he wants us to be the person he envisioned, not the person we desired to be. As CS Lewis said ‘there are two people in the end. Those who proclaim to God ‘thy will be done.’ and those to whom God says, ‘thy will be done.’

  • Gary

    You really just say whatever shit pops into your mind regardless of truth don’t you? I have invested quite a bit of dialogue in this thread very much on subject and you just keep sticking your fingers in your ears like a school girl saying I can’t hear you. Well fuck that…I have no desire to play your silly games any longer.

  • Cecilia Davidson

    It’s clear, given your stating that the Bible is anti-homosexuality and homosexual tendencies, that you’re in the God Hates Anyone Who Isn’t Me camp.

  • alethia agape

    Cecilia, I am sorry that you cannot see that God loves everyone. I am sorry that you associate pain, hard truth, discipline, consequence, change, etc. with hate. I am sorry that you stereotype and force people into pre-judged boxes of beliefs and behavior. I pray that someday you will be able to see a world bigger than these limiting conceptions so that you are able to at least engage a conversation that may not already fit in your boxes. Peace be with you.

  • alethia agape

    Peace be with you Gary. May you find Christ in your every tomorrow.

  • Cecilia Davidson

    I’m not criticizing God. I’m criticizing you. Your own behavior here is proof enough that you’re blinded and would cherrypick the bible.

  • Gary

    Spare me the false and sickening gestures. When you are ready to ask honest questions…there are many here to explore them with.

  • Sandrilene

    Have you tried giving everything you posses to the poor?

  • Sandrilene

    I disagree.
    I think people are better today. We have come to understand that morality is about consideration for othersm not about rigidly following a set of rules.
    What is prayer but focusing on the internal instead of getting out and helping others around you?

  • Janet Ellinger

    In Wisconsin we had a banner that read, “Closed Doors. Broken Hearts. We Mind.” Seems more accurate. Finally, when is discrimination alright? So weary of the bible battle. It’s nonsense and never gets anywhere…except this ongoing battle of words. sum up the Biblical witness: Love God, Love neighbor. That Jesus guy said those were the top two. Works for me.

  • Sigfried Hoodinni

    I wonder if you would draw such a picture if a incestuous or beastophilic pastor requested it. If the blind lead the blind they will both fall into the ditch! The fact is that person has no business being a pastor until he repents and turns from his sin. He obviously isn’t even saved. One can be a homosexual and a Christian in the same way one can be a pedophile and a Christian. If a Christian desires children sexually but suppresses that desire I would not call into question their salvation due to those unsavory desires nor would I call into question someone’s salvation just because they lusted after someone. But someone that practices adultery, homosexuality, beasophilia, or pedophilia and dose so trying to justify their sin as if there is nothing wrong with it is obviously unsaved and HAS NO BUSSINESS BEING IN A POSSITION OF LEADERSHIP WITHIN THE CHURCH!

  • Sigfried Hoodinni

    I would ask him what his churches position on adultery, sex with animals, and pedophilia are. Would you marry someone to a 3 year old or to their dog?
    The UMC may change it’s position BUT JESUS WONT!

  • Sigfried Hoodinni

    “Hopefully he is of a new breed of pastors coming along.” You mean those that don’t care at all about what God says? Why even be a Pastor then? A Pastor who doesn’t care what God thinks is dishonest and should quit his job and get an honest job like picking peaches or changing tires.

    “Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors. unless you are gay, lesbian, atheist, Muslim, or Democrat.” You forgot beastophile, pedophile, rapist, ect. ect. Look all real churches are open to those who want to repent no matter what their sins are but when you want to self righteously justify your sins and pretend they are not sins you have no business being a leader in the Church.

  • Sigfried Hoodinni

    Homosexuality is extremely destructive and dangerous. Physically, emotionally, and mentally. The average life expectancy of a homosexual is almost half that of a heterosexual not counting AIDs deaths….and even worse when you do count the Aids deaths. It’s probably as bad as heroin or crack. The rate of mental health problems, suicides, pedophilia, domestic abuse, drug use, and many other negative things are all statistically significantly higher among the homosexuals then heterosexuals.

    We should try to prevent homosexuals from recruiting people into their destructive lifestyle, especially children which many homosexuals do in fact try to recruit. Encouraging homosexuality is like encouraging meth or heroine addiction! Imagine a heroine or meth pride parade.

    those of us who obey God and warn homosexuals where they are going and about how destructive and dangerous their behavior is are not hurting homosexuals. THOSE WHO DEFEND THEIR SIN AND PRIDE ARE HURTING THEM!!!

  • Sigfried Hoodinni

    Those so called “sane denominations” you speak of are insane. They are not truly Christian Denominations. The God who wrote the Law is the same God who incarnated as a man and died for are sins. (Isaiah 9:6, John Chapter 1, John 8:58, John 10:30) Even in the New Testament Homosexuality is condemned(Romans 1:26-32) Paul who wrote the book of Romans said while under the influence of the Holy Spirit not only that Homosexuals can not inherit the kingdom of God but that they can change. (1st Corinthians 6:9-11)

    Those of us who obey God and warn homosexuals where they are going and about how destructive and dangerous their behavior is are not hurting homosexuals. THOSE WHO DEFEND THEIR SIN AND PRIDE ARE HURTING THEM!!!
    Would it be loving to encourage a heroine addict to shoot up?

  • Sigfried Hoodinni

    Those of us who obey God and warn homosexuals where they are going and about how destructive and dangerous their behavior is are not hurting homosexuals. THOSE WHO DEFEND THEIR SIN AND PRIDE ARE HURTING THEM!!!

  • Sigfried Hoodinni

    When the Bible says no adultery, no sex with animals, and no incest do you take that literally. Should the Church Ordain Ministers who are proud about openly engaging in adultery or sex with their sister, animals, or that sort of thing. Look at Leviticus 20:11, 20:12…..then look at 20:14, 20:15. Wow beastophilia and incest are forbidden in the verses right before and after the verse that forbids homosexuality.

    Do you remember the sermon on the mount?(Matthew 5) What was that thing Jesus said about one jot or tittle?

    17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

    18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

    19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

  • Sigfried Hoodinni

    Yes you can! Romans 1:26-28.

  • Sigfried Hoodinni

    Why not let Pastors have sex with animals, commit incest, have sex with children, and have orgies in church during service. (The Church of Satan dose this, I’m not kidding) Why single out gays? They don’t! You just don’t get as many people demmnding you except their pedophilia or bestiality.

  • Sigfried Hoodinni

    The punishments listed where to be carried out by the Hebrew Government after a fair trial. But those things are still sin today. BTW about rape…rapists where executed. Furthermore why single out rapists? Oh and we are supposed to single out adulterers. I don’t know about the Methodist church but most Churches I know of will fire the Pastor if he proudly commits adultery and tries to excuse it by saying he was born that way.

  • Sigfried Hoodinni

    Paul was a better Christian then probably anyone on this forum will ever be and the Holy Spirit spoke through him. God wrote Romans and 1st Corinthians through Paul. Scripture clearly calls homosexuality a sin and it is clear that they will not inherit the kingdom of God. They have to change.

  • Sigfried Hoodinni

    The Bible is perfectly clear that homosexuality is a sin and that they will not inherit the kingdom of God. They must change. Those of us who obey God and warn homosexuals where they are going and about how destructive and dangerous their behavior is are not hurting homosexuals. THOSE WHO DEFEND THEIR SIN AND PRIDE ARE HURTING THEM!!!

    Homosexuality is extremely destructive and dangerous. Physically, emotionally, and mentally. The average life expectancy of a homosexual is almost half that of a heterosexual not counting AIDs deaths….and even worse when you do count the Aids deaths. It’s probably as bad as heroin or crack. The rate of mental health problems, suicides, pedophilia, domestic abuse, drug use, and many other negative things are all statistically significantly higher among the homosexuals then heterosexuals.

    We should try to prevent homosexuals from recruiting people into their destructive lifestyle, especially children which many homosexuals do in fact try to recruit. Encouraging homosexuality is like encouraging meth or heroine addiction!

    It would not be loving to encourage a heroine addict to shoot up.

  • Sigfried Hoodinni

    Should the UMC except openly practicing pedophiles and beastophiles? If a music director had sex with his dog should he be allowed to remain on staff only when he agreed not to have sex with his dog? Would you consider that awful?

    those of us who obey God and warn homosexuals where they are going and about how destructive and dangerous their behavior is are not hurting homosexuals. THOSE WHO DEFEND THEIR SIN AND PRIDE ARE HURTING THEM!!! Would it be loving to encourage a heroine addict to shoot up?

    Homosexuality is extremely destructive and dangerous. Physically, emotionally, and mentally. The average life expectancy of a homosexual is almost half that of a heterosexual not counting AIDs deaths….and even worse when you do count the Aids deaths. It’s probably as bad as heroin or crack. The rate of mental health problems, suicides, pedophilia, domestic abuse, drug use, and many other negative things are all statistically significantly higher among the homosexuals then heterosexuals.

    We should try to prevent homosexuals from recruiting people into their destructive lifestyle, especially children which many homosexuals do in fact try to recruit. Encouraging homosexuality is like encouraging meth or heroine addiction! The Church should lovingly help homosexuals by discouraging this destructive behavior.

  • Sigfried Hoodinni

    ” I find that if the Spirit considers” You are being a hypocrite. Read the Bible! The New Testament says Homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of God unless they change and God himself said it is abomination. Its literally right next to the verses that forbid incest and sex with animals. Leviticus 20:11, 12, (13), 14, 15.

    those of us who obey God and warn homosexuals where they are going and about how destructive and dangerous their behavior is are not hurting homosexuals. Those who defend their sin and pride are hurting them. Is it loving to encourage a heroine addict to shoot up.

  • Pat68

    Sigfried, the truth is, we do not take every verse in the Bible literally. Some passages are poetry, alliteration, story, etc. Others are time- and culture-bound. A proper exegete looks at the context of each passage. Do we continue to stone people for transgressions? No. Why?

  • Gary

    What the bible IS “PERFECTLY CLEAR” is that the the Earth is fixed and immovable and the sun and stars rotate around it. It is perfectly clear the we are to hate our family. It is perfectly clear that we are to stone rebellious children and anyone who collects wood on the Sabbath. It is perfectly clear that crops cannot be mixed in a field and that fabrics cannot be blended. It is perfectly clear that a woman MUST remain silent in church.

    Your offensive allegations towards homosexuals represent the height of bigotry. I’ll tell you what is “not loving”; it is to use your fucking stereotypical slanders and your gross perversion of the message of Christ to assault and condemn an oppressed group of people.

  • Mark

    I should have been more specific. There’s nothing in the Old Testament writings prohibiting lesbianism – that’s why Judaism doesn’t consider lesbianism a sin. Odd that God would have let God’s chosen people stay confused on that for tens of thousands of years, until, I suppose, deciding it was time to point it out to Paul.

  • Mark

    Rapists were not always executed. Deut: 28-29 “If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay her father fifty shekels[a] of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.

    Woman gets raped and has to live with the guy forever. He pays a fine.

  • Cecilia Davidson

    The scripture was written by man. The context is being missed. Theologians who study the documents that are closer to the original writings than what we have now are saying that your approach is wrong – anyone still spouting non-academic claims about the modern translation is trying to sell something.

    What are you trying to sell? A hell disguised as heaven?


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