The United Methodists are headed toward a showdown in 2019. Bishops are trying to bring unity to a denomination that’s headed toward schism over issues of sexuality.
I predict their efforts will fail, because the religious left and right see Christianity through completely different lenses.
When traditionalists make their arguments, they appeal to the rules. Here’s a quote from an official with the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, which recently upheld traditional teachings on sexuality:
The Presbyterian Church said it “has a clear position on marriage and human relationships based on the teaching of the Bible” and taught that “homosexual activity is not consistent with Christian discipleship since it does not accord with the will of God expressed in his moral law.”
Notice the language here. Bible. Will of God. Moral law. He’s making an appeal to the rulebook.
Now, here’s a tweet from a Presbyterian laywoman who opposed the decision:
“As a Presbyterian this grieves me greatly: My heart is broken today,” she wrote on Twitter. “I can only imagine the hurt this has caused to those from the LGBT community. It does not reflect the views of so many of us who love, respect and value you as family, friends and members of our community.”
Notice the emotive language she uses. Grieve. Heart broken. Hurt. Community. Love. She’s making her appeal to the emotions.
This is why left and right will never agree – the right sees rules as primary, whereas the left sees relationships as primary. Liberals appeal to the heart; conservatives appeal to the head.
As our culture feminizes, it’s not hard to predict which side is going to win.