The topic of LGBTQ equality is a sticky subject within our churches today and in the past. However, the younger generations of people are more understanding and caring of LGBTQ people. My generations of young people who are also involved in the church don’t see the need to discriminate against anyone. One example of this is during the PNW Annual Conference this year we ended up getting into a heated discussion of some sort involving LGBTQ rights and marriage equality. I remember hearing from young person saying; “why are we even debating on this topic? The Bible talks about divorce as being wrong but people still get divorced anyways. The Bible doesn’t say anything about gay marriage so why are we even talking about it here".
Being from the Western Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church we are more progressive and forward thinkers then most parts of the church. The Western Jurisdiction acknowledges that the United Methodist Church is wrong and has done harm.
A statement of Gospel Obedience:
In response to our common belief that God’s grace and love is available to all persons, the Western Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church states our belief that the United Methodist Church is in error on the subject of “homosexuality’s incompatibility with Christian teaching.”
We commend to our bishops, clergy, local churches and ministry settings, the challenge to operate as if the statement in Para. 161F (of the Book of Discipline) does not exist, creating a church where all people are truly welcome. (Link here to the orginal text).
Why am I bringing this up one might ask? As a very liberal progressive United Methodist who has friends both as laity and clergy who are in the LGBTQ community I have seen the harm the church has caused them. There are so many young people who want to be ordained by their conference but cant because of their sexual orientation. Thankfully in some conferences this is changing because we are seeing more and more people who are getting ordained and are open about their sexuality to their conference and being affirmed in their call to ministry.
I decided to be a reconciling United Methodist because I believe that everyone is sacred in the eyes of God regardless of your sexual orientation. Your sexuality is God’s given gift to you. I would like to end with some Lyrics by Derek Webb from his song “What Matters More”
You say you always treat people like you'd like to be
I guess you love being hated for your sexuality
You love when people put words in your mouth
About what you believe, make you sound like a freak
'Cause if you really believe what you say you believe
You wouldn't be so damn reckless with the words you speak
Wouldn't silence your concern when the liars speak
Denying all the dying or the remedy
Tell me, brother, what matters more to you?
Tell me, sister, what matters more to you?