The General Conference of the United Methodist Church met in special session late February, in St. Louis, Missouri, to debate the denomination’s stance on same-sex relations. There were three proposals on the floor:
- One would rescind the UMC’s ban on LGBTI clergy and same-sex marriage.
- The second, the so-called “Traditional Plan,” would strengthen and aggressively enforce the ban and expel clergy who were openly gay or performed same-sex marriage.
- The third was an attempt to find middle ground between the first two.
When all the votes were tallied, it was clear the proponents of the “Traditional Plan” had won the day. But was it the right decision?
In the debates that preceded the vote, the traditionalists claimed that theirs was the only proposal that followed the clear teachings of the Bible. They also claimed that those who opposed their position and advocated the full inclusion of LGBTI people were rejecting the authority of scripture and abandoning biblical morality in order to pursue liberal Western sexual ethics.
But is this true? Does the Bible really teach that same-sex relations are an abomination? And is any other point of view just another form of syncretism with culture?
Or did they get it wrong?[Read more…]