Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Not Welcomed

Church, religion and God have always played an important aspect in my life. When I came to an understanding that I was gay, I did a lot of thinking and praying. Throughout the process, I always knew God loved me regardless. It gave me comfort during some hard times. I decided to become a pastor regardless of my sexual orientation because I felt called by God to be a minister. And God didn't say anything to me about my being gay as a problem.

If only some of God's people were more accepting.

The highest judicial body in the United Methodist Church defrocked a lesbian minister who was in a committed relationship with another woman. To add insult to injury, the court also reinstated, with back pay, mind you, a minister who refused a gay man to join his church even though higher-ups urged him to do so.

So, we have another church body that not only excludes gay people from ministry as well as churches in general, but praises bigots who cast people out of church for being gay.

On some level I can understand some churches still needing to come to terms with gay ministers. As much as I would like to see more gay ministers in the pulpits, I know that there is still a lot of struggling that has to take place on that issue. But I can't understand not permitting a person to join a church simply because they are gay. Jesus accepted outcasts and welcomed them. It's a shame that people who talk about Jesus so much can't stand to have someone in the church simply because they have affections for someone of the same sex.

It seems like those on the far right are already celebrating:

Even the United Methodists can get things right sometimes. And as always, to those who don't like Christianity's stance on homosexuality: find yourselves another religion.

I don't usually affected by the words of bigots, but this bothers me. It angers me. I was baptized into the faith and told that I was a child of God. I believe that I am sinner that has been saved through faith in Jesus Christ. This is my faith, damnit, I will not let some hateful person run me out of the church.

I weep for the United Methodists. God, forgive them, for they know not what they do.


At 7:19 AM, Blogger halfback jack said...


I have always been queasy over one group of mortals passing judgment on another group. At the end of the day, we will each face judgment from THE ONE THAT COUNTS.

Whether you are straight or gay, black or white, male or female, disabled or not, Norwegian or Swede (OK, a line has to be drawn *somewhere*), I was raised to believe that our God does not discriminate--he loves EVERYONE.

Sadly, the church is one of the last places where bigotry can survive--and thrive--under the false pretenses of His name.

Many years ago, my wife and I had an infant son who died of SIDS at home (literally) the night before he was to be baptized. The pregnancy had been difficult and he was not in the best of shape when he entered this world. For a short period of time after his passing, the grief was almost overwhelming and, yes, I did question God why I was being punished.

A few weeks later, I received a letter that I still have to this day from our former pastor. In it, he reminded us that the sun still rises in the east each morning and sets in the west every evening. He also stated that our son had had the privilege of being baptized by Jesus himself and that this was something special. Yes, we miss our son, but we know he received something extraordinarily special and that he is in a far better place than where you and I are.

The point of this is do not question yourself or your faith in a dark hour. Your *real* boss knows who you are and the works you do. And I suspect He is pleased.

It is my hope that one day our church leaders will cease succumbing to the politics of hatred and bigotry and recognize that we are all here to serve in our various capacities. That includes *everyone*.

God bless, Dennis and keep the faith!

At 7:23 AM, Blogger halfback jack said...

FYI, he was to be baptized in a United Methodist Church....

Our pastor (at the time) was visibly shaken by this and ultimately ended up leaving the ministry shortly thereafter for several years. I suspect there were other issues with his Mortal Methodist Managers, but he never said one way or the other.

He is now back in the ministry, but works as a hospital Chaplain in Greater Minnesota.

OK, I'm done (for now). :-)

At 6:53 PM, Blogger amba said...

Dennis, the cruelty of that just breaks my heart.


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