The article below highlights where (and why) we STRONGLY depart from traditional Christianity, churches and “organized” religion, in general. A 1000-member international group (but probably internally dominated by all white males) attempting to establish what the United Methodist Church membership is supposed to believe and practice **: an induced belief and practice that IS DEFINITELY NOT spiritually oriented. At Light Path Resources, we believe exposure to an organized religion is advised for children, but generally detrimental to a thinking, personal-experience adult development. We are much more open to a Gnostic-oriented *, insightful relationship with the Universe that allows for the diversity of a non-linear multidimensional Reality. ~ Don Chapin, Light Path Resources.
* By Gnostic-oriented, we do not refer to the variety of beliefs within Gnosticism (similar to any other ‘religion’) but to the more general meaning of “inner knowledge,” which generally accompanies any sacred book’s admonishment/practice of “know thyself.”
** The Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination in the United States, remains strongly opposed to same-sex marriage. But a growing number of U.S. Protestant denominations allow gay marriage and clergy, including the Episcopal Church, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
United Methodist Church Votes to Maintain Ban on Homosexuality, Gay Marriage, Gay Clergy
Posted by Old Redneck, Tuesday February 26, 2019 · 8:06 PM PST
Meeting in St.Louis for the past three days, a General Conference of the United Methodist Church voted to maintain the Church’s position on homosexuality, gay clergy and gay marriage as stated in the Book of Discipline.
Regarding the (traditional) ministry of the ordained:
¶ 304.3: The practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching. Therefore self-avowed practicing homosexuals are not to be certified as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve in The United Methodist Church. View full statement at http://www.umc.org/what-we-believe/homosexuality-full-book-of-discipline-statements#qualifications.
¶ 341.6: Ceremonies that celebrate homosexual unions shall not be conducted by our ministers and shall not be conducted in our churches.
After wrestling for several years with the question of homosexuality in the church, gay clergy and gay marriage, the UMC convened a worldwide General Conference that was presented with three choices on which to vote:
1. Traditional Plan that upheld the current Book of Discipline position.
2. Under the One Church plan, the language in the Book of Discipline condemning homosexuality would be removed; clergy would be able, but not required, to perform same-sex marriages; local churches may vote on whether to allow the ceremonies in their buildings; local conferences would decide on ordaining gay clergy.
3. The Connectional Conference Plan split the Church into three conferences under one name. Each Conference would have different rules regarding homosexuality and local churches could affiliate with the Conference of their choice.
The Traditional Plan won.
I’m 74. Born and reared in rural SW Mississippi. At age 20, after learning to read, I left the Southern Baptist church and never looked back, mainly because of the pervasive institutional racism that still pervades the Baptist church.
At age 60, I went back to church, this time to the United Methodist.
Now, looks as though I’ll have to leave again and not look back.
Instead of worrying about who is in whose bed, we should be concerned with those who don’t have a bed.
Amos 5:24: But let justice roll down like waters,
and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
Micah 6:8: He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?