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story.lead_photo.caption In this Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013 file photo, former United Methodist Pastor Frank Schaefer speaks during a news conference at First United Methodist Church of Germantown in Philadelphia. United Methodist church officials have defrocked Schaefer after he officiated his son's gay wedding in Massachusetts.

NEW YORK — The dispute among United Methodists over recognition of same-sex couples has lapsed into a doctrinal donnybrook, pitting clergy who are presiding at gay weddings in defiance of church law against proponents of traditional marriage who are trying to stop them.

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Religion, Pages 14 on 02/15/2014

Print Headline: Dis-united Methodists

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  • DanaSteward
    February 18, 2014 at 11:06 a.m.

    Dis-united Methodists

    Rachel Zoll’s news article, “Dis-United Methodists,” in your Saturday religion section, was an excellent and fair-handed digest of the controversy regarding acceptance of homosexual marriage and ordination in the United Methodist Church. Unfortunately, as a lifelong dedicated United Methodist myself, I agree with the drift of her facts, which is that this controversy is not going away but will only become more heated in the future at great cost to the church.

    I did especially appreciate the detail she includes that one reason for the uniqueness of the United Methodist dilemma is the church’s willingness to treat our international partners as full participants in the governance of the denomination, even though it complicates the decisions of the American church. Two wrongs, I hear, don’t make a right.

    By nature and name, we are “methodical,” tending to weigh issues by John Wesley’s four-way test of scripture, reason, experience, and tradition. However, United Methodists are not without passion in our faith, a passion fueled primarily by love of God and love of our fellow man. It is ironic that a question of what constitutes love would so divide the church.

    Even though Wesley himself said, “Every one, though born of God in an instant, yet undoubtedly grows by slow degrees,” growth in faith was his expectation and the norm for Methodism, whether the issue was race or rights of women or economic injustice. I would not presume to say what Wesley might do on this issue today; however I do know what a life of Methodism has instilled in me as a Christian.

    I agree with the advocates of gay marriage within the United Methodist Church, and I support their unwillingness to any longer subscribe to present church law at the expense of our own brothers and sisters in Christ. Their acts of civil disobedience are not pretty, they’re not comfortable, but they are just.

  • 3rdWorldState
    February 18, 2014 at 11:16 a.m.

    Well said, and written DS.

  • JIMBOB47
    February 18, 2014 at 11:36 a.m.

    I just wonder what Bible they are reading?

    Leviticus 18:22
    You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.
    1 Corinthians 6:9-10
    Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
    Leviticus 20:13
    If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them

  • Vickie55
    February 18, 2014 at 11:45 a.m.

    The Old Testament of the Bible also instructs us to present burnt offerings, to not eat meat from any animal with cloven hoof, to fast, and to do no labor on the Sabbath.

  • djigoo
    February 18, 2014 at 1:20 p.m.

    But Vickie, what good is Scripture if you can't cherry pick only those passages you like?

  • GrimReaper
    February 18, 2014 at 1:26 p.m.


  • hogfan2012
    February 18, 2014 at 2:19 p.m.

    JIMBOB47 - you are correct. I am certain that God has not changed his opinion of what a sin is, Old Testament or not. The Old Testament structured the Law of God - I suppose some of you don't believe in the Ten Commandments either... I have no doubt that He weeps over how this world has gotten worse than the days of Sodom and Gomorrah in all aspects - whether it's homosexuality, children commiting crimes, or parents abusing their children. Reading the Police Beat daily leads to only one conclusion - This country has gone crazy!!!

  • djigoo
    February 18, 2014 at 3:56 p.m.

    GrimRaper, do you have spellcheck?

  • FreeSpiritMan
    February 18, 2014 at 7:06 p.m.

    Jimbob47 .......... Deuteronomy 22:5 - The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so [are] abomination unto the LORD thy God.
    You got any females in your family that wears paints? levis etc

  • FreeSpiritMan
    February 18, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.

    It is no one's business who sleeps with who or how or why period. It no one's business who wants to mary who, when or how period. Why don't you get upset about world hungar, child labor laws, child trafficking, drug war. Give us some Bible quotes on these.