Wednesday, May 12, 2004

I just learned that three people have left our church and the denomination over the issue of homosexuality. Three people might not seem like that many, but when you regularly have 70 show up on Sunday, three matter. What's interesting to me is that they left because they disagree with a vocal minority in the church. The official stance of the United Methodist Church is that homosexuality is "incompatible with Christian teaching" and that homosexuals should not be ordained as ministers. The church also forbids clergy from performing gay marriages and gay marriages cannot be performed inside UMC facilities even if a UMC minister is not presiding.

It makes me very sad that our society is getting to the point that we are not even willing to be in fellowship with people we disagree with. Why do we feel the need to surround ourselves only with people who agree with us on everything? To some extent that feels like an inauthentic community. It is a community that either strictly enforces unanimity of thought or constantly teeters on the brink of dissolution over the contentious issue of the day. What happens when you find someone who disagrees with you on some other issue? Do you run to another community?

Isn't part of being in community realizing that you're not always going to agree with everyone? We're all part of God's family, and like our regular (biological) family, we don't always agree, but we should still try to enjoy each other's company.



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