Last Friday, the United States Supreme Court upheld the right of same-sex marriage in all 50 states. I wanted to share some information and reiterate the stance of the United Methodist Church. Frankly, this ruling is at odds with our church’s viewpoint on this issue.
Our understanding of marriage is indicated in the Book of Discipline: : “We affirm the marriage covenant that is expressed in love, mutual support, personal commitment, and shared fidelity between a man and a woman.”
Here are some other points:
- The United Methodist Church considers all people of sacred worth. We are to minister to all and welcome all. The grace of Jesus Christ is available to all. Christ died for all of us.
- We also state that we do not condone the practice of homosexuality and consider it incompatible with Christian teaching.
- We do not ordain “self-avowed, practicing homosexuals” as pastors, nor are they eligible for appointment.
- As pastors, we are not allowed to conduct same-sex union services.
- Our buildings are not to be used for same-sex union services.
Also, in the Supreme Court ruling, this paragraph is included:
Finally, it must be emphasized that religions, and those who adhere to religious doctrines, may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned. The First Amendment ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths, and to their own deep aspirations to continue the family structure they have long revered. The same is true of those who oppose same-sex marriage for other reasons. In turn, those who believe allowing samesex marriage is proper or indeed essential, whether as a matter of religious conviction or secular belief, may engage those who disagree with their view in an open and searching debate.
There will probably be posts about certain agencies within the United Methodist Church that will express opinions about this. However, only General Conference (which meets in April, 2016) can officially change and/or comment on our principles concerning this and any other issue.
I am certainly open to dialogue with anyone about this. If you have any questions, please let me know. Please pray for our nation, its leaders, our church and staff as we proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to this generation and culture.
Dennis D Price