Skip to comments.United Methodists Say No to Lutheran Gay Clergy
Posted on 08/27/2009 9:36:44 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Lutheran ministers who are in same-sex relationships will not be allowed to serve as clergy in United Methodist congregations despite the new full communion agreement between the two denominations.
Bishop Gregory Palmer, president of the United Methodist Council of Bishops, made clear on Wednesday that UMC's ban on noncelibate gay clergy still stands.
"Our Book of Discipline on that subject did not become null and void when they took that vote," said Palmer, according to the United Methodist News Service. "It still applies to United Methodist clergy."
Palmer was referring to the highly publicized vote last week by the chief legislative body of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to approve a resolution allowing gays and lesbians in "life-long, monogamous, same gender relationships" to be ordained.
The controversial vote took place a day after ELCA delegates overwhelmingly adopted a full communion agreement with The United Methodist Church.
Full communion is not tantamount to a merger, church officials said. Instead, under the pact each church acknowledges the other as a partner in the Christian faith, recognizes the authenticity of each other's baptism and Eucharist, and is committed to working together toward greater unity.
The two denominations also express mutual recognition of ordained ministers for service in either church, according to the agreement. Some UMC leaders have already expressed eagerness to share clergy in underserved areas, as reported by the United Methodist News Service.
Although the agreement recognizes full interchangeability of all ordained ministers, UMC congregations will not be accepting partnered homosexuals from the ELCA.
As Palmer stressed, "the doctrine, polity and standards of ministry of the respective denominations in any full communion agreement are not wiped out when one denomination does something."
Last year, the highest legislative body of The United Methodist Church rejected changes to its constitution and voted to uphold its ban against the ordination of practicing homosexuals. United Methodists continue to hold that homosexual practice is "incompatible with Christian teaching."
Michael Trice, an ecumenical officer of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, noted that if partnered homosexuals in the ELCA want to serve in a United Methodist congregation, The United Methodist Church can say to them "we are sorry but that does not fit our protocols."
"Unity does not require uniformity in all cases," said Trice. "It requires faithfulness to the Gospel, honesty with our Christian partners, and wherever we can share a sense of mission and service in the world."
The agreement with the ELCA is UMC's first full communion relationship outside the Methodist tradition. The ELCA, meanwhile, has full communion pacts with The Episcopal Church, Moravian Church in America, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Reformed Church in America and the United Church of Christ.
I really, really wish they would drop the word Lutheran from their name. Marty would have a thing or two to say to these heathen...
The good news is that the Universal Church is doing exceptionally well these days, unlike those "denominations" who have drifted off message...
You’d think that would be a good idea that the homosexuals would embrace. Unfortunately, serving God is not the real agenda. Destroying Christianity is.
That’s the best idea yet. But it will never happen. The militant gay community is not interested in serving God. They are interested in absolving themselves from all guilt (falsely!) by trying to force changes in church doctrine to accomodate them. They are concentrating on things of the world, not the Word of God. (IMO, for what little it’s worth).
But apparently it's OK for UMC for celibate gay clergy. What hogwash! UMC left Christ decades ago.
Yep. By their fruits shall ye know them...
When the Methodists start being more conservative than Lutherans, you know that things have hit the theological bottom. I, too, wish that the ELCA would change its name. There is NOTHING Lutheran about the ELCA. The question is whether or not it is still Christian. It is certainly an apostate denomination, but it has been that from its conception. Why in God’s Name would any Christian belong to this heretical church body is the question that each member of the ELCA has to answer for himself.
Nice liberal try. The article's focus is upon pastors, not membership. There's no excuse for allowing gay pastors, celibate or not.
In Romans 1, it is explained that God gives people up to homosexuality as a form of judgment. Church membership implies the individual has come back to God as a sinner (which we all are) and has put their faith in Christ's work, and has repented of their sin. A repentant Christian will no longer identify themselves as a 'gay' or an adulterer or a murderer. To do so it just another liberal method to slither their immorality into the church.
The article focused on the pastor. When it comes to a position of spiritual authority, it's not just a matter of commitment to to their faith, it's a matter of living out their faith - leading by example. The qualifications for a pastor are given twice in scripture. One qualification is that the pastor must be the husband of one wife. Homosexuality doesn't fit the qualifications, period.
"For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination." Titus 1.
The language of scripture is pretty clear. Frequently ignored, but straight forward.
So you choose a personal experience over scripture. This is the same reasoning that leads to gay pastors.
I'll obey God's word. His commands are clear. Disobeyed, excused, but clear.
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