Methodist Thoughts on Pride Month
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As A Methodist, Here's what I have to say During Pride Month

The UMC is going through some major changes...

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As A Methodist, Here's what I have to say During Pride Month
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Since before I was born, my parents have attended the same United Methodist Church in the town I grew up in. I was baptized in that church, confirmed in that church, graduated while attending that church, and continue to worship and praise there whenever I am home from school. When asked what denomination of Christianity I am, I always say, and most likely will always say, "Oh, I'm a Methodist."

On a national level, the UMC is attempting to solve a large issue, and that is what to do about LGBTQ+ inclusion. Specifically, how the United Methodist Church feels in regards to ordaining LGBTQ+ pastors, and whether or not the United Methodist Church can perform same-sex wedding ceremonies. Traditionally, most would say this is a no-go. However, due to the current social climate and how much things have changed since the creation of the Book of Discipline (the doctrine of the UMC), not all Methodist church-goers feel the same way over this issue anymore.

Currently, a group called the Commission on A Way Forward is examining the wording of the Book of Discipline and how changing it may benefit and unify the church. One idea being proposed is the "One Church" idea, in which every individual church can decide if they want to perform LGBTQ+ weddings and whether or not to ordain an LGBTQ+ pastor. Some are in favor of this, some want it mandatory that LGBTQ+ inclusion happen, and some want nothing to change.

So what do I think as a Methodist?

Well, I am of the firm belief that we are created how we are meant to be. Psalm 139:14 (NIV) says, "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Whether I, or anyone else, am white or black, gay or straight, male or female or somewhere in between, tall or short, whatever the case may be, God made me to be that way. He did not do it to hurt me or anyone else, that is how he thought I needed to be.

Who am I to say that a creation that my God made is wrong?

I understand the traditional viewpoint, however, I cannot say that I agree with it. If my choice of pastor is between a straight person whose heart is not in the right place, or an LGBTQ+ person who worships to their fullest capability and follows God with their whole heart, who do you think I'm going to choose? Just because a pastor is gay or somewhere else on the LGBTQ+ spectrum doesn't mean they are any less capable of loving and praising the same God that I do.

My advice to those in the UMC: Keep an open mind.

Change is inevitable and has already happened. Women couldn't originally be pastors; now they can and they can be ordained. Churches used to be segregated; now you can walk into any church regardless of race or ethnicity. LGBTQ+ people used to not be able to be members of churches - now they are not only able but highly encouraged. Some of the holiest, kindest, most loving people I have ever met have come from somewhere on the LGBTQ+ spectrum, yet they don't even always feel like they belong in the place they care about, and belong in, most. Why shouldn't we let someone who loves our God and wants to do his work and share his message do just that, just because they are different from what you think of as "right?"

For more information on the UMC Commission on the Way Forward, please visit their website, here.
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