What was effectively rejected was known as Amendment 1. Under this amendment all one had to do was affirm or establish a relationship with Christ. They would then be "eligible to become professing members in any local church in the connection". The amendment failed to receive two thirds support of the membership in 27 out of the 44 conferences reporting results.
How Did Such Amendment Get On The Table?
According to the United Methodist Church website, A Methodist Pastor refused to receive a homosexual man into membership in 2005, because the proposed member would not repent nor seek to live a different lifestyle. According to the article a report was made to the Bishop and the pastor was placed on a leave of absence.
Later that same year (10/2005), the Judicial Council ruled that United Methodist pastors have authority to decide who becomes a member of a local church and reinstated the pastor. That case triggered appeals to the Judicial Council, but the court declined to reconsider its ruling.
Leading Up To This
The United Methodist Church seems to have been balancing this issue for a number of years in their General Conference's establishment of rules regulations and resolutions. In the 2000 Book of Discipline and 2000 Book of Resolutions the following statements were made:
Section: Inclusiveness Of The Church
"The United Methodist Church is a part of the church universal, which is one Body in Christ. Therefore all persons shall be eligible to attend its worship services, to participate in its programs, and, when they take the appropriate vows, to be admitted into its membership in any local church in the connection."
Section: "Human Sexuality"
Subsection: "The Nurturing Community,"
"Homosexual persons no less than heterosexual persons are individuals of sacred worth. All persons need the ministry and guidance of the church in their struggles for human fulfillment, as well as the spiritual and emotional care of a fellowship that enables reconciling relationships with God, with others, and with self. Although we do not condone the practice of homosexuality and consider this practice incompatible with Christian teaching, we affirm that God's grace is available to all. We implore families and churches not to reject or condemn their lesbian and gay members and friends. We commit ourselves to be in ministry for and with all persons."
Section: Law Dealing With Clergy
Sub-Section: Unauthorized Conduct
"Ceremonies that celebrate homosexual unions shall not be conducted by our ministers and shall not be conducted in our churches."
Soulforce, a Christian gay rights activist group headed by apostate theologian Mel White, has previously stated:
"It is as much our moral responsibility not to cooperate with evil as it is to cooperate with good. The United Methodist Church has become evil at its core."
"The United Methodist Church, with over 10 million members, condemns homosexual persons by calling all sexual activity between people of the same gender as "incompatible with Christian teachings." The denomination also forbids its ministers from performing both marriages and commitmitment ceremonies for same-gender couples. Additionally, United Methodist Church doctrine bans "self-avowed practing homosexuals" from the clergy.
One of the greatest delusions of the homosexual agenda is the confusion as found in the writings of Soulforce. To assert that the United Methodist Church "condemns homosexual persons" by not allowing them membership to the church is a LIE and obfuscation of the truth.
The only "person" that would be condemned under the United Method Church rule would be the person who love their SIN more than they love God. The real question is why should homosexual individuals be given preferential treatment in membership? For example in 2004 the United Methodist Church adopted the following regulations regarding REPENTANT pedophiles and their participation within the church:
ADOPTED 2004 READOPTED 2008 (Resolution # 8009)Resolution #355, 2004 Book of Resolutions:
"We encourage the Church to provide a safe environment, counsel, and support for the victim. While we deplore the actions of the abuser, we affirm that person to be in need of God’s redeeming love."The repentant pedophile is welcomed similar to the repentant homosexual. This is simply an example that issues of sexual immorality of all kinds have been addressed by this church. What is really at question by the dissenters is the word of the Lord against homosexuality. Unfortunately too many believers are not convinced that the bible condemns the practice of homosexuality and have no idea as to how to navigate the scriptures regarding such activities. I have addressed one aspect of that question in my article Homosexuality In The New Testament.
"Welcoming a child sex offender into a congregation must be accompanied by thorough knowledge, careful planning, and long-term monitoring..."A convicted and/or registered sex offender who wishes to be part of a church community should expect to have conditions placed on his or her participation. Indeed, offenders who have been in treatment and are truly committed to living a life free of further abuse will be the first to declare that, in order to accomplish that, they must structure a life that includes on-going treatment, accountability mechanisms, and lack of access to children"
Thank God there are individuals such as Bishop James Stanton of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas, willing to stand against sin as referenced by Gcmwatch.com, it is incumbent upon the church both leaders and its members to stand and continue to stand against evil of all kinds and sorts. Homosexuality is not the ONLY issue facing the 21st century church but it is a major and one that challenges the future morality of the nation and the church. Whether science ever finds a homosexual gene or not, homosexuality is immoral and a practice that should be repented of so that fellowship with Christ and his church can be established. Those who reject the gospel truth against unrighteousness are the ones that are "evil to the core" not the ones who desire to uphold biblical morality.