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In fact this page will automatically send you to my new page in 4 minutes. Or go there now...Radio Brian Scott
God's Word v. God's Spirit?
Nine years ago, Karen Dammann quietly moved in with her lesbian lover. She didn't advertise the fact because, as a United Methodist pastor, she risked losing her job if she did so. The denomination's Book of Discipline condemns homosexual acts and prohibits ordination of practicing homosexuals.
The case came to trial in a church court, and last week a jury of thirteen Methodist pastors, eight women and five men, declared Ms. Dammann not guilty.
The jury demonstrated a remarkably flexible attitude toward the facts. It declared, "The church did not present sufficient, clear, and convincing evidence to sustain the charge." In other words, Dammann's letter, her frequent public statements about her homosexuality, and her visible public behavior do not prove she has engaged in homosexual acts? Or what about the fact that she and her partner obtained a "marriage license" from the city clerk of Portland, Oregon?
The jurors also indicated they were puzzled about the meaning of the words incompatible with Christian teaching. They decided that the words don't mean what they seem to say and are open to various interpretations. Explaining its conclusions and decision, the court stated, "We depended on the leading of the Holy Spirit."
Conversation between Jim and Pastor Will
Jim: Wanted to be sure you saw this. A little disappointing to me if this is all true. I don't believe this would be any kind of rumor or un-truth though.
Pastor Will: It did really happen. We have a maverik conference out west and the issue is being addressed. their action does not reflect the beliefs of the United Methodist Church which does not support there action.
Jim: Good to know this action is being addressed, but still difficult when there are groups within the UMC who think this way. So, although this action may be taken care of, there is obviously a much larger issue. Well, thanks for your insight, I figured you had an inside track on this one!!
Pastor Will: The issue of homosexuality had been debated in the UMC for the past 30 years. The church has never swayed from it's present view and even though some are becoming more militant in their protest, it will not change the church's position.
Thank you Pastor Will for your clarity.
To me the most shocking thing of all is their (the church court) lack of ability to even grasp the most basic parts of speach in the english language. This is the same ambigutiy that plauges our federal, state, local courts as well.
A question to my readers: Can you tell me why you think the court decided to break away from their clear church doctrine in this case? Do you feel that Christianity is moving towards accepting homosexuality as normal?
I believe I know what the problem is. I'm writting about it now so look for my follow up to this story in a post either tomorrow or later this week.
posted by: Brian Scott