Some of you will celebrate, some will get mad - but nonetheless here it is. The United Church of Christ has passed a resolution endorsing same sex marriage. As much as conservative Christians are going to hate it, it is happening.
- Will the UCC split because of this decision or might they find a way to live together?
- Will the United Methodist Church follow in the UCC's lead or head the other direction?
- Will the UCC be on the forefront of a trend among mainline denominations or be out on a limb all by themselves?
I don't know, but here's what I hope:
I hope I will live to see the day when anyone who falls in love with another person will be free to express that love in the sacred covenant of marriage, honored in a ceremony before God and within the warm embrace of a loving congregation.
As a United Methodist pastor, I am not permitted to officiate at wedding ceremonies of same-sex couples. I lament that. Let's be clear, it is not the Bible that forbids me from doing so, it is the Book of Discipline. The Bible itself is very adamant and quite specific: same-sex sexual activity is strictly forbidden when the intention is idolatry (i.e. cultic worship) or pederasty (i.e. child abuse). But the Bible says nothing about two adults who fall in love, want to get married to each other, and who are the same gender. Nonetheless, I will respect the Book of Discipline's restrictions even as I work to reform them.
In the meantime, I will pray for the United Church of Christ. A prayer of gratitude for their courage and a prayer for unity of spirit in the midst of their transformation.