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Switch to Forum Live View I am an Episcopalian who needs to bail out. Is the Methodist Church a good alternative?
8 years ago  ::  Dec 01, 2009 - 11:22PM #1
Bostonian
Posts: 3

Hi,

As much as it upsets me, I need to leave the Episcopal Church.  I have very much enjoyed being an Episcopalian and love the people at my church, but there have been some recent changes in the Episcopal Church that I cannot abide by.

Last week the Episcopal bishop in Eastern Massachusetts gave permission for priests to officiate at homosexual weddings.  He OK'd priests not just to bless - but to actually officiate at - homosexual weddings.  I could not be more opposed to that.

I know that God calls us to love and respect the dignity of all people, but "marrying" two men is unbiblical and wrong.

I definitely need to leave the Episcopal Church, but I don't want to lose my faith over this.  I need to find a new spiritual home that has some of the positive attributes of the Episcopal Church but without the crazy.

I'm looking for a denomination that allows priests to marry and have families (unlike the Catholics) yet isn't so liberal as to allow homosexual bishops or same-sex marriage.  I am not looking for a conservative fundamentalist denomination, but one that is slightly more conservative and sensible than the Episcopalians.

I don't know a lot about the Methodist Church.  Given what I have outlined, do you think I would "fit" there?  Do you think the Methodists could go down the same road as the Episcopalians with regard to homosexuality?

Thanks

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8 years ago  ::  Dec 03, 2009 - 1:05AM #2
Ej__
Posts: 1

There are discussions about how to provide pastoral care to gay and lesbian people in pretty much all main line denominations.  Methodists have the same issues as Episcopalians.  Part of our problem is that the Church has not done a good job of facilitating an understanding of human sexuality at the parish level.  Our sexuality touches the deepest part of ourselves.  We also live in a society that is highly sexualized and sometimes it seems that in both society and the church there is abiguity about what types of sexual behavior is not okay; are there limits to sexual behavior and what are they?  Frankly, I am not impressed by either side of this conflict.  Instead of using prayer and listening to the concerns of both sides of the issue (including those in the middle), we are bombarded by rhetoric from both sides.  Instead of listening to each other in prayer, disagreement is labeled as something bad.


While the Church has facilitated discussions at higher levels, it has forgotten those of us in the pews.  Parish clergy have a struggling with budgets and the normal conflicts of everyday parish life and it is difficult for them to imagine opening such a emotional topic.


But the good news is that Episcopalians have struggled with many issues and somehow held together through all of them.  Conflict is not in itself a bad thing.  It is in the midst of conflict that we find the love of Christ.  I pray that we may be able to continue the discussion about what it means to live in Christ and know that despite our differences, we are one in Christ at the communion table.  This is the gift of the Episcopal Church.  I don't know that there is any other church structure that provides that promise.

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8 years ago  ::  Dec 03, 2009 - 9:55AM #3
Bostonian
Posts: 3





Thanks for your response.


I don't agree that "Episcopalians have struggled with many issues and somehow held together through all of them".  They are smack dab in the middle of a schism right now.  Entire diocesses are leaving.


I have prayed about this issue at length.  The Bible leaves no doubt about what God thinks about homosexuality and marriage.  It is mentioned many many times - in both the Old Testament and the New.  I don't label disagreement as something bad, but I don't see how this is debatable.


If you were a priest and a member of your congregation left his wife and children and "married" another man, what would you do?  The Episcopal Church made him Bishop!  I will not stand to see my collection money used for homosexual weddings and causes.  It's not Christian.  It's not Biblical.  It's wrong.


Does anybody know where the Methodists stand on this?


 

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8 years ago  ::  Dec 03, 2009 - 1:14PM #4
Bevo
Posts: 561

Many Methodist churches in the northeast are quite liberal.  They may not be much different than your Episcopal church.  Methodist rules do prohibit a Methodist pastor from officiating at a same sex union, and also prohibit Methodist property from being used in such ceremonies.  Officially, Methodists proclaim in their doctrine that homosexual behavior is incompatible with Christian teaching.  However, there is a concerted effort of having that language changed by liberals in Methodism.


My advice is to go to the Confessing Movement web site or Good News web site and email them asking for their recommendation of a Methodist church in your area.


 

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8 years ago  ::  Dec 03, 2009 - 1:17PM #5
Bevo
Posts: 561

Many Methodist churches in the northeast are quite liberal.  They may not be much different than your Episcopal church.  Methodist rules do prohibit a Methodist pastor from officiating at a same sex union, and also prohibit Methodist property from being used in such ceremonies.  Officially, Methodists proclaim in their doctrine that homosexual behavior is incompatible with Christian teaching.  However, there is a concerted effort of having that language changed by liberals in Methodism.


My advice is to go to the Confessing Movement web site or Good News web site and email them asking for their recommendation of a Methodist church in your area.


 

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8 years ago  ::  Dec 05, 2009 - 8:16PM #6
Corgi
Posts: 61

Yes!  Methodists hate gays consistently and officially!  If you hate gays...and you do... you'll make a fine United Methodist. 

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8 years ago  ::  Dec 05, 2009 - 11:26PM #7
Bostonian
Posts: 3

I don't hate anybody.  I don't hate my grandmother either, that doesn't mean I should be able to marry her.

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8 years ago  ::  Jan 09, 2010 - 2:34PM #8
Jupiter6208
Posts: 2,483

Jesus said love one another not selective hate. read your Bible again.

"A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person."  Dave Berry
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8 years ago  ::  Jan 27, 2010 - 2:43AM #9
Mvktr2
Posts: 2

It's been so long since the OP was active I suppose it might be a waste to even type a post in this thread.  I'll give it a shot anyway.  


Yes the United Methodist Church is a place you'd probably feel comfortable in as the doctrines and style of worship are very similar.  As others have properly pointed out, it's a bit like jumping form the frying pan into the fire... or vice versa.  While the UMC hasn't officially embraced alternative lifestyles/marriages/unions the denomination is struggling with it.  As a friend told me he was told by an Episcopal friend, 'now it's your turn to deal with this'.  For the record, the only way the GLT lobby will get their way in the UMC is if they are successful in separating the African church from the American church.  No doubt something they'll continue to push for, once it happens many United Methodist will be faced with the same decision as the OP.  


My suggestion is that yes the UMC is an option.  A solid option is an Independent Methodist or non-denominational church.  I'd also say you might enjoy the Lutheran church or the Presbyterian.  Sure there are some theological hurdles to contend with, but these are solid options.


As for people saying someone 'hates' because they simply disagree on a point of theological understanding is immature at best and possibly filled with much more hate than the person being accused of 'hate'.  Nowhere in his post did the OP say anything mean spirited, debatable yes, hateful or mean no!  If you're on this site I'm guessing you're capable of more than that and it reeks of simply attempting to shout people down.  Quite frankly it's reflective of the 'listen to me, I don't have to listen to you' culture we live in.  


Peace,


Phillip

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8 years ago  ::  Mar 15, 2010 - 5:06PM #10
Jupiter6208
Posts: 2,483

Dec 3, 2009 -- 9:55AM, Bostonian wrote:






Thanks for your response.


I don't agree that "Episcopalians have struggled with many issues and somehow held together through all of them".  They are smack dab in the middle of a schism right now.  Entire diocesses are leaving.


I have prayed about this issue at length.  The Bible leaves no doubt about what God thinks about homosexuality and marriage.  It is mentioned many many times - in both the Old Testament and the New.  I don't label disagreement as something bad, but I don't see how this is debatable.


If you were a priest and a member of your congregation left his wife and children and "married" another man, what would you do?  The Episcopal Church made him Bishop!  I will not stand to see my collection money used for homosexual weddings and causes.  It's not Christian.  It's not Biblical.  It's wrong.


Does anybody know where the Methodists stand on this?


 




 


I think you are exaggerating  about entire dioceses leaving....




   leaving

"A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person."  Dave Berry
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