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Comments about ‘United Methodist Pastors divided over gay marriage’

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Published: Thursday, Oct. 31 2013 7:50 p.m. MDT

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Contrariusiest
mid-state, TN

The rift in the Methodist church is interesting to watch. This isn't just "fringe" pastors who are agitating for change.

The former Bishop for Northern California -- and a past president of the National Council of Churches -- Melvin Talbert, has urged pastors to defy this church law -- and has performed at least one same-sex marriage himself.

Talbert has said: "Weddings are going on all the time, all across the church, but it's privately done, and bishops are just looking the other way, and it's time for someone to say, 'Let's deal with the elephant in the room.' "

He also said: "I declare to you that the derogatory language and restrictive laws in the Book of Discipline are immoral and unjust and no longer deserve our loyalty and obedience."

More than 1000 ministers have signed on to Talbert's call to action.

Rev. Frank Schaefer, mentioned in the article for performing his son's ceremony, has said: "After years of affirming him and standing by him through his struggles over sexual identity, to refuse to perform the wedding would have negated everything I told him, which was that you were created by God the way you turned out."

Ranch
Here, UT

Some will, some won't. Some love, some don't.

happy2bhere
clearfield, UT

I sure am glad that in my church we believe in continual revelation and of having living prophets today. That way, I can put my complete faith and trust in the leader of my church that any changes of significant magnitude will be the Word of God, not just the words in books, which can be interpreted in various ways or ignored altogether.

Ranch
Here, UT

@happy2bhere;

How do you know those people are not just lying to you to get your money?

gmlewis
Houston, TX

@Ranch - I agree with @happy2bhere that revelation from the Lord to His prophet is a wonderful blessing for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know that this is true because of the undeniable witness of the Holy Ghost. I know this witness comes from God, because I have felt true joy ever since that witness came over 40 years ago. I trust the Holy Ghost; He has never steered me wrong.

happy2bhere
clearfield, UT

Ranch

Because if those people are lying to me to get my money, that would make them crooks. And crooks usually use others peoples money to feather their own nest. I've seen no evidence that the leaders of the church are living a millionaires life with the money obtained from the congregation. I do know that I've seen it in other organizations. In fact that was one of the "fruits" that made me look at my church. Even when I was not a member of any religious organization, I felt that it was wrong for the leader of said organization to be living a !% lifestyle at the expense of the 99%ers he or she took money from. Some church leaders may be wealthy, but not because of money taken from church members through lies. And, my discernment on such matters is pretty good thanks to the Holy Ghost, as gmlewis above pointed out.

Contrariusesterer
mid-state, TN

@gmlewis --

"I know that this is true because of the undeniable witness of the Holy Ghost."

Unfortunately, different people can easily have "undeniable witnesses of the Holy Ghost" that directly contradict each other.

When these "undeniable witnesses" disagree, who gets to decide which one is correct?

gmlewis
Houston, TX

@Contrariusesterer - It seems self-evident that only the Holy Ghost can provide the joy that I have felt since receiving His witness. If my witness had come from a false source, I would perhaps have felt awe or fear, but not indescribable joy that hasn't dimmed with time.

J.D.
Aurora, CO

@gmlewis
That is what the JWs say about thier spiritual witness as well.

Contrariusesterer
mid-state, TN

@gmlewis --

" It seems self-evident that only the Holy Ghost can provide the joy that I have felt since receiving His witness."

Baptists feel that same joy. Buddhists feel that same joy. "Religious ecstasy" is found all across the religious map.

How do you know that their joy is wrong, and yours isn't?

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

JD,

Maybe. But I have never had a Jehovah's Witness say anything like that to me. Just my experience.

gmlewis
Houston, TX

@contrariusesterer - I never said that "their joy is wrong," but I do know that mine isn't wrong. Forty years is a long time for "undimmed joy"; the Holy Ghost provides something that cannot be matched by anything else. The Holy Ghost is a revelator, and He teaches me things that I could not have known otherwise. He is a comforter, and I have often been comforted in times of real danger. I trust Him, without reservation.

Contrariusesterer
mid-state, TN

@gmlewis --

" I never said that "their joy is wrong," but I do know that mine isn't wrong."

If your revelation says something completely different from someone else's revelation, then one of you has to be wrong. How do you know that you aren't the wrong one?

"Just because I say so" doesn't cut it.

gmlewis
Houston, TX

@Contrariusesterer - "Just because I say so doesn't cut it."

Actually, it does. This isn't a debate. Believe what you want.

Contrariusesterer
mid-state, TN

@gmlewis --

"Actually, it does. This isn't a debate. "

If nothing else, it's reality.

Every religion has its own "revelations" and "joy" and "religious ecstasy" and so forth and so on. Yet every religion gets a different message from those experiences than the other religions do.

And guess what -- all those different messages can't all be right. You may *believe* that your particular message is the right one -- but if you have nothing more with which to "prove" your correctness than any other religion does, then you haven't actually proven anything. You are just one in a crowd of multiple competing and contradicting beliefs, all of whom claim to be correct because of their own particular "divine revelation".

And that's one of the reasons why I'm so thankful that this country is not a theocracy.

happy2bhere
clearfield, UT

Contrariusesterer (whatever)

You are trying to argue that there is no real truth at all, only what is in the eye of the beholder. If that is your world, fine, live with it. But some people do see absolute truth and it works for them. That you can't deny. You may not want it, but you can't deny it. And because people know truth that you don't does not make it untrue for then.

Contrarius
mid-state, TN

@happy2bhere --

"You are trying to argue that there is no real truth at all, only what is in the eye of the beholder."

I never said any such thing.

However, it takes more than "the eye of the beholder" to know what "real truth" IS.

"But some people do see absolute truth and it works for them."

Some people BELIEVE that they see absolute truth. Belief is not at all the same thing as knowledge.

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