"Welcoming Conference" May be New Buzzword Affirming Homosexuality in the UMC
The California-Pacific Conference under the leadership of United Methodist Bishop Sano, consultant for a new Bible study series affirming homosexuality, Claiming the Promise Bible Study: An Ecumenical Welcoming Bible Study Resource on Homosexuality, appeared to bring unity to the divided opinions regarding the practice of homosexuality. The California-Pacific Conference voted to become a "Welcoming" conference affirming neither the Reconciling Church Program, which actively works to change the traditional Biblical prohibitions against homosexuality of the United Methodist Church, nor affirming the more orthodox Transforming designation which affirms "...the Biblical witness that homosexual practice is sin and that the power of the Holy Spirit is available to transform the life of the homosexual."
It was earlier reported that Bishop Sano "worked to maintain 'unity' in the conference with the Welcoming resolution. However, the outcome of the debate seemed predetermined, making the welcoming decision appear artificial."
In light of the history of the pro-homosexual movement in the United Methodist Church asserting its political agenda under the banner of words that traditionally have had positive moral meanings, such as "reconciling" and "affirmation," it appears that the word "welcoming" has been added to the list of homosexually redefined words. Like the Reconciling Church Program in the United Methodist Church and Affirmation (United Methodists for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Concerns), Welcoming Ministries claims the The Reconciling Congregation Program as part of its much larger ecumenical "welcoming church" movement which now encompasses more than 800 congregations, ministries, and judicatories in ten faith traditions. Welcoming Ministries claims to be an "ecumenical movement growing at the rate of two new churches each week--probably the fastest-growing grass roots movement in mainline churches today."
Taking into consideration:
One becomes suspect to think that the California-Pacific Annual Conference is to be added to the Reconciling Church Program's list "as of March 1998, the RCP encompasses over 12,800 Reconciling United Methodists, 146 Reconciling Congregations, 20 Reconciling Campus Ministries, 6 Reconciling Conferences, and numerous other reconciling groups" including the General Commission on Christian Unity & Interreligious Concerns.
The Confessing Statement of Confessing Movement within the United Methodist Church, a growing organization of concerned United Methodists who hold to the more Biblical Wesleyan Christian doctrine, includes the statement:
Resolutions for Annual Conferences to affirm the Confessing Statement and similar resolutions have met with much opposition by church leaders throughout the United Methodist Church, while it appears that the pro-homosexual caucus is adding "...two new churches each week" and one new Welcoming Conference under the leadership of the Church's highest officials.
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