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Dateline: Wednesday, April 05, 2000
Rev. Kent L. Svendsen
Now going directly to 25 states: CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, ID,
Just a quick note to thank everyone who offered their encouragement and support for my protest and news release concerning media bias and censorship within UM publications.
I just wanted to share very quickly with you what I see as the latest attempt to seduce evangelicals into abdicating our stand concerning the Discipline statement which says that "homosexual practice is incompatible with Christian teaching". It is a "essay" by Koreen Miller from the California-Pacific Annual Conference which appears on the back page of the March 31, 2000 edition of the United Methodist Reporter. Its an idea for "compromise" so we can all live together and yet allow churches to actively promote homosexual practice and perform same-sex union ceremonies. She states that "Currently, a minority of United Methodists believe homosexuality is not a sin" and that "A very small minority discovers, after years of nurture and commitment within the UMC, that, contrary to anything they asked for, they are homosexual - and they are being denied a role in service to God." You will notice that nothing is said concerning any effort to be transformed, but only that they were "nurtured". I would like to know how many of "those people" she is talking about actually spent any time with a competent reparative therapist. Or are they simply saying that they have been around the church for years and God has not sapped them and changed them. I know of individual who have been in the church their whole life and in their old age are still steeped in the same life dominating sins they were fifty years ago. This speaks more to the impotence of the church and its lack of power than it does offering me any evidence.
I have no problem ordaining alcoholics, drug addicts, and any other person who has a proclivity for some type of immoral behavior if their problem is under control and they are not participating in their proclivity. I was a drug addicted biker before being delivered from drugs and alcohol through the transforming power of Jesus Christ. Did it happen over night? No, it took a number of years. Am I ever tempted? You bet I am. Could I go back to that lifestyle and function efficiently without society? Sure could. In fact during the ten years of my addiction I always had a good job and did very technical work for a well know manufacture and even ran my own business for a while. The test of whether something is moral or socially acceptable should not be how well you can function under its influence on your life.
"It is clear the Bible rejects all kinds of idolatrous perversion, but does perversion automatically include such a relationship." What kind of relationship and is it idolatrous perversion? She never answers the question. Why? Because she wants to provide people with a reason to question their stand on the issue and not seriously research and consider what the Bible says concerning the subject. This is an end run around the issue of the Authority of Scripture. They are Hoping those reading this piece will be just lazy enough to allow that seed to be planted and not actually do the research. She also doesn't say if she has actually read all the passages in the Bible concerning homosexuality. Her response sounds like something coming out of the Reconciling Congregations handbook on homosexual led Bible study.
This is the case of an argument based on human reason and not divine revelation. If I were a humanist and not a Christian I would fully agree with her. It is only when the Bible is introduced into the argument that I run directly into a brick wall that I cannot get around.
She also doesn't take into consideration exactly what would happen if individual churches were given the option to support and approve of homosexuality. Once that happened would it be two ministries respecting each other as she seems to suggest will happen. How can it!? We have already seen the open attacks on those who even allow both positions to be presented. Look at the Des Plaines Campground situation in the Northern Illinois Conference. The only thing they had to do to be accused and convicted by the Board of Church and Society as being bigoted and condemned was to allow someone to speak from their pulpit which proclaimed that homosexuality was a sin and allow people to publicly express that sentiment on the campground without being censored. Think about this. We neutralize the language and publicly proclaim that we are not in agreement on the subject. That give legitimacy to their group and even minority status. Can't you imagine the parades and public proclamations of how bigoted and evil those who disagree with them are. It is already happening now and with the protection of bishops and other church leaders who turn their heads and tell us the renegades have a right under "informed Christian conscience" to publicly denounce our Discipline and do acts to undermine it and demoralize evangelicals UMs until they give up or leave. I don't imagine they will print any counter articles in the Censored UMR. I will send them one within a few days but don't hold your breath.