By Good News.
Please be sure to watch the new documentary called “Dividing The United Methodist Church” by Bonnie Erbé, host of PBS’s program “To The Contrary.” It features extensive discussion about the 40-year-old debate within [the United Methodist Church] over marriage and sexuality.
You can fault the United Methodist Church for many things but one thing you cannot fault us for is an unwillingness to discuss this,” the Rev. Rob Renfroe observed in the documentary. Renfroe is the president of Good News and author of The Trouble with the Truth and A Way Through the Wilderness.
In addition to Renfroe, other commentators include traditionalists such as the Revs. Kenneth Livingston, senior pastor of Jones Memorial Church in Houston; and Madeline Carrasco Henners, pastor of First UM Church in Luling, Texas. Progressive clergy include the Revs. Karen Oliveto, senior pastor of Glide Memorial UM Church in San Francisco; Ginger Gaines-Cirelli, senior pastor of Foundry UM Church in Washington DC; and Amanda Miller Garber, founding pastor of Rise in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
Read some of the soundbites from the documentary …
Watch the documentary:
Most of the mainline Protestant Churches recognize only two sacraments that are given by Jesus Christ our Lord for the attainment of salvation: Baptism and the Holy Supper. No other Sacrament implies God’s Covenant.
Our Church recognizes that God’s Grace is extended to ALL sinners. No human has the right to bar any sinner from communion with God, or block God from extending His Covenant through the Holy Supper to all who will ask. The condition of sin is present in ALL humans. (Mark 10:18)
While Matrimony is a Holy Ordinance, it is not sacramental, in that it does not fulfill a promise of God’s Salvation. If ALL are admitted to the Holy supper, why are we denying celebration of two people committing to each other?
JOHN CALVIN – “The last of all this [discussion of sacraments] is marriage, which, while all admit it to be an institution of God, no man ever saw to be a sacrament, until the time of [Pope] Gregory. And would it ever have occurred to the mind of any sober man? It is a good and holy ordinance of God. And agriculture, architecture, shoemaking, and shaving, are lawful ordinances of God; but they are not sacraments. For in a sacrament, the thing required is not only that it be a work of God, but that it be an external ceremony appointed by God to confirm a promise. That there is nothing of the kind in marriage, even children can judge.”
As Paul gives us the Gospel of Grace, 1 Cor. 15: 1 – 4, Only faith in the cross of Jesus with belief in his death, burial, and resurrection are required. Baptism is not required as this was a requirement for the Jews under the Law. Also Paul states in 1 Cor. 11: 29 ” (* need to read all of Chptrs 10 & 11) For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgement to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. The Just shall live by Faith as to the Scriptures for Holiness ( to be set apart ).
“While Matrimony is a Holy Ordinance, it is not sacramental, in that it does not fulfill a promise of God’s Salvation. If ALL are admitted to the Holy supper, why are we denying celebration of two people committing to each other? ”
… because of who made it a Holy Ordinance.
The Father, when it made them male & female, who he then said be fruitful and multiply.
The Son who emphasized in his teaching that this is why a man leaves his parents to be with his wife, so that two become one, who reiterated that marriage is between male & female.
The Holy Spirit, who inspired those who wrote the Bible which contain the Word.
So if God had a hand in setting up matrimony as a holy ordinance. And I trust that you believe that the God is, was, and will be; and I also trust you believe that God doesn’t change his mind since if he’s eternal and all knowing, there is no reason why he would have to as there is no circumstance that could surprise God.
However, if after all this you still say “but” .. then there is but one truth left: either God is not what the Bible states he is (omniscient, immanent, eternal) in which case we may as well close up the churches and join a fraternal organization; or you do not believe in God as he chose to reveal himself.
I leave that for you to decide.