United Methodist Church court okays homosexual minister
Here's what the United Methodist Church, America's third-largest Christian body (after Roman Catholicism and the Southern Baptist Convention) says about homosexuality and the clergy, according to its Book of Discipline:

While persons set apart by the Church for ordained ministry are subject to all the frailties of the human condition and the pressures of society, they are required to maintain the highest standards of holy living in the world. Since the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching, self-avowed practicing homosexuals are not to be accepted as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve in The United Methodist Church.

Ah, but the United Methodist Church has crafty ministers. And at the church trial of self-avowed practicing homosexual minister Karen Dammann, her defenders said unto the jury, Yea, hath the United Methodist Church said, homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching?

Oh, it's all so confusing! Or so said Dammann's defenders and The Washington Post:

On one hand, the church's Book of Discipline says that because "the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching, self-avowed practicing homosexuals are not to be accepted as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve" as pastors. On the other hand, it also says that sexuality is "God's good gift to all persons," that homosexuals "are individuals of sacred worth," that "God's grace is available to all," and that "certain basic human rights and civil liberties are due all persons."

For the last 2,000 years, Christians have taught that those concepts are not contradictory, though there has been disagreement over what human rights ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Weblog
Launched in 1999, Christianity Today’s Weblog was not just one of the first religion-oriented weblogs, but one of the first published by a media organization. (Hence its rather bland title.) Mostly compiled by then-online editor Ted Olsen, Weblog rounded up religion news and opinion pieces from publications around the world. As Christianity Today’s website grew, it launched other blogs. Olsen took on management responsibilities, and the Weblog feature as such was mothballed. But CT’s efforts to round up important news and opinion from around the web continues, especially on our Gleanings feature.
Ted Olsen
Ted Olsen is Christianity Today's managing editor for news and online journalism. He wrote the magazine's Weblog—a collection of news and opinion articles from mainstream news sources around the world—from 1999 to 2006. In 2004, the magazine launched Weblog in Print, which looks for unexpected connections and trends in articles appearing in the mainstream press. The column was later renamed "Tidings" and ran until 2007.
Previous Weblog Columns:
September
Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
Christianity Today
Methodist Court Acquits Homosexual Minister
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

March 2004

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.