Editor’s note: The Mississippi United Methodist Advocate received several letters to the editor concerning the June 12 worship service at Annual Conference. These two letters were chosen to run as representative of the letters received.
In his letter to the July edition of the Advocate, Skipper Anding quotes Paul and John Wesley in support of his stance on homosexuality. For many generations Christians have quoted the Bible in support of some very cruel activities and policies such as war, slavery and segregation (de-facto slavery); policies and attitudes that violate the spirit of love that embodied Jesus.
A few centuries ago I would have been burned at the stake along with the other heretics and witches for suggesting the following: Even though he was one of the authors of the Bible many Christians are questing whether all the words of Paul reflected the mind of God (for instance his attitude and advice toward women).
What follows may also be heresy to some followers of Wesley, but because he said something doesn't mean that it is true. No doubt because of his fervent belief in the inerrancy of the Bible, Wesley believed in witches and witchcraft and he condemned all who didn't believe because, as he interpreted the Bible it supported the reality of witches. He wrote that those who did not believe in witches "well know that the giving up witchcraft is, in effect, giving up the Bible."
As with the argument against black people many feel that discrimination against those whom Mother Nature (God) created different from us "normal people” violates the spirit of Jesus.
As a Parkway Hills United Methodist Church member in Madison, I am appalled by the recent turn of events regarding the subject of "tolerance" concerning homosexuality. I am a conservative, homeschooling, Republican Methodist mother of five children, and I am ashamedto be a part of a church whose leadership condones such sinful acts, even though the act itself is clearly against core fundamental United Methodist values. It is rather apparent that Parkway Hills C's leadership does not wish to take a stance on the subject, but rather "dance" around the issue at hand. Our family will pull our membership unless a formal announcementdenouncing homosexuality is madeboth by the church staff and to the media.
I believe in the forgiveness of sins. However, Campbell and Sappington are not asking for forgiveness of their sins, but rather for "acceptance." The Methodist church cannot "tolerate" homosexuality any more than it can "tolerate" rape, murder or adultery. You cannot pick and choose based on who is in your congregation.
I am outraged that ourchurch has allowed members to further their social causes at the expense of our church family. Those of us who are raising, or have raised, our families in the eyes of the Lord, following His lead, "teaching our children in the ways they should go" should be the foundation of this church, not those who are trying to promote their liberal platform.
I come to you with a heavy heart. (My husband) and I were married in the Methodist church 15 years ago, and have been active members with our prayers, presence, gifts and service since. Our five children were each baptized as babies in the Methodist church, and our oldest has been confirmed in the Methodist church. In our 10 moves as a married couple, we would seek out United Methodist churches in each town, knowing that they had the same core beliefs, which aligned with ours. We have been active members in 10 UMCs, and have never had the experience of a church not taking a stand against homosexuality. Unfortunately the homosexuality tolerance issue appears to be coming from those higher up in the UMC as well, or the women would never have been allowed to speak at the (Annual) Conference in the first place. Bishop Hope Morgan Ward, that is notwhat Jesus would have done.
Perhaps the most shameful part is that those who follow the core UMC principles will leave Parkway Hills, and all you will have left will be those who are "tolerant." Our family had such high hopes for Parkway Hills UMC and for the United Methodist Church in general.