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Pastor: Anti-gay stand is “wrong, stupid & evil”

Posted by on May. 8, 2012 at 2:19 PM
  • 11 Replies
2 moms liked this

http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattlepolitics/2012/05/07/pastor-anti-gay-stand-is-wrong-stupid-evil/ 

The pastor of Seattle First United Methodist Church, the city’s oldest congregation, has condemned as “wrong, stupid and evil” the continued position against homosexuality taken by the 8 million member parent church.

The General Conference of the United Methodist Church, meeting last week in Tampa, reaffirmed its longstanding prohibition that “homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.”

The church’s position drew an immediate, powerful rejoinder from Seattle pastor Dr. Sanford “Sandy” Brown, Brown, who estimates that 30 percent of newcomers to his growing congregation are gays and lesbians.

“First Churchers are hurting because last week’s General Conference suggested we’re stuck in a Pope Benedict-slash-Rick Santorum-slash-Southern Baptist-slash-Rush Limbaugh church of closeted gays and sanctimonious straights,” Brown wrote.

Brown explained why he used three powerful adjectives — “wrong, stupid and evil” — to describe action by the church’s parent body.  The position of incompatibility was reaffirmed by a three-to-two margin.

“It’s wrong because it elevates as doctrine parts of the Old and New Testaments that describe outdated and ancient social conventions like slavery and the subservience of women, ignoring the gracious and inclusive heart of the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” wrote Brown.

“It is stupid because it stands our denomination squarely against the tide of history.  And it is evil because it perpetuates discriminatory attitudes against a portion of society that should be welcomed, supported, valued and loved.”

Brown pledged to be pro-active in resisting the parent church’s position.

“I want to be clear that I will do everything in my power to ignore, circumvent and undermine the General Conference’s will on this,” he wrote.  “I will present it as the institutional evil that it is and I will work to exorcise its demonizing influence from my congregation and its loving, faithful people.”

Brown has held pulpits in Fall City and Kirkland, and is a former senior pastor at First United Methodist Church in Wenatchee.  He served as executive director of the Church Council of Greater Seattle before being called to Seattle First United.

A fellow Methodist parson, Rev. Rich Lang, wrote on Brown’s Facebook page:

“Preach it bro— the only good news in this ugly mess is that maybe it will awaken the long slumber of liberal/progressive passionate urgency to change the world.  One can only hope.”

The Methodists’ General Conference has resisted full inclusion of gays and lesbians at a time when other “mainline” Protestant denominations have taken the opposite tack.

The General Convention of the Episcopal Church has voted to approve ordination of gays and lesbians to the priesthood and create rites to unite same-sex couples.

Starting with election of V. Gene Robinson as  Bishop of New Hampshire, dioceses around the country have approved gays and lesbians to the episcopate.  St. Mark’s Cathedral in Seattle had a dean who was gay, the Very Rep. Robert Taylor, for several years.

The acceptance has met with resistance — four dioceses, including the Diocese of Pittsburgh, left the Episcopal Church — and protests from conservative Anglican dioceses in Africa and Asia.

Presbyterians and the United Church of Christ have also taken a position for inclusion.

Informally, Seattle First United Methodist Church has evolved ahead of its denomination.

It was a “minor scandal,” wrote Brown, in the mid-1970′s when a same-sex couple first held hands in the church.  A “mini-exodus” was precipitated when then-pastor David Aasen preached for inclusion and tolerance.

Since then, however, Seattle Methodists have defended a lesbian minister and Brown’s church has welcomed same-sex couples and their children.

“We’re a rare bird,” he wrote, “a growing, downtown mainline church.”


by on May. 8, 2012 at 2:19 PM
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Replies (1-10):
rfurlongg
by on May. 8, 2012 at 2:27 PM
1 mom liked this
While I understand his stance, calling a group of people "stupid" and "sanctimonious" does not really open dialogue.

Perhaps he and his supporters and congregation can lead by compassion and example.
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Euphoric
by Bazinga! on May. 8, 2012 at 2:29 PM
bump
katy_kay08
by on May. 8, 2012 at 2:35 PM

He called the stance "stupid" and said that the actions suggest the church is a group of "closeted gays and sanctimonious straights".    He is working to prove otherwise by standing up and saying that is not the views of his congretation.  


Quoting rfurlongg:

While I understand his stance, calling a group of people "stupid" and "sanctimonious" does not really open dialogue.

Perhaps he and his supporters and congregation can lead by compassionate example.


muslimahpj
by Ruby Member on May. 8, 2012 at 4:05 PM

BUMP!

jehosoba84
by Jenn on May. 8, 2012 at 4:39 PM

 I don't see the need for any pastor or priest to make entire sermons/speeches about anti-gay stances.

People go to church to hear about God/Jesus/what He did for us/etc and to hear sermons encouraging us to imitate His ways. To show love, compassion, and forgiveness to everyone. When I go to church, I don't want to hear about what everyone else is doing wrong. I want to hear about what we should be doing right. 

katzmeow726
by Platinum Member on May. 8, 2012 at 4:43 PM
I have been going to a Methodist church for 13 years and have never heard one anti gay sermon. Our preachers at my church don't really focus on that, but I don't know about others. While they may have agreed its incompatible with our teachings, we don't exclude gays.
There are a lot of "sins" but generally the UM church doesn't focus much on that as it does service and other things like you said...about what to do right.
Quoting jehosoba84:

 I don't see the need for any pastor or priest to make entire sermons/speeches about anti-gay stances.


People go to church to hear about God/Jesus/what He did for us/etc and to hear sermons encouraging us to imitate His ways. To show love, compassion, and forgiveness to everyone. When I go to church, I don't want to hear about what everyone else is doing wrong. I want to hear about what we should be doing right. 

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Alaskamom31
by on May. 8, 2012 at 4:49 PM
I attend a UMC with an active glbt ministry. My minister never has preached about this to my knowledge, but he does regularly talk about acceptance and sharing Christ's love. I love that my church doesn't even really talk about it, but does accept it. In other words, they don't make a big deal about it. Everyone is accepted equally, regardless of color, gender, or orientation.
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smalltowngal
by Platinum Member on May. 8, 2012 at 4:59 PM

I never have either. 

Quoting katzmeow726:

I have been going to a Methodist church for 13 years and have never heard one anti gay sermon. Our preachers at my church don't really focus on that, but I don't know about others. While they may have agreed its incompatible with our teachings, we don't exclude gays.
There are a lot of "sins" but generally the UM church doesn't focus much on that as it does service and other things like you said...about what to do right.
Quoting jehosoba84:

 I don't see the need for any pastor or priest to make entire sermons/speeches about anti-gay stances.


People go to church to hear about God/Jesus/what He did for us/etc and to hear sermons encouraging us to imitate His ways. To show love, compassion, and forgiveness to everyone. When I go to church, I don't want to hear about what everyone else is doing wrong. I want to hear about what we should be doing right. 


witch_e_woman
by Bronze Member on May. 8, 2012 at 5:11 PM
Ignorance, Intolerance, Hatred & Bigotry are learned behaviors & these learned behaviors are being taught to our children-

Epic Fail Parenting !!!
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mommy2b39465
by Bronze Member on May. 8, 2012 at 5:13 PM

I think that if you don't agree with the parent church's stance, you should leave. Go non-denominational or switch to another denomination that falls more in line with what you believe. If you want to be a part of their denomination, you teach what they want taught. 

Saying that, I'm not methodist, I'm non-denominational myself, and kinda have a love-hate....well no, just hate, relationship with big denominations.

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