As we keep going down the rabbit trail of disaffiliation questions, another question came to me about welcome.
Can we (United Methodists) deny people access to worship?
The answer is NO.
Yet historically we have, based on race, color, national origin, economic status, relation/connection to community, marital status, and many other reasons. We have done so overtly or through inaction/cold shouldering people. The thing is the question of sexuality and welcome/allowing comes up.
Regardless of if you think it is a sin or a celebration, these are people made in the image of God, just like me, just like you, no more and no less. They have the right to worship, pray, be in fellowship, receive sacraments, give their offering, and serve, just as much you and me. They are children of God.
I’ve already heard it said in a few places that gay/queer people are not made in the image of God, not a child of God, are less than human, or are animals, because of who they are. We do not get to deny anyone’s humanity and anyone’s sacredness based on our interpretation of the Bible. And really, who are we to tell someone they can’t come to church? It’s not our church.
One thought on “Disaffiliation Rumors, Myths, and Opportunities #3 – Welcoming in Worship”
We have no business gatekeeping, even if we still believe that “The practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.” For one thing, if we keep LGBTQ+++ people out of church, how will they hear the gospel? People’s need for salvation through Jesus supersedes gender identity!