The recent vote taken at an international United Methodist church convention regarding LGBTQ rights has been highly publicized – far more than I would have considered necessary – but that’s the world we live in.
Yes, I was disappointed by it. No, I’m not going to switch churches over it. Why? There are a few reasons.
#1 It doesn’t reflect the UMC church I have come to know and love. We are inclusion. We are bringing everyone together. We are welcoming to all. That is beautiful and special. I have faith that we will continue to be that place of love and acceptance in the community that we strive to be in our service to our Savior by being in service to our neighbors.
#2 It doesn’t affect my personal beliefs. My personal beliefs, like everyone else’s, are based on a complex equation that includes personal experiences, personal relationship with God (or lack thereof), education, family and upbringing, and many other things. They aren’t up for a vote.
#3 Most people don’t fully live by 100% of their church’s published beliefs. Almost all of us know otherwise devout Catholics that use birth control. Many of us know Baptists who occasionally have a cocktail. I know Lutherans who want women pastors. Just like any other organization, it’s simply insane to expect all members to be in complete lockstep on everything.
So, that’s my stance. I know that not everyone will agree with me. And I’m OK with that. I know what my heart tells me and the rest is between me and the Lord.