I need some help from my United Methodist brothers and sisters as we move toward the called General Conference in February 2019. I am honestly struggling to understand some of the various positions as we move forward. A few months back I was having an email conversation with one of the prominent leaders of the Wesleyan Covenant Association (WCA). I thought we were having a good conversation until I asked a particular question and the conversation abruptly ended from his side.
I believe I understand that the WCA’s interpretation of scripture regards homosexuality as a sin. If that is true, why do they not oppose other sexual sins mentioned in the New Testament? For example, Matthew 5:31-32, [Jesus said] “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that anyone who divorces his wife, except on the grounds of unchastity, causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” I may have missed it, but I haven’t heard any conversation against divorce and remarriage from the WCA.
During the conversation I was having with the WCA leader he explained to me that ordaining a homosexual or officiating at a same-sex wedding would mean we were ritualizing and celebrating homosexuality. I asked if by ordaining or officiating a wedding for a divorced person(s) weren’t we be ritualizing and celebrating adultery. I never received a reply.
What makes homosexuality worse than adultery? If the sin of adultery is allowed for ordination or marriage, what other sins are allowable for ordination and inclusion in the church? Is it okay for an ordained clergy to be egotistical, manipulative, controlling, and greedy? It seems that homosexuality is not okay even though it only affects the person and their intimate relationships, while a clergy who is egotistical, manipulative, controlling and greedy damages many of the people around him/her.
I understand that for the WCA it isn’t simply an issue with homosexuality, but the authority of scripture is the main issue. The WCA posted on a recent blog,“Given the current challenges directed to the unique place of the Bible in the church, we affirm that the core of the Christian faith is revealed in Scripture as “the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints” (Jude 3; NRSV). We look to the Bible therefore as our authority and trustworthy guide, which “is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16; NRSV). Illuminated by tradition, reason, and experience, the revelation of Scripture is the church’s primary and final authority on all matters of faith and practice.” – The Wesleyan Covenant Association’s “Statement on Biblical Authority”
If this is their statement, why do they seem to be ignoring Jesus words? What about the authority of scripture in relation to Matthew 5:31-32. I am really struggling trying to understand the strong stance against one action that is interpreted as sin while completely ignoring other sins. Help me see what I am missing. Thanks for helping me understand.