Another Mainline Denomination Embraces the Zeitgeist
In a move that should surprise absolutely no one, another of the Seven Sisters fell into line with the New Sexual Orthodoxy™ yesterday. The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), meeting in Orlando, passed the following resolution:
WHEREAS, “We are Disciples of Christ, a movement for wholeness in a fragmented world,” called to welcome others as we have been welcomed by God and to practice hospitality to one another, as well as to strangers; and
WHEREAS, Scripture affirms that all people are created in the image of God and share with all others in the worth that comes from being unique individuals; and
WHEREAS, Scripture affirms that as Christians we are many members, but are one body in Christ each with different gifts, called by Jesus to love our neighbors as ourselves, and called to the ministry of reconciliation and wholeness within the world and within the church; and
WHEREAS, Disciples historically affirm baptism as the primary call to ministry and offer baptism to all who profess their faith in Jesus Christ as Savior; and
WHEREAS, Disciples historically profess that the nature of Christian discipleship is profoundly informed by the Lord’s table, which is central to the act of worship, calling attention to the radical hospitality extended by Jesus, who welcomes all to the table of grace; and
WHEREAS, the Disciples’ movement came to be in reaction to limitations being placed on this welcome, recognizing that excluding anyone from the Lord’s table fragments the body of Christ; and
WHEREAS, the 1997 General Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) called for the church to give continuing research and reflection “concerning the participation of gay and lesbian persons in the full life and ministry of the Church”; and
WHEREAS, persons continue to be devalued and discriminated against within society and more sadly, within the church because of their sexual orientation and or gender identity; and
WHEREAS, Disciples find identity at the Lord’s table, sharing as the body of Christ, valuing each other in covenantal relationship even when we disagree; and
WHEREAS, Disciples historically affirm that individuals and congregations hold differing interpretations of scripture, but that all are called to transcend differences and claim one another in Christian unity;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the General Assembly meeting in Orlando, Florida, July 13-17, 2013, calls upon the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) to recognize itself as striving to become a people of grace and welcome to all God’s children though differing in race, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, nationality, ethnicity, marital status, physical or mental ability, political stance or theological perspective; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the General Assembly calls upon the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) to affirm the faith, baptism and spiritual gifts of all Christians regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, and that neither is grounds for exclusion from fellowship or service within the church, but we celebrate that all are part of God’s good creation; and
FINALLY, BE IT RESOLVED that the General Assembly calls upon all expressions of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), as a people of grace and welcome, to acknowledge their support for the welcome of and hospitality to all.
The Disciples join the Episcopal Church, the United Church of Christ, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and the Presbyterian Church (USA) in approving gay sexual activity and ordination. That leaves only the American Baptist Churches in the USA (sort of) and the United Methodist Church (juridically) holding out against the tide.
Bart Gingerich of the Institute on Religion and Democracy suggests this as appropriate theme music for the Disciples’ General Assembly:
By the way, the Disciples are taking up a resolution today that will address the George Zimmerman acquittal. Guess what it says:
WHEREAS, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) has declared itself a Pro-Reconciling/AntiRacist church; and
WHEREAS, the General Board has adopted our identity statement saying: “We are Disciples of Christ, a movement for wholeness in a fragmented world. As part of the one body of Christ, we
welcome all to the Lord’s table as God has welcomed us;” and
WHEREAS, in 1 Corinthians 1:10, scripture states that the only divisions we have are the ones we create; and
WHEREAS, on Saturday, July 13, 2013, in the case of the State of Florida vs. George Zimmerman, Mr. Zimmerman was acquitted by a jury in the death of Trayvon Martin, a 17-year old African American child; and
WHEREAS, the United States Justice Department has initiated a Civil Rights violation inquiry into the case;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the General Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) meeting in Orlando, Florida, July 13-17, 2013, call upon the General Minister and President to work ecumenically with her colleagues in supporting the Justice Department’s inquiry; and
FINALLY, BE IT RESOLVED that the words of our General Minister and President, shared in worship pertaining to this case on Sunday evening July 14, 2013, be broadly distributed to the church.
Yeah, I didn’t see that coming at all.
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