Vague Language, Rambling, and Sex

“We need to do what Jesus says!”, “We need to listen to God!”, “First, DO NO HARM”

Sometimes, I know that what I’m hearing is intended to be the exact opposite of my stance on the matter. But on the face of it, it is SO EASY to agree completely with the words but not with the intent. This afternoon I sat in the gallery of the Faith & Order legislative committee, and I am noticing a trend of overarching general language. Even in petitions, there are vague statements: Faith & Order just passed a petition barring from ordination any person who engages in “sexual conduct” outside of opposite-sex marriage. Not only does that bar the usual “practicing homosexuals”, but also any clergy candidate who is or has had any straight sexual conduct outside of marriage. The question then becomes, of course, “what is sexual conduct?” is the line drawn at penetrative sex? oral? digital? kissing? groping? watching pornography? masturbation? *[yeesh, can you imagine the members of your Board of Ordained Ministry asking you whether you’ve done any of this stuff? really?]

Part of the oral history of the PNW UMC is a young clergywoman preaching a sermon at the Annual Conference session about sex, and in the process acknowledging that she was unrepentant for having engaged in what would count as “sexual conduct outside marriage” (in the language passed today).** Somewhere in the Social Principles it says “We affirm that sexuality is God’s good gift to all persons”

Amen, sister.

*Oh, shoot, my parents read this blog…[turns to address parents] Mom, Dad? I have proof that the two of you had sex at least twice. Please let me continue believing that that’s the case. Let’s pretend for my mental health that you two are otherwise completely asexual. Kay?

**I have no proof nor confirmation until I find her, but the legend is that this particular person is now a bishop.


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