Jim Johnson set me an email suggesting I might consider linking to his blog Straight, Not Narrow. In looking at this I have found three new blogs for me.
So yes, I have added Jim to my blogroll and will be reading Straight, Not Narrow in the future. Anyway some posts from Jim that I found interesting and something of a wake-up were:
- Practicing What They Preach.
- Dragging Down the Religious Right.
- Visiting the "Other Side".
- The Truth Is Out There. (make sure you read the comments too).
From these posts I have found two other blogs that are now also on my blogroll.
- the truth is out there.
- Loving the wrong people.
- The Church Dance (my definitions mostly start with "The Church is a community of people …")
Second (but not least) Ware Farms with a selection of posts such as:
Of course I do not agree with everyone on everything, one thing I did notice though after following a link to the Church that Jim is a member of. That was on their home page which included a set of definitions of key words. I am quite unhappy with this:
gift from God through the shed blood of Jesus, to ALL who believe.
It includes eternal life, health, prosperity, peace, safety, companionship,
success, and blessings in all forms.
[From well down on the page at Believers Covenant Fellowship: General Information)
Contast this to the Methodist Church definition in our catechism:
Salvation is the forgiveness of our sin, deliverance from guilt, and the gift of new life in Christ. It is a process that begins now, gives us victory over death and is completed with God in heaven.
A definition that promises health, wealth and peace in this life to ALL who believe cannot stand-up to the current world situation (millions of Christians dying in poverty, of AIDS, in wars). Nor does it stand-up to much in the way of historical review (look at Peter and Paul as two examples – by this definition that can’t have had salvation).
Now as regards sexuality I want to repeat the GB Methodist position (see The Methodist Church – Factsheets: The Debate on Homosexuality… at a Glance) namely that conference has passed a series of resolutions. These :
- affirm the joy of sexuality as God’s gift.
- declare that all practices of sexuality which are promiscuous, exploitative or demeaning in any way are unacceptable forms of behaviour and contradict God’s purposes for us all.
- state that a person shall not be debarred from the church on the grounds of sexual orientation in itself.
- re-affirm the traditional teaching of the Church on sexuality, namely chastity for all outside marriage and fidelity within it.
- recognize, affirm and celebrate the participation and ministry of lesbians and gay men in the church.
We are awaiting conference resolutions on Civil Partnerships and the impact on the chastity/fidelity resolution. At present performing Civil Partnerships requires a discussion between the Church Council and Minister (and I assume Superintendent).