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Protestants on the Verge of a Gay Priest Breakdown

ABC News looks at the Evangelical Lutheran and Methodist churches, two denominations which may soon allow pastors engaged in long-term monogamous relationships to serve:

Church "The church council of the largest Lutheran body in the U.S., the 5-million-member Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA), decided this week to send such a recommendation to its national assembly. The proposal would take effect if supported by majority vote at the assembly's biennial meeting in August. The 2.3-million-member Presbyterian Church (USA) approved the idea at its national assembly last summer, but a majority of the church's 173 district bodies, called presbyteries, must vote in favor by June for it to become church policy. While it's not clear that either denomination will embrace the change, their actions reflect the shifting views on homosexuality in society, as well as an acknowledgement that the old consensus in the churches has broken down and a new one is not likely to arise soon. The churches are seeking to accommodate differing views and avoid a denominational split."

On Divisive Issue of Gay Clergy, Two Churches Weigh Softer Stance [abc news]

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  1. Andy,
    Your intro says Methodist and it's clearly Presbyterian, not Methodist. We Presbyterians notice things like that.

    Posted by: notshychirev | Apr 6, 2009 9:50:59 AM

  2. why would a gay man want to be a priest. Doesnt christianity and other gazzillion religions condemn homosexuality??

    Posted by: andrew | Apr 6, 2009 10:04:59 AM

  3. Andrew, I think that's the million dollar question. My partner and I are ELCA. Many in the ELCA question Christianity's condemnation of homosexuality. In fact, my partner (husband) and I were married in a local congregation of the ELCA.

    Posted by: Mike in the Tundra | Apr 6, 2009 10:25:27 AM

  4. I'd rather have a lying, sneaking, miserable pastor that a happy and fulfilled one any day.

    Posted by: trailrunnr | Apr 6, 2009 10:42:31 AM

  5. Andrew, that depends on what you call ``Christianity.`` If you think it means a belief system based on what Jesus taught, then there is no direct condemnation of homosexuality and actually a lot of teaching about acceptance, including accepting the eunuchs who were sexually out of the norm.
    But for those who base their belief system on some guy at a pulpit telling them what to think and warning them not to think for themselves, it can mean anything he wants it to mean.

    Posted by: GregV | Apr 6, 2009 10:49:09 AM

  6. The Presbyterian Church already split once over a divide on how modern to make the church. Presbyterian Church USA was a spin-off of the church when they began to make modern choices like allowing women or unmarried pastors to serve. There is still a branch, the Presbyterian Church of America, that is living in the Dark Ages. It's nice to see PC USA trying to continue to move forward and hopefully it will not split apart because of this. For anyone considering a change of denomination - make sure it's a PC USA church, not PCA. Big difference.

    Posted by: Alex | Apr 6, 2009 10:53:50 AM

  7. We Methodists notice it as well. Hey, Andy, please change your lead-in.


    Posted by: seattle mike | Apr 6, 2009 12:03:52 PM

  8. Gotta love that ELCA. They have been on the right side of this battle for a while now. So, good on them, and we owe them our appreciation.

    That said, religion is the opiate of the masses. It's all a lie. Wake up, people.

    Posted by: JeffRob | Apr 6, 2009 12:51:36 PM

  9. it's important to note that it's highly unlikely that the PC(USA) will pass the amendment this year - for more details check out

    as far as Andrew's question, it's not accurate to say that "christianity and other gazzillion religions condemn homosexuality." A lot of churches and denominations are growing more affirming and open to the LGBTQ community. And even in denominations that aren't traditionally affirming, a lot of people feel a call from God to ordained ministry that doesn't take sexual orientation into consideration.

    Posted by: Daniel | Apr 6, 2009 3:41:42 PM

  10. Andy, the Methodists aren't anywhere near an institutional change concerning homosexuality, and as a matter of fact, may be growing somewhat more conservative about us since the Evangelicals seem to be gaining more ground in the United Methodist Church. Not that there aren't some very liberal Methodists, or very inclusive and welcoming congregations, and if any denomination would likely split on the issue, I would think it would be the UMC. My Methodist friends grumble about how much more progressive their British and NZ counterparts are, and there may be some overtures among liberal Methodists towards those Methodist churches that are not affiliated with the UMC. I think it would be a fascinating and frankly welcome development in American Methodism for the UMC to lose it's hegemony over Methodists in this country, aside from a few very conservative splinter denominations left over from earlier controversies.

    Posted by: clint | Apr 6, 2009 5:58:37 PM

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