Functional atheism in the United Methodist church or United Methodist atheist “church” ?

 

 

               “One  is  entitled  to one’s  opinion  but no one must  expect their  incoherence  to be taken seriously”.

 

This  Blog  is  gently  trying  to  direct  functional atheists  into  more  coherent behaviour  so  wish  with us  for  the  new  year   that  functional atheists  leave  the  christian church  and   go  where  they  belong – to  atheist / secular  groups.  

 Functional  atheists  are  individuals   who claim  to  be  “christian”  but  accept   homosexuality  as  normal. 

They are  functional atheists because their philosophical  position   is  consistent  with  atheism which  denies  “design  with intent  and  for  purpose in the universe. 

 The  atheist  position on homosexuality  is   logically  coherent  but wrong  in that  the  atheist  first premise (axiom)  –  that  there  is  no  God –  is  wrong. 

In  atheism  there  is  no  God   therefore  no  intellect  or mind  existed  before  matter ,  made matter   or   placed  design  in matter  with intent  and  for  purpose.

For atheists  matter  is  the first  cause ;  mind  came  from matter and  matter  does  not   pursue  any  particular   purpose  or  objective.

 Matter  simply  responds  to  chance  and  the laws of  physics  and  chemistry.

 In  the  atheistic  philosophical  framework  there  can be  no  absolute  morality  and  everything  is  permissible since human desire  and  reason  alone  determine  morality

Christian theists  on the other  hand  hold that  an all – wise  , all powerful being  (GOD)  is  the  first  cause.  

Matter was  made by God  and  He imposed  design  on it  from its  initial  chaotic state “with intent  and  for purpose”.

 In the  christian theistic   philosophical  framework  there  is  right and  wrong – determined  by  God ,  His  character , His  purpose and His intent.

 Right  action and thought  conform  to  the  character , purpose  and  intent of  God. Action and  thought which  do not conform  are  morally  wrong  and everything  is not permissible.

Someone who  claims  to  be a  christian  theist  i.e  claims  to  believe  that  God  made  the universe,  and  and  claims  to  speak  for  God  in support  of  homosexuality , as  functional atheists  do  ,   imply  that  the designer  of  the universe ( GOD ) is  utterly  incoherent or  mad  or  both  for  a god  who embraces  homosexuality  must  also  reject  the concept  of  “design  with intent and  for  purpose”.

 

Functional  atheists   are  therefore   totally  incoherent  ( as  christian  theists ) in  addition to  being  completely  un-biblical .

Functional  atheists  are   entitled  to  their  opinion but  not  from a  place  of  incoherence.

xxxx  E N D S xxxx

FAITH

In United Methodist churches: Here comes the strife over same-sex weddings

January 24

BY RENEE K. GADOUA

Religion News Service

Almost daily, evidence mounts of defiant United Methodist clergy breaking church law on behalf of gays and lesbians as the nation’s second-largest Protestant denomination struggles with what may be its most vexing rebellion in decades.

Consider:

• A retired seminary president, the Rev. William McElvaney, said Sunday that he is willing to officiate at same-sex weddings. The 85-year-old former president of St. Paul School of Theology made the announcement at Northaven United Methodist Church in Dallas. He called church trials “the Methodist version of inquisition in the 20th and 21st centuries.”

• After the Jan. 14 federal ruling striking down a gay marriage ban in Oklahoma, a group of Methodists favoring same-sex marriage took out ads in the Tulsa World and The Oklahoman praising the ruling and inviting people to Methodist churches.

• Every week, another Methodist minister “comes out” and acknowledges performing a same-sex wedding on the website of the New York-based Methodists in New Directions. So far, 14 clergy have made such disclosures; none has faced a church complaint, said Dorothee Benz, MIND spokeswoman.

Meanwhile, Frank Schaefer, the former Pennsylvania pastor stripped of his clergy credentials after presiding at a same-sex ceremony, continues to receive emotional and financial support. A collection organized by Foundry United Methodist Church in Washington, D.C., raised more than $30,000 for Schaefer.

The ongoing crisis over gays is embarrassing to the denomination, says a Southern California bishop who offered Schaefer a job working in her conference.

“The defrocking of Frank Schaefer brought great shame to our denomination and much pain to our LGBTQ brothers and sisters,” said Bishop Minerva G. Carcano of the California-Pacific Conference of the United Methodist Church.

“It saddens me and many others that we continue to use trials as a way of addressing this. It does not look good at all,” she said.

She sees the growing movement challenging church policy as a turning point.

“People are stepping up and expressing what they feel in ways I have not seen before,” she said. “It is a moment of real possibility for change in the church.”

Carcano’s comments follow the Jan. 17 news that a second United Methodist pastor faces a church trial for officiating at the wedding of his son to another man. The Rev. Thomas Ogletree, 80, retired pastor and former Yale Divinity School dean, faces a March 19 trial in Stamford, Conn.

United Methodist law since 1972 has defined marriage as between a man and a woman. It bans clergy from performing and churches from hosting same-sex ceremonies.

Carcano said Schaefer met with her and her Cabinet on Jan. 12 to discuss his potential hire in California, but no decision has been made.

The Rev. Bill Bouknight, associate director of the Confessing Movement, an evangelical group, said church trials are necessary to hold clergy accountable.

“The developments sadden us because they are clearly contrary to Scripture and to doctrines of the United Methodist Church,” said Bouknight, a retired pastor who lives in Columbia, S.C.

Bishop Melvin Talbert, the only bishop known to have presided at a same-sex marriage, said the number of people challenging what he considers unjust church law encourages him.

“Biblical obedience means we decide to do the right thing no matter what,” he said.

Several other clergy are likely to face church trials soon.

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