We Have Stopped Talking About Sex
Let’s be clear, today’s vote is not about sexuality.
The final day of the UMC’s Special General Conference to address (clarification, for through this debate LGBTQ persons have referred to as an “issue” and LGBTQ persons are not an issue!) it’s views/beliefs on human sexuality. At 6:30 PM this evening, the conference must end. There is no opportunity for overtime as MonsterJam is coming to down and the space used for holy conferencing (it’s been anything but this) will be transformed into a monster truck track.
The traditional plan will likely pass. That much is clear.
What’s not clear is what will happen next. The disaffiliation plans will be voted on to provide avenues for congregations to leave who do not agree with the double-downed traditional view of marriage held by this General Conference.
I have always held that as this discussion moved closer to St. Louis, views/beliefs on human sexuality would take a back seat to winning. At any cost. Burn down the house and then walk away seems to be the attitude of the Wesleyan Covenant Association, who have vowed to leave the denomination if they were not satisfied with any part of the outcome of the Special General Conference.
If I’m being honest, I am tired.
My soul hurts.
My heart aches.
I do not know what will happen today at and I am weary.
And I am not alone in these feelings.
Today’s vote and decision will not be about human sexuality. Today’s vote will be to declaring victory by conversation lobbying groups as they continue their work of dismantling any religious or political organization they do not agree with.
When the church’s conversation about human sexuality was taken over by D.C. lobbying groups we moved from holy conferencing to a shouting match. Just as Westboro Baptist Church has berated delegates in St. Louis, delegates and advocates (myself included) of all the proposed ways forward have been engaged in a competition to make the most noise and ensure their plan succeeds to ensure their own positioning in the church.
There are allies and advocates who have been engaged in holy conferencing throughout the discussion on the way forward to the UMC, however their voices have been silenced by money, power, and influence.
Today’s decision will not be about human sexuality. Today’s decision will not be about the mission of the UMC. Today’s decision will have little mention of Jesus. And yet, Christ is still present here. Robert’s Rules of Order may stifle holy conferencing and encourage parliamentary gamesmanship but there is no motion to be made to prevent Christ’s presence here with those whose souls are hurt, whose hearts ache, and who are weary.
Let’s be clear, today’s vote is not about sexuality. It is about money, power, and influence. But even more clearly, Christ is bigger and more influential than the UMC or D.C. lobbying groups.