Accordingly, the manner by which the church as been called to weigh in on moral and ethical issues that relate to the modern era has been profound as society has grown and evolved over the centuries. A single and intractable stance is not only not realistic, it presents a stoic entity that is unable and/or unwilling to deeply analyze the trends and needs of current society and seek to reconcile them in the light of Christian doctrine. For purposes of this brief analysis, the author will seek to consider whether or not the United Methodist Church should broaden and expand the manner by which doctrinal factors define the relationship between Christian beliefs and whether or not homosexuality should be permissible or not. Whereas it is true that a literalist approach to the issue from a scriptural standpoint lends on to only one conclusion concerning homosexuality, the same cannot be said with respect to a contextual understanding of the practice of homosexuality within scripture. Due to the fact that either of these approaches necessarily yields a foregone conclusion, this particular response will seek to engage the reader by taking a mixed methods approach; thereby leveraging the strengths of a literalist approach as well as the strength and determinacy of a contextualist approach to scripture. As it stands, the current doctrine specifies that the church is accepting of homosexuals; however, a more nebulous interpretation of the “sinful” nature of homosexuality exists. Moreover, ministers are prohibited from marrying individuals of the same sex. Due to the fact that the United Methodist church places scripture at the core of its understanding and teaching with regards to the importance of developing and maintaining a close personal relationship with Jesus Christ and seeking to the individual for salvation, a scriptural approach to the issue is the only approach that would be both relevant and necessary to seek to answer the question at hand. From an interpretation of Scripture, there are approximately 5-8 verses (depending upon the means that are employed to count these) that deal specifically with homosexuality and deem it as “unift” or an “abomination” in the eyes of God. Not surprisingly, most of these texts, and/or references as noted above, are found within the Old Testament. Whereas it is not the view of the United Methodist Church that the Old Testament is merely a fanciful story book that has little if any current day application, the fact of the matter is that a great majority of the Levitical laws cannot and should not be meant to apply to the current time. One might just as easily consider the Levitcal injunction against a woman aiding her husband if he is in mortal combat with another.1 By the same token, one could point to the way that Levitical law promotes an understanding that the female gender is somehow during their period. Naturally, although some of these may seem as somewhat comical during the current time, if a particular church or group of believers sought to take these directives literally, then truly a miserable interpretation of the love of God as exhibited elsewhere throughout the Bible must necessarily be reflected. By very much the same token, one can and should integrate with an appreciation for the way in which slavery is represented throughout the Bible, in total, there are over 100 texts concerning the legality and rules overseeing slavery as an accepted and
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(“United Methodist Church Doctrine on Homosexuality Research Paper”, n.d.)
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(United Methodist Church Doctrine on Homosexuality Research Paper)
“United Methodist Church Doctrine on Homosexuality Research Paper”, n.d. https://studentshare.net/religion-and-theology/99838-united-methodist-church-doctrine-on-homosexuality.
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