April 3, 2004
It is remarkable and even staggering that our Lord gave to the disciples to determine the requirements for membership in Christ's Church. He told us in that way that we were not to fear that the bar would be set to high and to prove it he decided to let plain simple people who had known him decide what was necessary to count as a fellow in the Way. The edict of liberation is remarkable and even staggering, for in it we were told that we had to do two things only, we had to love a fellow Christian more than self (my interpretation) and we had to avoid promiscuity.
Now I lay claim to that edict and insist that Paul accepted it exactly as I have outline above and thus that all talk to the contrary is a misinterpretation of what he said, or reflects a particular world vision, e.g., where left handedness was considered by many as sinister. The Christian is dedicated to Christ in loving neighbor as self, fellow Christian more than self, and God more than all.
Paul made clear in Romans 14 that it is I alone who shall stand before Christ and he will be able to make me stand when we see God.
Now I lay claim to that New Testament faith and wish to make clear to my fellow United Methodists that while I am happily married with my wife of many years and count her the greatest of God's many blessings to me, nevertheless if the situation were different and I were not married, I would not hesitate to enter into such a union with another human being under like conditions with like promise, regardless of what sex he or she might be. This means, of course, that I am willing to consider a homosexual union if that were an actual option, and so spiritually I must be counted as homosexual; but which is all that counts with Christ, for it is in spirit that we worship God.
This needs to be understood. While I am to remain in my condition, as Paul asked, if the opportunity arises, and I want to, I can change my condition. And so while I am married, I am more than content, I am even happy, but if my wife were to die, let us say, I am then free, and I could, if I wanted to, engage in a homosexual union in the same Christian unity that I now joyfully experience with my wife. In conscience and in Christ.
I readily admit that if I were in a homosexual union, nevertheless the ideal adoption parents would remain a mixed union, in order to expose young people to both sexes equally and together. The right of the child, you might say.
Now, I ask my fellow United Methodist: may such a spirit be welcomed in and amongst us United Methodist as one of us, or have I become a stranger to the faith of my blessed Wesleyan parents? But if we welcome that spirit, then we also are willing to welcome the homosexual union.
It is time for the Reformation to be completed and concluded.
Philip McPherson Rudisill
215 Piedmont Ave., NE, #304
Atlanta, Georgia, USA, 30308
"Work as though everything depended upon you; and pray as though everything depended upon God." (Wesleyan proverb [and a paraphrase of a prayer by Susanna Wesley]).