Homosexuality is not a sin in my understanding of the Bible. We are actively seeking LGBTQ+ Christians for leadership and full participation in the ministries of our congregation.
The references on this page support progressive views, in contrast with the more traditional conservative interpretations of certain Bible passages. Instead of arguing these and other controversial issues, I refer you to the articles which support my position and encourage you to arrive at your own conclusions.
I acknowledge and respect the majority who disagree with this view, but remind all of the many injustices historically supported by those same traditional conservative methods of interpreting the Bible that produced the “Slave Bible,” and that continue to justify racism, discrimination, exploitation, abuse of children and immigrants, violence, silencing of women in the Church, and many other current forms of oppression which our congregation resists because of our understanding of the Scriptures and the teachings of Jesus.
The concepts of Scriptural infallibility and inerrancy refer only to the original texts, not to the subsequent translations, interpretations, and applications. The concepts themselves are interpretations of Biblical passages and derivative theologies, such as the word “inspiration” in 2 Timothy 3:16.
The life and teachings of Jesus are paramount in the Bible. Jesus challenged some Old Testament passages, and he elevated others as having greater weight (i.e., Matthew 5:38-39 and Matthew 22:36-40).
Please see “Theological Guidelines: Scripture” for more about the United Methodist understanding of the Bible, which we affirm to be the Word of God and our primary resource for the Christian faith.
Rev. Bill Lawson
Pastor of Briensburg UMC
“We join the Reconciling Ministries Network as a Reconciling Congregation. We welcome people of all sexual orientations and gender identities to participate fully in the worship, life, ministry, membership, and leadership of Briensburg United Methodist Church.” Unanimous Single Governance Board vote on March 3, 2019.
We invite everyone who wants to be a part of the Reconciling Ministries Network to join the RMN as a “Reconciling United Methodist” and notify us by text, phone call, or email to email@example.com when you have done so. Cards are also available in the church vestibule.
Statement of Inclusion
We invite everyone to share fully in the worship services, life, ministry, and leadership of Briensburg United Methodist Church inclusive of age, race, nationality, gender, LGBTQ, theology, politics, and legal status.
Church Council Inclusiveness Statement, July 15, 2018
“Certain basic human rights and civil liberties are due all persons. We are committed to supporting those rights and liberties for all persons, regardless of sexual orientation.”
(Social Principles: The Social Community)
The following references all support LGBTQ+ inclusiveness.
Pastor’s Note: Studying well written, thoughtful materials is preferable to engaging in spontaneous and incomplete arguments about this subject. The articles in bold below are especially commended to your study, but we don’t necessarily agree with everything contained in all these materials. They are provided as resources for your prayerful consideration. (Pastor’s notes on specific items are italicized in red).
Please email links to other supportive items to firstname.lastname@example.org for addition to this list.
Reconciling Ministries Resources
Excellent library of information and support materials
- Gay Daughter Sent Bishop Back to Scriptures,
by Bishop Richard Wilke
This is currently my most highly recommended article as an LGBTQ+ Inclusiveness resource. Bishop and Julia Wilke are the authors of the highly acclaimed Disciple Bible Study which has been used throughout the United Methodist Church for nearly 40 years. In this article, Bishop Wilke explains very clearly and concisely the proper interpretation of the Bible passages that are often used improperly to condemn homosexuality.
- 5 Reasons Why More Christians Are Becoming LGBTQ Affirming, by Benjamin L. Corey.
Excellent and concise.
- A Speech Against… ,
by Adam Hamilton
- Are you open to an LGBT-affirming Biblical perspective?
- Building an Inclusive Church: A Welcoming Toolkit,
Institute for Welcoming Resources
- Commentary: Be Careful Using the Bible
by Rev. James R. McCormick
- Gay Marriage and the Bible: Even the Devil Can Quote Scripture, Thinking Faith
- God Made Me Gay,
- The Bible does not condemn “homosexuality.” Seriously, it doesn’t., Adam Nicholas Phillips
- The Bible on Homosexuality,
Christopher B. Harbin
- The Bible Says It… That Settles It,
- What the Bible Says About Homosexuality: Part One,
The Bible Guy
- What the Bible Says and Doesn’t Say About Homosexuality,
Rev. Dr. Mel White
- You Can’t Pick and Choose Which Scriptures You Will Follow,
- A Church Divided,
- Changing Our Mind: Definitive 3rd Edition of the Landmark Call for Inclusion of LGBTQ Christians with Response to Critics: David P. Gushee
- Embracing the Wideness: The Shared Convictions of The United Methodist Church – Kindle edition by Kenneth H. Jr. Carter, William H. Willimon, Stanley Hauerwas
- God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships: Matthew Vines
- Homosexuality: A Scriptural Way Forward for the United Methodist Church: Joseph Walter Miller
- Homosexuality and Christian Faith: Questions of Conscience for the Churches: Walter Wink
- Jesus, the Bible, and Homosexuality by Jack Rogers
- Our Strangely Warmed Hearts: Coming Out into God’s Call: Karen P. Oliveto
- Sexuality and the Christian Body by Eugene Rogers
- Science, Scripture, and Same-Sex Love: Michael B. Regele, Brian D. McLaren
- Walking the Bridgeless Canyon: Repairing the Breach Between the Church and the LGBT Community (Audible Audio Edition): Kathy Baldock
- What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality by Daniel A. Helminiak
Resolution of Support for the
Recommendation of the Council of Bishops on The Way Forward
(Briensburg UM Church Council, July 15, 2018)
WHEREAS, the Council of Bishops has recommended the “One Church Plan” for adoption by the Special Session of General Conference called for February 23-26 in St. Louis, Missouri, and
WHEREAS, “The plan would remove the restrictive language against the practice of homosexuality in the Book Discipline, the denomination’s policy book,” and “encourages a generous unity by giving United Methodists the ability to address different missional contexts in ways that reflect their theological convictions”
(Council of Bishops Press Release of May 4, 2018 on umc.org),
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Briensburg United Methodist Church Council supports the recommendation of the Council of Bishops on the Way Forward.
(Briensburg UMC Emphasizes Inclusivity)
(Note: The current restrictions which would have been removed by this recommendation if accepted by vote of the delegates pertain to marriage, pastors, and ordination).
LGBTQ+ persons may still be full members and participants in the leadership and all other aspects of this church.
The decisions by the 2019 General Conference do not change that. Had the One Church Plan passed, the current restrictions pertaining to marriage and to clergy would have been lifted. We will continue to advocate for those restrictions to be removed and to be replaced with inclusive language.
We strongly support the continuing unity of The United Methodist Church in fulfilling the mission of Jesus Christ.