United Methodist Church Repeals Biblical Rules on Homosexuality

A former lesbian’s perspective.

The First United Methodist Church in Little Rock, Arkansas, USA, displays a rainbow decoration.

By Janet Boynes Published on May 6, 2024

On May 1, the United Methodist Church repealed several anti-LGBTQ rules, including lifting its ban on LGBTQ clergy and same-sex weddings. The issue has been so divisive that the part of the Methodist Church that opposes it has formed an entirely new denomination called the Global Methodist Church.

Why is there so much confusion over this issue? I believe the answer lies in the presentation of a counterfeit gospel that has robbed people of the transformative message of the true Gospel of the Kingdom.

Having lived for years as a lesbian myself, I can testify to how crucial it is that those bound in a gay lifestyle know there is freedom and transformation in Jesus Christ. Any other message leaves a person enslaved to his or her body, looking to their flesh to tell them who they are.

But the transformational event of rebirth positions us to allow our Father to teach us who he created us to be.

Kindness That Isn’t Kind

In John 3, Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. . . . that which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:3, 5). Anyone who has been born again in Christ is an entirely new creation. Old things are gone, and everything has become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17) This is a supernatural miracle that happens when we place our faith in the grace of God and receive the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ. This changes us from the inside out, which includes everything about our identity.

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When I was bound in a lesbian lifestyle, my girlfriend and I consulted a Catholic priest for guidance. I told him I was scared about the consequences of our lifestyle and that I couldn’t go to bed some nights because I was so afraid. We wanted the truth about whether we were doing right or wrong.

He told us, “Don’t worry anymore. You aren’t doing anything wrong. After talking with you both and seeing how much you love each other, I believe there is no sin in the way you are choosing to live your lives.”

The priest meant well, I’m sure, but instead of setting me free and affirming my value, his advice left me a slave to sin, unable to escape my confusion and self-loathing.

I Wish He’d Told Us the Truth

What I wish he would have told me is that yes, we were doing wrong. The law of God specifically addresses homosexuality for the purpose of letting us know it is not part of God’s design or plan for us (1 Timothy 1:8–10; Corinthians 6:9–11; Romans 1:26; Galatians 5:17–21;1 Thessalonians 4:3–7).

I wish he would have told me that even though I was in sin, God extravagantly loved me right where I was (Romans 5:8). That through the gift of Jesus, He’d provided a way for me to know my Father and His Son for myself (John 17:3). That my sin didn’t prevent God from desiring me, choosing me, and coming to live right inside me. That’s because Jesus had paid for my sin, and God wasn’t counting it against me (2 Corinthians 5:19).

I wish he had told me that as I spent time with my Father and allowed Him to tell me who I was, he would change my heart. He would reprogram the neural pathways shaped by trauma, rejection, and abuse.

I wish he had told me that I didn’t have to worry about trying to be different, but that as I spent time getting to know Jesus (the Truth), He would set me truly free from that sin, that it would have no hold over me anymore, and that my Father would give me a holy and redeemed sexual identity (John 8:31–36).

I wish he had given me hope.

Aligning with Lies

Instead, he told me I wasn’t in sin and that God approved of our expression of “love.” I had no idea that what I felt for my girlfriend wasn’t love at all, but a broken desire to fill a gaping hole in my heart that would never be fixed or filled by a sexual relationship with another woman.

Unfortunately, the United Methodist Church as a whole has chosen to align with the deceptive theology that Jesus died so we can feel good about ourselves as we continue to live in sin.

So how do we react to this morally destructive stand? We must understand that God loves these church members right where they are, even in their erroneous theology and embrace of bondage. There is no condemnation for those in Jesus Christ, who have crucified their flesh and been born again (Romans 8:1). But there is only freedom in the Truth.

So while we are loving the members of the United Methodist Church with agape love, we also must boldly tell the truth that homosexuality is sin, and Christ offers freedom from it — not freedom to live in it.

 

Janet Boynes founded Janet Boynes Ministries in Maple Grove, Minnesota, in 2006. She authored the books Called Out: A Former Lesbian’s Discovery of Freedom, God & Sexualityand her latest: God & The LGBT Community. Janet is an ordained minister under the Assemblies of God and travels the U.S. and overseas sharing a message of redemption and hope through the power of Jesus Christ.

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