As the 2016 General Conference approaches May 10-20 in Portland, Ore., St. Stephen UMC once again focuses on the policies in the United Methodist Book of Discipline, our covenant of church policy and doctrine, that continue to stigmatize LGBTQ people. General Conference is the only body that can speak for the entire worldwide United Methodist Church. It is the only body that can change the global Book of Discipline.
This year there is increasing encouragement from United Methodists across the denomination for General Conference to alter or remove the harsh language in the Discipline that holds "homosexual practice" to be "incompatible with Christian teaching." On his blog, Oboedire, the Rev. Dr. Steve Harper gives the most concise summation of the theological, scientific and sociological reasons why 2016 General Conference delegates should change the the church's stance.
"The point is, on multiple fronts, the church has 43+ years of knowledge
from a variety of disciplines to legitimize new conversations about
human sexuality. To keep language in our Book of Discipline as it
currently is, or to further tighten the meaning of current language, is
to engage in obscurantism, rather than to practice Christian
conferencing with new information on the table."
Read his full blog post, "UMC: Revisiting Human Sexuality."