FLASH: Elephant found after 40 years of search!
On Wednesday, May 18, the 2016 General Conference of the United Methodist Church, upon recommendation of the Council of Bishops, decided to:
"refer this entire subject (of human sexualty) to a special Commission, named by the Council of Bishops, to develop a complete examination and possible revision of every paragraph in our Book of Discipline regarding human sexuality."
In doing so, the long ignored elephant in the room, our hyper-sexualized society, can be considered prayerfully, theologically and practically.
The result may be a hoped for clarity in a way forward for the growing, global wesleyan movement given substance in the United Methodist Church.
In an effort to provide as much considered and prayerful Christian conferencing on this subject as possible, here are my suggested three critical steps in order for this commission to truly help us resolve our 40 year struggle with sex and sexuality.
Step I. The 21st Century Landscape of sex:
Starting with the Techno/Sexual revolution, (the birth control pill in the 60’s), develop an examination of how modern day human sexual relationships are drastically changing individuals and families…ending with everything now related to sex.
(This means trafficking to cloning (the end of sex?), pornography to emotional bonding, “entertainment/media sex” to actual sex habits-recreational and procreational and more… including all current reputable studies on “Is Sexual Identity Pre-destined?” and "The Role of Family.")
Step II. A Wesleyan Theology of Sex.
A comprehensive and well researched summary of the theology of Sex starting with Church History, including the Rev. John Wesley, and from selected Modern Theologians assembled within the best of current Wesleyan thought.
Step III. A Coherent UMC theology/understanding of Sex for our time
Gathering all sexually related parts of the Book of Discipline and reflecting on them in the light of Steps I & II and answering the question:
"What are the theological, moral and social lessons of Steps I & II for our global United Methodist Church?"
Conclusion. Suggested BoD changes.
I'll leave this part up to you. (P.S. This is the part we’ll argue about at the special called General Conference or the 2020 General Conference.)
Let's keep it simple, folks, but comprehensive. If we narrow the focus we'll lose the opportunity to prophetically speak to our 21st Century society.... and to each other.