A Way Forward: Homosexuality and the United Methodist Church
Homosexuality continues to divide our society and the church. All in the United Methodist Church affirm
that homosexual persons are people of sacred worth and are welcome in our churches, but we disagree as
a people regarding whether homosexual practice is contrary to the will of God.
The Bible is our primary text for discerning God's will. We read and interpret it by the light of the Spirit's
witness, with the help of the thoughtful reflections of Christians through the centuries, and assisted by our
understanding of history, culture and science.
The majority view through the history of the church is that the scriptures teach that same-sex sexual
intimacy is contrary to the will of God. This view is rooted in several passages from both the Old and
A significant minority of our church views the scriptures that speak to same-sex intimacy as reflecting the
understanding, values, historical circumstances and sexual ethics of the period in which the scriptures
were written, and therefore believe these passages do not reflect the timeless will of God. They read the
scriptures related to same-sex intimacy in the same way that they read the Bible's passages on polygamy,
concubinage, slavery and the role of women in the church.
United Methodists will continue to struggle with this issue in the years ahead as a growing number of
young adults identify with what is today the minority view. The majority view of the General
Conference, and thus the official position of the church, continues to hold that same-sex intimacy is not
God's will. We recognize, however, that many faithful United Methodists disagree with this view.
It is likely that this issue will continue to be a source of conflict within the church. We have a choice: We
can divide, or we can commit to disagree with compassion, grace, and love, while continuing to seek to
understand the concerns of the other. Given these options, schism or respectful co-existence, we choose
We commit to disagree with respect and love, we commit to love all persons and, above all, we pledge to
seek God’s will. With regard to homosexuality, as with so many other issues, United Methodists adopt
the attitude of John Wesley who once said, "Though we cannot think alike, may we not love alike? May
we not be of one heart, though we are not of one opinion? Without all doubt, we may."
Submitted by Adam Hamilton and Mike Slaughter