By Rob Renfroe
Good News unequivocally affirms the United Methodist position regarding marriage as stated in The Book of Discipline: “We support laws in civil society that define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.” As Christians, we United Methodists believe that marriage was one of God’s good gifts given to humanity—not just to the Church, but to all persons. Consequently, we are concerned how marriage is defined not just in the Church but in civil society, as well. And our General Conference has wisely defined marriage, religious and civil, in line with the historic Christian understanding that is founded upon the Scriptures.
As the issue of gay marriage was being debated at the General Conference in Pittsburgh, one African delegate made the statement: “When your ancestors brought the Gospel to us, you told us that godly men had only one wife because marriage was one man and one woman. And now some of you are telling us that marriage is one man and one man or one woman and one woman. Did you lie to us when you brought us the Gospel? Did God lie to us? Did God change his mind?”
Even after the recent decision regarding Proposition 8, the United Methodist answer is: No, God has not changed his mind. Marriage is still one man and one woman.
We look forward to our Episcopal leaders in California, where the recent decision was rendered, fulfilling their office by defending and promoting our UM position regarding marriage. As always, we count on our leaders to be compassionate as they speak the truth, but we do expect them to speak the truth.
By Rob Renfroe, President and Publisher of Good News.