The general assembly of the Disciples of Christ has voted to affirm open homosexuals and transsexuals as members and leaders.
The resolution was passed this week in Orlando with the support of a number of representatives within the denomination, including Midway Hills Christian Church in Dallas, Texas; Foothills Christian Church in Wichita, Kansas; Bethany Christian Church in Gastonia, North Carolina and St. Andrew Christian Church in Berkeley, California. The GLAD (Gay, Lesbian and Affirming Disciples) Alliance was also a part of the move.
"[B]e it resolved that the General Assembly meeting in Orlando, Florida, July 13-17, 2013, calls upon the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) to recognize itself as striving to become a people of grace and welcome to all God's children though differing in race, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, nationality, ethnicity, marital status, physical or mental ability, political stance or theological perspective," the resolution states.
"Be it further resolved that the General Assembly calls upon the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) to affirm the faith, baptism and spiritual gifts of all Christians regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity," it continues. "[A]nd that neither is grounds for exclusion from fellowship or service within the church, but we celebrate that all are part of God's good creation."
In a video created by the denomination, spokespersons further paralleled the affirmation of homosexuality to the "radical hospitality extended by Jesus at the Lord's table."
"Both theologically conservative disciples, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender disciples report feeling left out in our church," outlines an unnamed representative. "The intention of this resolution is not to accept and welcome one group at the detriment of the other. It is to say that as disciples, we strive to extend Christian hospitality to all children of God."
She states, however, that no particular church within the denomination is required to change its policies if it disagrees.
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SOURCE: Christian News Network