All Still Means All

On a personal level, we’ve been saddened by recent events in the United Methodist Church’s continuing debate about the issue of homosexuality. Issues of sexual orientation are not at the center of the teaching of the church, the example of Jesus, or the gospel itself, but the love of God for all people very much is. We wish it was that love for all people that was driving the discussion, but apparently that is not to be. In light of the recent events we want to re-post a portion of an entry from earlier this year:

Jenny and I have been happy to have two baptisms since we’ve been here at Abilene First UMC. If you’ve been following along with the baptismal covenant in the hymnal instead of on the screen, you may have noticed that we’ve changed some of the words. The baptismal covenant contains the words: “Do you confess Jesus Christ as your Savior … in union with the Church which Christ has opened to people of all ages, nations, and races?” The problem with that phrase is that when spoken aloud, it often ends up sounding like “people of all ages, nations, and racists.” For that reason,  Jenny and I have changed the wording to simply “all people.” And in our hearts and minds all really does mean all. In God’s great plan of salvation, there are no categories of people left out.