Protestant denomination affirms sexual liberalism, transgenderism at annual meeting
The General Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) has joined with several other oldline Protestant denominations in embracing sexual orientation and gender identity as specially affirmed categories in the church.
At their meeting July 13-17 in Orlando, Fla., the church’s governing body passed a resolution listing sexual orientation and gender identity alongside race, age and other categories to which the denomination is “striving to become a people of grace and welcome.”
The resolution also affirms the “faith, baptism and spiritual gifts of all Christians regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity” and states that neither is “grounds for exclusion from fellowship or service within the church” but celebrated as “part of God’s good creation.” This statement implies affirmation of clergy sexually active outside traditional marriage. The Disciples have a very congregationalist polity with nearly all ministry decisions made at the local church. So the new denominational stance is mostly symbolic.
The Disciples of Christ are the smallest of seven Protestant churches historically classified as Mainline. The denomination has lost two-thirds of its once nearly 2 million membership since the 1960s and currently lists 639,500 members. Prominent members have included Presidents Ronald Reagan, Lyndon Johnson and James Garfield.
Institute on Religion and Democracy President Mark Tooley said of the issue: