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By Jon Ostendorff
published: August 26, 2005 6:00 am
LAKE JUNALUSKA — A volatile mix of gay Christians, anti-gay Christians and white supremacists has law enforcement officials in Haywood County concerned about public safety on Labor Day weekend.
Haywood County Sheriff Tom Alexander on Thursday met with Lake Junaluska Assembly’s security chief and state and federal officers to come up with a plan to keep the peace during Chicago-based Reconciling Ministries Network conference Sept. 2-5. The organization advocates opening the United Methodist Church to gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender Christians.
The security plan calls on deputies, most of the Assembly’s 13-officer force, the State Bureau of Investigation, the FBI and the N.C. Highway Patrol. Officers from Waynesville, Canton, Clyde and Maggie Valley could also be called in to help, the sheriff said. Assembly officials say the plan could change next week.
Pastor canned for denying membership to 'gay'
TESTING THE FAITH
Pastor denies membership
to homosexual, gets canned
Methodist cleric suspended from pulpit
for 1 year for 'living out his conscience'
Posted: July 30, 2005
1:00 a.m. Eastern
A pastor who denied church membership to a homosexual has been banished from the pulpit and denied his salary for one year by the Virginia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, despite the admission he acted on his conscience and his action could be defended "in theory" from the Methodist Book of Discipline.
"I was trying to show him the church was open to receiving [the member]," Layman said. "He, in turn, relied on his interpretation of the scriptures."
"I feel Rev. Johnson was holding to biblical principle in denying membership to that individual," Creamer told VaNCNews. "I feel extremely sad and grieved. I feel a terrible injustice was done."
Creamer said the homosexual man at the center of the dispute had been attending the church for some time and sang in the choir.
"This person was never discouraged from coming to church. That would be un-Christian. However, actual membership would be another story," he said.
"The church is not upholding the biblical principles outlined in Leviticus, 2 Timothy and Corinthians about homosexuality and the sins thereof," he added.
"I cannot see how you can take Holy Communion and openly practice that lifestyle. The Bible says homosexuality is a sin. Now everybody sins, but we like to think that everybody who is a member of the United Methodist Church is attempting to repent of their sins. Openly practicing homosexuality is not an attempt to repent of sins, in my opinion."