The United Methodist News Service reports the Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church (UMC) commissioned an openly transgender individual as a provisional deacon on June 4, 2017.
The United Methodist Church has ordained homosexual clergy before. However, the Rev. M. Barclay is the first openly “non-binary trans person” to become a United Methodist deacon, according to Reconciling Ministries Network.
Barclay was born female – later claimed to be lesbian – now claims to be a “non-binary trans person” which means Barclay identifies as neither male nor female but as gender neutral.
The Rev. M. Barclay currently serves as director of communications at Reconciling Ministries Network. The unofficial United Methodist group, based in Chicago, advocates for full inclusion of LGBTQ people in all aspects of church life.
The United Methodist Church has no official position on the ordination of transgender individuals. The Book of Discipline, the denomination’s governing document, declares all people are of sacred worth but states that “the practice of homosexuality” is “incompatible with Christian teaching.” Since 1984, the Discipline has prohibited the clergy candidacy, ordination and assignment of “self-avowed practicing homosexuals.”
Barclay was among four individuals the Northern Illinois Conference commissioned as provisional deacon. The conference also commissioned eight individuals as provisional elders, ordained two as deacons and ordained six as elders. In addition, the conference commissioned 13 lay missioners. Bishop Sally Dyck, who leads the conference, celebrated all who were ordained or commissioned June 4.
Church leaders must stop trying to appease the LGBTQ movement. Instead, all of us must follow and obey God’s Word. God’s Word never changes: Isaiah 40:8 (King James Version): “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.”
God warned us about falling away from the faith: 1 Timothy 4:1 (KJV): “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;”