In the United Methodist Book of Discipline is a section called the Social Principles, which contains our denomination’s stance on seventy-six different issues. From abortion to bullying to sustainable agriculture to collective bargaining…you name it, we have some thoughts.
But the Social Principles are not church law. When you come forward to join our church, we don’t ask if you agree with our stance on any or all of these issues. We ask if you repent of your sin and confess Jesus Christ as your Savior. And we also ask if you accept the freedom and power God gives you to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves.
So you can be a United Methodist (or a United Methodist pastor) and disagree with any portion of any number of our stances. With 76 items on the list, everyone does. This is one of the primary ingredients for the incredible diversity that can exist within our church.