Seminary committee denounces sermon

So, I’m trying to piece this together from threads and bits and pieces. You with better Internet skills than I can help out.

It appears that on Feb. 26 a guest preacher at a chapel service at United Methodist-related Boston University School of Theology included in a sermon that the preacher supported the United Methodist Book of Discipline on matters of sexuality. (Here’s a blog post about the sermon. I cannot find a link to the sermon or even the name of the preacher.)

This led to an outcry among students who felt attacked by this sermon, which led to the school’s spiritual and community life committee issuing the following statement.

While we recognize that denominations are divided on this issue, we are not. We, as a school are clear that the gifts that the church needs today will come from all of us. And we are convinced that there is no room for messages of exclusion and calls for Christian unity at the expense of our LGBTQIA sisters and brothers. We recognize that there are times when communities are called to speak loudly, prophetically, and affirmatively with those who are marginalized in an unjust world. This is one of those times.

10 thoughts on “Seminary committee denounces sermon

  1. The unnamed preacher should get a medal. How sad that we have seminaries preparing ministers unable to hear a word that confronts them. They can’t even hear a sermon without protesting yet we are meant to believe “deep listening” is the way forward?

    1. The sermon was not at all confrontation, which is the perplexing part. If anything the pastor was expressing his own uncertainty about the right thing to do. If you get a chance, use the link in Jeremy’s post to listen to the sermon. (Sound is bad.)

  2. I’d like more details. But this sounds like some kind of a cover-up by the seminary. It is disturbing to think that a preacher who supports the Book of Discipline would be so received in a United Methodist seminary.

  3. I can fill in the blanks.

    1. It was the day that the Korean Students Association was tasked with being in charge of Wednesday worship. They brought in a guest preacher: Rev. Chongho Kim (Korean Church of Atlanta UMC). He’s a BU Grad.

    2. According to my contacts, what the Rev. Kim preached was dramatically different than what he said in email correspondence that he was going to preach about.

    3. In his sermon, Kim’s message was that we should be one in Christ. However, he had two problematic examples that were trauma triggers for people in the congregation:
    a) He stated that he believes LGBTs are not saved even though all his friends and family say he is old-fashioned.
    b) He stated that he taught a woman about his theology and she committed suicide, but he wouldn’t change a word he told her.

    4. Here’s the link to the Chapel service that day so you can see for yourself (though the archive is slow (LIBERAL CONSPIRACY!!11!). Sermon at 20m, problematic examples at about 37m.

    5. I do not expect your commenters to watch the video.

    I was all set to blog on it, but after watching the sermon, there really wasn’t much noteworthy to write about. That it lead to internal conversations about LGBT and safe space in worship was more important.

    1. Thanks for the link. I looked for the sermon online but could not find it. I watch it in the next day or so.

    2. I’ve listened to most of it now. I hear a lot of personal humility, grief, and an honest attempt to work through some things that trouble him. If this kind of statement is considered out-of-bounds, I do not see how we can have any dialogue at all.

    1. I should have edited that line. The Community & Spiritual Life Committee is not the administration.

      On the Facebook page of the seminary, it publicized this statement, so it was endorsed by the administration to that extent.

      The seminary dean comments in the comments thread.

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