In a recent issue of a United Methodist newspaper, I read a long
article written by a United Methodist Church pastor who was diagnosed
as having celiac disease – intolerance to anything containing gluten.
She went on to explain how she could no longer partake of the bread
usually offered during Holy Communion; and that she felt excluded when,
at a conference of pastors, she was provided with “unconsecrated”
gluten-free wafers on a separate table. She writes at great length about
the importance of being “inclusive” and even uses the word “compassion.”
Reading this piece, I couldn’t help but relate her experience to that
of many others who have been treated rudely and marginalized in churches
simply because they’ve been led by the Holy Spirit to live in the
compassion that Jesus Himself epitomized. How far these pastors and
churches have strayed from the teachings of the Lord, from the lifestyle
of the early Christians, and even from the founder of Methodism, John
Wesley, who himself was given a hard time for being a vegetarian and
teaching that animals have souls! *
Isn’t it interesting how so many “religious” people don’t give
“intolerance” and “discrimination” a second thought – as long as they
are not personally affected?!
Rather than spending so much money on TV commercials to increase
their membership, perhaps the United Methodist Church would attract more
people by welcoming those whom they chase away: compassionate
vegans/vegetarians who care deeply about the billions of God’s other
animals who are forced to endure horrific cruelty, round the clock,
throughout the world.
The complaint of the pastor in the above-cited article is as nothing
compared to the nastiness shown by many church pastors and members
toward those who are kind and who care about God’s creatures!
* “A Plain Account of Christian Perfection, As Believed and Taught by
Rev. John Wesley from 1725-1777” Published circa 1928 by The Methodist
Book Concern, New York and Cincinnati.