A transgendered Methodist minister has been allowed to keep his job upon review of his status. Five years ago, this same Methodist minister was a "she," but has since undergone gender treatment? surgery? and is back ministering as a "he."
Phoenix said he has sometimes been discouraged by negative reaction to his status but thinks that staying on the job is a way to change minds.
"I’ve always been hopeful that the church will open its doors more and be more inclusive of the community, and I believe that happens when those of us that are in that community just keep showing up," he said.
The problem is, this is not just a member of church we are talking about. There isn’t a single Christian church I know of which refuses any human being, no matter their "status," from attending its services, so to say that "I’ve always been hopeful that the church will open its doors and be more inclusive of the community" is misleading, in my opinion.
But this person is not only a leader in the church, but the church’s pastor. Of course there are stringent standards for leaders and pastors; they are in positions of authority, they wield authority delegated to them by God, so of course great care must be practiced in placing people in these positions of leadership. They have great potential to damage those under their authority should they prove less than worthy.
It seems reasonable to me that at the bare minimum, anyone wanting to be a leader in the Christian church, should demonstrate devotion to its founding document, which is the word of God. Devotion to the teachings of the word of God shows to others that you acknowledge the God of the Bible as your God; that you acknowledge that His wisdom in prohibiting certain practices is greater than your own. That if He created you a woman, you remain a woman out of respect for your Creator. You humble yourself to live within the boundaries which the Creator has placed on your life, when He chose to make you a woman or a man.
How does the Methodist Council know that someone who disregards the Lord’s word when it says, "Male and female He created them;" will not disregard the Lord’s word when it says, "Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant."? Someone who does not acknowledge the Lord’s sovereignty over his or her person at this most basic level has no business being a leader or pastor in the Christian church.