A pastor based in Detroit has made the decision to stand down from her congregation after announcing that she has married a woman, the Huffington Post reports.
The issue of same sex marriages has long been a contentious one – especially among members of the church – and rather than risk causing a division among the congregation, Bishop Allyson Abrams, 43, who was a pastor for the Zion Progress Baptist Church, made the decision to resign.
Bishop Abrams made it clear that she was not forced to resign and that she had made the decision to leave the church on her own as she was concerned that the news she had married a woman could cause conflict among members of the congregation. However, as detailed on Bishop Abrams’ website, some members of the religious community had questioned her ability to continue in her role once it had been revealed she is now in a same-sex marriage.
“I could have been like so many people are and lied and said it’s not true,” Abrams explained. “But that’s not how I was raised and, as a Christian, I was always taught to be a truthful individual.”
When people speak out about same-sex relationships or same-sex marriages, they often state that the Bible says these types of relationships are prohibited by God. However, Bishop Abrams sees things differently.
In a piece written on her website, Bishop Abrams argued that homosexuality isn’t a sin and a statement on her website says that we are “now in a new era of understanding.” The article also makes several references to Bible verses and argues that the Bible doesn’t say that same-sex relationships are wrong.
Bishop Abrams also argues that the meaning of some words in the Bible have changed over the years, so they don’t mean the same now as they did in Bible times. It is also argued that if a person is in a loving relationship then it would not be regarded as a sin.
The article continues to say that Abrams hoped that members of the church would begin to have a dialogue about what the Bible really says about same-sex relationships and called on members of the church to stop using Bible verses as a reason for casting people out of the church.
The statement finishes by saying:
“It is also her [Bishop Abrams’] desire that persons in the religious community will stop using these texts to condemn, to abuse, to hurt, to cast out, to throw away and to wound those who love with their hearts. GOD IS LOVE and we as Christians are called to LOVE YE ONE ANOTHER. But it appears that we are some of the most abusive, hurtful, hateful, and wicked people on the planet – those who profess to love Jesus. Jesus never addresses the issue of homosexual acts. Jesus never addresses the issue of who marriage is between. Jesus simply commands us to Love the Lord thy God with all of thy heart………. And then he commands us to Love they neighbor as thyself.”