Telling the Truth to the Church

The Rev. Rob Renfroe

By Rob Renfroe –

It’s a southern tradition to emphasize a point you are about to make with the phrase, “As my dear mother used to say when I was a child …” When we hear someone begin that way in Texas, we listen up because we love our mommas and experience has taught us that they are usually right.

Well, as my dear mother used to say when I was a child, “none are so deaf as those who will not hear.” Or, as Jesus said, “He who has ears, let him hear” (Matthew 11:15). In other words, we can be told the truth as plainly as possible, but if we are committed to some other point of view, we can refuse to accept the validity of what we are being told or even pretend that it was never said.

I have seen that in my ministry. On two different occasions a husband came to see me because, much to his surprise, his wife had filed for divorce.  One literally found his bags packed on the front porch. I asked both husbands the same questions. “Did you know the two of you were having problems?” “Not any more than anyone else,” was the answer. “Did you know she was unhappy?” “No, not really,” they both replied. “Did she ever tell you that if your marriage did not change, she would leave?” Each one replied, “No, I never heard her say that.”

Here’s the irony. In both cases, weeks before my conversation with each man, his wife had come to see me because she was unhappy with her marriage and was thinking about leaving. When I asked each wife, “Have you told your husband how serious the situation is?” they both answered, “Oh, yes, several times. In fact, I told him that he needed to come see you or I was going to see a lawyer.”

How do you explain the husband not “getting it”? When you do not want to admit that there is a problem or how serious a problem is, or if dealing with reality means you must make some difficult changes, sometimes it is easier to ignore the problem and act like you do not know about it. Easier, but never productive.

I feel like the wives I counseled. So do many other evangelicals within the United Methodist Church. We have stated over and over that we have a problem with the One Church Plan (OCP). In fact, it is a problem that will cause us to leave the church if it becomes United Methodism’s new reality.

Forget all the pragmatic problems the plan would create: churches having to vote on whether to hold same-gender marriages on their property and the pain and the division that will cause our local congregations; some annual conferences voting year after year on whether to ordain practicing gay persons and the acrimony that will generate; in many conferences having more pastors who have conducted same-sex services than churches who will accept them. Even, for a moment, set aside what really matters – what the Scriptures clearly teach about marriage and sexual relations. Just hear this:  many – hundreds of thousands if not millions – of good United Methodists will not be able to stay in the UM Church if the One Church Plan is passed.

At its 2018 meeting, members of the North Georgia Annual Conference (the largest in the U.S.) were asked how they would respond if the current language in the Book of Discipline was liberalized to accept and affirm homosexual relations. Fully 25 percent of the delegates responded they would leave the church.

The results were even more dramatic when Good News surveyed 135 leading evangelical pastors, theologians, and lay persons. Over 90 percent said they would be forced to withdraw from the denomination if the OCP was passed. In good conscience, they could not remain in a church that promotes what they believe to be harmful to people, destructive to the witness of the church, and contrary to Scripture.

Will the One Church Plan create One Church? It may, but it will be missing thousands of its pastors and hundreds of thousands of its lay persons who lead many of the denomination’s largest congregations. To think otherwise is simply naive.

The Judicial Council recently ruled parts of the Traditional Plan unconstitutional. But the most important aspects of the plan were determined to be constitutional and those that were not are correctable and can be passed in St. Louis (see analysis on pages 6-7). The wrong conclusion would be to think that the OCP is now the way forward.  Not only is it unlikely to pass – similar plans have been soundly defeated every time they have been proposed – but should it be adopted by the General Conference, it will devastate the church we all say we love.

Some delegates may believe that it is worth shattering the United Methodist Church to adopt a new sexual ethic. They may believe marrying gay couples and ordaining practicing gay persons is worth losing thousands of pastors and hundreds of thousands of lay people. They may believe that a church without evangelicals is preferable to the church we have now. It will be a church that will allow UM entities to rejoin the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice and support any abortion at any time for any reason. It will be a church with few if any moderating voices on the Board of Church and Society. It will be a church without leading evangelical pastors and lay persons  rising on the floors of their annual conferences to challenge their views. It will be a church without most of its rapidly growing congregations and without many of its pastors who have a passion for evangelism. The delegates who vote for the OCP may prefer a separation that is chaotic rather than orderly. They may believe that a parting of the ways that is litigious, costly, and ugly is somehow better than one that is amicable and respectful. Maybe that’s the church they want. And if they do, then the OCP is the way to go.

But please, should that day come, do not say, “No one ever said they would have to leave. No one ever said they could not live with that reality. We had no idea the problem was that serious.”

We have told the church the truth as clearly and as often as we can. Many evangelical lay persons and most evangelical pastors will not be able to remain in the UM Church if the One Church Plan is adopted. It is not the way to unity. It is the way to division. It is not a plan for the UM Church to thrive. It is a plan for the church to be torn apart. I hope the delegates to General Conference 2019 can hear that. But, as my dear mother used to say, “none are so deaf as those who will not hear.”

Comments

  1. “None are so deaf as those who will not hear”. That is classic and a most succinct description of the human condition. May the Holy Spirt fill that General Conference in February, interrupt and transform this human condition, reveal to the delegates the true meaning of those words of Jesus, “he who has ears, let him hear” —— thus resulting in revival and repentance before the first vote is ever cast. Pray God save the United Methodist Church.

  2. I don’t understand, where is Jesus in this op ad? Jesus said let them come to me. Jesus didn’t exclude anyone nor should we!

    • Paul Shafer says:

      Jesus did exclude and he will exclude in the future.

    • Jesus is here. We are commanded to love our neighbor but that does not mean we have to approve of everything he does.

      Traditionalists love our LGB Bros & Sisters but be honest here most LGB folks want our approval not our love, yes?

    • Not only did he not exclude anyone, he went amongst them, sought them out, invited them in, ate with them. But why, to condone the behavior of sinners or call them (us) to repentance and offer them (us) salvation and transformed lives?

      https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+9%3A10-13&version=NIV

      • Robert A Combes says:

        the mission and focus seems to have been lost to many, we are the hospitals for the brokenness of mankind
        John 3 17-21 Berean Study Bible
        For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
        And this is the verdict: The Light has come into the world, but men loved the darkness rather than the Light, because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come into the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever practices the truth comes into the Light, so that it may be seen clearly that what he has done has been accomplished in God.”

    • Jesus welcomes all to come as they are, but no one can come to Jesus and stay as they are. Jesus is in the transformation business. No one is excluded from His grace.

    • Randy Vance says:

      Throughout the NT, Jesus description of “come to me” required the sacrifice of one’s will. It wasn’t just an invitation to hop on a cart and ride coat tails.

  3. Dr Bradley H Scott says:

    It makes me sad to think the Church which Jesus Christ founded will embrace a sexual ethic that is diametrically opposed to the vision of Scripture. “For this reason a man will leave his mother and cleave to his wife and the two shall become one flesth.” As an evangelical Christian in the United Methodist tradition, I realize we have to do a better job of ministering to those who are living with same-sex attraction, and I believe we have to be loving, but we also have to be faithful to scripture. I think we can do that without condemning people. But we have to have sound theology and Biblical theology and rules to discipline our lives by. “One Church” isn’t a real one-church plan. It’s a door to chaos and destruction of the mission and ministry of the United Methodist Church. It will be the death of Methodism in American culture. Stanley Hauerwas once quipped: “God is killing the UMC, and we deserve it.” Thank you for this timely and compassionately stated editorial.

  4. John Loper says:

    “How do you explain the husband not getting it?” The question I have for y’all is, How do you explain your “not getting it” as far as this issue is concerned? Do you actually believe that somehow the Council of Bishops don’t know the truth, or somehow the fine points of this question are so complex that they cannot see “the way forward”? This august body of self appointed “good” men and women have long since determined what they believe to be the way forward for the modern culturally relevant version of Christianity that they believe is necessary for the church to conform to in order to “fit” the new global vision of post modern truth. A truth where “everyone can do what is right in their own eyes.” I have been reading the constant drum of editorials that have been literally pouring from the pages of your magazine for many months concerning this issue and all of its postures. By endorsing any of these so-called “plans” as a “way forward”, you are already admitting defeat, and appearing for all the world as being little more than a “controlled opposition.” If these “good” men and women, who believe they are “the rock that is higher than you or I,” will not follow the law as it is clearly stated in the Book of Discipline, what makes you believe that they will follow the dictates of any general conference decision? The war for the soul of the United Methodist Church has already begun, I can hear the sound of battle coming from Africa and Asia, and from the places in the Americas and Europe that have not sold their Lord for “thirty pieces of silver.” If these so-called “progressives” will not live by the law and the covenants which have served the United Methodist denomination of the church of Jesus Christ for so long, and are already clearly written and understood by all, than it is time to part and to bid the errant brothers and sisters a loving but firm “adieu.”

    • John,
      The articles and conversations here and at other traditional Methodist sites provide much needed encouragement in these troubled times of liberal church outrageousness resulting in our current church strife, crisis, and schism. Good News, for example, has fully exposed our liberal brethren, their schemes, their hypocrisy, their deceit, and, most importantly, their abandonment of the Word of God. May those delegates with ears hear. Praise God for Good News! However, I’m a member of the Wesleyan Covenant Association. It is there and ready if the General Conference fails traditional Methodists in St Louis, or if, like you say, significant numbers of bishops and others continue their defiance withour real repercussions. Without WCA, Good News, the Confessing Movement, etc., I, along with the many others holding on, would sadly have already said abieu, like so many obviously have already done.

      https://wesleyancovenant.org/

    • John,

      I shared this same concern in a comment on the article Tom Lambrecht just posted concerning his request for the Judicial Council to reconsider its decision on the legality/constitutionality of the Traditional Plan’s gracious exit option.

      My concern/fear is the same as yours – if the progressives haven’t been willing to follow/obey church teaching in the past, do we really believe they will accept the gracious exit offer if/when the Traditional Plan is passed by GC19? I believe progressive bishops, clergy and churches will continue to ignore the action of GC19, dig in their heels and say, “we’re not leaving!” They don’t want to lose the use of the UMC’s name, logo, and most of all, money and power structure (including power over and the resources of traditional/conservative churches and members). It will be interesting to see what happens post GC19… but I don’t think the battle will be over…

      • Andy Wilson says:

        Mike, The battle will be over for me. How can I try to bring people with me to a church that is so confused that it doesn’t know what it believes or stands for? My decision will be made by March 2019. I cant stand any more of this insanity.
        “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.” This is our COB “leaders”. They have slowly and systematically destroyed the UMC. I am just so glad that my faith rests in Christ, not in them.

        • Andy, I certainly understand your frustration, and your desire to make a final decision and move forward. I feel the same way.

          I don’t know about you, but I’m a pastor. I’ve already left the UMC once because of my frustration with all of this, then came back when I was recruited by an evangelical D.S. (in a different conference than the one I served in for over 20 years). As clergy, we can’t just walk away, but I am watching the workings of the Wesleyan Covenant Association, and am encouraged by their vision and leadership to plan for a future for those of us of Wesleyan heritage and spirit who want to continue to live out our faith in this theological stream.

  5. Andy Wilson says:

    With all due respect, and I say this as an almost lifetime United Methodist, the UMC is already dead and they just don’t know it. How many United Methodist churches have long ago cancelled their prayer meetings and their Sunday night services? How many churches truly have prayer meetings? The answer is very few. A church that doesn’t put prayer as critical, front and center, is already dead. How many United Methodist men cry out in prayer to God? Almost none. I had prayed for the UMC for a long time, but the past two months I’ve just been praying it explodes and goes away. It is no witness to a holy and loving Saviour.

  6. Blake White says:

    When not one bit of scripture actually embraces the PRACTICE of Homosexuality scripture does embrace all sinners to repent. Sins include practices of robbery, lying, homosexuality, adultery, idolatry. Jesus welcomes robbers, liars, adulterers BUT Jesus does not bless robbery, lying, adultery, homosexual sex. End of Debate.

    • Why don’t our liberal brethren, after these 46 years, just simply come forth and present the Scripture — book(s), chapter(s), verse(s) that support and verify their position and put this schism to rest?

      • Amy O'Meara says:

        Hi! Liberal brethren here. There was no samesex marriage in OT or NT times so why would it be addressed in the Bible? That really makes this hard though, so I can completely empathize with your position. Bible also doesn’t cover iPhone usage, in vitro fertilization therapy or space travel. Homosexuality occurs naturally in just about all species of life in earth and safe, monogamous sex is a healthy part of being alive (can I get an “Amen”, church?). The bible’s model for marriage is a partnership of 2 equally yoked partners to support and love one another for life in the way Jesus supports and loves the church.

        Now go and be blessed this advent season!

        • Jesus obviously defined marriage in his days on earth, clearly and unequivocally describing God’s created order for it. If Jesus is the same now and forever as he was then, on what Scripture would one reference showing that he has now or would have changed or modernized his mind on what constitutes marriage?

          https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hebrews+13%3A8%2CMatthew+19%3A4-6&version=NIV

          • Of course the Bible’s model for marriage IS NOT “a partnership of two equally yoked partners”. If so, why is God’s created order for it a clearly and unequivocally defined partnership of only a MAN and a WOMAN? Again, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever — thus there is zero evidence in all of Scripture that he would change his descriptive model for Biblical marriage since he is yesterday, today, and forever the same Jesus.

        • To Amy: I pray that your eyes will be unveiled to God’s Truth. He is our Creator and Lord. We accept his teaching and way. We do not make him acquiesce to our desire to make sin no longer sin. Even if you exclude God’s way, the homosexual lifestyle is unhealthy and unnatural. Anytime we place what we want and desire above what God tells us we make ourself “god”. He does not tolerate this. He is God and he is Righteousness. It is only through the blood of Christ that anyone is able to come before him. May the Holy Spirit speak God’s Truth to you and all who believe that humans can redefine sin for God. Lord have mercy.

          • Amy O'Meara says:

            You are so sweet to pray for me, Phyllis! Thank you for that. I think you’ll be amazed to learn that homosexuality occurs naturally in nature among ALL species that participate in sex. Isn’t that amazing? As part of my Methodist culture, I just love how science fits in to the Wesleyan Quadrilaterl and hope you will take some time to learn about this natural phenomenon too. Truly sheds some light on what “natural sex relations” inRomans means for one who is naturally gay.

            In fact, I shall pray for you too! Lord have mercy, indeed. Thanks again for your prayers.

          • Amy, thank you for your prayers! That is the most loving thing we can do for each other. I am grateful that even though God made me a “species” he did not make me on the same level as other animals. Because he gave me a mind and free will I totally submit to him and glorify him in everything I do.
            He will be the final judge and every knee will bow. God bless you.

          • Some of the most inspiring, hopeful, and loving words in all of scripture. Paul must have been bubbling over with joy when he wrote them as he addressed a repentant, saved, transformed, sanctified audience:

            https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Corinthians+6%3A9-11&version=NIV

  7. As a UM local pastor, passage of the OCP will force me into an early retirement. Whether I ever stand in a pulpit and bring the word of God to a congregation will be in the Lord’s hands. The thought of retiring now makes me sad but I cannot support a church that endorses sin.

    • Scott,
      I pray you are not forced into early retirement. My best UMC worship service experiences now days are in churches staffed by local pastors. They are actually still preaching the Good News. The Methodist Church needs local pastors, which is currently the growing trend. I hope there would be a welcoming place for you in a new Wesleyan Covenant Association denomination should this OCP pass. Unlike the gentleman below who would stay and continue the pretentiousness of being a minister of the Word, I will certainly go with the WCA. If not for the WCA, I would have already departed in that I have lost complete trust in these pastors like Berlin who should go on into their true calling — politics or secular public relations work.

      https://www.umnews.org/en/news/seeing-a-way-forward-the-rev-tom-berlin

  8. Paul said in II Cor. 4:3 – 4, “If our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, which is the image of God, should shine unto them.” Regardless of the number of degrees that the Elite have, they are blinded from the truth. They pursue their end and the Church’s; without any wisdom, or common sense religion.

  9. Many years ago, I realized that, despite many battles yet to be fought, this war had already been lost. Through more than 40 years as a Methodist I had prayed for and seen the rise of conservative Methodist organizations that I thought could save the denomination; Confessing Movement, Good News, and now the Wesleyan Covenant Association, but the war has been long lost, mostly at the seminaries. Many pastors that led the churches I attended could apparently keep their true beliefs hidden, preach conservative sounding sermons, and yet hold radical beliefs. In a few situations, these radical beliefs somehow slipped out and significant portions of the congregations dissolved away in disbelief. As I now follow this current issue from outside the UMC I have read many website articles written by UMC pastors and theologians that really startle me. They have long ago left their “first love.” The Commission on a Way Forward didn’t appear to spend much time searching the Scripture for guidance, but they included a detailed presentation on how this could possibly affect their pensions. What does that tell us about their priorities?
    I pray that you find the strength to final realize that the best option is to start a new Methodist denomination that is true to God’s Word. If you don’t, I fear that you will just repeat the past where the General Conference repeatedly votes conservatively, victory is claimed, but the progressives continue to do what they want with the blessing of the administration. All the while the UMC will continue to lose good members and die a “death by a thousand cuts.”

  10. A retired U.M. pastor says:

    Doug, your words have struck a chord with my thinking, and from what I have seen throughout my years as a U.M. pastor I truly believe that you are right. Only the very large congregations seem to have any “pull” with the annual conference cabinet in determining who their next pastor will be. So what is the good in strengthening a church, when the next pastor enters, with the blessing of the cabinet, and proceeds to empty the church. This happens all the time, throughout the present “connection” that we call the United Methodist Church. And it will continue to happen, because “human sexuality” is only a surface issue: the clergy are not uniform, nor are they honest, with what they truly believe. The ordination vows have become a sham, and those who do not see this must be asleep. The vows are to be a covenant, not something that you can lie about so that once you get a vote you can do away with the covenant. The Wesleyan Covenant Association does stand very clear concerning the covenant it offers to potential members. Deceit would be more easily exposed. Unfortunately the U.M. Church appears to be far too late in establishing accountability, which is why the denomination is now falling apart like a house of cards. “Everyone does what is right in their own eyes”, and the sheep of the pasture have become so confused that they most assuredly cannot follow.

    • What you describe is exactly what is going on in my neck of the woods. Since 2001, the theology of the local church has become even more muddled than it previously was because the local church began leaning whichever direction the current pastor leans. The most recent former pastor even offered a study by Marcus Borg. The current pastor seems to have a pretty strong traditional bend, but not strong enough for me to bet on where she would land on the sexuality question. Overall, it feels like the primary goal has been to make “doing church” more appealing to more people. My guess is there are now a fair amount of confused sheep. That is why I am remaining on the fringes, giving the Way Forward process a chance to work; but I am not hopeful. Like you said, thing have been too out of control for too long.

  11. Amy O'Meara says:

    Lose a few pastors (or “thousands” as you claim) and save LGBT lives, Pastor Rob? This makes sense to me. Clearly we have different priorities. I would love to see the 1972 addition to the BOD stricken out, but this isn’t up to me.

    One Church is financially-driven; Jesus wouldn’t want us to stay together for the money.

    Unlike many here, I trust the bishops to make the best decision they can with terrible choices. It’s in the Lord’s capable hands and for that reason I have no reason to be distraught. If my church breaks up, I still get to keep Jesus – and you do too.

    Blessings to you and Peggy this Christmas.

    A thousand blessings to you and Peggy this Christmas!

    • Amy I don’t see how LGBT’s will die if we do not allow gay weddings and ordination. However if we endorse their sin, then we will be misleading them into thinking that they can live the gay lifestyle and still enter the gates of heaven. Only repentant sinners can enter the gates of heaven and continuing to live a sinful lifestyle is not repentant! You may not like me saying that practicing gays will not go to heaven but it is plainly stated in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 and no amount of mental gymnastics can change the plain truth.

      • Amy O'Meara says:

        Hi Scott! I’m actually really glad you brought up your own confusion on the topic; your humility is appreciated in this emotionally-charged conversation.

        https://www.ajpmonline.org/article/S0749-3797(18)30050-3/fulltext

        This peer reviewed academic study investigates how churches can impact LGBT people in either a positive or very negative way.

        Since samesex marriage did not exist in the time of Cor.1, it seems incorrect to make assumptions about what Paul was teaching especially when those assumptions lead to the death of any of God’s beloved children. You do you, though.

        Enjoy a day of peace in the name of Christ!

        • I read your article and if I understand the part I could access the premise is that the guilt of being gay that comes from church is the cause of suicides. If I am wrong let me know. I disagree with the premise. The guilt of being a sinner and not turning your life to Christ is the cause of the issue. How many men have ruined their lives with an affair or abusive behavior and then instead of accepting a divorce have killed themselves and their family. The issue is not accepting Christ and giving up sin. It is not the church not approving of sin. The issue is people sin and the guilt, that they should rightfully feel, wears on their soul. We are in the process of changing lives, not affirming wrong behavior. The new testament lists a number of wrongs and we must agree with them whether we like it or not. That is obedience to the word. Focusing on the current life is ignoring the eternity we can spend in heaven. Our goal is for everyone to spend eternity in heaven, not just have a good few decades on earth. Your premise about Paul and gay marriage is wrong. There were partnered gays in his day. The Jews lived in a world where homosexuality was both common and widely accepted. The Jews however despised homosexuality, as would Paul and the other apostles. The word that Paul uses for men sleeping with men “arsenokoites” is very specific and can mean nothing else.

          • Amy O'Meara says:

            Sounds like we will continue to disagree then on what Paul was teaching. All references I show arsenkoites did not refer to monogamous, samesex relations. In context, it is undefined but used to describe criminal acts such as stealing and rape. I am truly obedient to the inerrant and infallible word of the Bible and will never condone thieves or rapists.

            You are right that Jews hated homosexuality. Homosexuality, like masturbation and recreational sex, were outlawed in OT as a way to promote population growth. Jesus came and changed the world, amen.

            I will continue to affirm with great joy all who choose to follow Christ and I will celebrate their marriages and families. In doing so, I am honoring and protecting life.

            Like you, my goal is to offer the eternal salve of Jesus to all in my path and it warms my heart that we can agree there, Scott.

            Look how much we have in common! Maybe we can keep the church together after all.

  12. Our liberal UMC brethren seem to have patched together a designer form of Christianity and follow an imagined Jesus, one who does not call for repentance, all in an attempt to somehow escape eternal damnation. And, they seem to be convinced that God can be outvoted if they can convince large enough numbers including, of course, the entire UMC denomination to go along with this new order when it comes to who defines unrepentant sin, especially the sin of sexual immorality. Of course, the only outcome of this would be eternal damnation of us all.

  13. FYI….from what I am seeing in our area not only are there LGBT issues being pushed in the UMC, but now we have our UMC pastor wanting to teach “Marcionism”!

    This is the new trend proposed by Andy Stanley and his book “Irresistable”. He proposes that the church should put aside the Old Testament and only focus on the New Testament, because the Old Testament turns people off. If we want to win people back – or to – the faith, we need to make if more “friendly”, and the Old Testament undermines this.

    As Owen Strachan states in his review of this book at:
    https://cpt.mbts.edu/2018/10/15/we-have-no-divided-god-a-review-of-irresistible-by-andy-stanley/ ……….

    “He [Andy Stanely] believes that Christians have shot themselves in the foot by leaning on the Old Testament in their engagement with unbelievers. This is why we lose the younger generations raised in our churches—because after being educated (or not) in local congregations, they go on to university, take classes from smart unbelieving professors who poke holes in Old Testament ethics and theology, and then abandon the faith. In Stanley’s reckoning, this abandonment is unnecessary and tragic. Instead, we should effectively jettison the Old Testament from our witness.”

    The LGBT demands isn’t the only front the UMC is being confronted with!

  14. Amy, It is a myth that arsenokoites referred to rape, seduction, or any other non consensual act. It was not the common word for homosexual sex acts. It is a word Paul crafted from two words, arseno which means with a man and koites which is male/female copulation. There word literally means to copulate with a man as with a woman and reflects the wording of the prohibition of gay sex found in Leviticus. It simply means male on male gay sex and to use it for anything else is twisting the scripture, which is the only way progressives have been able to find scripture to support their viewpoints. They either take scripture totally out of context while ignoring that which counters their point (espousing the view that we have conflicting scriptures) or twist the meaning of words to support their point, often ignoring the plain meaning that is perfectly obvious and consistent through the scriptures. The only way to claim the scriptures support homosexuality is to claim that the scriptures are in error or that God changed his mind on what is sin (please don’t try and site ot purity laws that were dropped to craft a “religion of the heart” after the Israelites trashed the covenant with God and he righteously declared it null and void and crafted a new covenant).

    • The only thing that tops the unmitigated arrogance of our liberal brethren in formulating a self-serving form of Christianity while transforming Jesus into a secular figure conforming to their liking, thus committing heresy and blasphemy in the process, is a church that has allowed this to happen.

  15. The media and the world in general has successfully convinced many that homosexuality and lesbianism is “normal”. IT IS NOT. Simply put it is a sexual perversion and a choice that anyone, male or female, can make. Try finding any scientific or physiological evidence anywhere that would cause someone to be born with this. It just isn’t there.

  16. Pastor Rob,
    Upon looking for some clarity in the current UMC situation, I am reminded of my father’s conundrum during the late 1960’s. He was a newly ordained minister in the former EUB church and had little “spiritual kinship” with the men and women who were being turned out of the various seminaries. Dad had secured his ministerial credentials by means of a conference probationary course of study. To the best of my recollection, dad never devalued the ministries of others, who were “seminary bred”; however, I have clear recollection that there was a “credential ceiling” of sorts attached to those men and women who did not attend seminary. Although their credentials reflected their status as an ordained elder, this group had to resign themselves to the reality of rural parishes, more modest salaries and no opportunity for denominational offices or advancements. Nonetheless, I proudly observed a man of God, who invested the balance of his earthly years, ministering and bringing souls to the kingdom of God. Credentials and pedigree meant very little, but obedience to the Holy Spirit meant the world to eternal souls. When the merger took place in the late 60’s, dad had tremendous misgivings about the creeping tendency of liberalism and lack of spiritual accountability in the clergy of both the EUB and Methodist connections. Some of the vile and spiritually bankrupt textbooks that he was compelled to read and study during his probationary course were tossed against his study walls and found their final resting place in the trash. He could not abide nor tolerate theology that did not support the biblical record. The tragedy in today’s UM clergy ranks is that they have been force fed erroneous doctrine and unsound theology for so long, at all the various educational stops in their pilgrimage, that they lack the ability to disseminate between societal-pressured stances and foundational truths found solely in God’s word. They falsely believe that finding a place of acceptance in today’s society will earn them a position of influence among the today’s intellectuals. Unfortunately, this yearning for societal acceptance was never something that Jesus attempted to achieve; rather, He held true to His father’s Word and Mission and reflected a lack of concern about His level of acceptance among the powerful and influential.
    Regardless of how men and women of the UMC envision the future of the church, God is still in control. Personally, I believe that the clergy and leadership of the UMC is so compromised and “spiritually ineffective” that only a new church, in the Wesleyan tradition, has any chance of lifting up Christ to our current generation. When issues like abortion, homosexuality and holy lifestyles are bartered away by a church desiring to gain societal acceptance, there is little worth reclaiming. The loss of properties, pensions and prestige is unimportant, when weighed against the loss of our soul.

    • Jim,
      It would appear that that these liberal bishops have elevated themselves to at least being equal to Paul, thus assuming his level of authority. With this self-appointed authority, they, therefore, can decide which Scripture to ignore, rewrite, or delete in order to satisfy ‘itching eats’ as they fall over themselves to be popular instead of holy. Otherwise, they would see themselves as those teachers in Paul’s warning and fall on their knees begging for God’s forgiveness.

      https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Timothy+4%3A3&version=NIV

  17. Donald Hertz says:

    I respect that you are telling the truth to the church on certain issues, but I’m concerned that you didn’t seem to tell the scriptural truth to the wives when they came to you complaining about an unhappy marriage. “Have you told your husband how serious the situation is?” doesn’t seem like an appropriately orthodox response to a person being “unhappy” in a marriage. Our Lord didn’t say “he who puts away his wife except for the cause of being unhappy commits adultery”. I fear that the current crisis comes form the same tree as the laxity in regards to divorce in the Methodist church.

Speak Your Mind

*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Perspective e-Newsletter