The Methodist Church: United Methodists Wake Up!

Methodist Conference--May 2016

Methodist Conference in Portland, Oregon, in May 2016

The Methodist Church

United Methodists Wake Up!

Richard Hollerman

Many of us have been aware that there is a continued turmoil in the United Methodist Church in the United States. This denomination, Begun by John Wesley in the 1700s (founded in 1784), is considered one of the mainline Protestant denominations in America, with 12.7 million members! (In religious membership, they follow Catholics and Baptists.)

During the 1700s and early 1800s, they were known for their conservative stance on many issues. However, during the nineteenth century, liberalism or modernism (as it has been called) entered into the church and captured nearly all of the theological institutions and universities. Evolutionary speculation also took its toll and by the twentieth century, the denomination was dominated by liberal forces. Various smaller denominations broke away from the larger liberal organization.  (All of this we’ve detailed and documented in our series on Methodism on the True Discipleship website.)

And what kind of turmoil are the Methodists having in our day? A rather long article entitled “Methodists Form Panel to Review All Laws on Sexuality” (Fort Worth Star-Telegram) by Rachel Zoll (AP Religion writer), was found in the newspaper (May 21, 2016). Because of the nature of the issues, we think that it might be helpful to many of you if we were to comment on it at length.

You may be aware that the Episcopal Church and the Presbyterian Church (USA) have approved of same-sex (sodomite) “marriage.” Now the United Methodist Church is considering the same issue.  Some of the more conservative Methodist sects (The Evangelical Methodist Church, the Free Methodist Church, etc.) departed years ago and would not approve of the sodomite unions, but the more liberal parent organization, The United Methodist Church, is much more open to practicing homosexuals as well as many other liberal issues.

Since John Wesley formed the Methodist Church in the eighteenth century, the denomination has been under “The Methodist Book of Discipline.” In line with Wesley’s rather conservative views, the Book of Discipline has likewise been somewhat more restrictive.

methodist conference--May 2016--book of discipline

The Book of Discipline

In 1972, the Methodist denomination called same-gender relationships “incompatible with Christian teaching.” According to Scripture, this would certainly be true. Homosexuals hated this ruling and have long hoped that the wording of the statement could be changed so that the denomination would be more accepting of sexually immoral relationships. The time has now come when large numbers of members are rising up and denouncing the restrictions against sodomite relationships.

Methodist conference--May 2016--sodomites 2

Large numbers of Methodists accept sexual immorality

There are a couple factors that are hindering the LGBT faction from being allowed to go ahead with their open sexual immorality. First, the United Methodist Church is gaining membership in the South were people are more opposed to homosexuality. Second, the Methodists in Africa are gaining members and Africa, as a whole, would be against sodomy.

Delegates of the Methodist General Conference, meeting in Portland, Oregon, were faced with this issue during this past session. The question: Should the denomination accept sodomite members and preachers? As it turned out, the delegates merely delayed the problem and created a commission that will spend at least two years considering the issue. The fact that these men and women didn’t  throw out the issue shows that they were unwilling to accept the Biblical teaching on sexual immorality in a forthright manner. The vote to table the issue was 428 to 405, in favor of waiting for a couple of years.

Methodist conference--May 2016--sodomites

Methodist sodomites insist on acceptance

How many of the Methodists would be willing to accept sodomite unions? The article says, “A recent survey by the church found about 54 percent of  U.S. pastors and lay people in leadership roles agreed with the church restrictions on gays and lesbians, although only 41 percent of congregants held the same view.” Adam Hamilton, “who leads Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas, estimates two-thirds of Methodists are centrists who could live with those differences.”

If these figures are correct, 54 percent of the leaders are happy with the restrictions against sodomite unions, but only 41 percent of the members want the restrictions to continue.  Also, the conservatives would be against sodomite unions, the liberals would be for sodomite unions, and the remainder would be in the middle—called “centrists.” If this is so, the restrictions may eventually fall.

methodist conference--May 2016--sodomite group

Methodist sodomites fight for acceptance

The article says that “clergy who support gay rights have been increasingly defiant, conducting same-sex marriages or coming out as gay and lesbian from the pulpit.” To repeat, some preachers or ministers are revealing to their congregations that they, themselves, are sodomite in orientation or even sodomite in practice. However, “African bishops issued a statement last year expressing ‘shock and dismay’ over the violations.”

Methodist conference--May 2016--sodomites with tape

Methodist supporters of sexual immorality (homosexuality) put tape on their mouths

Some of the members are discussing the need or likelihood of a major division in the denomination; a split between the conservatives, the liberals, and the central segment. As we’ve noticed, some 2/3 of the members seem to be willing to accept sexual immorality or homosexuality, especially if this would preserve the unity of the denomination. One element in this that was not made clear in the article was whether members are permitted to engage in sodomite unions or whether only the pastors are forbidden to engage in this sexual immorality.

Assessment of the Sodomite Issue

Just as the LGBT segments of the Episcopalian and the Presbyterian Church (USA) were able to convince their denominations to accept open sexual immorality, so the same segment is gaining ground in the United Methodist denomination. They are strongly promoting their agenda. “As committees rejected appeals to lift LGBT prohibitions, gay rights advocates staged multiple protests, standing on the perimeter of one session with rainbow-colored duct tape over their mouths, and lying on the floor with their hands and feet bound.”

The Rev. Will Green lies on the floor of the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore., with his hands and feet bound to protest the denomination's policies on human sexuality. Delegates returning from their lunch break passed by protestors on the floor and lining the entryway to the meeting area. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS

Will Green lies on the floor of the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore., with his hands and feet bound to protest the denomination’s policies on human sexuality.

What can we say and what observations are in order in light of these recent developments in the United Methodist Church?

  1. We must take a solid stand for the Word of God regarding these issues in this denomination. We know that people will one day be judged by God’s Word (John 12:48), thus it is important that they order their lives according to this word now.
Bible

The Word of God must be our only guide and authority. We will one day be judged by it!

  1. We must insist that no one who practices homosexual relationships and refuses to repent can enter “will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). This sin is no small matter. We must accept what Scripture affirms in regard to it and not try to weasel out of it in any way.
  1. If a church is going to practice “church discipline” by denying fellowship to their members, this would mean that any member (whether pastor or regular member) who is a sodomite or lesbian must be excluded from fellowship (1 Corinthians 5:1-13; cf. 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15). In other words, it makes no sense to consider legislation about sodomy when no sodomite can enter heaven. In reality, practicing homosexuality should bar one from even become a member or remain a member.
  1. Along with the sin of Sodom (homosexuality), this denomination practices a number of other sins—such as women’s participation, women in a pasturing position. In other words, one sin leads to another one. Instead of accepting all of the sin, we need to insist on all sin being removed from the church.
Methodist conference--May 2016--woman bishop supports sodomy

United Methodist woman bishop who supports the sexual perversion of sodomy.

  1. We see the problem of relying on a human document—The Methodist Discipline—rather than holding firmly to the Word of God. Methodists need to reject all humanly-devised regulations and rely solidly on God’s standards in His word (Matthew 15:6-14). As it stands, the denomination could change the Discipline if enough members want it changed, whereas the Word of God, that is eternal, will last forever and cannot be changed (1 Peter 1:22-25).
  1. Instead of having an unscriptural plan or organization (such as having a General Conference), Christians should determine not to be connected to a human organization, such as The United Methodist Church. As our Lord stated, “Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be uprooted” (Matthew 15:13). A related matter is the Methodist’s practice of having a chief bishop over the entire 11 million member denomination, whereas early Christians were congregational, with each having their own elders or overseers.
Bishop Bruce R. Ough (left) receives the gavel as incoming president of the United Methodist Council of Bishops from outgoing president Warner H. Brown, Jr. during the 2016 General Conference in Portland, Ore. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS

Bishop Bruce R. Ough (left) receives the gavel as incoming president of the United Methodist Council of Bishops from outgoing president Warner H. Brown, Jr. during the 2016 General Conference in Portland,

  1. The denomination is concerned that there might be a division that would make three factions—the liberal ones who accept sexual immorality, the conservatives that would oppose it, and the centrists who would at least accept it even if they would oppose it. Lonnie Chafin, one of the Methodist delegates, said, “There is urgency before us. The church might divide.” We know that if the price of unity is an offense against God and acceptance of open sin (such as homosexuality as well as other sins), the price is too high.
  1. A photo was included with the large newspaper article. It shows five women cheering a delegate at the stand. A sign saying, “Its Time,” can be seen on the podium, meaning “it’s time to change the stand against sexual immorality” that is now found in the Discipline. One woman has a clerical collar, indicating that she professes to be a woman pastor, which, of course is unscriptural (cf. 1 Timothy 2:11-12). The speaker is an obese black woman enthusiastically supporting homosexuality. The caption says, “Supporters cheer as the Rev. Pamela Lightsey speaks out against the United Methodist Church’s stance on same-sex marriage at the church conference in Portland, Ore.”
  1. We wonder how professing Methodists who claim to be Christians can support legislation that is meant to accept sexual perversion that will take the participants to hell! But this does show the result of many years of rejecting Biblical authority on a host of matters.

We hope that those Methodists who are reading this article will do what they can to overturn this rising opposition to homosexuality within their denomination. Apparently there are many practicing homosexuals—both laity as well as clergy—who are presently members, and surely all of them who refuse to repent should be excluded.

Better yet, dear Methodist friend, why not go the whole way and reject all unscriptural elements of your denomination! Turn from feminism, evolution, baby baptism, church names and offices, and dozens of other compromising stances and outright disobedience to God! That is the only way!

Comments are closed.