LGBT Issues Fill Methodist Agenda
The above headline was at the top of the Faith page of Saturday’s Kansas City Star.
The article by Emily Miller from the Religious News Service described the agenda of the “Reconciling Network” within the denomination dedicated to including LGBT people. Currently the Methodist church bars homosexuals from being ordained as ministers and does not allow them to officiate same-sex weddings.
“It’s time,” said Wendy Witt during a recent Sunday service at the Chicago Temple. “Time to open the doors of the church to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, that is.”
This week the UMC Conference meets in Portland, Oregon to discuss legislation lifting the bans on homosexual ministers and weddings. The General Conference is the top legislative and policy making body for the UMC. They convene every four years. According to their website they can “revise church law, as well as adopt resolutions on current moral, social, public policy and economic issues.”
According to Miller’s article issues regarding sexuality have been discussed at every conference since the 1972 General Conference added language to the Book of Discipline calling homosexuality ‘incompatible with Christian teaching.’”
Whitt and ministers of 750 congregations within the UMC says “it’s time” to change that language. “It’s the perennial issue that will not go away, and for better or for worse, it’s the main battle flag issue between the liberal side of the church and the conservative side of the church,” said Mark Tooley, president of the Washington D.C. based Institute on religion and Democracy.
When the General Conference meets this week, its 864 elected delegates will consider more than 100 petitions relating to human sexuality.
Aside from doctrinal differences and a universal governing structure of the UMC, the Conference has no Scriptural authority to change any moral law by their vote.
I could save the delegates a lot of time. God has already legislated on human sexuality. It’s been ratified by Jesus Christ. And revealed by the Holy Spirit. It’s simple. Marriage is between one man and one woman for life. (Matt 19:3-9). Any sexual union outside that marriage bed is called fornication. And is sinful (Heb. 13:4; 1 Cor 6:19-20). And that includes homosexual relations, the Supreme Court of the United States not withstanding (1 Cor. 6:9-11)
The churches time might be better spent considering and studying some Biblical LGBT issues.
For “L”, how about Lord? As in our Lord Jesus Christ. He asks an important question, “Why do you call me Lord, Lord and do not the things which I say?” (lk. 6:46). The Bible says he is “the Lord of Lords.” (1 Tim. 6;15) He has all authority in heaven and on earth.(Matt 28:28-20). No person, preacher, pastor or Conference has the right to change a single Word of the Lord (1 Pet. 1:25).
For “G,” they could study what the Bible says about godliness. As well as it’s counter part ungodliness. Godliness comes from God. It has to do with holiness. Purity. Piety. A godly person is a God-fearing person. A righteous person. And a person who is set apart from the moral putridity of the world. Sadly, those advocating ungodliness in churches remind me of Paul’s stament about those who have “a form of godliness,” but deny its power (2 Tim. 3:5).
For “B,” I would suggest a study on believing. What does it mean to really believe in God? In Christ? In the Bible? When we believe in Jesus, we accept His Word. Follow his teaching. And then behave like a follower of Christ is supposed to live.
For “T”, maybe they should just devote one entire Conference to Truth. A quick examination will reveal the sum of God’s Word is Truth. Jesus prayed to the Father “Sanctify them through your Word. Your Word is Truth.” In fact, Jesus affirmed that He was the very essence and embodiment of Truth.
Truth is absolute. Unchangeable . Unalterable. And unfailing. Truth does not require amendment. Alteration. Or updating.
Actually, Truth makes the need of a Church Conference to amend it’s bylaws obsolete.
So, the UMC delegates can stay home. Read their Bibles. And learn God’s will for human sexuality.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman