Tag Archives: Methodist

Gay daughter sent bishop back to twist scripture

File this under the “one more reason I’m glad I left the Methodist church” category.  Their news service published this by a retired bishop:  Gay daughter sent bishop back to Scriptures | United Methodist News Service.

He is another in a long line of “Christian” parents who twist God’s word to justify their children’s sins.  It is bad enough when lay people do it, but this phony makes the same common intellectually bankrupt arguments that pagans make.  He knows better.

And he isn’t being loving at all.  I know someone who temporarily went lesbian after leaving an abusive marriage.  While that is somewhat common, it obviously doesn’t overturn Romans 1 or the rest of the Bible.  The world – and her Christian parents — told her that Jesus was fine with it, but deep down she knew better and admitted it to me.  It was causing her great stress because she knew it was wrong, but most people didn’t have the guts to speak the truth to her.  I didn’t rant or condemn her or even raise my voice.  I just said, “You know that’s a sin, don’t you?”  And she emphatically agreed.

Nearly 35 years ago my wife, Julia, and I wrote the first Disciple Bible Study, an in-depth curriculum that eventually numbered four studies in all. Almost 3 million people around the world have taken at least one of the studies.

I took the study and taught it several times.  It was good, because it was before he went apostate.  [Side note: By the time they wrote the third study they were using obvious wolves in sheep’s clothing to undermine scripture.]

Thirty years ago our daughter Sarah shared with Julia and me that she is gay and that she had entered into a committed relationship. She came out to us when she was 27 years old. We never imagined this was anything that would touch our family. While I had never studied in depth the passages in the Bible that seem to condemn homosexuality, I felt the Bible was clear, and as a pastor and leader in the church I stood by what our United Methodist Book of Discipline said.

The Bible is quite clear, and he knows it.  It isn’t just a few verses and they aren’t unclear or unimportant.

  • 100% of the verses addressing homosexual behavior denounce it as sin in the strongest possible terms.
  • 100% of the verses referencing God’s ideal for marriage involve one man and one woman.
  • 100% of the verses referencing parenting involve moms and dads with unique roles (or at least a set of male and female parents guiding the children).
  • 0% of 31,173 Bible verses refer to homosexual behavior in a positive or even benign way or even hint at the acceptability of homosexual unions.

Now, however, I was facing this matter as a parent. The night that Sarah shared her news with us, Julia and I talked, and we were immediately at peace with knowing that her homosexuality was not a result of her upbringing.

WARNING!  Note that his first instinct was, “What did I do wrong?!”  That’s the root of these  rationalizations about the Bible.  It may not have been anything they did.  It could have been abuse or molestation by someone else or just plain old sin.  Or maybe it was a relationship issue with the parents.  But their “revelations” about what the Bible “really” says are grounded in the utterly selfish motive to absolve themselves of parental guilt.  How shameful and unloving!

We had raised all four of our children in a loving, Christ-centered home. In one way or another, all of our children have devoted themselves to a life of faith and service in the church. Sarah heard a call to mission at a young age, and over the years she has served in United Methodist roles ranging from director of an inner-city community center to religious publisher. She is a lifelong member of the church.

Apparently he also never studied the passages about wolves in sheep’s clothing, wheat/tares, etc.

The young woman before us that night wanted to be loved and accepted, but she wasn’t a troubled, tortured soul. She was happy and whole, and Julia and I believed that her sexual orientation was how God had made her. That night we learned something new about our daughter, but we loved and cherished her just the same, if not more.

Oh, so she is happy with her sin.  Never mind.  Seriously, I’ve met over 1,000 felons while doing prison ministry.  Many have no remorse.

And he “believed” it was how God made her.  Great, throw in some blasphemy while you are at it and blame God for her sin.

Of course you still love your kids if they are sinners.  Lots of pro-LBTQX types think they are playing a trump card when they ask, “What if your child was LGBTQX?”  I am blessed that my children and their spouses are all hetero and committed believers, but I’d still love them if they weren’t.  But because I love them I’d no more affirm sexual perversions than I would other sins.

Still, I knew I had some work to do. I needed to reconcile my commitment to scriptural authority with loving and accepting my daughter.

Why yes, rationalization of the opposite of what the Bible teaches is very hard work!

Frankly, I was amazed at my lifelong ignorance about homosexuality. I had spent my ministry dealing mostly with the uses, misuses, and abuses of sex among heterosexuals. But I did not understand or worry about my energetic, popular youth fellowship leaders who never went out on dates. I was grateful for the Wesleyan Service Guild women, some of whom lived together and cared for each other for 50 or 60 years. I didn’t give any thought to the private lives they must have had or even the pain that their secrets must have inflicted.

Ah, so heterosexuals abuse sex but LGBTQX people don’t.  Check.

So I began my own journey. I reached out to other families with homosexual members, and I listened to their stories of struggle in the church. And I began a more in-depth examination of the Scriptures that address the issue of homosexuality. You may be surprised to know I hadn’t fully done my homework here, but the truth is, if you have a big-picture grasp of the Bible as I do, then you will understand just how insignificant these few passages are.

Bullshit.  They aren’t insignificant, and again, there are countless passages pointing to God’s ideals.

How can I say anything in the Bible is insignificant? Because not all passages in the Bible were created equal. For example, the books of the minor prophets, such as Malachi and Obadiah, can’t be compared to the power and significance of Genesis and Exodus. There is a reason many Bibles use red letters to set Jesus’ words apart: The color highlights their importance relative to the surrounding text.

What a wicked lie.  Jesus affirmed all of the Old Testament down to verb tenses and dots, and He authorized the New Testament.  It all turned out just as He wanted it to.  The bishop implies that lesser known sections aren’t true.  How Satanic!

So keeping this understanding in mind, I took each passage that addresses homosexuality and examined its context. I looked at the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, which has been used over the centuries to claim that homosexuality is a sin — the so-called “sin of Sodom.” The angry townspeople were eager to rape and humiliate the strangers who were visiting Lot.

Yep, and they persisted even after being literally blinded, which is why you should never give into the LGBTQX lobby.

But I think it is fairly easy to see that the sin was not homosexuality but rather the townspeople’s violent inhospitality to strangers. I say “easy,” because you don’t have to look beyond the Bible to understand this. The prophet Ezekiel identified it when he wrote: “This was the guilt of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy.” In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus also implies that Sodom was guilty of ugly inhospitality.

Bzzzzt.  Ejector seat time.  This wolf knows there are other passages, such as in Jude and 2 Peter 2 that clearly show the “sin of Sodom.”  Did you catch how he didn’t refer to those and pretended they didn’t exist?  That’s because wolves — even those who write Bible studies — rely on biblical ignorance to make their case.

Jude 7 just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

We know, of course, that the Holiness Code in Leviticus and Deuteronomy forbids homosexual acts between men. But we forget the context: This code was designed for the specific purpose of setting the Jews apart from the Canaanites. It was not intended as a universal morality. It was peculiar to the Hebrews — and to the times. It reflected one side of the constant tension in Judaism, as well as in all religions, between exclusion and inclusion.

Wrong.  He assumes you won’t read Leviticus 18 and note how the passage was clearly condemning the Canaanites.  A long list of sins is bookended  by God saying how He is judging them for what all people know is wrong.

The Apostle Paul does graphically list sins where women have sex with women, and men with men, but again, context is everything. Paul was familiar with only two kinds of homosexual activity: when wealthy Greeks would buy young boys as slaves and sexually exploit them, and when part of the Greek-Roman world would go to male and female prostitute-priests as a form of fertility or mystery cult worship. Neither of these ancient practices, of course, has any resemblance to the loving, faithful relationships that I witness in my family and among our family friends.

Double bzzzzt.  That’s wrong on many levels.

First, note how this wolf tips his hands and assume that the Holy Spirit wasn’t involved in the writings!  That’s a common and Satanic trick of the “Christian” Left, where they quote scripture authoritatively whenever they think they agree with it but undermine it when they don’t like it.  He claims it was Paul’s alleged mistakes.  But that means scripture is wrong and the Holy Spirit wasn’t involved.  What else is wrong, and how does he know?

And he falsely assumes Paul didn’t know about those relationships.   What evidence does he offer for that claim?

The text couldn’t be more clear.  It refers to consensual relationships, not exploitive ones.  It also refers to men with men, not to men with boys.  So he tells a blatant lie when he says, “Paul was familiar with only two kinds of homosexual activity: when wealthy Greeks would buy young boys as slaves and sexually exploit them.”  The passage doesn’t mention boys, so Paul clearly knew at least one other kind of homosexual activity.  It is so plain, but he trusts that most people won’t read it.  They actually want to be misinformed so they can go along with the world.

There are also zero references to temples or prostitutes, let alone temple prostitutes.  And there are zero examples in history of lesbian temple prostitutes.  But none of that stops the bishop from repeating those fallacious sound bites.

Romans 1:26–27 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

Fixating on those words also misses the larger point that Paul was simply trying to list every sin he could think of. He wanted to show that all of us have fallen short, that we are all sinners in need of the atoning grace of God. As I reflect on the list of sins, I know not a day goes by that I’m not in need of grace.

False.  Of course we are sinners in need of grace.  But homosexual behavior was Paul’s Exhibit A in the case that people suppress the truth in unrighteousness.  And the bishop is proving his point!  He is truly without excuse.

Romans 1:18–20 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

But Jesus and his ministry concern me most.

You mean where He defined marriage as between one man and one woman?  And where he said there are just men and women?  Why do you deny that ministry?  And on the bishop’s standards, these count more because they are “red letters.”

Mark 10:6-9 But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.

Time and again, he deliberately focused on the marginalized.

Time and again He told people to repent.

The hatred and condemnation of others all seems to be the very opposite to both the action and the teachings of Jesus. He laid the groundwork for the church to accept Gentiles when he said, “I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold.”

Of course Jesus said not to hate, but that’s just a pathetic ad hominem attack by the bishop.  We don’t hate LGBTQX people, we love them enough to tell them the truth.  We’ll share the Gospel with anyone: Murderers, adulterers, LGBTQX people, thieves, the greedy, etc.  But we offer it on God’s terms: Repent and believe.

Again and again Jesus placed kindness and acceptance over custom and social norms. “Love one another,” he commanded, “as I have loved you.” He also emphasized hospitality: “When you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind. And you will be blessed.”

If we are to be Christ followers, how can we reject the LGBT community in light of Jesus’ ministry?

False dichotomy.  You aren’t rejecting them, you are inviting them on the same terms as everyone else: Repent and believe!

And yet, make no mistake, I am not condoning sin.

Liar. That’s exactly what he is doing.

Nothing in my 70 years of ministry would lead me to believe that The United Methodist Church would or should divide over these few misunderstood passages of Scripture.

It is no coincidence that most of the pro-LGBTQX lobby also deny the authority of scripture, Jesus’ exclusivity for salvation, Jesus’ divinity, and more.

I am offering this message because, I believe that Jesus is Lord of the Bible, and all of his teachings direct us to create a loving and inclusive community of faith. I ask for your prayers for the church. Lift your voice in affirmation of our great tradition and help us to find a way forward to heal, and not divide.

But he is hypocritically dividing from people who disagree with him.  I’m fine with division.  The UMC should have split long ago.  Better yet, they should have ejected the wolves who lied at their ordination vows and/or apostatized later.

Christ beckons: “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love.”

If you love God and neighbor, you won’t lie to them about the Bible. Again:

  • 100% of the verses addressing homosexual behavior denounce it as sin in the strongest possible terms.
  • 100% of the verses referencing God’s ideal for marriage involve one man and one woman.
  • 100% of the verses referencing parenting involve moms and dads with unique roles (or at least a set of male and female parents guiding the children).
  • 0% of 31,173 Bible verses refer to homosexual behavior in a positive or even benign way or even hint at the acceptability of homosexual unions.

There is no place to comment at the link and they disabled comments for the YouTube video.  Convenient, that.  I’d love to debate this wolf.  Think of the easy questions to destroy his arguments.  Just a sample from the Romans 1 section:

  • You said that one of the only two kinds of homosexuals Paul knew about involved exploitative relationships with men and boys.  Can you please point out where Romans 1 refers to boys?
  • You said that Paul didn’t know of other kinds of relationships.
    • What evidence do you have to prove that?
    • Even if Paul didn’t know of other types, wouldn’t the Holy Spirit have known?
  • You mention temple prostitutes.  Please show where the text refers to them.
  • You imply that the lesbian relationships involved temple prostitutes.  Please show me anywhere in recorded history that lesbian prostitutes are mentioned.  I’ll wait while you Google it.
  • And so on.

Run, don’t walk, from any “Christian” Left group.

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The Methodist Bishop from Khazakhstan would be unemployable in the U.S.

This was encouraging: A Methodist Bishop willing to describe sin as sin.  Even in conservative conferences in the U.S. this guy would never be able to become a Bishop.  That’s one of the many reasons I couldn’t worship there any longer.  Via A New United Methodist Star from Khazakhstan?

The United Methodist Church may have a new star. He is Bishop Eduard Khegay of the Eurasia Episcopal Area elected to the episcopacy in 2012 to preside over the small but growing United Methodist churches across 11 times zones in the former Soviet republics, including Russia and Ukraine. . . .  His sermons and essays indicate his own boldness for the Gospel and willingness to push hot buttons.

. . .

Brothers and sisters, by faith United Methodists bring The Good News to people in our countries. By faith we overcome bureaucracy, inspections and other impediments on our way. By faith yammerers become winners, and when reaching halfway they get the second wind. By faith husbands and wives reconcile, by faith sons and fathers, daughters and mothers reconcile. By faith we offer our prayers to God about the way we see our churches and Lord is pouring His grace. By faith we are building churches, because of the evident of things not seen. By faith pastors forgive and encourage each other. By faith we are building United Methodist Church, so that it becomes dynamically growing, is accepted in the society and helps people to become devoted Christians. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”. We are people of faith; we are already winners, because we are Christ’s. May we live with faith and may it grow. May our mission, evangelism and growth be filled with faith! Amen.

. . .

Bible and traditions of the church

There were many disputes on the topic of what the Bible says regarding homosexuality during last half a century. Both the supporters and opponents of homosexuality have done much work on exegesis of the Bible, studying the traditions of the church, researching the historical context. Our collective communal study of the Bible and of the church’s traditions convince me and district superintendents of Eurasia UMC that practice of homosexual life is a sin. The Old Testament calls it abomination[1]. The New Testament calls it shameful actions, unnatural, and consequence of human’s departure from God.

The term sin experiences difficult time. The secular society wants less and less to use this term. Many people learn how to be tolerant… But from tolerance to permissiveness is only one step if we push away the term sin out of our life. Sin is what separates us from God, destroys our relationship with Creator. It could be betrayal, crime, envious thought, evil word or indifferent inaction.

Our conscience still wants to wake us up and give us hope for forgiveness and redemption. But more and more we look like children of Western democracy, who try to replace the term sin with sickness, deviation, weakness, mistake, or with anything else so that not to harm our weak psyche and behave politically correct even to ourselves. I cannot imagine John Wesley who would have suggested to Methodists to avoid the term sin in the name of tolerance and political correctness and not to offend the members of the congregation. Many of us know his famous words: “Give me one hundred men who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I care not whether they be clergyman or laymen, they alone will shake the gates of Hell and set up the kingdom of Heaven upon the earth.” I hope that like John Wesley we, the Methodists of 21st century, would be more concerned with saving human souls and sharing faith in our loving and transforming God, and not what people might think of us. This requires to be obedient, brave and humble.

Homophobia and hamartia-phobia

It has become fashionable to use the term “homophobia” in various contexts. Many leaders and public figures became more cautious with their speeches so that they would not say anything wrong and not to invite critics to blame them in homophobia. In most cases this is a good restraining mechanism. But here is the paradox – many people who condemn sin, express their moral values, defend their centuries old family traditions, teach to respect others are now blamed to be homophobic. Too many extremes appeared.

Recently, Russia has issued new law which prohibits the propagation of homosexuality among children. I am astonished how much noise the opponents of this law have raised. It seems as though their main life activity consists of such propagation.

Secular society does not want to hear the term sin because it is not afraid of sin. At the same time it cannot solve human problems unless it admits sin and its destructiveness. I pray that the people called Methodists would instill hamartia-phobia in the society. Hamartia is a greek word from New Testament, which is translated as “sin”. But the meaning of this word is missing the mark. While ancient fathers and mothers of the church lived with hamartia-phobia, were afraid to disappoint God and miss the mark of God’s will, our society fills up with hamartia-prideful people who boast their anti-spiritual actions.

And finally he points to a way forward:

Tension exists even on the level of the Council of Bishops of the UMC. We are not of one mind. To my regret, we have to deal with situations when one bishop ignores the other breaking the Book of Discipline and ethical norms in the name of same-sex marriages. This is very disappointing.

False teacher admits lying at his ordination vows and leaves Methodist church. Yea!

Gerry Hill | Love Prevails notes how a false teaching pastor left the United Methodist Church (eventually) after admitting that  he lied at his ordination vows.  Good for him!  Sort of.  He is still horribly wrong about the Bible, but at least he has ‘fessed up about his lies and is leaving the denomination.  If only other pastors and lay people with his beliefs would do the same!

I left this comment, but I don’t think it will make it out of moderation:

Thanks for admitting that you lied at your ordination vows. I wish other wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing clergy would leave like you did.

Your canard about people committing suicide because churches won’t marry them is another lie. Do some research. Their sexual preferences are often a consequence of other issues, not the cause.

I wish the pro-LGBTQ lay people would leave as well.

“I have always known, to the core of my soul, that Jesus loves and accepts all people.”

Statements like that betray a non-Christian worldview. Jesus accepts all who repent and believe. If you shake your fist at God, as you are doing, then you are not meeting God on his terms. He set very gracious terms, but you don’t get to sit in judgment of them.

The Bible couldn’t be more clear. Bible-believing Christians and even two out of the three types of pro-gay people* (religious or not) can see these truths:

100% of the verses addressing homosexual behavior describe it as sin in the clearest and strongest possible terms.

100% of the verses referring to God’s ideal for marriage involve one man and one woman.

100% of the verses referencing parenting involve moms and dads with unique roles (or at least a set of male and female parents guiding the children).planned

0% of 31,173 Bible verses refer to homosexual behavior in a positive or even benign way or even hint at the acceptability of homosexual unions of any kind.

* The three general types of pro-gay theology people: 1. “The Bible says homosexuality is wrong but it isn’t the word of God” (obviously non-Christians) 2. “The Bible says it is wrong but God changed his mind and is only telling theological Liberals” (only about 10 things wrong with that) 3. “The Bible is the word of God but you are just misunderstanding it” (Uh, no, not really.)

If you really love people you won’t lie to them about this and more:

  1. That their behavior is rebellion against God, but forgiveness and and healing are possible through Jesus.
  2. They were not “born that way,” and even if they were that wouldn’t excuse them from acting on their impulses.  Things like sexual attraction can and do change.
  3. That gays have 40+ times higher rates of Syphilis and HIV, partly because 62% of men who know they are HIV-positive have unprotected sex with men.

Good for the Methodists!

They finally did the right thing and properly disciplined a rogue pastor who was shaking his fist at God, the Bible and the Methodist Book of Discipline by performing “same-sex marriage” rights.  Via Renegade United Methodist Pastor Suspended:

Given the pridefully defiant note Schaefer decided to take – so that he was described by the Rev. Chris Fisher, counsel for the church, as being very explicitly “unapologetic and committed to disobeying the Book of Discipline” again in the future – this penalty amounts to a permanent defrocking of Schaefer, unless he has a sudden, dramatic change of heart. But the penalty is also structured to make it clear that if he is permanently defrocked, it is his own choice.

This penalty sets an important precedent for other pending church trials in the UMC.

I’m hoping that they see how easy that was and discipline others in the same way.

Will Methodists regret Obamacare support?

“Bible-believing Methodist leader” isn’t a complete oxymoron yet, but it is getting close.  If it weren’t for the few Bible-believers I know I’d have nothing but Schadenfreude about this: UMC’s Obamacare Support Comes Back to Bite Them.

In March of 2010, a deal was struck with House Democrats that allowed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare” as many have taken to calling it, to pass. In the moments before its passage, then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi spoke on the House floor to thank supporters of the push for health care reform. As the IRD noted at the time, Pelosi specifically thanked the United Methodist Church (UMC): “Our coalition ranges from the AARP…to the American Medical Association, the Catholic Health Association… the United Methodist Church, and Voices of America’s Children.”

Yes, the national leadership of the Methodists, in one of the many reasons they are my former denomination, blindly supported Obamacare even though they, like Pelosi et al, hadn’t read it.  Talk about blind faith!

Perhaps it’s easy then to feel a bit of schadenfreude with the news that the same law the UMC pushed to passage in the name of providing health care may rob their employees of their health care. The UMC’s General Board of Pensions and Health Benefits has announced that lay employees and clergy may lose their health care coverage once the law goes into effect, due to the fact that the Affordable Care Act does not extend to church employees the same benefits that other low and moderate earners receive.

Obama granted relief to the wonders of Obamacare in Congress and to other cronies, but apparently isn’t extending that to the wolves in sheep’s clothing in Leftist denominations.

. . . But more importantly, has the UMC or the PCUSA pushed for changes in the law to help the thousands of small business owners who will be forced to comply with onerous regulations? Or does changing the law only matter when their bottom line is at risk?

It was easy to blindly support it when it was a feel-good exercise that cost them absolutely nothing.

Less than a month before then-Speaker Pelosi praised the UMC for their advocacy for the Affordable Care Act, the Speaker made an even more famous and controversial remark: “…[W]e have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.” Well the bill passed with the loyal support of liberal churches, and now they’re finding out what exactly they got.

I hope they get what they deserve, but I feel for the innocent people affected by their sins.

Roundup

Strange: Most gun violence occurs in liberal hotbeds – so the solution is to just take guns from Liberals.  Oh, wait, those areas tend to have the most restrictive gun laws.  Maybe the solution is to give guns to Liberals.

Are you a Christian woman who has had an abortion? – a very important message for anyone involved in the abortion process (or any other sin, for that matter).  One of the most important things that Pregnancy Resource Centers do is to offer post-abortion counseling.  Contrary to the myths of the world, they are full of grace and good news.

New York Fires Auditor Who Found Abuse of Federal Hurricane Sandy Funds – your leaders at work.

Pro-choice or pro-abortion?

I used to say “pro-choice” to be charitable to them, even though they would call me “anti-abortion” instead of “pro-life.”  (Why yes, I am anti-abortion!  Thanks for noticing.  I think everyone should oppose killing innocent but unwanted human beings).

But now I just call them pro-abortion.  Why?  Because the Democrats’ platform is specifically pro-taxpayer-funded abortions.  If you force pro-lifers to pay for abortions then you aren’t pro-choice, you are pro-abortion.  If you think one of the problems in society is that there aren’t enough abortions and we must pay for more with taxes, then you are pro-abortion.

The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay. We oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right.

Shameful United Methodism —  The UMC Board of Church and Society and the United Methodist Women’s Division issued a rah-rah celebration memo about Roe v Wade.  If John Wesley were here he would never stop throwing up. If I had known their history ahead of time I would never have joined the UMC, and I am so glad I finally left after 16 yrs. I applaud those who stay and fight for the truth. But if you are there and not fighting, you are part of the problem.

One positive bit of news: they got hammered on their own blog with 9 out of 10 comments strongly criticizing the post.  They had to shut down the comments!  If you are so inclined, go there and “vote up” the 9 pro-life comments to help send a message.

They bizarrely referred to “reproductive justice” when rationalizing the crushing and dismembering of innocent human beings.  If abortion isn’t unjust then nothing is.  Reproductive justice is when you don’t kill the unwanted unborn child who has already been reproduced.

They hypocritically pretended to care for the health issues of blacks when they are aborted at a rate 3x that of whites.

They have the nerve to say, “Conduct careful analysis of the church’s support for crisis pregnancy centers that may not offer all options of counseling,” which is code for “don’t support pregnancy centers because they won’t recommend abortions.”  But CPCs share the Gospel and help women in need – for free!  Only those on the side of Satan could oppose those.  And there was no mention of the horrors found at countless abortion clinics – and I’m not even talking about the dead babies.  If they are really about helping women and not just pro-abortion shills, why not demand “safer” abortions?

They aren’t even trying to hide their bias any longer.  If you only consume the mainstream media then you are part of the problem and almost surely misinformed.

The president who came into office speaking in lofty terms about bipartisanship and cooperation can only cement his legacy if he destroys the GOP. If he wants to transform American politics, he must go for the throat. …

Obama’s only remaining option is to pulverize. Whether he succeeds in passing legislation or not, given his ambitions, his goal should be to delegitimize his opponents. Through a series of clarifying fights over controversial issues, he can force Republicans to either side with their coalition’s most extreme elements or cause a rift in the party that will leave it, at least temporarily, in disarray.

The author of this bellicose, hyperpartisan diatribe is John Dickerson, political director for CBS News.

Woman Behind Roe v. Wade: “I’m Dedicating My Life to Overturning It” — I saw her speak once at a Care Net pregnancy center banquet. Very enlightening and quite a character!  The abortionists just used her for their agenda then discarded her.

You Can Change Our Culture’s Mind on Abortion – It takes work, but there are lots of great resources out there.

Problems with pro-gay theology and Yes, God is still speaking — through his written word.

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This was originally part 4 of a 5 part series I did on the problems with pro-gay theology.  I was reminded of it when refuting the UCC “God is still speaking,” slogan used by false teacher Chuck “Jesus is not the only way” Currie and others who dislike gays so much that they refuse to tell them the truth about what God’s word says.

The UCC doesn’t have a monopoly on bad theology — though not for a lack of effort! —  as the example below is one of the bad Methodists (maybe we could trade all our extreme liberals for the seven orthodox believers remaining in the UCC?).

Read it for an analysis on the many flaws with the belief that God is changing his moral laws and only telling Western Liberals who don’t believe that He got the Bible right in the first place (so you can totally trust them to be his current prophets!).  I wonder what standard they use to know if it is God speaking and not Satan?  I would use his written word, but they don’t trust that.  But you can be sure they know the difference, right?

—–

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 5

Pro-gay theology tends to fall into one of three categories.  They are all wrong, but for varying reasons.  Sometimes they overlap categories.  Today we cover the final line of thinking.  Then I’ll have a summary post.

  1. The Bible is either not the Word of God, or most parts of it aren’t.  This view claims that we can ignore the probitions against homosexual behavior because they were written by homophobic Jews.
  2. The Bible is the Word of God, but it doesn’t really say homosexual behavior is wrong.  This view holds that people just aren’t reading the Bible properly, and that God’s Word is actually affirming of gay relationships.
  3. The Bible is the Word of God and does clearly and emphatically condemn gay behavior as sinful.  However, the Holy Spirit has given additional revelations such that this behavior is now acceptable.  This view holds that God has changed his mind on this moral issue and not only is it now acceptable, but it is sinful if you don’t affirm this behavior and same-sex relationships.

The third view attempts to affirm scripture but makes a major theological mistake afterwards.  Think about the premise: God is allegedly overturning a moral law and simultaneously making it immoral to quote the Bible.

One denomination has a slogan that “God is still speaking.”  This would be true provided that it meant that God still speaks through his Word.  However, liberal theologians tend to use this phrase to mean that God is changing his moral laws.

Some people appear to believe in Dalmatian Theology, the false notion that the Bible is only inspired in spots and that they are inspired to spot the spots.  That is the first error above.  However, those in this third category appear to hold to Advanced Dalmatian Theology, where God is also changing spots and adding/removing spots, and, oddly enough, He is only telling theological liberals and progressives.

This category overlaps a bit with those who don’t think He communicated his laws in a discernable way in the first place (i.e., in the Bible), but they now think He is communicating with Swiss-watch precision to them.

Here’s an example: A Methodist pastor named Laurie Hays Coffman did a pro-gay theology piece that made the argument that she wants to “unfurl our corporate sails to catch today’s winds as the Spirit blows afresh.”  She said she was challenged by the vision God gave to Peter in Acts 10-11 where God makes it clear that the Gospel is for the Gentiles, too, and that the Israelites’ ceremonial dietary laws are no longer in force.

Her reasoning is that in the same way that God overturned those laws that He is now overturning the prohibitions against homosexual behavior.

The problem is her poor Biblical analysis.  There are at least nine things wrong with this view:

  1. The person with the revelation was Peter, one of Jesus’ inner circle and a key leader in the early church.  It wasn’t made to you, me or someone like Ms. Coffman.  That doesn’t mean God couldn’t reveal something important like this to us, just that it is highly unlikely.
  2. The visions were clear and emphatic.  Peter was given the vision three times.
  3. Peter was inclined to reject the meaning of the vision, whereas these pro-gay theologians have views on human sexuality that are virtually indistinguishable from the prevailing culture and they are glad to accept this “new revelation.”
  4. There was external validation for Peter from the Roman centurion.
  5. This lesson showed up in the Bible, not outside it.  I’m not saying miracles don’t happen outside the Bible.  It is just that things appear in the Bible for a reason.  God communicating that the ceremonial laws had been fulfilled was one of those “big deals.”
  6. This vision overturned a ceremonial law, not a moral law.  There are zero examples in the Bible of God reversing his moral laws.  In fact, the more Jesus talked the stricter the laws seemed to get, because He emphasized the spirit of the law and not just the letter (i.e., lust was akin to committing adultery, anger was akin to murder, etc.).  The dietary laws never applied to Gentiles.
  7. The “God has changed his mind view” is primarily being “revealed” to theologically liberal Christians in the U.S. . . . the very ones who often deny his Word to begin with!  So we can’t trust the accurate transmission of the original writings but we can trust their new revelations?  Go figure.
  8. If God is revealing a change, why is it necessarily more liberal?  Why couldn’t God make his laws more stringent?
  9. The Bible gives strong warnings not to add or take away from its teachings.

And here’s a repeat from yesterday: Even some pro-gay theologians agree that the Bible has straightforward commands, but they appeal to “experience” over Scripture.  Luke Timothy Johnson said:

I think it important to state clearly that we do, in fact, reject the straightforward commands of Scripture, and appeal instead to another authority when we declare that same-sex unions can be holy and good.

There are simply no good reasons to believe that God is changing his moral laws (dropping those against homosexual behavior and adding those saying not to preach against it) and only informing selected people (as opposed to the Apostles and their direct followers) through revelation or “experience.”

Again, consider that:

  • 100% of the verses addressing homosexual behavior denounce it as sin in the strongest possible terms.
  • 100% of the verses referencing God’s ideal for marriage involve one man and one woman.
  • 100% of the verses referencing parenting involve moms and dads with unique roles (or at least a set of male and female parents guiding the children).
  • 0% of 31,173 Bible verses refer to homosexual behavior in a positive or even benign way or even hint at the acceptability of homosexual unions.

Let me point you again to the introduction to ensure you understand my perspective.  I think we should treat homosexuals with the same love and respect we’d extend to anyone else.  But we should not edit the Bible to match our culture and we should not condone false teachers.  God’s way is the best way.  I don’t mean that as a sound bite.  It really is the best way to live life – now and for eternity.

Comments are welcome, but please stick to the topic.  We aren’t debating secular views, we aren’t demonizing anyone (pro-gay or orthodox) and we don’t need straw-man arguments (“You just don’t love them,” etc.).

Remember, if homosexual behavior is a sin – and I believe the Bible clearly identifies it as such – then affirming and encouraging that behavior is also a sin and providing the orthodox Biblical view is the loving thing to do.

Roundup

Now here is a good use of taxpayer funds (seriously, we need more humor like this):

Hat tip: Biblical Christianity

That is almost as good as this old favorite:

Abortionist distraught over killing wrong twin — He would have been fine if he had done it “right” and killed the child with Down Syndrome.  Such moral schizophrenia.

From the “I am not making this up category” comes unisex restrooms for public schools.

Transgender students must be allowed access to the bathrooms that correspond to their gender identity or expression or, if they prefer, to existing single-stall bathrooms.

Christian “music star” now lesbian — I might have put the quotes around Christian instead of music star, but whatever.  Sadly, she trotted out the lame shellfish argument, which is full of holes but is appealing to many because so few bother to study the passages. I address five serious problems with it in flaws of the shellfish argument.  I am so tired of the deliberate ignorance people use to distort Christianity and teach whatever they like.  It isn’t that hard to study the Bible.

She wants to dismiss Leviticus 18:22 (You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination), so does that mean the verses before and after are outdated as well? (“You shall not give any of your children to offer them to Molech, and so profane the name of your God: I am the Lord. . . .  And you shall not lie with any animal and so make yourself unclean with it, neither shall any woman give herself to an animal to lie with it: it is perversion.)

Obama’s back-alley healthcare — not enough doctors, forcing un-qualified people to administer care, etc.

Why would any church have Shelby Spong speak there, let alone “preach?”  Sadly, a United Methodist church is having him do just that.

A controversial bishop who denies belief in a personal deity will speak at a Madison church on Sunday. Retired Episcopal Church Bishop John Shelby Spong will lecture on the divinity of Christ at First United Methodist Church.

Spong, who has denied the deity of Christ as well as his bodily resurrection and virgin birth, plans to give two lectures on April 10th, as well as preach on April 11th. His views contradict the teachings of the United Methodist Church and of all traditional churches.

Bishop Spong’s former diocese in the northern half of New Jersey shrunk by 40 percent under his helm, a pattern of decline typical of ultra liberal churches.

What do you call an organization that brings in someone to speak on the divinity of Christ who doesn’t believe in the divinity of Christ?!  Non-Christian.

Methodist Bishops wrong again

Fresh off Jim Winkler’s abuse of the story of the Good Samaritan, we have this: God’s Renewed Creation: Call to Hope and Action — A Pastoral Letter from the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church. These leaders embarrass themselves and the denomination over and over again.  (Please note that these are just the U.S. Bishops.  In my experience the International Bishops are more orthodox.  And as always, I’m grateful that my local church has sound theology.)

Once again, I am not anti-environment.  Two of my cars get 33-35 mpg, I have recycled newspapers for almost 40 years and I constantly minimize waste, among many other things.  But I find the shrill and un-thinking environmentalism espoused by these Bishops and other extremists to be counterproductive, and I am most concerned about their abuse of scripture to advance their political agenda.  

Here are selected portions of this announcement.

First, let us orient our lives toward God’s holy vision. This vision of the future calls us to hope and to action. “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope” (Jeremiah 29:11). Christ’s resurrection assures us that this vision is indeed a promise of renewal and reconciliation. As disciples of Christ, we take God’s promise as the purpose for our lives. Let us, then, rededicate ourselves to God’s holy vision, living each day with awareness of the future that God extends to us and of the Spirit that leads us onward.

Go read Jeremiah 29:11 in context, or even just verse 4: “This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon . . .”   It has nothing to do with some generic promise to all people or even Christians.  It is a specific promise for a specific group (the Israelites taken into captivity by the Babylonians) at a specific time.   God’s plans for those who die without trusting in Jesus do not involve increasing their welfare or giving them a future with hope.  It will be an eternity in Hell.  Under no circumstances is this some kind of catch-all verse to share with people.

The Bishops completely misunderstood their foundational verse.  I’ve misinterpreted verses before, including that one, but (1) I’m not a group of 50 Methodist Bishops, (2) I am not speaking for the denomination, (3) I’m correctable and (4) I don’t take verses out of context to support my political views.

Did none of the Bishops realize how this verse was taken wildly out of context (bad),  did they not care (bad) or both (really bad)?

We practice social and environmental holiness by caring for God’s people and God’s planet and by challenging those whose policies and practices  neglect the poor, exploit the weak, hasten global warming, and produce more weapons.

Do they really challenge those whose practices neglect the poor and exploit the weak?  What have they done in, say, North Korea or Iran?

What do they do for the pro-life cause?  What could be more neglectful or exploitive than destroying unwanted human beings who are the weakest of all?

Have they not read that the global warming power grab was a fraud?  They need to pray for the spiritual gift of discernment.

Weapons protect people.  The Bishops should read Romans 13.

For example, in the Council of Bishops, the fifty active bishops in the United States are committed to listening and learning with the nineteen active bishops in Africa, Asia, and Europe. And the bishops representing the conferences in the United States will prayerfully examine the fact that their nation consumes more than its fair share of the world’s resources, generates the most waste, and produces the most weapons.

Maybe they should share our economic model (pre-Obama) that generated the amazing wealth in the U.S. — you know, the wealth we’ve shared with the rest of the world.  Economics is not a zero sum game.  Sure, some cheat, but if you provide superior service and products with efficiency you can win.  There is nothing un-Biblical about that.

We pledge ourselves to make common cause with religious leaders and people of goodwill worldwide who share these concerns. We will connect and collaborate with ecumenical and interreligious partners and with community and faith organizations so that we may strengthen our common efforts.

I see that 2 Corinthians 6:14 doesn’t mean much to these folks: Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?

We pledge to advocate for justice and peace in the halls of power in our respective nations and international organizations.

Really?  What are your plans for Iran and N. Korea? 

Ecumenical and interreligious partners persist in demanding the major nuclear powers to reduce their arsenals, step by verifiable step, making a way to a more secure world totally disarmed of nuclear weapons.

Again, what are their plans for Iran and N. Korea?  Naiveté is not a spiritual gift.  It can be deadly.

There is nothing wrong with a message of reduce, reuse, recycle.  But the church should focus on its real purpose first.  This announcement by the Bishops is just more left-wing politics disguised as religion.

I wish these Bishops put this much energy into sharing the Gospel.  I’d like to ask each one individually when they last shared the real Gospel with someone — including the key points about their sin nature and need for a Savior, and how Jesus is the only way.

Note: Comments are welcomed, but instead of theological liberals just telling me I should leave the denomination instead of criticizing it, how about actually addressing my arguments?  For example, if you think the Bishops’ take on Jeremiah 29 is more accurate than mine, please explain why in detail.

Hat tip: Mark at Chester Street

Another reason it is hard to stay in the Methodist church

The pastors at my church are excellent and there are good things going on around the world, such as with our orthodox friends in the Kenyan church.  But the national leadership in the U.S. is awful and there are many Methodist churches I wouldn’t send my dogs to.   They are more charismatic in their style, anyway (No offense to my charismatic friends, just a throw-away gag.  I know we tend to be boring worshipers!).

Jim Winkler, General Secretary, General Board of Church & Society, who is staunchly pro-legalized abortion, is a perfect example of what is wrong with the denomination:

The provision of health care for all without regard to status or ability to pay is portrayed in the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:24-35). In a conversation that began with the question of how one might obtain eternal life, Jesus asserted that one must love God and one’s neighbor. In response to the next question as to who one’s neighbor is, Jesus told of a Samaritan, an outsider, who coming upon a wounded traveler, provided him with health care. Jesus described the duty to provide health care as owed regardless of the merit or ethnicity of the person in need, and owed to the limit of one’s economic capacity. By the way, this is from #3201, “Health Care for All in the United States,” 2008 Book of Resolutions of The United Methodist Church.

Twisting the Parable of the Good Samaritan to support universal health care — including government funding of the crushing and dismemberment of innocent human beings who are clearly our neighbors —  is scrip-torture of the highest degree. 

Note how Winkler and the like ask Caesar to take money  — by threat of force, loss of property or imprisonment — from neighbor A to give to neighbor B and then audaciously consider themselves to be the Good Samaritan in the story.  How charitable of them.  Go release some endorphins, folks!

Of course, the real Good Samaritan gave his own time and money, and without coercion.  Winkler-types aren’t even in the story.  They would be a new character, petitioning Caesar to force the Samaritan to help and taking away his opportunity to be loving and generous.

Also note his closing comment:

Any congregation that doesn’t seek health care for all of the uninsured should be sued for malpractice!

I’d say that any congregation seeking glory for asking the government to take money from one group to “care” for another should be sued for malpractice.  And I put care in quotes because Winkler & Co. consider this to be health care.

P.S. Winkler’s implication that doing good deeds merits eternal life is bad theology as well.

Some good news out of the Methodist Book of Discipline

Bishop Timothy W. Whitaker is one of the bright spots in the Methodist Church in the U.S.  In the midst of so many false teachers he continually speaks the truth in a compelling way.  His comments on the UMC progress on the issue of abortion are encouraging:

The 2008 General Conference of The United Methodist Church took a step toward greater moral seriousness when it amended the denomination’s Social Principles on abortion.

 Paragraph 161 J in the 2008 Book of Discipline contains important additions: “The Church shall offer ministries to reduce unintended pregnancies,” and “We affirm and encourage the Church to assist the ministry of crisis pregnancy centers and pregnancy resource centers that compassionately help women find feasible alternatives to abortion.”

Also see Something only a committee could create: The United Methodist abortion position.

Church membership in the U.S.

church.jpgYou don’t want to read too much into church growth stats.  False teachers, prosperity preachers and cults can grow and those speaking the truth could shrink if people don’t want the truth.  But if you are doing things well you should probably be growing.

Many denominations are continuing to lose members.  The United Methodist Church dropped by 0.8% in the last year.  Sadly, cults like Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses are growing.  They are aggressively evangelical and do more for a lie than most Christians do for the truth.  The last figures I saw were that Mormons send the same number of missionaries out as Methodists do, even though we are 30 times as large. 

It is so important that we become equipped to reach out to people in various world religions.

The biggest drop by far was in the United Church of Christ (Pres. Obama’s denomination), down a full 6%.  Must be the ejector seats.  It is hard to believe that they’d be in decline with “leaders” like Rev. Jeremiah Wright and his messages of love and false teachers like unrepentent liar Chuck Currie preaching sermons about the virtues of Charles Darwin (and not mentioning Jesus) and teaching how Jesus is not the only way to salvation.

This is just the U.S., though. The Christian church is growing significantly in many parts of the world.

United Methodist Conference wrap-up

umc-cross.jpgThe 2008 United Methodist General conference had generally good news for orthodox Christians along with some bad news.  The May 3 entry here has a good summary under the heading of Legislative Update.

The Bible lists greed, envy, gossip, slander, lust, gluttony, coveting, jealousy and more as sins (everybody squiriming now?).  It also notes that homosexual behavior is a sin.  The difference is that we don’t have groups in favor of the first list of things disrupting the General Conference and tarnishing the denomination. 

The pro-GLBTQ (gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender/questioning) theology groups disrupted the conference as usual with help from some conference leaders who failed to perform their duties.  Here’s some background from news releases:

In an act of witness in front of delegates to the 2008 United Methodist General Conference, more than 200 people declared that the denomination’s policies and practices against homosexuality are “sinful” and that “sexuality is a gift from God.”

To say that “sexuality is a gift from God” and use it to support behaviors the Bible clearly describes as sinful is simply wrong.  Using that reasoning one could support every perversion known to man. 

And to say the UMC policy is “sinful” seems rather odd to me.  What is their standard for sin?  If they claim it is the Bible, how could upholding the word of God be a sin as defined by the word of God?  The burden of proof is on them to prove from the Bible  that the behavior they are encouraging is truly a “gift from God.”

The 15-minute demonstration was in reaction to the April 30 decision to retain the denomination’s decades-old proscription in the Social Principles and other parts of the Discipline describing homosexual practice as “incompatible with Christian teaching.”

Delegates voted 501-417 to keep the stance and also passed a resolution against homophobia and heterosexism, saying the church opposes “all forms of violence or discrimination based on gender, gender identity, sexual practice or sexual orientation.”

One witness, speaking on behalf of the protesters, told the General Conference that when The United Methodist Church refuses to accept and honor everyone’s call to professional ministry, it refuses to abide by the rules of Methodism’s founder John Wesley: do no harm, do good and stay in love with God.

That is a non-sequitor.  There are all sorts of people whose “call to professional ministry” shouldn’t be honored.  These enemies of the Gospel speak in generalities, but if you just peel back a layer and fill in some specifics it is easy to show where their reasoning fails.  To claim that those adhering to the Book of Discipline on matters of sexuality are refusing to abide by the rules is morbidly ironic.

Krumbach declared that the “anti-gay policies of The United Methodist Church are wrong and sinful in the sight of God” and in the act of witnessing “we reject the lie that homosexuality is a sin and that by standing, we affirm that sexuality is a good gift of God.”

That is a lie.  Our policies aren’t anti-gay, they affirm gay people as having worth and decry violence against them.  The policies just line up with the Bible, which is kinda clear about homosexual behavior being sinful.  After all:

  • 100% of the verses addressing homosexual behavior denounce it as sin in the strongest possible terms.
  • 100% of the verses referencing God’s ideal for marriage involve one man and one woman.
  • 100% of the verses referencing parenting involve moms and dads with unique roles (or at least a set of male and female parents guiding the children).
  • 0% of 31,173 Bible verses refer to homosexual behavior in a positive or even benign way or even hint at the acceptability of homosexual unions.

So if you want to have a “church” based on pro-gay theology then that is your right.  Just don’t pretend to be intellectually honest and claim that you are in concert with the clear teachings of the Bible.  Part of the problem is that so many people haven’t studied the passages in question.  This is really not a difficult thing to prove.

Our pastor, Chappell Temple, was quoted at length in various articles about the conference.  He is the brilliant, loving leader of Lakewood United Methodist Church who has studied this issue extensively and has had the courage to speak the truth about it.  I pray that the apostate Bishops and leaders in our denomination will be convicted by his words and that orthodox Bishops and leaders will be encouraged to speak the truth in love as well.  Too many of our denominational leaders love the world more than the love God, and the behavior at the conference was exhibit A.  I praise God for people like my pastor.

The Rev. Chappell Temple of the Texas Conference said there were numerous delegates who were “dismayed, saddened and outraged” at the act of witness. People are questioning whether such action would have occurred if the General Conference would have changed its stance on homosexuality, he said.

Bishop J. Lawrence McCleskey, the presiding bishop prior to the action, halted the legislative assembly and recessed the conference. Chappell said, “He should have said those wishing to leave can do so. We were held captive. The altar was desecrated; the singing was presumptuous, self-righteous and accusatory.”

While noting the pain resulting from the church’s decision and stance, Temple also said it was wrong to lay guilt on those trying to follow Christ and listen to Christ. “I understand that the (act of witness) was a compromise, and what was allowed was simply blackmail, it was extortion” and was disrespectful to people of different views.

“For a person to give a long, one-sided speech, and for a bishop to speak and call for reconsideration, goes against everything that we hold together and as holy covenant,” he said.

During the witness, Krumbach said the voices of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer people have not been heard, but Chappell disagrees. “They have made witness the entire week,” he said. “No one is happy about where we are, and their demonstration implied that somehow we’ve heaped burning coals on them.”

Delegates, he said, are trying to hold the church together “not for artificial unity, but for a unity of heart that strikes at the very root of Christian conference.”

I couldn’t be more proud of my pastor, and I pray that God will lift up other courageous and orthodox pastors as well.  I know that will impact his popularity with many people in positions of power.

Satan has a foothold in the UMC, as evidenced by the support of so many national leaders who stood in solidarity with both the disruptive pro-gay theology groups and the pro-abortion groups.  Weak church discipline has allowed these false teachers to gain positions of authority, but it isn’t too late to save the UMC. 

I also appreciate Bishops such as Lindsey Davis:

I think the church is right. I think we are very much in sync with historic Christianity and very much in sync with 99.9 percent of Christians in the world,” he said. “I make no apology for our position. It is biblical, and it is in keeping with 2,000 years of Christian tradition.

The U.S. church continues to shrink but it is growing around the world.  Praise God that the growing African churches, for example, tend to be much more orthodox.  My trips to Kenya confirmed this for me.  We had the opportunity to worship and interact with countless Kenyan Christians and they are much more orthodox and evangelistic than the average U.S. congregation.

We need to remember that God wins in the end and our duty is to be faithful to his word today.

Additional information

Responding to pro-gay theology – the best piece I’ve read on the topic.  Very thorough, readable and compassionate.

Problems with pro-gay theology – a series I did last year on the various ways these groups misuse and/or misinterpret the Bible.

Sickening

pro-choice-baby.jpgUpdate: While the vote to eliminate the RCRC relationship failed narrowly (52-48, I think), there was some good pro-life progress at the convention.

As the United Methodist General conference proceeds, one of the inititatives is to end an alliance with the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, one of the most sickening organizations I’ve ever seen.  I mean, I’m not surprised with secular organizations like Planned Parenthood being pro-abortion, but the religious types in favor of abortion really bother me. 

The only reason the partnership wasn’t killed at the 2004 conference was due to some serious lying about the RCRC’s views.

(By the way, the picture to the right is not RCRC related and is actually pro-life.  It says Now that I’m safe I’m pro-choice and points out how no one inside the womb is pro-legalized-abortion.)

The RCRC site has deceptive slogans such as “Trust women”  and “Abortion is between a woman and her God” followed by “What does your religion say?”  Mine says that regardless of how much you trust someone she should not have her unborn children killed, and that if you ask God if you should have an abortion He’ll say, “No.”  (Unless your own life is at stake.) 

Then there is the picture with a lady holding a toddler and a “prayerfully pro-choice” sign.  Some things you just don’t need to pray about.  It seems weird to say, “Dear Jesus, I don’t want to be pregnant.  Should I pay a stranger to crush and dismember this living human being inside of me?  Amen.”  Do these people seriously think God answered their prayers in the affirmative?  (“Yes, I created the universe and everything in it and I created you and your unborn child.  But I’m all out of ideas on how to help you in your current situation, so by all means, go ahead and have the abortion.”)

The most morbidly ironic picture says, “All life is sacred.  What does your religion say?”  I guess they have never seen an ultrasound before, because those human beings look really, really alive to me. 

One UMC Bishop, Beverly Shamana, who is a disgrace to Methodism, Christianity and rational thinking, had this to say, among other nonsense (emphasis added):

Basic to the values we hold as United Methodists is the belief that women are capable decision makers regarding their bodies and the gift of childbirth. For Christians, choice is a central tenet of our faith and a gift of God. From Genesis onward, God offers the freedom of choice to the human family.

Sure, lady.  The Bible is all about giving you the choice to destroy your family members.  That bit of “reasoning” supports infanticide, gender selection abortions, euthanasia and who knows what else (although mercifully they usually use anesthesia for the elderly). 

GBCS [the General Board of Church and Society] serves, in part, “to bring the whole of human life … into conformity with the will of God” (¶1002, 2004 Book of Discipline). While no one can presume to fully know God’s will, as Christians, we believe the life and sacrifice of Jesus Christ teaches us that God honors and values each person as worthy of an intimate relationship with God.

As with most pro-legalized-abortionists she begs the question and assumes that the unborn aren’t human beings worthy of protection.  It is the typical anti-science view.

And while we don’t know God’s detailed sovereign will, He went to great lengths to share his moral will with us.  Here’s part of it: Don’t murder.

This passage comes to mind when thinking of the pro-abortion religious folks such as this Bishop:

2 Corinthians 11:13-15 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve. 

The RCRC has special programs for the black church, which is not surprising given that the rate of abortion in the black community is 3x that of whites.  But it seems to me that black churches would realize that the RCRC is the enemy who is helping to destroy their folks at a faster pace than the KKK ever dreamed of.

Side note: Interestingly, the pro-abortion and pro-gay theology protestors at the conference seem to be well united.  Go figure.