A Gracious Exit Plan

Next weekend the Special Session of the General Conference will begin for the United Methodist Church. There has been a lot said about the One Church Plan, the Traditional Plan, and the Connectional Conference plan. But there has not been much discussion about what happens in the event of a church split.

Currently, the Book of Discipline, the lawbook for the denomination, has something called the Trust Clause. You may be wondering what that means exactly. Briefly, the trust clause says that even though the local church holds the deed to the property the church is on and the building itself, it is held in trust for the United Methodist Church Denomination. Now, what does that mean? Basically, if a church leaves the denomination, the denomination keeps the property. The local church loses everything.

I am sure that there were good intentions when this practice began, but today it seems that it could be used as a weapon against local churches. This is especially true in a time when the church is poised to make a decision that could say we no longer believe the Bible at all on human sexuality, marriage, and the qualifications of ordination. For that matter, it is a vote that says the church may no longer believe what the Bible says about sin in general.

There have been petitions added to either suspend or do away with, the trust clause during this time of uncertainty on the way forward. There are rumors that this type of plan will be the only thing to pass during the General Conference next week.

In my opinion, this needs to happen regardless of the voted plan. The United Methodist Church is increasingly abandoning the teachings of Scripture and I am sure there are probably many local churches that would pull out if they could without the legal implications of the trust clause.

Is Baptism Part of Salvation?

I have heard it argued that people take the third chapter of John’s Gospel, the story with Nicodemus, and use it as a claim for baptism being necessary for salvation. The claim is that water birth in the chapter is actually baptism. However, a simple and logical look at the passage will show us that this is not the case at all. Let’s take a look at John 3:1-6


Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.


John 3:1–6, ESV

Verse 1: We are introduced to Nicodemus and that sets the stage for the conversation he is about to have with Christ.

Verse 2: Nicodemus is searching for truth and tells Christ he knows that He is of God.

Verse 3: Jesus said you cannot enter the Kingdom of God unless you are born again.

Now, we need to stop for a minute because this is key. Born again. Born a second time in some way. Nicodemus understood that Christ meant a second birth but he does not understand how this is possible which brings us forward.

Verse 4: Nicodemus, confused by the born again, asks if we are somehow to reenter the womb.

Verse 5: Jesus answers saying that you must be born of water and spirit.

Now, the spirit is the second birth, the water is clearly the first birth. That is the logical progression Jesus is following. Yes, Nicodemus, you were born the first time of water (womb) but this new birth, the born again, is a spiritual, not physical, birth.

Verse 6 further confirms this interpretation by saying flesh is born of flesh and spirit is born of spirit. Water is interchanged with flesh but spirit remains. Why? Because water is talking about physical birth, not baptism.

That is the full context and proper interpretation of this passage. It has nothing to do with baptism and baptism certainly is not required for salvation.

Infanticide: Born-Alive Bill Fails Unanimous Consent

In recent days we have been talking about abortion and infanticide, but something has happened that is truly reprehensible. Senator Ben Sasse, a staunch Pro-Life Republican, introduced a bill called the Born-Alive Bill. The bill is simple. If a baby is born alive from a failed abortion, it must be given medical care as any other child would be given.

Senator Sasse brought the bill to the Senate Floor and asked for unanimous consent for passage. This should have been a no-brainer. It is a non-partisan issue. It is common sense. But it did not pass with unanimous consent. Why? Democrat Senator Patty Murray of Washington objected to the bill.

The bill is not dead but must now go through a lengthy process to make it back to the Senate Floor. But this shows the steadily falling morality of the United States.

They can claim that abortion is not murder. The Bible disagrees. Psalm 139 tells us that we are knit carefully in our mother’s womb. But we are not talking about abortion. We are talking about killing, likely by neglect, a born baby. This they cannot argue is not murder. It is the killing of a born child. The Ten Commandments clearly forbids this.

We live in a scary time. We must speak up for truth. We must pursue truth. We must proclaim the truth.

Focus on the Family is starting a new initiative. That is the Declaration of Life. It is a statement, a petition that you can sign to say that you support pro-life. This is in direct response to New York’s abortion bill.

I encourage you to visit their site and to sign the petition. Also, contact your representatives to let them know that you want them to stand for life.

You can find out more about supporting pro-life initiatives by getting Focus on the Family’s Dignity of Human Life Toolbox.

Praying For the Special General Conference

It is no secret that I have been very outspoken regarding the General Conference that will take place in less than two weeks for the United Methodist Church. I firmly believe that there is only one biblical viewpoint on this issue. Currently, the United Methodist Church has it correct, homosexuality is not compatible with Christianity. It is sinful. This makes the General Conference of utmost importance.

Christians everywhere, not just United Methodists, should be in prayer during this time as one of the larger denominations in the United States goes through this battle. It is a battle. This is not a political disagreement, though that is part of it, it is a spiritual war.

Satan is trying to get a grip on the church. He would like nothing more. It is a crucial point. But it is not a moment to compromise. It is a moment to stand firm on the truth of Scripture and not give in to the desires of the culture. That is what we are called to do as Christians, stand on the Word of God.

Unity is the buzzword of the day, but real unity only comes when Scripture guides our every action. We must pray for the delegates. We must pray that the higher leadership of the United Methodist Church returns to a Scriptural viewpoint and standing. We must pray for those who are wrestling with what to do if the denomination leaves the biblical viewpoint.

It is a trying time. May we look to the Lord for guidance and an understanding of His Word, and the courage to follow it.

One Passion Ministries: The Men’s Bible Study

Dr. Lawson leads the Romans Study

Over the last couple of years, I have had the privilege to be a part of the Men’s Bible Study led by Dr. Steven J. Lawson. We have been going through a verse by verse study of the book of Romans. While we may not be moving through Romans fast, I assure you that this has been one of the most profitable Bible Studies I have ever participated in.

Dr. Lawson brings clarity to the Word like few others are able to do. He has focus and drive and his passion for the Word of God shines through with each session. You will find yourself immersed in the book of Romans and gaining insights on how this great masterpiece fits in with the whole of Scripture.

The Men’s Bible Study meets regularly. The physical group meets at Herb’s House in Dallas, TX but you can enjoy the study online via Livestream. All of the studies are recorded so you can go back and watch them again and again.

I encourage everyone to watch videos of this study. You will be challenged in your faith and grow in your knowledge of Scripture.

Late-Term Abortion

First, I want to say that I do not support abortion of any kind. To me, it is playing God and that is not our role. Are there tough choices with regard to the life of the mother or in cases of wrongdoing against the woman? Sure, but those are the rare exception and not the rule.

Abortion has been in the public discourse for decades since the decision of Roe v. Wade. That decision was an overstep by the Supreme Court and a slap in the face to the Creator. But the abortion debate has turned more evil that I had imagined in the last few weeks.

We already have seen New York pass a bill that allows abortion to the point of birth. After the passing of that bill, we have had a firestorm of comments, but the most chilling came from Virginia.

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam said the following:


“The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired. Then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam

Make no mistake what he is saying here. They would allow the born child to die if that is what the parents wish. This is meditated murder. There is no other way to put it. It is infanticide. It is killing a human being even by the court standard of Roe v. Wade. It is unfathomable.

Exodus 20, and many other places in Scripture make it very clear that the taking of human life is against God’s laws. It is against the very basic principles of the right to life. The Declaration of Independence guarantees that basic fundamental right.


We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

The Declaration of Independance

Has our nation really gotten to the point that we do not even recognize this basic right and freedom? God help us.

A Response To: “Be Careful Using The Bible”

An article titled “Be Careful Using The Bible” was published this week on the United Methodist news site. The article is troublesome as it shows a clear lack of exegetical and hermeneutical understanding that is so rampant in liberal circles. Moreover, it shows how an improper understanding of the Bible and improper Biblical interpretation can lead to justifying sinful actions.

The article was written by Rev. James R. McCormick who is a retired United Methodist pastor from Cumming, Georgia. His abuse of Scripture in the commentary is deplorable and this article is a response to the misuse and apparent misunderstanding of Scripture.

The premise of the article is this:


In studying the Bible, it is necessary to realize that often God is cited as supporting whatever values are normative at that time in history. Those are “timely” standards — standards valued for a time — but not necessarily “timeless” standards that are applicable for all time and all circumstances.

This, of course, is true for some things found in Scripture such as the civil laws given to Israel to govern Israel. That was for a specific time and specific people. However, this principle is not true for the moral standards that we find in Scripture. Moral standards are timeless.

We see the error of this thinking in the examples that are given. The first being Abraham and Hagar.


Remember that the Bible affirms Abraham having sexual relations with Hagar, Sarah’s maid, in order to produce his first son, Ishmael. Only later did Sarah produce Isaac, through whom Jews trace their ancestry.

I must ask Rev. McCormick, where in Scripture does it affirm Abraham having relations with Hagar? Where does it state that this is ok? It does not say anything of the sort. This was Sarah’s idea, not the Lord’s plan. In fact, we see in Scripture the opposite of affirmation for this act, we see the consequences of the sin as it tears the family apart and causes division. In no way was this a moral standard for that time to take multiple wives. In fact, this actually affirms the moral standard we see throughout Scripture that marriage is for one man and one woman.

Rev. McCormick tries the same tactic with the 1,000 wives of Solomon. Again I must ask, where is this affirmed in Scripture? Where is this sanctioned? It is not.

Continue reading

On Leaving This Life

This week we have been celebrating the life of a family member that has gone home to be with the Lord. I was able to speak at the funeral and remind people that being a good person, being loved by those around you, or being special, does not get you a ticket into Heaven. Only faith in Christ earns you that right.

It is through Christ alone that we are able to obtain salvation. There is no other way. You can’t get there by Allah, Buddha, the sun, or any other “god” or belief. You must have faith in Jesus Christ.

Unity For The Sake of Unity?

In the ongoing drama leading up to the United Methodist Church’s Special Session of the General Conference next month one argument that we have seen over and over is that the church needs to stay unified above all else. But is that biblical? I would argue that it is not.

The United Methodist Church has a major problem. That is that they have forsaken the authority of Scripture. They are trying a different way. They succumb to culture and the ideas of men rather than the ideas of God. If they were not, there would not be the issue that they currently find themselves in.

Nevertheless, we are told that the church needs to find a way to unify under what they agree upon. But Scripture disagrees. Scripture tells us in several places that when people come up with unbiblical doctrine we are to have no partnership with them (Ephesians 5:7). Paul says to Titus the following:

As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him.

Titus 3:10 English Standard Version

Have nothing more to do with him. Does this sound like unity above all else to you? No, it doesn’t. That’s because we are not to let false doctrine and unbiblical teaching infiltrate the church. That is why the Traditional Plan needs to pass for the United Methodist Church.

The cry here is that the progressives will leave the church if the Traditional Plan passes. To that, I say, “AMEN!” Let them leave! The church needs to undergo purification and these false teachers and proponents of sin need to be moved out of the church.

Now I want to be very clear, I am not saying we should not witness to the LGBTQ crowd. But they are not to have a place in the church. That is not even to say they cannot attend church. But under no circumstance should their sin be welcomed, celebrated, and advocated for, it should be dealt with as any other sin.

LGBTQ persons who are practicing and not trying to mortify that sin are not to be considered for the clergy according to Scripture. They are not to be married according to Scripture. Churches, Districts, Conferences, and Bishops that seek to do those things have no place in the church universal and need to be dealt with.

Does Inerrancy Matter?

This is a question that comes up over and over again. The simple answer is, yes, inerrancy matters. But why? This post will not go into the intricate details of inerrancy. This is not the proper format for such an undertaking. The purpose here is to look at some logic regarding the truth of Scripture and the issue of inerrancy.

The Bible is to be the guiding light for Christians. The Bible gives us the truth on every facet of life that you can imagine. Now, it doesn’t give us guidance on whether or not we should wear a purple shirt or a green shirt today, that is not what we mean when we say every facet of life. But what we mean is that every situation you encounter has principles in Scripture that will help you work out a right attitude and response to that situation. And this is where inerrancy comes into play.

First, we need to define inerrancy as it relates to Scripture. The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy defines inerrancy as follows:

Scripture is without error or fault in all its teaching…

The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy 1980

Scripture is without any error in everything that it teaches. That means it is without fault in its historical statements, theological statements, scientific statements, and any other statement the Bible makes. This, of course, refers to the original manuscripts and not any specific translation of Scripture.

So what? Why does this matter? Let’s think about it this way, if you can take any part of the Bible, let’s say Genesis, and says that it contains error, then you call the rest of Scripture into question. Scripture builds on itself. Yes, it is a collection of 66 different works but those works (books) give one unifying message and they stand on each other.

If you can call into question the account in Genesis, you can call into question the accounts of Jesus Christ. At that point, you call into question the exclusivity of Salvation for Christians and Christians alone. After that, you can throw out any part of the Bible that does not agree with modern thought.

It is a dangerous slope. You either take all of Scripture or you throw it all out. Inerrancy is one of the most fundamental beliefs that impact the Gospel today.