The (Sad) State of Christianity

I have been witness to things over the years that makes my skin crawl. The state of the church universal, but particularly in the United States and Europe, is appalling. 500 years ago, Martin Luther sparked a Reformation that would forever change the course of church and human history. His courage and steadfastness in his search for truth is inspiring and served the church well. God did, and continues to use Luther in a mighty way.

However, today we are in need of reformation again. The church is falling back into darkness. We see a renewal to have bonds with the Roman Catholic Church that continues in its heresy. We see the rise of LGBT sympathizers in the church defying God and His created order. We see prosperity gospel being preached through the lands. We see the gifts of tongues being abused and falsified.

While all of this is happening we see the church losing the culture. Christianity is no longer an acceptable position in the eyes of the culture. This is nobody’s fault but the church. We have lost our way. We are more worried about appeasing the lost rather than telling the truth to the lost. We cater our church services to the lost which leaves us with shallow theology in the service leading to theological illiteracy in the pew.

Scripture has also lost its place as the source of truth that we are to live by. Science, which changes frequently, has replaced the Bible. Evolution is the mantra of the day despite the fact it goes directly against logic and what the Creator has told us happened. Are we really that wise? No.

Paul tells us in Romans that because we defy God we are left to our own ways. Professing ourselves, the human race, to be wise, we are becoming fools.

Where is the church? Where are the godly leaders? Where is Scripture? Why are we not fighting back? Are we afraid? Or do we just not care?

Church it is time for a new reformation. We must bring back biblical standards and authority. We must bring back rich theology. We must rediscover that the church is to feed the believers so that we can go out and preach to the lost. Stand up church!

Thoughts on the United Methodist Church

I go to a United Methodist Church. I sometimes preach at a United Methodist Church. But I have real problems with the United Methodist Church.

This year at GC2019, the church decided to strengthen the ban on LGBT in the Book of Discipline. Of course, this should never have even been a question. Scripture is clear that practicing homosexuality, professing homosexuality, and anything else that falls within LGBT is sin. Romans 1 makes this abundantly clear as do other places in Scripture.

Yet, there is a large part of the United Methodist Church that seeks to ignore, twist, and distort these passages to fit their political views or to appease people, or to just not have to make the hard and tough decisions.

In the months following the February decision to enact the Traditional Plan, we have seen an active push from One Church Plan supporters, and other plan supporters to undermine the decision. There are active pushes to elect new delegates that would overturn the decision. There have been Judicial Council complaints. There has been flat out defiance and rebellion against the plan. So where does this leave us? What are we to do?

If the Bishops will not enforce the discipline, and, in fact, keep helping to undermine the duly passed Traditional Plan, then the United Methodist Church needs to dissolve or remove Bishops who will not enforce the polices of the church. Since the latter is not going to happen, dissolution is our only option.

Those who seek to follow the Bible cannot stay in fellowship with those who defy Scripture. 2 John 11-13 clearly states that we are not to maintain connection with those who do not follow Christ’s teachings in the church.

The UMC has come to an end. There is no unity. It is a false unity. Continuing with this broken fellowship, this unyoked fellowship, only hurts the body of Christ.

It is my recommendation that at GC2020 they just end it all. Let all the churches go their own ways and decide for themselves whether they will follow the LGBT culture, or follow God’s Word.

The Danger of Inclusiveness

Why is inclusiveness in the church a danger? Why are some against using the church service as an evangelistic tool primarily? Why are some against the “seeker-friendly” movement? It is because that is not the purpose of the church.

By allowing anyone to come in and join and preach and teach we allow people who are not grounded in the Word of God to influence the church. This is allowing false teaching a foothold.

The purpose of the church meeting is to disciple believers. It is not an outreach. Now, do not misunderstand, I am not saying that we should turn away non-believers. But they should be there to learn and nothing else. They should not be permitted to teach and preach.

We have to draw a line when it comes to the instruction of the body. There are rules laid out in Scripture for a reason. When the church seeks to win souls primarily from the pew they are ignoring the Great Commission to GO. It doesn’t say bring in, it says go.

John MacArthur got this exactly right when he said:

It is being scandalized by its tolerances, by its inclusiveness. It is kicking the door wide open and embracing anybody and everybody in the name of love and tolerance and openness.

John MacArthur

Should we love everyone? Yes! Should we reach out to the lost? YES! But should we want to allow anything in our churches in the name of tolerance, love, and inclusion? No. That is the true poison that will destroy churches.

Preaching In The Wake of GC2019

There have been a lot of things said about the United Methodist General Conference over the last couple of days. As you know by now, the Traditional Plan has been passed and, barring a Judicial Strikedown, will become church policy in January. For conservatives, like myself, this is a victory.

But how do we encourage members going forward? What will we preach on this weekend? Here is how I plan to preach this weekend.

I plan to preach the Word of God. I plan to be faithful to the text. I plan to decry false teachings. I plan to preach that we are to love LGBT people but not accept their sin. After all, that is loving.

In no way do we fear LGBT. In no way do we wish to push them out of the church. But in no way will we affirm sin either. It is loving to tell them the truth. It is loving to tell them what the Scriptures teach. It is loving to care about where they will spend eternity.

Friends, we must stay true to Scripture. Much Scripture was taken out of context. For example, Jesus did not say to not judge. That is taken out of context. Read the rest of the passage.

Jesus did not accept everyone as they are. No, He said to go and sin no more.

However, we are to do this with patience. After all, we cannot change anyone. Only the Holy Spirit can change others.

So that is how I plan to preach this week. Stand firm in the truth of Scripture and not the words of men. Preach the Gospel. Rebuke sin. Keep the faith.

People Are Broken

I recently read an article that suggests that humanity is not broken. That we are perfect just the way we are. I am sorry but that is not what Scripture tells us. In fact, it tells us just the opposite.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

Romans 3:23 ESV

We are not perfect. We are sinners. To suggest that we are perfect you must live blind to the things that go on in this world. Sin is abundant. We are a broken people.

This is what happens when we have a low-view of Scripture. When we don’t believe that Scripture is the Word of God. Everything becomes distorted. Lines are no longer visible. Everything is ok.

But we know that the Bible is the Word of God because of 2 Timothy 3:16. It does not say some Scripture is God’s, it says all Scripture. And that includes the passages that say we are not perfect just the way we are. We are broken.

The article was in direct relation to LGBTQ. In fact, the quote from the article says:

Because the truth is simple: We’re all divinely created. We’re perfect just the way we are. Me. You. Your annoying [edit] neighbor. All of us. We’re valuable.

God doesn’t love us in spite of who we are. He loves us BECAUSE of who we are. Gaiety & all.

There is, of course, some truth in this statement. Yes, we are all divinely created, all of us, and we are all valuable. That is not under dispute. But we are not perfect. And it certainly is not true that God loves us because of who we are. We are sinners. God only loves us because of who HE is.

Here I Stand: Traditional Plan Passes

Today the United Methodist Church stands on truth. Truth that God does not affirm the LGBT lifestyle and that they are not to be married nor have leadership positions in the church. This is biblical. This is truth.

I am reminded when Martin Luther was asked to renounce his stance on biblical truth in the face of more progressive theology. He said that he could not go against conscience. Then he said those famous words, “Here I stand, I can do no other.”

In the days and weeks to come, we will be attacked. We will be attacked saying that we are doing great harm to people who see themselves as LGBTQ. But that is not the truth. The truth is sin harms. We are showing love by showing we are not going to allow the sin to reign but beg you to come to repentance.

Traditionalists Do Not Hate LGBT

Yesterday’s vote to not pass the One Church Plan out of legislative committee was a definite victory for advocates of the Traditional plan. In the aftermath, attacks from LGBT supporters have been nonstop talking about the hate of the Traditionalists toward LGBT. This could not be further from the truth.

Traditionalists do not hate LGBT. We love our LGBT friends but that doesn’t mean we let our friends continue in sin. Think of it this way. If you stopped someone from rushing off a 1,000-foot cliff does that mean you hate them? Of course not. But that is exactly the logic that LGBT is using to say traditionalists hate them.

Traditionalists hold Scripture in the highest authority. Scripture tells us that LGBT behavior is sinful and, as the UMC Book of Discipline states, it is not compatible with the Christian life.

This is not just LGBT. This is any sin. We are called in 2 Timothy 4:1-5 to preach the word and to reprove (correct false teaching) and rebuke sin. That is what the traditional crowd is working towards. It has nothing to do with hate. If anything, it shows our love for LGBT by wanting them to come to a place where they are free from sin.

A Sad Display

The General Conference for the United Methodist Church has been going on for a couple of days now. The first day was a “Day of Prayer.” However, the day was politically charged.

One scene that was particularly disturbing is shown in the picture below.

Yes, that is the LGBT flag front and center at the General Conference with no penalty.

Here is the problem. At this moment, this behavior is against the church discipline. Why are they not being expelled from the conference? Why is this being tolerated? This is in addition to the plain fact it is against the Word of God.

The United Methodist Church Bishops are pushing the inclusion of the LGBT movement into the church despite it being clearly sinful in Scripture. Much to their surprise, I am sure, the One Church Plan did not even receive 50% of the vote in the prioritization process.

Do No Harm

As the General Conference is now underway for the United Methodist Church, we are seeing lots of activity and pleas for each of the four major plans that have been put forward by the Commission on the Way Forward. In many of the petitions that have to do with including LGBTQ persons in ministry and marriage, we have often heard the motto “Do no harm.” But let’s think for a minute about what that actually means.

The LGBTQ supporters use the motto of doing no harm as a way to say you must include us. You must let us live our lifestyle. You must accept us. However, I would argue that is actually doing harm if that were to happen.

If you allow someone to continue in open sin. If you accept their sin and endorse it you are doing harm. You are doing harm to the person engaged in the sin by not telling the truth of Scripture. You are endangering their soul. You are doing harm to yourself by endorsing and therefore being implicit in their sin.

Not allowing LGBTQ marriage or ordained ministers is not doing harm. It is sticking with the truth of Scripture. It is following the words of Christ and the Word of God.

The example of Jesus has been referred to a lot in this debate. “Jesus accepts everyone” is what they say. Jesus was kind and loving to sinners, that is true. But he did not ignore their sin. He tackled it head on.  Look at the woman at the well in John 4.

Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.”

John 4:16-18 ESV

Jesus called her sin out for what it was. He did not condone it. He did not allow it. He told her she must change and follow Him.

Calling sin what it is and not accepting it as something ok to do is how we do not do harm. We must do it in love but we must not compromise either.