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Thoughts on the Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace Through Separation

Thoughts on the Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace Through Separation

By now most people have heard about the proposal coming from leaders in the United Methodist Church regarding the separation of the denomination over issues of homosexuality. It is being called the Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace Through Separation. It is being heralded as a great compromise for an impossible situation. But I wanted to give a few thoughts on it.

First, why is it that those who are staying true to the teaching of Scripture and the United Methodist Church, which still holds homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching, are the ones who are being forced out? Why should those who do not want to follow Scripture and defy the church the ones that get to keep the church? I’ve read articles about this very thing and none of them hold any logic that falls within the realm of reality.

Second, why are we earmarking so much money for social justice issues in this proposal? I have a real problem with the idea of reparations and that is exactly what this proposal includes, to the tune of $39 million dollars. This money is to support communities “historically marginalized by racism.”

Third, for churches who just want out of anything to do with United Methodist this plan is a non-starter. Yes there is a traditionalist denomination that would be started. But for those who have issues other than just human sexuality with the church this does not help us. If we wanted to join a different denomination, or just be independent altogether, we must go through the same exit plan that there is now and must obtain the approval of our annual conference. This, as every other plan, leaves the local church virtually powerless.

On the other hand, the plan is not finalized. It will be debated, discussed, and amended. So there is hope that the plan can be improved to help “the little church” that just wants a clear-cut exit. Only time will tell.

Teaching Through The Gospel of John

Teaching Through The Gospel of John

I am excited to announce that I will be teaching John’s Gospel verse by verse starting in January.

John’s Gospel is one of the most theologically rich, if not the most theologically rich, books on the person of Jesus Christ. In John, we find the explicit declarations that Jesus is God. He is Lord over all of creation. He took on the establishment of religion in Judaism and turned it upside down. He challenged false teachers in the Pharisees head on.

In John’s Gospel, we see Jesus as Creator, Redeemer, and Friend. In John, we have the “I am” statements of Christ. We have the sign miracles that show his power over creation, over the Sabbath, over sin, over mankind. In John, we see the disciples struggle to understand and grapple with their Master’s teachings. We see the work on the cross.

In John, we see the glorious doctrines of grace. We see how God orchestrates our salvation. We see how God chooses His elect. We see the definite atonement of Jesus Christ on the cross as our substitute. We see the effectual calling of God to those He has chosen to be given to the Son. And finally, we see the preserving grace of the Father that none who are given to the Son will be lost.

But most importantly, we see “The Word became flesh.” What a great truth and comfort to know that Jesus Christ, God, came to this earth to dwell among us. He knows what we go through, he knows how we live, because he was with us for 33 years on this earth.

I have often said that if I could only have two books of the Bible to read and study it would be John’s Gospel and Paul’s letter to the Romans. The amount of theology in these two books alone is enough to study for a lifetime. So I am greatly excited about teaching through this book.

I have been asked how long this study will take. The honest answer is, “I have no idea.” I will be in this book until we are finished. Looking forward to it. The study will also be recorded and posted as a podcast. Details coming soon!