It was recently announced that the “traditional” answer to the United Methodist Church, the Global Methodist Church, will be officially starting in May of this year. They claim that they are fundamentally different and are fixing the errors of the UMC. But is that really true? I do not believe so.
The core problems of the United Methodist Church are not one of structure, though that is certainly a problem, nor are they the human sexuality issues of the culture today. The core problem of the United Methodist Church is that they do not stand on Scripture alone. It appears that this will also be the case in the Global Methodist Church which means that it is doomed to fail before it begins.
For example, the Global Methodist Church will still have women clergy despite this being prohibited by Scripture (Titus 1:5-9; 1 Timothy 3:1-7). This again is going on the tradition of Methodism, and not Scripture. So, if the Global Methodist Church is willing to compromise Scripture in favor of tradition, then how are they any different than the UMC? How will they not be in the same boat the UMC is today in five, ten, or fifteen years? I believe the answer is they will be in that exact same position.
Another problem I see is with Salvation. They literally list on their website the “Wesleyan Way of Salvation.” Friends, there is only one way of Salvation, and it should have no man’s name attached to it.
They also put extra emphasis on John Wesley, just as Methodism has done for decades. The fact that a denomination is so centered on one man, who is not named Jesus Christ, is troubling. Now, I am not saying that they do not follow Jesus. But he is not the sole focus. You can say that he is all that you want, but in actual practice, that is not true. Until the Global Methodist Church abandons everything but Scripture, they will continue to fall into error.
I may be missing something, and I’m sure people will be ready to tell me what I am missing (and that is ok!), but it seems to me that the GMC is just a rebranding of the UMC with the exception of the LGBT push and some changes to property.
People question the Inerrancy of Scripture and say that Scripture is not our final authority because much of it is not relevant today. We hear things like “Come on, it is 2019!” First, that is an absurd argument. The year may be 2019 but the Bible is still relevant. The Bible is still in force. Sin has not changed. Salvation has not changed.
But if we are not to look at the Scripture as our final authority, I must ask, what should we look at? What has more authority than Scripture for the Christian? Is it science which often changes and/or contradicts itself? Is it culture which changes as quickly as the wind? Is it reason that can explain and justify anything? Is it politics? What should we look to?
Do you see the absurdity of this? The only thing that we should be anchored in as Christians is the Word of God. After all, He made all that exists so I believe He is the most authoritative source on any given subject.
You would not go up to the maker of a machine and say, “What you use this for is not what this is meant for.” That would be absurd. But that is exactly what we do when we tell God that the Bible is no longer applicable today because it is outdated.
No, the Bible is God’s truth. The truth. We don’t get to make our own truth. The Bible Stands. I am reminded of the lyrics of that great song by the same name and I will leave you with them.
The Bible stands like a rock undaunted
’Mid the raging storms of time;
Its pages burn with the truth eternal,
And they glow with a light sublime.
The Bible stands though the hills may tumble,
It will firmly stand when the earth shall crumble;
I will plant my feet on its firm foundation,
For the Bible stands.
The Bible stands like a mountain tow’ring
Far above the works of men;
Its truth by none ever was refuted,
And destroy it they never can.
The Bible stands and it will forever,
When the world has passed away;
By inspiration it has been given,
All its precepts I will obey.
The Bible stands every test we give it,Haldor Lillenas “The Bible Stands” 1917 Public Domain
For its Author is divine;
By grace alone I expect to live it,
And to prove and to make it mine.
The Council of Bishops of the United Methodist Church has decided to advocate for an option called The One Church Plan. They argue that the plan allows the best way forward with minimal impact to the United Methodist Church overall. The following is my take on the One Church Plan after careful study of the commission’s report.
First, the One Church Plan, and the entire crisis itself, is based on a false pretense that the church has somehow been responsible for harming the LGBT community. This simply is not so. Those who practice an LGBT lifestyle harm themselves by going against God’s Word and the created order. Paul makes clear in Romans that the LGBT lifestyle is not natural. It is debased and dishonoring to God. Moreover, it is sinful.
Second, the theological proofing and basis for the OCP is not biblical.
Recently, I have been challenged with the question of whether or not Sola Scriptura, Scripture Alone, matters. The answer is, of course, YES! Sola Scriptura is a major issue that was really one of the crucial points of the Reformation.
The question is this, do we get truth from Scripture alone or are there other authorities? The Roman Catholic Church, for example, believes the church is the final authority and can overrule Scripture.
The reason this has come into question recently is because I was corresponding via email with the headquarters of a mainline denomination, I am not ready to mention the denomination yet, last week and asked about their position on ordaining women and how they could hold to that practice despite the blatant prohibitions in Scripture. Their answer terrified me.
In short, they said while Scripture is the primary source, it is not the only source and we must go with experience, logic, and reason as well as tradition. I am sorry, but that is not how it works. If we can throw out the writings of Paul, why not the writings of Peter? And if we can throw out the writings of Peter because they don’t agree with what we feel, then why not throw out the words of Christ? Do you see where this leads?
If Scripture is not the final authority you can replace it with whatever you please. In other words, there are no absolutes. Everything is fair game.
Sola Scriptura is vital.