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Don’t Leave?

Don’t Leave?

I read an article the other day regarding the United Methodist Church titled “Don’t Leave.”

The article is arguing against the inevitible split of the United Methodist Church and the Protocol for Separation. I understand the sentiments of the article. They do not want their church to split up. They want their church to find a way to reconcile. But they take it a step further…

Don’t leave.  It’s a sin.

Nathan Decker

Don’t leave, it is a sin? My question to Pastor Decker is where do you get this idea? Where do you get the idea that to leave an apostate church is a sin? Where do you get the idea that the United Methodist Church must continue in the discord that it has had when the parties are at irreconcilable differences?

On one hand, you have a group of people and churches that want to uphold the Scripture on the issues of human sexuality. Then there is another group that just dismisses those passages as cultural issues. These are polar opposites. One is biblical, the other is sinful man’s idea of justice.

The point I would like to make is that for those who hold to the biblical view, we must leave. It is not just good for us to leave, it is commanded. Paul says in Titus 3:10 that we are not to have anything else to do with the one that stirs up division.

The LGBTQ agenda has been stirring up division for decades. They are militant in their views. Yes, they should be the ones to leave but they will not. Traditionalists have no choice but to leave. It is unfortunate. But the United Methodist Church has chosen its path. The Bishops refuse to uphold the discipline so those who stay within its guidelines have no choice. Go elsewhere.

J.D. Greear and Gender-Neutral Pronouns

J.D. Greear and Gender-Neutral Pronouns

J.D. Greear (courtesy of jdgreear.com)

I have been meaning to write about this for quite some time and just have not gotten around to it. But it was widely reported back in November 2019, that Southern Baptist Convention President, JD Greear, has called for the use of Gender-Neutral Pronouns to be more hospitable to those who call themselves transgender.

When I first read this I assumed it must be some sort of joke or satire. But it was not. It was published on Greear’s website as well. So I decided to look more into what Greear actually has said and what he is advocating for.

First, he does state that gender is determined by DNA:

The real answer is genetics: However things look on the outside, sex (male/female) is hardwired into our DNA.

J.D. Greear

However, Greear qualifies this by going into modern-day qualifiers that muddy the waters. He then goes on to describe intersex individuals, which is a known anomaly but definitely not the normal course of events in human DNA and makeup.

And finally, he gets to Gender Pronouns. What are we to do with pronouns for people who refuse to acknowledge, or are confused about, the sex that they have been given by God? Here is what Greear says:“When we apply Paul’s linguistic approach to the pronouns we use about transgender people, I believe we arrive at a posture of pronoun hospitality: a willingness to accommodate the pronouns of our transgender neighbors regardless of our own views about the Christian ethics of gender identity” (11.10).

Based off of Acts 17

J. D. Greear

So Greear goes the “hospitable” route on gender pronouns. But why? Why should we do this?

In this position, Greear misses the mark of biblical fidelity. If we allow people to use preferred pronouns, as opposed to the pronouns that actually describe their gender, we are allowing them legitimacy in their sin. People who support this viewpoint can say that is not the case but it is. Why would you let someone continue in the lie that they portray every time they say they are something that they are not? There is simply no justification for it other than to say you have sold out to the culture.

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.

The Insane Child Abuse of LGBT

The Insane Child Abuse of LGBT

Back in October I mentioned the case of James Younger in my sermon on Reformation day. For those who do not know, James is a 7-year-old boy who has a divorced mother and father. His mother is trying to transition James into a girl named Luna by chemically castrating the boy and giving him hormone therapy. There is no indication that James wants this done or feels like he is a girl. Even if he did exhibit that, it doesn’t change the fact that he is a boy and should be raised and treated as a boy.

At the time of my sermon in October, a jury had ruled in favor of James’ mother that she should have sole custody over James and all decisions related to his life and health. A judge overruled the jury and put a stop to the ruling.

Now, Christian Post reports that the judge is being removed from the case. The removal of the judge was due to much political maneuvering and some twisting of facts, and the denial of the judge’s right to free speech. All of that is for another discussion at another time.

But the real issue here is what is going on with James and his parents. His father rightly wants him to be treated as the boy he is in reality. His mother is living in a fantasy world where she wants a little girl. It is abusive to pump chemicals into a child to try and change who they are biologically. This is true child abuse yet the liberal left celebrate this as progress? It is disgusting, it is sinful.

As believers, we should not be surprised by this. Romans 1 says they are going to be given up to their dishonorable passions. This is what is happening in the case of James Younger. The culture is going to what is dishonorable. It is leaving the natural order and defying God.

My heart breaks for little James and his Father. Pray that truth and justice prevail in this sad story.

Bishops Continue To Defy Scripture

Bishops Continue To Defy Scripture

On Reformation Day I sent a letter of rebuke to the Council of Bishops of the United Methodist Church. It is time that the Bishops either enforce church policies and uphold Scripture, or the Council needs to be done away with. They must be disciplined. But over the weekend, instead of moving back towards the Scriptures and enforcing the policies of the church, five Bishops have said their conferences will be a safe haven for LGBTQ.

It is no surprise that this comes out of the Western Conferences of the United Methodist Church. After all, in the Mountain Sky Conference they have Karen Oliveto, the first openly homosexual Bishop of the church.

As I said in my letter on October 31st, every day that Oliveto remains on the Council of Bishops makes a mockery of the church and defies Scripture. She must be removed immediately. The church must immediately hold trials and enact church discipline against Oliveto and other Bishops that are “championing” this cause.

The Bishops seem to act as if they are surprised that the UMC is barreling forward towards a denominational split in May. Why should this be a surprise? They are defying the Scriptures. If anything, they should expect this.

What is worse, Kenneth Carter, the current President of the Council of Bishops, has suggested that there be an immediate moratorium on trials against LGBTQ issues and that there should be a future conversation on the relaxation of the trust clause.

The real tragedy in all of this is that it is obvious this could all be about money. Let’s face it, the Bishops want to force churches to stay. If they lose churches, the denomination loses income. If the denomination loses income, who will fill the purses of the Bishops? By the way, Bishops make over $100k a year!

They ignore Scripture. You cannot legitimately claim that Romans 1 is discussing a cultural issue. Paul clearly states that homosexuality is against God and the laws of nature. Yet, here we are with a major church pushing to accept sin as normal. This must stop!

Methodist Bishops Must Be Disciplined

Methodist Bishops Must Be Disciplined

Part of the folly of the United Methodist Church is the spineless Council of Bishops who refuse to uphold scripture and the UMC Book of Discipline. This is despite the vote that happened at the Special General Conference in February. We are fully prepared to see this same battle next May. We saw this on full display this past week in the Greater New Jersey Conference. Bishop John Schol proclaimed, and even celebrated, that he will not pass along any complaints regarding LGBTQ. Here is what he said:

Today, I take my own step, and I invite you to take a step with me. I will not forward complaints concerning homosexuality for trial. I will not participate in the ongoing harm and division of our church. I will not participate in excluding faithful United Methodists, faithful and fruitful LGBTQ United Methodists from serving God. I will not prevent caring, loving LGBTQ people who in the United Methodist tradition want to enter into a covenant with God and one another.

Bishop John Schol

This flies in the face of Church Doctrine and Scripture. Romans 1 makes perfectly clear that the LGBTQ lifestyle is sin. The Book of Discipline affirms this.

The United Methodist Church does not condone the practice of homosexuality and considers this practice incompatible with Christian teaching.

Book of Discipline 2016

If the Bishops are going to defy the discipline it is time that the members of the church who follow Scripture to file formal complaints. The time to act is now.

Please sign our petition to take formal action against Bishop Schol at https://www.change.org/p/united-methodist-church-united-methodist-church-bishop-disciplinary-action

Thoughts on the United Methodist 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.

Preaching In The Wake of GC2019

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

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.