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.
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.
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.
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  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.
Next month, the United Methodist Church will join several other mainline denominations in America to take up the task on what to do with the LGBTQ movement. Specifically, they will vote on whether or not to allow LGBT persons in the clergy. The problem is that this should not even be up for debate.
Scripture makes abundantly clear that the LGBT lifestyle is a sin. Romans 1:26-28 clearly tells us that this lifestyle is dishonorable, contrary to nature, and debased. It is not a lifestyle that is to be celebrated or elevated and it certainly has no place in the church.
Immediately this stance will raise accusations of bigotry and hatred but nothing could be further from the truth. While the church cannot and should not embrace the LGBT lifestyle, it should reach out to people who identify with that lifestyle with the love of Christ. The phrase love the sinner and hate the sin is more than appropriate in this instance. The church should reach out to the LGBT community with the truth of the Gospel.
What is that truth? We are all sinners, condemned to Hell. However, Christ came and died for our sins that we can be saved out of our sin and turn towards Christ to pursue a life of holiness. For the person who identifies as LGBT that means they can turn away from their sin just as any other person and the sin that they struggle with.
In other words, speaking out against the LGBT community lifestyle with the message of Christ is not a message of hate. It is a message of hope. The United Methodist Church needs to turn back to that message of hope without sacrificing the hatred of sin that we are called to have.