Answering Will Willimon

An article was recently published at Religion News with the contents of an interview with Retired United Methodist Bishop, Will Willimon. The article was intended to give some sort of understanding to liberals for what transpired at the General Conference in February. It was a list of reasons as to why the UMC will never unite. But I would contest it is people like Will Willimon that are actually holding the church back.

The bishops labored for two years and came up with these three plans and backed the One Church Plan (which would allow local congregations to decide about LGBTQ ordination and marriage) and pushed that. But the General Conference seems united: We don’t trust bishops.

– Will Willimon

The first problem is that Willimon puts too much emphasis on the Bishops of the United Methodist Church. The Bishops Council, as a whole, is completely out of touch with the majority of the members of the denomination. It is no wonder why they were so surprised when the One Church Plan did not even make it out of legislative committee.

If that unity is disrupted, that puts us back to where we’ve always been: That’s a gathering by Christ of all kinds of people that make up the church.

– Will Willimon

The major mistake Bishop Willimon makes in this statement is that he mistakes what it means for Christ to gather up all kinds of people. Christ does not gather up all kinds of people in the sense he is trying to express and the progressive branch of the church is trying to express. Christ only gathers up the elect. People who are saved, repentant, and seeking to follow Him by making Him Lord of their life.

My message to students is, “If you ever wonder why God calls people like you in the ministry, look at the General Conference. God has called you to save us, redeem us, lead us. Now step up and lead.”

– Will Willimon

This quote is dangerous. Only one can save. Only one can redeem. There is no salvation in any but Christ. There is no redemption in anyone but Christ. There is no direction in anything but the Word of God. That is the problem. A departure from the Word of God.

In a separate article actually penned by Willimon we see something much more diabolical and a man in need of spiritual renewal.

At some point I shifted my own prayers to, “Lord, please melt the hardened hearts and smite everyone who intends to vote against the One Church Plan.”

– Will Willimon

That is right. A retired bishop actually prayed that God would smite those who opposed the one church plan. He prayed that God would smite me. How does this fit in with loving your neighbor? How does this create unity? How does this show the love of Christ?

Will Willimon should be stripped of any and all privileges the church gives him until he repents and he has also shown he is not fit to teach in seminary as well.

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 Gracious Exit Plan

Next weekend the Special Session of the General Conference will begin for the United Methodist Church. There has been a lot said about the One Church Plan, the Traditional Plan, and the Connectional Conference plan. But there has not been much discussion about what happens in the event of a church split.

Currently, the Book of Discipline, the lawbook for the denomination, has something called the Trust Clause. You may be wondering what that means exactly. Briefly, the trust clause says that even though the local church holds the deed to the property the church is on and the building itself, it is held in trust for the United Methodist Church Denomination. Now, what does that mean? Basically, if a church leaves the denomination, the denomination keeps the property. The local church loses everything.

I am sure that there were good intentions when this practice began, but today it seems that it could be used as a weapon against local churches. This is especially true in a time when the church is poised to make a decision that could say we no longer believe the Bible at all on human sexuality, marriage, and the qualifications of ordination. For that matter, it is a vote that says the church may no longer believe what the Bible says about sin in general.

There have been petitions added to either suspend or do away with, the trust clause during this time of uncertainty on the way forward. There are rumors that this type of plan will be the only thing to pass during the General Conference next week.

In my opinion, this needs to happen regardless of the voted plan. The United Methodist Church is increasingly abandoning the teachings of Scripture and I am sure there are probably many local churches that would pull out if they could without the legal implications of the trust clause.

What Changed? Homosexuality No Longer A Sin?

As we look forward to next month’s Special General Conference of the United Methodist Church regarding human sexuality, I have one simple question, what changed? If the current doctrine of the church, which should be based on Scripture and Scripture alone, says that homosexuality is incompatible with Christianity, then what changed?

What in Scripture has changed to make this debate come to the floor? What Greek, Hebrew, or Aramaic term changed its definition so that the interpretation of thousands of years is suddenly incorrect? What has changed that has made the church realize that all of a sudden LGBTQ is compatible with Christianity?

Of course, the answer is that nothing has changed. If the church allows LGBTQ pastors and marriages it is not because something has changed with God’s view on the matter. It is not because Scripture was wrongly interpreted. It is not because Scripture has changed. It is not because the Holy Spirit is leading that way.

If the United Methodist Church embraces the LGBTQ lifestyle it is because they have departed from God’s Word. It is as simple as that. The church would no longer be following God. The church would no longer be pointed toward Christ Jesus. Instead, it would be pointed and aligned toward Satan and the work of fallen mankind.

The only thing the church can do next month is to adopt the Traditional Plan. There is no other option that is compatible with God’s Word. Not the One Church Plan, not the Connectional Conference Plan. Only the Traditional Plan upholds the biblical view on the matter.