A Response To: “Be Careful Using The Bible”

An article titled “Be Careful Using The Bible” was published this week on the United Methodist news site. The article is troublesome as it shows a clear lack of exegetical and hermeneutical understanding that is so rampant in liberal circles. Moreover, it shows how an improper understanding of the Bible and improper Biblical interpretation can lead to justifying sinful actions.

The article was written by Rev. James R. McCormick who is a retired United Methodist pastor from Cumming, Georgia. His abuse of Scripture in the commentary is deplorable and this article is a response to the misuse and apparent misunderstanding of Scripture.

The premise of the article is this:


In studying the Bible, it is necessary to realize that often God is cited as supporting whatever values are normative at that time in history. Those are “timely” standards — standards valued for a time — but not necessarily “timeless” standards that are applicable for all time and all circumstances.

This, of course, is true for some things found in Scripture such as the civil laws given to Israel to govern Israel. That was for a specific time and specific people. However, this principle is not true for the moral standards that we find in Scripture. Moral standards are timeless.

We see the error of this thinking in the examples that are given. The first being Abraham and Hagar.


Remember that the Bible affirms Abraham having sexual relations with Hagar, Sarah’s maid, in order to produce his first son, Ishmael. Only later did Sarah produce Isaac, through whom Jews trace their ancestry.

I must ask Rev. McCormick, where in Scripture does it affirm Abraham having relations with Hagar? Where does it state that this is ok? It does not say anything of the sort. This was Sarah’s idea, not the Lord’s plan. In fact, we see in Scripture the opposite of affirmation for this act, we see the consequences of the sin as it tears the family apart and causes division. In no way was this a moral standard for that time to take multiple wives. In fact, this actually affirms the moral standard we see throughout Scripture that marriage is for one man and one woman.

Rev. McCormick tries the same tactic with the 1,000 wives of Solomon. Again I must ask, where is this affirmed in Scripture? Where is this sanctioned? It is not.

Continue reading

Unity For The Sake of Unity?

In the ongoing drama leading up to the United Methodist Church’s Special Session of the General Conference next month one argument that we have seen over and over is that the church needs to stay unified above all else. But is that biblical? I would argue that it is not.

The United Methodist Church has a major problem. That is that they have forsaken the authority of Scripture. They are trying a different way. They succumb to culture and the ideas of men rather than the ideas of God. If they were not, there would not be the issue that they currently find themselves in.

Nevertheless, we are told that the church needs to find a way to unify under what they agree upon. But Scripture disagrees. Scripture tells us in several places that when people come up with unbiblical doctrine we are to have no partnership with them (Ephesians 5:7). Paul says to Titus the following:

As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him.

Titus 3:10 English Standard Version

Have nothing more to do with him. Does this sound like unity above all else to you? No, it doesn’t. That’s because we are not to let false doctrine and unbiblical teaching infiltrate the church. That is why the Traditional Plan needs to pass for the United Methodist Church.

The cry here is that the progressives will leave the church if the Traditional Plan passes. To that, I say, “AMEN!” Let them leave! The church needs to undergo purification and these false teachers and proponents of sin need to be moved out of the church.

Now I want to be very clear, I am not saying we should not witness to the LGBTQ crowd. But they are not to have a place in the church. That is not even to say they cannot attend church. But under no circumstance should their sin be welcomed, celebrated, and advocated for, it should be dealt with as any other sin.

LGBTQ persons who are practicing and not trying to mortify that sin are not to be considered for the clergy according to Scripture. They are not to be married according to Scripture. Churches, Districts, Conferences, and Bishops that seek to do those things have no place in the church universal and need to be dealt with.

LGBT And the United Methodist Church

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.

The Weight of Our Sin

Sin is a topic that is often discussed in theological circles, as it should be, but often we do not contemplate the weight of our sin. Romans 3:23 informs us that all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory. But what does that mean? How bad is it to fall short of that glory?

We know that the shortcoming that is our sin causes us to deserve death (Romans 6:23). It is a judgment and a sentence that is reserved for the most heinous of crimes in human laws, but it is given to even the “smallest” of offenses in the Law of God. Continue reading