Out of the three possible plans for a way forward, there is one that the Council of Bishops do not want to see pass, The Traditional Plan. The Traditional plan would almost guarantee a split in the United Methodist Church. Namely, churches that want to support the sin of the LGBTQ lifestyle will leave. Of course, some, myself included, would see this as a purification process for the church.
Simply put, the Traditional Plan (TP) would keep the current position of the United Methodist Church stating that homosexuality is not compatible with Christianity and that there is to be no LGBTQ clergy or weddings within the church. The TP would go further to add strict enforcement to the doctrine as well. Every annual conference will have to certify that they will uphold the doctrine or else they will be removed from the United Methodist Church. This includes clergy and bishops as well.
The TP upholds biblical standards with regard to homosexuality and LGBTQ positions. They are sinful and, as such, are not compatible with the Christian life or the Church. Romans 1 makes very clear how God views the LGBTQ lifestyle:
Romans 1:26-27 ESV
For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
The passions of the LGBTQ movement are dishonorable. They are unnatural. They are against God’s created order and they are sin.
Because of this truth, the Traditional Plan is the only biblical plan that is on the table for the 2019 Special General Conference and is the plan that I endorse.
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.
Next month the United Methodist Church General Conference will meet and make major decisions on the beliefs of the church regarding homosexuality and transgender issues.
In 2016 the regularly scheduled General Conference, which meets every four years, decided to punt the issue and form the Commission on a Way Forward. They also set a date for a special General Conference to meet in St. Louis, Missouri on February 23-26, 2019. You can read the commission’s full report by download it at the United Methodist Website.
The Commission has put forth three options for the General Conference to vote on. The Traditionalist Plan, The One Church Plan, and The Connectional Conference Plan. All three plans have their issues and it is yet to be seen how this will impact the denomination as a whole.
Last week, I published an article that stated this is a debate that should never have happened. But it is happening. Over the next couple of weeks, I will look at all three plans and try to explain the ins and outs of each plan as we look to the General Conference next month.
A news report recently came out that in Australia kids in grade school will be required to wear clothes from the opposite gender as well as other religions. According to the article, this is being introduced in 10 schools in Perth.
As the global morality continues to fall into chaos we must be on guard and defend truth.
With regard to gender, we must uphold the biological order. You are born with a gender. It is not something that you can choose. It is not a feeling, nor is it an emotion. You are either a man or a woman and your biology determines this. It is not something to be explored.
What needs to happen is this, if someone is confused about their gender, they need to be helped to see the truth. They do not need to be encouraged to destroy their life by making a series of bad choices because society wants to be accepting. They need the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
With regard to exploring other religions. This is the scarier of the two requirements in my opinion. Children should not be indoctrinated by the school systems. They should be brought up in their home. This is a great danger to Christian families who have impressionable children that go to one of these ten schools.
As Christians we must continue to stand for truth. We must share the truth of Scripture. Only Scripture should guide our decision making in these cultural issues. God help us.
In the State of California, a bill has passed the General Assembly banning the sale of any goods or service that would seek to correct the behaviors related to homosexuality or transgenderism. This is the latest attack from the LGBTQ lobby against anyone who would dare to stand in their way. Remember, “tolerance” is the word of the day as long as you hold to their worldview and their worldview alone. But as Bible-believing Christians we cannot hold to that worldview. It goes directly in the face of Scripture.