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!

A Letter to the Council of Bishops of the United Methodist Church

To the Council of Bishops of the United Methodist Church:

It is in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ that I write to you today. 502 years ago today, Martin Luther stood up against the Church to speak out against unbiblical teachings and practices that had entered into the church. This culminated with the nailing of his 95 Theses on the Castle Church door in Wittenberg, Germany. Today I write with that same spirit of Luther.

I have not been a member of a United Methodist Church very long. However, I have seen enough in the past year and a half to be greatly disturbed at the corruption of the denomination and the lack of leadership by your council.

This past February we had the Special General Conference (GC2019) on a way forward regarding the status of LGBT in the life and practice of the United Methodist Church. That whole debacle was a disaster. There were no winners. Only losers. There are many reasons for this but a primary reason is your lack of leadership and your cowardice to not defend Scripture and enforce the Book of Discipline.

The Book of Discipline makes very clear, as does the Holy Word of God, that homosexuality is incompatible with Christianity. Nothing has changed except for a culture that is moving away from the Scriptures. Yet, there are forces within our denomination that wish to bend to that culture because it is convenient. This is a work of Satan himself.

You have allowed yourselves to become a tool of the serpent, the great deceiver. You have refused to enforce the Discipline to the point that there is even an openly gay Bishop, Karen Oliveto. Every day that she continues to sit on the Council without disciplinary action against her, those that allowed her to be voted in, the Council itself, and her Annual Conference, is a mockery to both the United Methodist Church and to the Holy Scriptures.

The encouragement of the One Church Plan and trying to force-feed those who wish to be faithful to the Scriptures this new doctrine based on culture and not the Word of God is a stain on the Council. You are supposed to be spiritual leaders. Instead, you are cowards that bend to cultural peer pressure.

With regard to the election of Oliveto, it is disgraceful. Church law dictates that she is outside of the Book of Discipline by being an openly professing and practicing homosexual. She should not only be removed from the Council of Bishops, she should be removed from any office of the United Methodist Church, immediately.

With regard to the 2020 General conference, there have been reports that there is an active push to elect progressive delegates that will work to overturn the decision from GC2019. There have even been reports that openly gay delegates have been selected. These delegates should not be allowed to vote as they are openly defying the Book of Discipline and Scripture.

It is the inaction and cowardice of the Bishops that have brought the denomination to the brink of schism. Why do the Bishops not have the courage and integrity to enforce the Discipline? Why do we even have church policies if they are just going to go ignored? Worse, why do we have certain Bishops, such as John Schol and others, who are actively working to undermine the Discipline and the vote of the General Conference?

Any Bishop who refuses to enforce the Discipline should resign or be removed. They have no business being in a leadership position in the church. They are a disgrace to the church and are at enmity with the Scriptures.

Paul said in the book of Romans chapter one that homosexual relationships are dishonorable and contrary to nature. He later states that they will receive due penalty for their sin and explains later that this penalty is death. The Bible has not changed so why are we even entertaining the idea that the Methodist church should change? Are we no longer faithful to the Scriptures because the culture tells us to bow down?

Why are we not standing when commanded to bow down like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego? Are we not willing to be cast into the world’s fiery furnace?

It is past time for the Bishops to choose this day whom they will serve. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

In The Name of Our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ,
David Taylor Jr.

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

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.

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 Sad Display

The General Conference for the United Methodist Church has been going on for a couple of days now. The first day was a “Day of Prayer.” However, the day was politically charged.

One scene that was particularly disturbing is shown in the picture below.

Yes, that is the LGBT flag front and center at the General Conference with no penalty.

Here is the problem. At this moment, this behavior is against the church discipline. Why are they not being expelled from the conference? Why is this being tolerated? This is in addition to the plain fact it is against the Word of God.

The United Methodist Church Bishops are pushing the inclusion of the LGBT movement into the church despite it being clearly sinful in Scripture. Much to their surprise, I am sure, the One Church Plan did not even receive 50% of the vote in the prioritization process.

Do No Harm

As the General Conference is now underway for the United Methodist Church, we are seeing lots of activity and pleas for each of the four major plans that have been put forward by the Commission on the Way Forward. In many of the petitions that have to do with including LGBTQ persons in ministry and marriage, we have often heard the motto “Do no harm.” But let’s think for a minute about what that actually means.

The LGBTQ supporters use the motto of doing no harm as a way to say you must include us. You must let us live our lifestyle. You must accept us. However, I would argue that is actually doing harm if that were to happen.

If you allow someone to continue in open sin. If you accept their sin and endorse it you are doing harm. You are doing harm to the person engaged in the sin by not telling the truth of Scripture. You are endangering their soul. You are doing harm to yourself by endorsing and therefore being implicit in their sin.

Not allowing LGBTQ marriage or ordained ministers is not doing harm. It is sticking with the truth of Scripture. It is following the words of Christ and the Word of God.

The example of Jesus has been referred to a lot in this debate. “Jesus accepts everyone” is what they say. Jesus was kind and loving to sinners, that is true. But he did not ignore their sin. He tackled it head on.  Look at the woman at the well in John 4.

Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.”

John 4:16-18 ESV

Jesus called her sin out for what it was. He did not condone it. He did not allow it. He told her she must change and follow Him.

Calling sin what it is and not accepting it as something ok to do is how we do not do harm. We must do it in love but we must not compromise either.