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.

Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

We are just days away from the Special General Conference for the United Methodist Church on whether the church will follow Scripture or follow culture. Yes, that is the real choice. Is the United Methodist Church going to follow God or man? That is what is at stake.

I read an article yesterday entitled “I Am Not Leaving”. The article is a heartfelt call for unity and to continue to work of Christ despite differences in the Denomination. On the surface, this even sounds biblical. But is it really? Should we stay in a church no matter what they teach, preach, or believe? The answer is no.

I have already written about this previously. We should not have unity simply for the sake of unity. Paul makes this clear:


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 ESV

Paul is clear, have nothing more to do with them. To get the further context of this passage we need to look in chapter two. The context is important so we know that this is not just having nothing to do with someone causing a disturbance. This has to do with doctrine.

But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine.

Titus 2:1 ESV

Church is about teaching sound doctrine to the saints so that they can carry out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). Doctrine does matter despite what some who call for unity try to claim. The Scripture must be faithfully and accurately proclaimed. Sound doctrine is of utmost importance for the spiritual health of the believer.

If the church adopts LGBTQ culture then believers must leave. They must exit. They must take a stand for the Word of God and not the words of men.

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.

They Call It: A Way Forward

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.