By now you have study the news about the United Methodist Church—that conservatives inside the denomination beat back an work by liberals to affirm gay marriage and LGBT clergy. The New York Instances reports:
Right after 3 days of intense debate at a conference in St. Louis, the vote by church officials and lay members from about the globe doubled down on existing church policy, which states that “the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.” The vote served as a rejection of a push by progressive members and leaders to open the church to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender men and women.
Now, a divide of the United Methodist Church, which has 12 million members worldwide, seems imminent. Some pastors and bishops in the United States are currently speaking about leaving the denomination and possibly generating a new alliance for gay-friendly churches.
This is with out query very good news. The United Methodists are now the lone hold-out amongst the mainline denominations which have embraced the sexual revolution and affirmed gay marriage and gay clergy. That alone is a large deal. And a welcome improvement.
In huge element, we have the African Methodists to thank for this outcome. They type about 30% of United Methodists worldwide, and they are vastly much more conservative than their American counterparts. With the enable of the African Methodists, the liberal program to affirm gay marriage and gay clergy was defeated in a 53 % to 47 % vote. North Africa gave birth to Western Christianity centuries ago. Now Africa is coming to the rescue of a compromised Western Christianity—at least in its Methodist version. Thank God for our African brothers and sisters.
Dr. Jerry Kulah, an African delegate who is a professor at the United Methodist University in Liberia, addressed a group of reform-minded Methodists who had been attending the conference in St. Louis. Amongst other items, Kulah stated this:
We Africans are not youngsters in require of western enlightenment when it comes to the church’s sexual ethics. We do not require to hear a progressive U.S. bishop lecture us about our require to “grow up”…
We are grounded in God’s word and the gracious and clear teachings of our church. On that we will not yield! We will not take a road that leads us from the truth! We will take the road that leads to the producing of disciples of Jesus Christ for transformation of the globe!…
Regrettably, some United Methodists in the U.S. have the extremely faulty assumption that all Africans are concerned about is U.S. monetary assistance. Properly, I am confident, getting sinners like all of you, some Africans are fixated on revenue.
But with all due respect, a fixation on revenue appears much more of an American dilemma than an African a single. We get by on far much less than most Americans do we know how to do it. I’m not so confident you do. So if everyone is so naïve or condescending as to consider we would sell our birth ideal in Jesus Christ for American dollars, then they merely do not know us…
Please recognize me when I say the vast majority of African United Methodists will under no circumstances, ever trade Jesus and the truth of the Bible for revenue.
Amen. Thank God for such clarity of conviction. The Africans recognize that there can be no fellowship with these who affirm LGBT immorality. None. The Africans had been prepared to stroll alone rather than continue on with an apostate American Methodist movement. The essential word there is “apostate.” To embrace LGBT immorality is to embrace apostasy. The Africans recognize that.
What the liberal American Methodists wanted was a “One Church Strategy,” which would have treated LGBT as a matter of moral indifference amongst United Methodists. Though it was pitched as a compromise, the plan’s impact would have been a total capitulation to the liberals.
What the liberals want—more than anything—is for the conservatives to concede that LGBT affirmation is an challenge about which otherwise faithful Christians may possibly agree to disagree. The Africans stated no. And they had been ideal. To grant that LGBT affirmation is in any way compatible with Christianity is to shed the essence of Christianity. You can have LGBT affirmation or you can have Christianity, but you cannot have each.
This is the bottom line that I worry quite a few so-referred to as evangelicals have but to come to grips with. There can be no compromise with LGBT affirmation. The Bible and the whole two,000-year history of the Christian church merely will not permit it. This is why so quite a few of us signed our names to report ten of The Nashville Statement:
WE AFFIRM that it is sinful to approve of homosexual immorality or transgenderism and that such approval constitutes an important departure from Christian faithfulness and witness.
WE DENY that the approval of homosexual immorality or transgenderism is a matter of moral indifference about which otherwise faithful Christians need to agree to disagree.
Evangelicals who have been drifting away from biblical fidelity on these concerns have usually been operating beneath the cover of confusion—confusion about what is important and what is not important to the Christian faith. From the extremely starting of the Christian faith, sexual morality has constantly been central. These who want to comply with Jesus should pursue sexually pure lives. A particular person may perhaps comply with Jesus, or he may perhaps pursue sexual immorality. But he can’t do each. He should decide on. 1 path leads to eternal life, and the other does not. These are not new teachings. They are the ancient faith.
And but, there are quite a few “evangelicals” who are attempting to convince other evangelicals that homosexual immorality is a unique case. They are attempting to convince men and women that exact same-sex immorality and following Jesus can certainly go with each other. And but, scripture teaches that everyone who persistently rejects God’s revelation about sexual holiness and virtue is rejecting Christianity altogether, even if they claim otherwise. Or as the apostle Paul puts it, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality… Consequently, he who rejects this is not rejecting man but the God who offers His Holy Spirit to you” (1 Thess. four:three-eight). The stakes are greater than the revisionists want you to think.
Genuine Christians labor for moral clarity on the point not so that we can say to sinners, “Keep out!” We are standing with our arms wide open saying, “Please, come in. Come to the waters of life readily available to any and just about every sinner who turns from sin to trust in Christ.” But we can’t make plain the path to life to these who consider they do not require it. And the revisionists of our time are major valuable men and women away from Jesus and not to Jesus simply because they are telling them that they have no judgment to worry. This is the opposite of adore.
Genuine love—as God defines it—always rejoices in the truth (1 Cor. 13:six). And that is what the Africans did in St. Louis this week. My hope and prayer are that American evangelicals will draw strength and courage from the instance of these African brothers and sisters. I know I have.