We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

What About the United Methodist Church?

The commentary I posted yesterday told of clergy from several denominations getting together in a letter to congressmen to ask for government funding of abortion. They called abortion “morally justifiable.” Of the denominations listed, I have addressed a few, but now I want to address the United Methodist Church.

UMC has a pretty solid doctrine theologically, but there are some problems with their social statements (of course, a biblical worldview should eliminate problems in this area, too). I looked at their official web page and immediately found a couple items of concern. It would be interesting to read their entire Book of Discipline, but I don’t have immediate access to it or time to read it. Anyway, one of the quotes from their web page is this:

“We recognize the tragic conflicts of life with life that may justify abortion and urge prayerful consideration by all parties involved.”

This explains why members of UMC clergy could sign that statement. I would really like to know how abortion, the murder of an unborn child, can be justified in any sense. As a matter of fact, the UMC has supported the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, an abortion rights group.

“We endorse the United Nations and commend all who pursue world peace through law.”

Whew! A Christian organization endorsing the United Nations?!?!? That organization is corrupt and supports too much evil in the world, including same-sex unions and abortion, let alone the support of the so-called Palestinians over Israel. They do virtually nothing for the U.S. except stomp on our sovereignty. Ever hear of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child? Totally anti-parent and pro-government nanny. I could go on forever about the evil of the U.N., but I’ll let you go to other sites who do a very good job of exposing them for who they are.

I have been cleaning out my files little by little this summer, and I figured this was as good a time as ever to pull my UMC file. This denomination has a lot of liberal members, and I think one reason is because they permit women to be in leadership roles. That seems to be the thing which leads churches farther down the liberal road. So here are examples from my files about the love affair a large number of UMC clergy are having with homosexuality (remember, the UMC says “homosexual practice is incompatible with Christian teaching”), and other unbiblical ideas by “pastors.” Try to stick with me - it will be one of my longest commentaries.

“The Iowa House’s passage of a bill last week not to recognize same-sex marriages was motivated by fear and intolerance of homosexuals, said the Rev. Marsha Acord of Faith United Methodist Church in Cedar Rapids.”   Cedar Rapids Gazette, 2/25/96. No, it was motivated by an attempt to stop the flood of laws approving same-sex marriage. Not to worry Marsha, Iowa is now a same-sex “marriage” friendly state.

The 2/9/97 CRG had a guest column by three UMC members decrying the Iowa Bishop Charles W. Jordan’s urging to provide sanctuary to illegal aliens. Since these people come to the U.S. illegally, while legal aliens wait their turn, this advocacy of violating the law is certainly worthy of discipline.

In April 1997 Faith United Methodist Church in Cedar Rapids sponsored and hosted a party to watch the Ellen DeGeneres’ show where her character comes out as a lesbian. They had 80 people there, organized by a church member who just came out as lesbian. To ensure good reception of the two TVs, the church had cable installed. This was reported in the CRG on 5/1/97. So if the UMC is against homosexual behavior, was the leadership of this church disciplined for sanctioning it? This church has a history of being “gay friendly,” and the CRG did a large spread (4/17/04) on how wonderful they were. Of course this church is led by a woman “pastor.” But wouldn’t a real shepherd lead the flock away from sin and not sanction it?

The American Family Association Journal of June 1997 reported that “More than 1,300 ministers from the United Methodist church signed a statement decrying their denomination’s policy which prohibits the ordination of practicing homosexuals and the performance of same-sex rituals. The effort was in support of a similar protest signed by 15 Methodist bishops in April 1996.” So we have over 1300 clergy of the UMC protesting a biblical stance on homosexuality; were any of these clergy members defrocked or disciplined?

World Magazine, 12/20/97, reported that “Trustees of [UMC]-affiliated Emory University in Atlanta recently ruled that same-sex weddings can occur in campus chapels if they involve clergy, faculty, and students from denominations that approve…. Eight UMC bishops are trustees, and the school’s charter places it under the jurisdiction of the denomination…” Did the UMC denomination defrock these bishops? The same article told of a Princeton University UMC chaplain, Sue Ann Morrow, who conducted a “wedding ceremony” for a same-sex couple who were atheists. She said she would do more same-sex “weddings” in the future. Her bishop spoke to her, but the article said he took no action against her. Is this what the UMC says is okay?

Oh, and don’t forget the UMC Rev. Jimmy Creech who performed a same-sex unity ceremony in Omaha. In March 1998, a UMC jury found him not guilty of disobeying church rules. I would think that UMC church rules would include the Bible, which specifically condemns homosexual behavior.

The AFA Journal, 9/98, reported on four UMC ministers from Nebraska who stated the idea of Jesus being the only way of salvation was nothing more than “proof-texting,” and decried the idea that this would exclude Muslims, Jews and Hindus. Were these ministers defrocked for this heresy?

Ah, yes. Here’s an article in the CRG from 4/29/99 about an Iowa UMC bishop who absolved an Iowa minister who participated in a same-sex “wedding” in California. He was absolved because he was only in the processional and shared in a prayer. To me that says he was sanctioning the union, so why was he absolved? There were a total of 90 UMC ministers at that “wedding,” according to CRG on 1/17/99, and according to the AFA Journal 3/99, 70 other UMC ministers “signed on to officiate in abstentia.” Were any of these ministers disciplined? According to the AFA Journal 4/00, the answer is, “No.”

The AFA Journal for March 2000 reported on a statement signed by Vermont clerics, including UMC bishops, which said same-sex “marriage” should be permitted. Were these bishops disciplined?

An October 2003 article in O Timothy magazine reported on Ted Jennings, a UMC minister who wrote a book about Jesus being a homosexual. As of the article, he had not been disciplined by the UMC. Did the UMC excommunicate this heretic?

AgapePress, 2/20/04, reported on UMC minister Emanuel Cleaver II who performed same-sex ceremonies and who got special rights for homosexuals as mayor of Kansas City, MO. Why was he not defrocked?

On 3/11/04, AgapePress reported on the UMC minister who hired on as Planned Parenthood’s chaplain to communicate “the theological justification for choice, sexuality, and contraception.” This “pastor” had previously written that Jesus would support abortion. Was this man defrocked for such blatant blasphemy? Just where does one find a “theological justification” for abortion and sexual immorality?

How about this one from AgapePress, 6/15/04? The UMC General Board of Higher Education and Ministry sponsored a student forum at UMC-affiliated Hendrix College, where pro-homosexual measures were discussed and rainbow-colored communion bread was served. The same day AgapePress also reported on a UMC bishop appointing an openly homosexual woman as a pastor in Seattle. She claims her homosexuality is a gift of God.

An article from AgapePress, dated 7/1/04, discusses the UMC General Conference. There they proclaimed the openly lesbian Pastor Karen Dammann still “a pastor in good standing” since in March she was acquitted of violating UMC ban on the ordination of practicing homosexuals. But if “homosexual practice is incompatible with Christian teaching,” how can she be in “good standing?” In March she “married” her lesbian lover, and claimed that God called her to the ministry and God doesn’t make mistakes. Anyway, rather than discuss theological issues and evangelism, the conference spent a lot of time on resolutions for slavery reparations (let’s punish people who had nothing to do with slavery because someone’s ancestors over 150 years ago had slaves, and let’s give the money to people who may not even have been related to those slaves, and let’s forget that it was the Africans themselves that sold the slaves) and other politically-correct silliness. The author of the article reported on bishop Joe Sprague, who claims there is no need to evangelize Muslims and Jews - a heretical idea. Why was he still a bishop in the UMC with that teaching?

Another AgapePress release on 7/22/04 brings up Bishop Joe Sprague’s name again, because he retired. The Fundamental Baptist Information Service reported on the same event 7/30/04. It seems Sprague not only denied that Jesus is the only way of salvation, but he also denied the eternal deity of Christ, his virgin birth, miracles, blood atonement, and his bodily resurrection. With all these heretical beliefs, how can he call himself a Christian, and why did the UMC allow him to be a bishop? Heresy charges were brought against him in 2003 but were dropped - why? He retired from “effective” or “active” leadership, but still stayed in the ministry preaching and teaching. Why did the UMC allow this blatant heretic to have any part of ministry? The bishop who replaced Sprague is a liberal who is against the UMC’s stance on homosexuality.

On 12/2/04, a UMC clergy jury did the right thing and defrocked another avowed, practicing lesbian minister, Elizabeth Stroud, in Pennsylvania. But on 4/29/05 the UMC regional appeals court reversed the decision. It seems the UMC rules don’t describe what is meant by homosexual behavior.

A Labor Day 2005 weekend conference organized by a pro-homosexual UMC group was held at the official retreat for the Southeast Jurisdiction of the UMC. Why would the UMC allow this conference to take place there?

AgapePress report on 11/7/05 told of the leadership of UMC declaring “that the sin of homosexuality is not to be a barrier to membership in its churches.” I wonder if adultery would be?

Another AgapePress report, 7/5/06, tells of the Louisiana Methodists rejecting a proposal which “would have required members of the church to renounce racism, adultery, and both heterosexual and homosexual sex outside of marriage.” I guess renouncing those sorts of sins is a scary proposition!

This one isn’t about homosexuality or abortion: OneNewsNow, 7/30/07, reported that the United Methodist Committee on Relief “announced a partnership with Muslim Aid,” a group “very clear about its Islamic mission.” Didn’t Paul say something about not joining with unbelievers?

My last article in the file is from OneNewsNow, 11/14/08, and tells of a lesbian being ordained in a UMC in Baltimore. The UMC officials said it was an unauthorized ordination, but my bet is that they didn’t do anything about it.

Okay, I know this was a long, long commentary with lots of boring stuff about the UMC and homosexuality. The church officially is against homosexual behavior, yet history shows they really give it tacit approval. And the UMC officially sanctions abortion that is “justifiable.” Just those two issues brings the UMC in companionship with the ELCA, the Episcopal Church, the PCUSA, and the UCC. A common denominator is women in the pulpit, which I believe demonstrates the connection between this violation of Scripture and the apostasy of sanctioning abortion and homosexuality that follows.

John Wesley is spinning in his grave.

1 comment:

Yvonne said...

Hi, Glenn,

I found this post to be a blast from the past.

After spending over 30 years as a Methodist, I was saved and the Lord opened my eyes concerning the heresy going on within this once-respected denomination.

Specifically, the issue with Bishop Joseph Sprague, that you clearly point out, was the beginning of the end for my family. After some difficult communication with our current pastor, the final blow came when we found out a women would be assigned to be our pastor. This truly was a low point in our lives! Fortunately, the Lord uses these experiences to draw us closer to Him and His Truth.

It really is a sad commentary, isn't it? God is refining His Church!

Blessings!

BTW--thanks for the plug!

~Yvonne