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Encroachment of liberal gay politics within Methodist Church May 16, 2008

Posted by Daniel Downs in Bible, church, covenant, culture war, gay politics, law, liberalism, news, politics, religion, Ten Commandments, tolerance.
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On April 30, delegates to the United Methodist Church General Conference decided by a 501-417 vote to maintain the Church’s stance on homosexuality. As stated in Social Principles, the “United Methodist Church does not condone the practice of homosexuality and considers this practice incompatible with Christian teaching.” The delegates also passed a resolution against homophobia and heterosexism, saying the church opposes “all forms of violence or discrimination based on gender, gender identity, sexual practice or sexual orientation.”

The bishops and delegates who voted to maintain the biblical position on homosexuality must be commended. Their actions evidence their faithful service to the interests of God and Christ more than special interest political agendas.

Nevertheless, the Lord Jesus must still be saddened by the display of so many who serve the spirit of modern politics rather than Him. Forty-five percent of conference delegates voted against maintaining the Church’s stance on homosexuality. Over 50% decided to compromise when they passed the resolution against discrimination of homosexual behavior. That part of the resolution against violence is more than necessary. So is a strong position against discrimination based on immutable characteristics like gender and race, but can the Church be politically correct and still serve Christ? If the Church opposes discrimination against sexual orientation and related practices, how can it justify calling sinners to repentance who adhere to sexually immoral views and practices? Can the Church work with sinners who practice immorality towards reconciliation with God if the Church cannot judge what is sinful and what is righteous? Can the Church expect to help sexually oriented sinners to achieve restoration when it can no longer know to what the immoral must be restored?

The same applies to society. Society cannot maintain state mandated public morality if it cannot discriminate against immoral and unacceptable behaviors by law. Restoration of people bound by sin and its bondage is not remotely possible unless their immoral and harmful behaviors can be discriminated against. If restoration is not society’s goal, why then does society sanction restorative health therapies and correctional institutions? Isn’t the goal of mental and medical health practices and medicine supposed to restore people to some normative criteria of health?

The covenantal law of God recorded in recorded is the Church’s normative criteria. Like the church universal, the United Methodist Church is accountable to its Lord by a legally binding blood covenant. The collective body represents Jesus as an ambassador to the world. Members of the church represent Jesus Christ not American or global politics. They are by moral and spiritual law servants of the Kingdom of God over which the Lord Jesus presides. As servant bound by oath to a written and legal covenant, the Church is obligation to serve the Lord’s interests.

Without doubt, Methodist bishops and other leaders are under considerable pressure to cave into gay power politics. Gays and their internal advocates are persistent and fierce in their efforts to force acceptance of their idolatrous views and behaviors under the guise of liberal religious ideology. This was demonstrated by their media attracting protests on April 30 at the Conference as well as at previous conferences.

Earlier in the week, young gays proclaimed they would eventually prevail. One of their leaders said, “Anti-gay policies of The United Methodist Church are wrong and sinful in the sight of God” and in the act of witnessing “we reject the lie that homosexuality is a sin and that by standing, we affirm that sexuality is a good gift of God.”

What should be of great concern to all Christians is the fact that this female seminarian aspires to leadership within the Church. She represents the possible future of the Church—the kind of church Jesus rebuked in Revelation chapters two and three. Common to the churches at Ephesus, Pergamum, and Thyatira was sexual immorality. At those churches, many at those churches were following the teaching and practice of the Nicolaitans and Jezebel, who may have been one of their leaders. Jesus said he hates their immoral deeds. He hates the teaching that legitimates their sexual immorality. He hates tolerance of it. He hates the practice of it, which is the reason He called on all of them to repentance. In chapter 2 and verse 16, Jesus threatens to come and war against them with the sword of his mouth. Jesus also expects the same from His followers. When it came the leader Jezebel, Jesus was not very loving. He promises death to her sex partners, death to her children, and a slow diseased end for her who caused many His servants to sin as well. Why was Jesus so harsh? She did not want to repent. Because He is the same yesterday, today and forever, Jesus has not changed his position.

I doubt if Jesus was very concerned about whether his words were offensive to the rebels and their religious and moral bigotry then or now. After all, Jesus is Lord over a theocratic kingdom not a democratic institution. He is not opposed to democratic principles of governance as demonstrated in the Pentateuch, but he does not hold elections for the top spot either. The Lord may be a benevolent ruler, but he is also the source of nature, law, and justice. As Peter pointed out, “If judgment begins with the household of God, what will be the outcome for those who disobey the gospel? (1 Pet. 4:17 paraphrase)

The gay political gospel shines forth the same old strategy of Satan used against Adam and Eve in the garden and against Jesus in the wilderness. To Eve, Satan said “you will not die” like God said. Gays claim homosexuality is not a sin like the Bible claims. At his baptism, God told Jesus that he was His son. Satan denies that he is in order to challenge Jesus to abdicate his mission. Satan uses words given to prophets by God again to tempt Jesus to thwart his own mission. Jesus’ response each time was to counter with the written word of God. In Leviticus chapters 18 and 20, Deuteronomy 23, Romans 1, First Corinthians 6, and chapter 1 of First Timothy, and elsewhere, homosexuality is defined as a moral crime or sin. As delineated by Prof. Victor Shepherd before the High Court of New Zealand, the sermons and writings of John Wesley views sodomy and immorality the same way. Enlightened reason also acknowledges homosexuality as unnatural, harmful, and evil. Therefore, the proper response of the Church is to maintain a firm adherence to the word of God and to heed the teaching of John, who wrote:

“Make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous just as He is righteous; the one who practices sin is of the devil; the Son appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. No one who is born of God practices sin…. Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness. You know He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him, there is no sin. No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows him.” (1 Jo. 3:7-9, 4-6 NASB)

If gays cannot be regarded as brothers and citizens of God’s kingdom, refusing to include them as members and allowing them to hold leadership positions within in the Church is not an act of hate. It is a demonstration that the approval of God is more important than the approval of secular culture.

Another old strategy inspiring gay liberal politics is the use God’s word to negate God’s will. Satan by means of gay political theology uses God’s word commanding Christians to love one another, forbidding [petty] judgments, and to love all as a means of turning the Church away from the Lordship of Jesus. The liberal gospel redefines God’s love politically. Because Jesus has paid for all of our sins, the law supposedly has been abolished. If the law has been abolished, the law against sexual immorality no longer exists either. It follows then that gospel love requires tolerance not judgment. The liberal gospel of love is based on egalitarian conceptions. Such a conception of sin and law is the equivalent of antinominianism. Prof. Shepherd explains that throughout Wesley’s works is found opposition to antinominianism. For example, when commenting on Romans 2:16, Wesley wrote that the Gospel is law. Prof. Shepherd explains:

“His lattermost remark, “The gospel also is a law”, is crucial. The gospel is the good news of salvation, and as such exercises no less a claim upon people than the explicit claims of the law. Since the gospel aims at saving humankind from every kind of uncleanness, the gospel has the same force here as the promulgation of the law. Accordingly, all references to “gospel” or “Jesus Christ” in the Wesley corpus carry with them the implicit claim that all beneficiaries of the gospel (i.e., all who make a profession of Christian faith) repudiate all expressions of “uncleanness”.”

“Wesley is aware that the ten commandments explicitly forbid adultery. He insists too that the ten commands are but the “heads” of the law of God; i.e., the commandment forbidding adultery comprehends all of the Old Testament precepts pertaining to sexual behaviour, including those that forbid homosexual[ity]…. Wesley’s understanding of “the ten commandments as but the “heads” of the law of God precludes any suggestion that adultery is forbidden but homosexual intimacy is not.” Wesley’s doctrine of holiness teaches not the end of the law but its fulfillment.”

Gay political theology rejects God’s law, which is the basis of gospel. As Jesus said, he came to fulfill the law of God not reject it. Those proclaiming the liberal gospel are nothing less than spiritual pimps of Satan. If the Church falls to this dark light of deception, the Church will become idolaters and worshippers of Satan. As Jesus taught, “No one can serve two masters.” (Mt. 6:24)

The liberal gospel of tolerance is not an about justice it is a cause of much injustice and moral tragedy. Liberal tolerance is a means of defying moral justice in order to create license for immoral behaviors or moral crimes. Tolerance does not end oppression and bondage; it maintains and perpetuates it. In the therapeutic welfare state, temptations in the form of feelings define one’s identity and are becoming equivalent to behavior. Because of this, unnatural sexual feelings toward the same sex determine reality and being. The old view of the human will is being replaced by determinates of feeling and thus eliminating any hope of change—at least, according to liberal gay propaganda. Missing is the fact that many gays were sexually abused as children or their compulsive sexual feelings are beyond their control, which used to be called bondage. True justice does not compromise on inherent moral laws to make the immoral feel better. True justice maintains the high bar of morality while also demanding and working to free and restore humans from their bondages and addiction.

The deception of gay liberal politics and its theology is that Jesus is tolerant of their sin. He is not. He died because God’s justice demands the death of all sinners. Only a blameless life sacrificed could possibly atone for humanity’s sins. America’s system of justice, however flawed, demonstrates criminals must be punished no matter how many good deeds they have done before or after their crime whether it be murder, or burglary, or rape, assault, robbery, or any other crime. This is also the persistent reality of humanity’s need for salvation. Unlike human justice, divine justice tempered by God’s mercy allows the punishment to be satisfied by a willing but sinless substitute—Jesus of Nazareth is our substitute.

The droning of gays is that their Christian opponents must love not oppose. God certainly is love. The law requires that we love God with all of our being and our neighbors as our selves, which is the very reason the Church is not permitted to pander to gay power politics. Restoration and holiness is not achieved through compromise. God clearly opposes homosexuality. Jesus clearly opposes it too. While administering Jesus’ work in the Roman Empire, where homosexuality was not unusual, the apostles spoke against homosexuality and every other sexual sin. Sexual sin is a moral crime against the law and nature of God. The Revelation of Jesus given to him by God for his bondservants reiterates the divine opposition to the gay liberal agenda.

More pointedly, John’s First Epistle clearly states anyone who practices sin—sexual and any other—is not of God but of the devil. That statement reflects what Jesus said to those who opposed God’s work. He said, “You are of your father the devil; he is the father of liars and a murderer from the beginning.” Gay liberal politics is based lies about God, God’s law, sin, and judgment. The Lord Jesus is not a good religiously secular egalitarian like the gays want. The Methodist Church has no right to be any different than Lord Jesus and God the Father. As Jesus said, a servant is not above his (or her) master nor are disciples. Therefore, the Church must relay the call of God to sinners practicing immorality to repent, accept the covenant with God through Jesus, and submit to His Lordship for healing, restoration, and eternal life.

The tragedy today is that 45% of Methodists do not represent the Lord or God’s kingdom. They represent liberal religious politics. I know very well how easy it is to succumb to the continuous influences of a media saturated culture and organized politics. I know how easily it is to succumb to besetting sins. That is why I pray they will repent of their sin before having to face the Lord in eternity.

Sources:

Linda Green, Demonstrators call church’s ‘anti-gay’ policies sinful , May 1, 2008, General Conference 2008, United Methodist New Service (May 9, 2008).

Kathy L. Gilbert, Rally urges inclusion regardless of sexual identity, April 26, 2008, General Conference 2008, United Methodist New Service (May 9, 2008).

Prof. Victor Shepherd, Testimony in Akau’ola v Methodist Church of New Zealand (2002) posted on July 2, 2006, www.victorshepherd.com (May 9, 2008).

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Comments»

1. Steve - May 24, 2008

I appreciate your desire for holiness, but you are overstating the case as an extremist. I was at General Conference, and though I could not vote as an alternate, I was aware that the 45% were not subsumed by gay liberal politics. The reason this vote was closer than others, such as gay marriage and ordination, is that many moderates simply believe and could affirm that “we are not of one mind.” In other words, I felt both petitions on the floor were true. Personally, I would have voted with the majority to preserve the historic integrity of the church, but you need to know your extremist views will not bring unity in the United Methodist Church. Perhaps you might try to understand how moderates feel and what we believe rather than thinking in dualistic, us-and-then terms.

2. Steve - May 24, 2008

Having said the above, I want to add that I think you are right about one thing … the whole debate is fueled by politics in our culture. Just try to understand that 80% of us are in the middle trying to do the right thing while extremists fire legislative missiles at each other. We moderates have a voice but you do not seem to see that, you see it as black and white. There are lots of shades of gray.

3. Daniel Downs - May 24, 2008

Steve: I don’t agree with you, but I appreciate your reading and commenting on this long post. As a starting pointing, modern liberalism pervades the views of many in and out of the church. Modern liberalism also pervades politics and theology. Words like extremist (almost as terrible as fundamentalist) and moderates reveal a political view. I see what you call extremism as non-compromise; there is another political term that also has been used for something like apostasy. The unity of Church will never be accepted by the Lord of the Church if it reflects anything other than God’s word and His will. Again, God has made His position clear on the issue of homosexuals. Maybe it is too extreme. The eternal reward for compromise will be very extreme as well. If the word of God and its plain meaning is not good enough for people in the Church, they should leave and start their own religion and quit pretending to be of Jesus and God.

4. Lars - December 2, 2008

I am SADDENED this continues, I am a church organist for 42 years and a “closeted gay man” who has a wonderful boyfriend in another state. I can NEVER come out, my family would probably be understanding but my church in Extreme Western Kentucky would not be that welcoming I am afraid. So VERY, VERY sad!

5. gettheconcept - April 10, 2009

“The tragedy today is that 45% of Methodists do not represent the Lord or God’s kingdom.” I find this statement to be rather an assaultive statment toward toward Methodism and judgemental.

Daniel Downs - April 10, 2009

Are you not being judgmental about the statement?

I grew up in a daughter church of Methodism. If Methodists are in fact Christians, then it is the immoral and liberals within the M Church who are assaulting Methodism, which was based on the Bible and John Wesley teachings.

6. Casey - February 28, 2011

Daniel downs. We all live in sin everyday. Not just gay people. You make me sick. But your judgement day will come and for your sale, may God have mercy.

Daniel Downs - September 13, 2011

Casey: The 1 John teaches those who practice sin (everyday) are children of the devil not of God.

Anonymous - February 20, 2012

This should not even be a issue to vote on. Read the word of God, homosexuality is wrong in any case….PERIOD. The UMC has already turned over some of it’s churches to women pastors and that my friends in not according to the scripture. That is what is wrong with the churches now. The religion is being changed to suit the denomination, next the word of God will be changed to suit the religion. I am a man of GOD by only his word, his laws and the covenent of Jesus Christ our Lord. Denominations have seperated christians just like the the churches after christ for long enough. The Apostle Paul said there is none righteous, no not one…there is no fear of God before them.

Anonymous - February 20, 2012

I agree that whenever a regime wants to oppress any group, they always seem to have Alah, God or Das Fuerher on their side. Fascism is outdated. Grow up. Get a life. And please keep your oppressive doctrine to yourself. Read World War II History. Yep, Christians have a history to tell. Nazi oppression continues. And you are it’s second coming. Maybe we should sew a pink triangle on you?

Daniel Downs - February 21, 2012

Which regime are actually referring too, the secular regimes or religious regimes? Historically, both have oppressed and killed millions of people. In the enlightened modern era, millions of unborn people have been killed. It not Christians who are leading the campaign. Methodists were among the movers and shakers against the continuance of slavery. It is a shame their hateful doctrine is being replaced by an equally hateful one.


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