The United Methodist Church took one step closer to apostasy this week.
At Nashville meetings, Methodist leadership voted to submit what is aptly called a "compromise" legislative proposal to its 2016 General Conference that removes "prohibitive" language from The United Methodist Book of Discipline concerning homosexuality.
Specifically, the proposal would allow United Methodist pastors to perform same-sex marriages in United Methodist churches. As if that's not defiant enough to God's Word, this same proposal would also remove the blatant practice of homosexuality and the performance of same-sex weddings from the list of chargeable offenses.
But wait, there's more. The newfangled proposal even removes all language that in any way suggests or even hints that the church does not condone the practice of homosexuality. In other words, this proposal does not consider homosexuality incompatible with Christian teachings even though Methodists have historically recognized the practicing the sin as sinful.
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Call it a sea change. A group within the church called the Connection Table voted 26-10 with one abstention to submit the proposal, which they described as a possible "third way" to help the church end its impasse on homosexuality. The proposal would end church trials over homosexuality, allow the exercise of conscience by United Methodist clergy, yet retain the authority of annual conferences to discern suitability for ordination.
Bishop Bruce R. Ough, chairperson of the Connectional Table, says through this process he observed a "very thoughtful, respectful heartfelt discussion and earnest desire to discern God's will." That baffles me. God's will is clearly on display in His Word. His Word is His will. You cannot separate the two. And here's what His Word says:
"Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor male prostitutes, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Cor. 6:8-10).
If we're going to condone the practice of homosexuality, what's stopping us from allowing pastors to commit adultery without rebuke? Why not let drunken revilers lead kids church? Why not give greedy thieves and extortioners the responsibility for church finances? The point is, practicing homosexuality is not the only sin the Bible calls out in this verse, as so many gay rights activists like to stress. So why does the sinful practice of homosexuality, then, get special protection?
If we're going to let our pastors engage in homosexuality at will, condone it and have the audacity to declare that it doesn't contradict God's will, what's preventing us from throwing the Ten Commandments out of the window? Why bother to have natural laws against crime, either? What's the point? The point is we all have to answer to God.
"Whoever practices sin breaks the law, for sin is lawlessness" (1 John 3:4). Jesus Christ gave Himself for us, to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for Himself a special people, zealous for good works (see Titus 2:14). Clearly, the mystery of lawlessness is already working (2 Thess. 2:7). As lawlessness abounds, the love of many will grow cold—because love has been perverted (see Matt. 24:12.
Pastors are supposed to "teach God's people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean" (Ezek. 44:23). Instead, far too many are calling evil good and good evil and exchanging darkness for light and light for darkness (Is. 5:20).
This is the reality. Too many Christians are lovers of themselves instead of lovers of the truth. A strong delusion is sweeping over the land—a tsunami of perversion is rising—and some in the church are falling into its trap. Our response is clear: Continue to speak the truth in love, guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus, and refuse to compromise with an anti-Christ agenda. Always keep in mind, a little leaven leavens the whole lump (see Gal. 5:9).
The urgency that's in my heart is painful at this point. People who started out loving God with all their hearts, all their minds, all their souls and all their strength are giving into seducing spirits. Practicing sinners, in clear defiance of God's Word, are leading churches in the name of Jesus. We need to pray. We need to make intercession like never before. Lives depend on it. Christians are falling away at a rapid clip. We can't just stand by and point fingers of disdain and watch. Join me in crying out that a wave of repentance will sweep the church—and the nation. Just pray.
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Jennifer LeClaire is senior editor of Charisma. She is also director of Awakening House of Prayer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and author of several books, including The Next Great Move of God: An Appeal to Heaven for Spiritual Awakening; Mornings With the Holy Spirit, Listening Daily to the Still, Small Voice of God; The Making of a Prophet and Satan's Deadly Trio: Defeating the Deceptions of Jezebel, Religion and Witchcraft. You can visit her website here. You can also join Jennifer on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.
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