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-Methodists Will Keep Traditional Views on Homosexuality and Marriage

by Dr. D ~ February 28th, 2019

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The United Methodists voted at their General Conference this week in St. Louis, MO to Keep their traditional views and policies on homosexuality, marriage, and ordination. From the Christian Post:

The United Methodist Church will maintain its official position that homosexuality is contrary to Christian teaching, in a decision following days of contentious debate over the issue. …

… delegates approved the “Traditional Plan” in a vote of 438-384. The Plan maintains the denomination’s stance against homosexuality, gay marriage, and the ordination of noncelibate homosexuals while promising to better enforce those rules.

<Read the whole article>

Response: A few years ago I contended that sooner or later every American church would have to publically declare where they stood on homosexuality and same-sex marriage. This week the United Methodist Church voted to keep their traditional Bible  based views. However, the majority of the vote to maintain their present stand actually came from delegates representing Methodist churches in other countries, especially from Africa.

Most of the articles I read before the conference predicted that the delegates would vote to change the church’s policy and open the door for regional bodies within the denomination to decide on their own policies toward homosexuality, same-sex marriage, and the ordination of LGBT clergy. Most also looked for schisms to follow expecting the more conservative churches in Africa and the American Bible belt to leave the denomination. Instead, we now read about the more liberal American churches rebelling against the confirmed traditional policy and doing their own thing anyway.

As I have written before, conservative American Christians are at a crossroad:

…evangelical Christians are now or will soon be at a crossroads where they must choose between a high view of Scripture and possibly be marginalized by the dominant American culture or abandon traditional Biblical teaching, accept a more liberal view of scripture, and go along with the cultural flow. …

As the pressure comes to bear on Bible supporting Christians and churches across the nation, some members may choose to leave the increasingly controversial conservative  congregations for more socially acceptable churches and denominations. Some pastors may even respond to the losses by finding ways to re-interpret those troublesome homosexual passages in the Bible.

Those who continue to maintain a traditional high view of scripture may find themselves increasingly being marginalized and even demonized by the larger culture. Soon there may be a real price to pay for Biblical faith and evangelicals may be tested and forced to choose between the Bible and a respected place in 21st century America.

I saw this ‘demonization’ in action this week in the media response to the Methodist vote.  One AP article that I read in my local newspaper had nothing good to say about the vote and was rather one-sided and included responses only from the LGBT supporters. Basically the article implied that the Methodist conferees chose to be bigots and haters rather than choosing a more enlightening and loving route. Nothing in the article showed any understanding that the Methodists were maintaining a traditional Christian view that was two thousand years old and based upon the Bible.

Also, there was little care or understanding in the main stream media that a liberal change in policy would have resulted in the loss of most of the African churches in the denomination and many in other countries along with hundreds of conservative American churches.

It will be interesting to see how the current cultural dynamic plays out in the more liberal Methodist churches in America. Expect rough seas ahead for the ‘United’ Methodist Church with some rebellion and schism.              

(Reprinted from the Apologetica page)               *Top

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