If you haven’t noticed, there’s been a mass exodus of Bible-believing congregations from the Presbyterian Church USA since the denomination voted to allow its ministers to perform gay weddings in states where it’s legal last summer.
Apparently, the Methodists aren’t getting the hint. The United Methodist Church could have openly gay pastors and pastors could officiate at same-sex marriages if a proposal affirmed by denomination leadership prevails, according to a report from Methodist headquarters.
Instead of embracing the truth espoused by the Trinity, the denomination’s “Connection Table”—a United Methodist body of clergy and lay people that acts as a church counsel for the denomination—is working to draft legislation that could serve as a “Third Way” in the church’s debate about homosexuality. The group has already voted to remove language that makes it a “chargeable offense” under church law for pastors to be “self-avowed practicing homosexuals” or to officiate at same-sex weddings, according to the report.
“We’ve tried to allow some exercise of conscience, to allow for varying beliefs, to allow for varying practices within different contexts,” Rev. Kennetha J. Bigham-Tsai, who serves on the Connectional Table’s legislative writing team told the Methodist publication, “and to open a space for grace where people can live together in unity with their different beliefs.”
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A Heretical Pattern
This is not surprising, given that last summer Methodist Pastor Frank Schaefer, who was defrocked for officiating his son’s gay wedding, was fully reinstated. That wasn’t the only such case. Retired Methodist Bishop Melvin Talbert performed a same-sex union in another bishop’s territory, ignoring the protests of denomination’s Council of Bishops—and also got a free pass. Oh, then there were the 36 Methodist pastors who blessed gay weddings without rebuke.
Speaking of this “Third Way,” Rev. Fred Day, the top executive of the denomination’s Commission on Archives and History, told the Methodist news outlet that his table supports the option.
“We think it is a powerfully important middle way,” he said. “In its own way, it says the Spirit is not done with us on this matter yet. It’s clear because of our disagreement we need to allow for us to gain a sense of clarity for how the Spirit is leading.”
How the Spirit is leading? I am certain the Spirit of God is not leading any Christian to perform a same-sex wedding or any Christian denomination to embrace gay pastors as leaders of churches. God does not speak with a forked tongue. Leviticus 18:22, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, 1 Timothy 1:10 and other verses of Scripture dealing with homosexuality and church leadership reveal the mind of the Spirit on this matter.
The Great Apostasy Upon Us
Saints, we’re seeing 1 Timothy 4:1 playing out right before our very eyes. It’s called the Great Apostasy and it’s well underway. By the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul wrote: “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons … .”
Back in 2012, I wrote an article titled, “Is the Great Falling Away Already Underway?” In it, I explained that some have indeed departed from the faith because they have engaged with deceiving spirits and embraced doctrines of demons. We’ve witnessed more than one man of God with a major ministry platform bow a knee to doctrines like universalism, deceiving and being deceived with this deadly heresy. Despite many in the church lifting their voice against heretical teachings, these deceived ministers hold fast to their demonic doctrine.
What I said back then bears repeating: Before each of the last Great Awakenings, people of God thought it was hopeless—and they didn’t see the half of what we’re seeing. But I am convinced God wants to turn this around—and I am convinced God can turn this around. Nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:37). A Great Awakening is our only hope for this nation. Will you join me in praying for another Great Awakening?
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.