I want to start out this blog by saying that some will be offended by what I am going to write. I am not writing to offend anyone. I have long struggled with posting this piece and have given it a lot of thought and prayer. II hope you will rely on the same as you read it.
I was sent an article that appeared in an email on Perspective from the United Methodist Church. The article was about decisions that are currently being made on how to handle the LBGT community when it comes to same-sex marriage and ordination in the Methodist church. It highlighted the struggle between the progressive arm of the church and the conservative arm. The analysis made was that in 10-20 years, these practices would be common place in al churches, and the United Methodist Church wanted to be at the forefront of this trend. It also talked about the fact that a full 45% of Methodist say they are on the conservative side (those who do not agree with this stance). Adopting such a doctrine would further diminish the Methodist church, which has lost hundreds of churches over the last few decades.
But this is not simply a Methodist dilemma. Many denominations are struggling with this issue. They feel that the love of Christ needs to be shown to all and is all inclusive. Christ accepts us all just as we are, and therefor who are we to deny anyone the right too serve God the way they feel called to do so. Many believe we must allow this trend to continue and accept this lifestyle as mainstream and fully compatible with God’s will. With that, I have a problem, and I hope to at least let you know what I have learned after over 40 years in ministry.
The church today is weak on sin and strong on mercy. The problem is that God is strong on both. His opinion of sin has always been the same – He hates it (Eccl 12:6). He is a holy God, and He expects us to do all we can to be holy (1 Peter 1:16). He convicts the world of sin (John 16:8), and He sent His son to save us from our sin (Romans 4:25). If sin was not an issue with God, then Jesus died in vain.
There is not a single verse in the bible that says anything about LBGT being righteous. There are several that say it is a sin (Romans 1:26-28, 1 Tim 1:8-11, 1 Cor 6:9, Lev 18:22, Lev 20:13, Deut 22:5). I am not saying that these should be put to death, because we are in the age of grace. Those who say that they were wrongly gendered in the womb, and are the opposite of what their body clearly shows, are calling into question the very purpose of God, who created us in the womb (Jer 1:5, Is 44:24, Gal 1:15, Psalm 139:15-16). Those who believe God made them wrong also must believe that God is capable of telling a lie and doing things the wrong way. How can we have these people as clergy?
The bible is also very explicit when it comes to marriage. The verses above show God is against same sex relationships when it comes to the bedroom. Marriage is as old as Adam and Eve, and is defined by God as being between a man and a woman (Gen 2:24, Mark 10:6-9). But we now feel we have more intelligence than God and can change His definition of marriage. How proud we have become!
Many theologians and church leaders are saying that Jesus command is to love all, no matter what their condition, and I agree with that statement. However, when a sinner accepts Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, His command is to repent and go and sin no more (John 8:11) He expected the lepers to go and show themselves to the priest so that, by law, he could declare them clean (Luke 17:11-19). Jesus demands repentance, a turning away from our sin, before one can truly follow Him. Just because we call Him Lord does not mean we have heaven as our home (Matt 7:21).
Love is a funny thing. It asks us to unconditionally accept those around us and treat them as equals. It is a giving of ourselves to another. Real love, however, is not afraid to correct the object of its desire and set them on the right path. Who among us does not love their children? Wouldn’t we stop them from doing something that would harm them out of love, even if it made them feel terrible? Wouldn’t we deny them things to keep from getting hurt in the end because we love them?
As Christians, we are considered watchmen on the wall (Ezekiel 33) for the gospel. It is our obligation to warn those who are headed for eternal destruction, otherwise known as hell, so that they can avoid such a demise. If we do not warn them, the bible is clear that their blood is on our hands. Pastors have an even higher responsibility to do so. But we have exalted love and grace over judgment, and we are afraid to correct one another of their faults.
This is a subtle tactic of our enemy, the devil. He goes about seeking whom he may destroy (1 Peter 5:8). We are not fighting the LBGT Community on this, it is a spiritual battle (Eph 6:12). We are commanded to love them into the family of God, make sure they repent of their sin, and follow Christ in obedience to the word. Allowing them to stay in their sin is just wrong.
I will end this by saying I am not the final judge, and I do not pretend to be. This is what I see happening, and this false form of love the devil has convinced many we must have is dividing the church. That is the enemies ultimate victory and aim – to bring down the church. Jesus says the gates of hell will not prevail against the church. I would venture to say if the United Methodist Church continues down this road, they will also continue to diminish in influence and numbers until they are barely recognizable as a church anymore. And that would be sad.