A fundamental shift is happening in America. The authority of God’s Word is being eroded in this once-Christian nation, and even professing Christians are calling sinful behaviors acceptable. A recent report from a Philadelphia news site declared, “Methodist ministers defy church at same-sex union.”
According to the article, ministers at a Pennsylvania United Methodist church officiated a same-sex marriage and gave an elaborate display of support:
It began with one pastor and two grooms. But after the vows had been exchanged, the other clergy moved forward from their pews. About 50 of them filled the front of Arch Street United Methodist Church on Saturday. The closest rested their hands on the couple. The rest placed their palms on the clergy nearest. “Those whom God has joined together, let no one put asunder,” they said in unison, blessing the same-sex union in defiance of church law.
Now, these are all professing Christians who are church leaders—and they aren’t even in agreement with all of God’s Word. Of course, the United Methodist Church seems to have many leaders who don’t hold to the authority of Scripture. For example, Martin Thielen (who I blogged about last year), pastor of First United Methodist Church in Lebanon, Tennessee, wrote a book titled What’s the Least I Can Believe and Still Be a Christian? Thielen accepts evolutionary ideas and takes a soft stance on homosexual behavior, saying his church “is not yet ready to affirm homosexual behavior” (p. 56). So really, it’s no surprise that there are many more United Methodist pastors who are contributing to the erosion of God’s Word on this issue.
United Methodist Church doctrine doesn’t affirm homosexual behavior, as the article notes:
For the Methodist ministers in the group, a large majority of the 50, participating in the ceremony could result in the loss of their credentials. They did so in an unprecedented protest of church doctrine and a showing of solidarity for one of their own.
Now, they may have been protesting church doctrine, but ultimately these ministers were protesting God’s Word. Scripture is clear that homosexual behavior is sinful and therefore not something that’s appropriate for Christians to be engaged in. The Apostle Paul reminds us that continued homosexual behavior is not to be a characteristic of Christians:
Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9–11)
Scripture is clear: “and such were some of you.” This group of ministers and the two men who “married” in their church need to reevaluate their thinking on same-sex marriage in light of what Scripture has to say about the actions of professing Christians. If you want to learn more about what the Bible has to say about homosexual behavior, see Steve Golden’s (AiG–U.S.) article, “Pro-Gay Theology: Does the Bible Approve of Homosexuality?”
Readers, I urge you to pray that these church leaders would repent and return to the authority of God’s Word—and that the congregations that may be led astray by their teachings would see these errors for what they are.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
This blog post was written with the assistance of Steve Golden.