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When the news broke today that the United Methodist Church announced it would split apart later this year, it hardly came as a surprise to me.
As MSN and others reported, “The United Methodist Church is expected to split into more than one denomination in an attempt to bring to a close a years-long and contentious fight over same-sex marriage.”
The third largest denomination in the United States would split into a “traditional” denomination that would continue to oppose same-sex and transgendered marriage, while the rest of the church would remain “United Methodist.”
The plan will need to be approved at the church’s worldwide conference in May.
What I thought was funny is the automatic assumption that the largest sector of Methodists would choose to remain part of the church, and the the smaller renegade group of “traditionalists” would receive $25 million to simply go away.
If the General Conference votes to approve the plan, undoubtedly each individual church would have to vote to either remain in the organization or spin off into one of the other groups.
It will be interesting to see if significantly more churches vote to remain “traditionalists” and true to Biblical teaching, or if most of the churches opt to leave. Talk is cheap, but let’s see how the churches vote in the end.
God has a funny way of honoring those organizations which honor him and his commands.
What does the Bible say?
You don’t have to read far into the Bible — 27 verses to be exact — to realize that God created males and females. Fast forward another 28 verses and you discover what God thinks about marriage.
Genesis 2:24 notes, “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.”
Homosexuality is nothing new. The Bible is filled with instances of homosexual activity, and none of it ever appears to be loving and supportive.
In fact, Jesus reaffirmed the Genesis passage in Matthew 19:5-6 when he said, “Haven’t you read that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh?’”
If there was ever a point in Jesus’ ministry when he could have flung the doors wide open on homosexual or transgendered relationships, is was right at that moment.
Because Jesus didn’t clarify that God created dozens of different genders, nor did he clarify that type of sexual confusion was acceptable, apostle Paul referred to homosexuality as “error” in Romans 1:24-27:
“Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.
“Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.”
It is impossible for a Christian church to suggest that the Bible in any way endorses anything other than sexual relationships between one man and one woman who are united in marriage.
I wonder what will happen when the individual churches chose to follow God’s way, and the true renegades are tossed out of the mainstream denomination?
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