Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Hollow and Deceptive Philosophy

Colossians 2:8

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.

img_0063-2In 2012 – I wrote the following devotional. It rings true nearly 8 years later. I will make a few changes – but basically it is the same article from 2012. I believe this is a passage that speaks about the split that is happening in the United Methodist Church today.

Recently (back in 2012) at our Annual Conference for the Baltimore-Washington Conference – a suggestion was made concerning our church’s stance on issues like homosexuality. The suggestion was that our denomination’s stance – which in part is as follows from the Book of Discipline – is hindering the church’s ability to reach young people.

¶ 304.3 – While persons set apart by the Church for ordained ministry are subject to all the frailties of the human condition and the pressures of society, they are required to maintain the highest standards of holy living in the world. The practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching. Therefore self-avowed practicing homosexuals1 are not to be certified as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve in The United Methodist Church.2
1. “Self-avowed practicing homosexual” is understood to mean that a person openly acknowledges to a bishop, district superintendent, district committee of ordained ministry, board of ordained ministry, or clergy session that the person is a practicing homosexual. See Judicial Council Decisions 702, 708, 722, 725, 764, 844, 984. 2. See Judicial Council Decisions 984, 985.

¶ 341.6 – Ceremonies that celebrate homosexual unions shall not be conducted by our ministers and shall not be conducted in our churches.

I’m not sure I agree with the assumption that was made at our Annual Conference. I know many young people in the church today that want the church to be real and authentic and truthful to the Word of God. Because the society we live in is starting to believe what their itching ears want to hear is not a reason to abandon sound theology. We are warned about the Bible – in the following passage – to avoid those who will lead us astray. Paul was writing to a young adult pastor.

2 Timothy 4:2-4 – 2 Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage — with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

Our theology should not be determined by social norms or governments. It does not need to fall in line with the latest belief or craze. If the survival of the denomination is more important than Biblical truth – maybe the denomination should die (or split). I don’t want it to die – I love the United Methodist Church – being a third generation Methodist pastor – with a fourth generation behind me. I might make the opposite assumption from the one made at Annual Conference this year (2012). I believe that the United Methodist’s divergence from Biblical truth has been the reason we have lost so many members over the last few decades. I believe that if we return to sound doctrine and theology – like I see happening at General Conference these days – we will draw people – not because of some social issue but because of the truth of God’s Word.

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.

January 7, 2020 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Home run, well said, Ray.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Favorite Son | January 7, 2020 | Reply

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