Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Some Things Never Seem to Change

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_0063-2Reworked devotional from 2011. Things haven’t changed much in 9 years. Some things never seem to change. Heretical teaching will always lead a person or a church away from God.

The United Methodist Church has been through a lot during my lifetime.  I remember the sawdust camp meetings of my early years where the Bible was preached and lives were transformed for Christ. The authority of Scripture and the centrality of Christ were not questioned. Transformation took place because sound doctrine was taught and the transforming nature of Christ was preached.

During my lifetime I have also seen a  segment of the church’s leadership turn away from truth – turn away from the transforming love of Christ and His Word. During my lifetime I have heard the deceptive philosophy of some church leadership that has led our denomination into decline. During some of the darkest days of the United Methodist Church – when attendance and membership were falling at alarming rates – a group of Bishops led our denomination. Many of these bishops have retired since that time from active church leadership and I do not think it is by any surprise that our denomination is beginning to grow again in certain areas. I do not think it is by surprise that the majority of churches that are growing the fastest in our own conference are being led by pastors who believe in the transforming power of God – the centrality of Christ and the authority of the Bible.

A group of retired bishops (and now some active American bishops) – part of the leadership IMHO that led us astray in past decades (and presently) – are still trying to impact the church with their hollow and deceptive philosophy – their view of God and His Holy Word.

Our denomination’s Book of Discipline states the following: “…The practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching. Therefore self-avowed practicing homosexuals are not to be certified as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve in The United Methodist Church.” ¶304.3

This group of retired bishops – the same ones who presided over the church during its fall – are now coming out and asking the church to remove this and similar statements from our Book of Discipline (some have asked the same for 4 decades now). We have seen other mainline denominations go this route and we have seen the fall of their denomination in size and influence around the world.

The list of retired Bishops is almost a who’s who of the most liberal minds in our denomination’s history. Men and women who – IMHO – do not lead us nor did they lead us in the path of righteousness. They were leading us astray when they were active bishops and they are striving to do the same even in retirement.

I believe that these retired Bishops (and some active ones) are out of touch with the Spirit of God and they are suggesting to the church that we accept sin – and call it normal and acceptable. They are asking us to step away from sound Biblical teachings. I would hope that United Methodists would not heed their call but would side with sound teaching from the Word of God on this and all subjects before us.

Please pray for our denomination and the current leaders – bishops – pastors – lay leadership and members – that we would seek God’s face and strive to be faithful to the truth as found in the Word of God.

At First Church – we will always welcome all persons. We are all sinners – saved by grace. We will never turn anyone away because they are – like us – sinners. But – we will also never accept any of our sins or sin in general.

Here is an open letter to United Methodists from Rev. Christian McShaffrey, M.Div. He is the pastor of Five Solas Church in Reedsburg, Wi.  The church is a member of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. He wrote that the early Methodists were in complete agreement with Anglicans – Presbyterians – and Lutherans over the doctrine of Justification – but they felt that the doctrine of Sanctification had been neglected. ​https://www.christianpost.com/voice/an-open-letter-to-united-methodists-235117/

Some things never seem to change.

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

February 19, 2020 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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