Wednesday, June 22, 2011

How many times ...

It never fails. Every four years the issue of homosexuality invades the United Methodist Church at the General Conference, the law-making body of the Church. Approximately two years prior to GC the heated debates and rehashed arguments are once again pulled out, dusted off, and thrown back out into the blogosphere and other online religious sites. And every four years the advocates for homosexual rights (however these rights may be defined) insist that this single issue is not the issue in and of itself, yet they continue to slam home this issue because it is the issue they want specifically addressed. It is indeed the issue that is thrust before the Church rather aggressively, forcing a confrontation that is needless and fruitless.

The Lutherans, the Episcopalians, and the Presbyterians have all succumbed to this perpetual battle cry for social justice, and they all continue to bleed members left and right. They have yet to fully realize that changing in such a way as to accommodate the world and its fickle standards does nothing edifying for the Church universal, for their particular denominations, and certainly not for the human soul. If such were to be true, these denominations should be standing-room-only each Sunday for worship. As it is, these worldly forces have only managed to force these denominations to surrender their moral authority and very simply be beaten into submission. These advocacy forces got what they wanted and only what they wanted: complete capitulation. They did not want "equal rights", or else they would be flocking to these churches to exercise these rights. Why can't the faithful see this?

I've said before what I (and many others) will say again: sexual issues outside the covenant of marriage between one man and one woman are symptoms of a much greater ill, testimony to just how sexualized and animalistic our society has become. I agree that homosexuality is not the "mother" of all sinful behavior and I agree that *ALL* are (and must be) welcomed into the Body of Christ to explore a relationship with the Lord through His Church, but within the realm of the Holy Church I do not agree that it is a social justice or civil rights issue that warrants such attention as to be debated, discussed, or "holy conferenced" year after tiresome year. The Church cannot - must not - attempt to redefine and ultimately sanctify what is clearly by biblical standards sinful and unworthy of consideration within the Church because homosexuality is not about giving glory or love to the Lord; it is entirely about getting one's own way - demanding the goodness of the Gospel while rejecting the disciple of repentance from one's own life and life choices; in essence, ignoring the call of Christ Himself to "repent (change the current direction of one's life) and believe in the Gospel" (Mark 1:15). Notice the two-pronged statement that suggests one is to do both; not either/or.

As has become clear, however, quoting the Bible does no good for these progressive sorts who seem to earnestly believe that the Church must evolve and keep up with worldly standards. They reject the biblical reality that the Lord our God is "the same yesterday, today and forever. Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines" (Hebrews 13:8-9a). The shifting winds of progressiveness carry us about from here to there, changing our minds and allegiances from generation to generation. When the Church willingly and eagerly jumps aboard this unstable foundation of sand, it has no right or reason to wonder or to ask: Where is everyone going?

I believe people need stability. I believe people need certainty. I believe people need something they can count on "yesterday, today, and forever". I believe people need a firm foundation that will support and not give way to the shifting tide of secularism and the fickle standards of humanity. People need the Lord who "does not change"(Malachi 3:6), whether they believe in the Lord or not. What people want, however ... well, that remains to be seen.

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