3For 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. 4They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. (II Timothy 4:3,4)
This week yet another once Biblically sound American denomination is in self-destruct mode. The United Methodist Church has convened in conference in Pittsburgh, PA and will take up, among other things, the issue of whether or not homosexuality is, not only compatible with Christianity, but also worthy of praise and support in the form of ordination of its practitioners.
How in the world could something like this happen?
In search of some answers, I took time recently to peruse their websites (www.umc.org & www.umc-gbcs.org). What I found was shocking. Not only are there links to organizations both inside and outside of the UMC supporting homosexuality but supporting abortion, the radical environmentalist movement and the United Nations population control agenda as well. In fact the recent website for ‘March For Women’s Lives’ where thousands of lesbians and radical feminists converged on the Mall in Washington, D.C. is promoted under ‘events’ on one of the UMC websites.
I searched in vain for something that would tell visitors to the websites how to find new life in Christ or that shared the gospel on any level at all. Clearly the UMC has lost its moorings and sees itself as a group of social activists rather than as custodians of the gospel responsible for carrying out the Great Commission to a lost and dying world.
Again, I had to ask myself, how did this happen? How do those who’ve inherited the legacy of Wesley come to such a sad and sorry state? A sermon I found on their site answered my question.
Bishop Jack Tuell delivered the sermon in May of last year. A copy is featured prominently on the website by those in the UMC promoting the acceptance of homosexuality. In the sermon Bishop Tuell explains how he came to change his opinion on homosexuality from a Biblically sound one to one that accepts and embraces this sexual sin. It was difficult and sad to read. However, the crux of it can be boiled down to one statement.
Bishop Tuell is discussing how to determine what truth is. He lists some things one can use to determine truth, among them scripture, tradition, experience and reason. He then makes this shocking statement:
“But what I have come to believe is that experience trumps all the rest on questions like this (acceptance of homosexuality)”
There it is in a nutshell. Many in leadership in the UMC no longer believe that God’s Word is the one and only and final source for truth. They believe our personal (read man-centered) experiences are better barometers of truth than the Word of God! Of course, without the grounding of God’s Word, anything goes and on their websites and at their conference this week in Pittsburgh, anything is going and going and going, anything that is except the unchanging Truth of God’s Word which is already apparently gone in large measure from Methodist life.