by Tommy J. Hicks
A “Special Session” of The General Conference of The United Methodist Church was held February 23-26, 2019, in St. Louis, Missouri. This “Special Session” met to decide if The United Methodist Church would strengthen or end its prohibitions regarding same-sex marriage and the ordaining of gays and lesbians into its clergy? The “Special Session’s” final vote was 53% to 47%” in favor of strengthening the prohibitions “against” same-sex marriage and ordaining gays and lesbians into its clergy. This may lead to a wide-open break in the United Methodist Church.
Matt Miofsky, a “Special Session” attendee, said about the Methodist Church where he preaches, “We fully embrace LGBTQ+ people into the whole life of the church.” Further, Miofsky added, “Jesus loves queer people for who they are” and that the “scriptures welcome queer people into the Kingdom of God through faith in Christ (and not through a renunciation of their gender or sexual identity).”
Kevin Young, the “Senior Minister at St. John’s United Methodist Church,” in Lubbock, TX may or may not have attended the St. Louis meeting, but he, like many other Methodists did not like the “Special Session’s” outcome. Young made it known that as far as he is concerned, the general conference of the United Methodist Church has decided to stay on the side of discrimination. He said he thought that it is tragic, “to send a signal to our culture and our world that somehow that discriminatory posture against LGBTQ people is approved by God.”
God does love those involved in LGBTQ+ immorality (John 3:16). He wants them to be saved (2 Peter 3:9). Still, if the Bible is true, and it is, God cannot accept them as long as they engage in lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans-sexual, and queer lifestyles. Perhaps, it should be asked, “Do Methodists (and others) who claim the ‘scriptures welcome queer people into the Kingdom of God through faith in Christ (and not through a renunciation of their gender or sexual identity)’ actually have a Bible“? If so, have they not read Paul saying: “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor. 6:9-11). Other translations use the words, “sexually immoral…men who practice homosexuality.”
In Galatians 5:19-21, Paul identifies such conduct as “works of the flesh” and sounds the warning, “that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” God turned “the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly” (2 Peter 2:4-6).
The LGBTQ+ folks and their allies may try to deny it, but the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah we read about in Genesis 18:20, Isaiah 3:9, and Lamentations 4:6, is a reference to the sin of homosexuality (cf. Gen. 19:4-9; Jude 7). Condemning homosexuality in the Mosaic Dispensation, God said, “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination” (Lev. 18:22). God, according to the Law of Moses, commanded, “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them” (Lev. 20:13). The Law of Moses is no longer of force (i.e. men do not live under its laws today, Gal. 3:24-25).
Now, under the Law of Christ in the New Testament Dispensation, God still condemns homosexuality and lesbianism, but He does not have them harmed physically as a punishment. He will dispense to them their due on Judgment Day. However, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 warns that “the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God.” These include the sexually immoral… adulterers… and those who practice homosexuality (cf. 1 Tim. 1:10).
Supporters of the “LGBTQ+ Community” need to read Romans 1:26-29, 32. God has rendered His decision about all forms of sexual immorality (including homosexuality) and made it known in His Word. He has not changed that decision (Malachi 3:6). So, if the Methodists and others have a Bible and believe what God says in it, what is the point of having a “Special Session?” They cannot change what God says about the matter.