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A Close Vote...and Doctrinal Fireworks to Come

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

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"It is better to be divided by truth than to be united in error." – Rudolph Merab, Liberia Annual Conference, UMC

Today’s quote has to do with the recent vote by the Special General Conference of the United Methodist Church to adopt the Traditional Plan that upheld the denomination’s historical – and may I add, biblical – position on homosexuality. Delegates affirmed the Traditional Plan by a 438-384 vote over the unscriptural One Church Plan.

As encouraging as that news was, it was accompanied by some deeply disturbing warning signs. First, it is more than a little disconcerting that 47% of the delegates favored allowing regional bodies and local congregations to determine their own stance on homosexuality and same-sex marriage. Second, the Traditional Plan was only passed because of the overwhelming support of delegates from Africa. Third, the One Church Plan received strong backing from the Council of Bishops.

So, that means that if the vote had been left up to the church’s hierarchy – or to North American delegates only – the One Church Plan would have been approved instead of the Traditional Plan. The result would likely have led to openly gay and lesbian ministers as well as the sanctioning of same-sex marriages within the denomination.

Just as troubling is the refusal of many One Church Plan advocates to accept the Special General Conference’s decision. One LGBT advocacy group called the vote “deeply unjust and painful”, reflecting a “white nationalist strain of Christianity” and vowing to fight on with renewed vigor.

Kudos to those delegates who stood up for the authority of God’s Word on marriage and sexuality. Shame on those who chose political correctness over clear biblical teaching. And watch out for more “doctrinal fireworks” in the future.

Compromise rarely happens overnight. The devil is both cunning and patient, knowing that – over time – he can convince professing Christians to abandon biblical truth by asking a single question: “Has God indeed said?” (See Genesis 3:1)

The best defense against Satan’s wiles and deception is to know what the Bible says and to stand up for your convictions.

“A little leaven leavens the whole lump.” Galatians 5:9 (NKJV)

- Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

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