For several weeks I have been looking at the possibility of change in the Methodist view of same-gender issues which are dividing our church leadership and creating uncertainty among us in the pew. According to Webster sin is an offense against religious or moral law or an action that is or is felt to be highly reprehensible an often can be a serious shortcoming. The Christian view of sin is that it is a transgression of the law of God which can tarnish the state of human nature in which a person is estranged from God. We have all heard it said that God is the same today as He was yesterday and for all the days to come. I have written about church law versus God’s Law and my belief that God’s intent was for marriage to be between a man and a woman. I do not believe that any amount of discussion however well-intentioned will change that. That brings me to the inescapable conclusion that we are about to witness the evolution of church law. Evolution by definition is a process of continuous change from a lower, simpler, or worse to a higher, more complex, or better state. It is a growth process of gradual and relatively peaceful social, political, and economic advance. I can see no better state when the cost is the perversion of God’s intent and the redefining of scripture to be more compatible with the ever changing morals of today’s life style. Many of the changes that take place in any church now days are driven by statistics.
We know as Christians that God’s Grace is for all. How do we extend that loving grace to those whom we believe to be estranged from God because their life style is not compatible with God’s Law? If there is to be any peace among us we must accept that God’s grace is available to all who seek it. We must allow God’s judgement, not ours to be decided by God not us. The question the Methodist church needs to ask and address is simply this. How do we as Christ did, eat with the tax collectors, go among the lepers, kneel in the dirt with the adulterous, and how do we go among those who because of sin are estranged from God or better yet how do we bring them among us without being caught up or enticed into the sin that holds them captive? How do we show this grace and love and not give the impression that what God found to be unacceptable is now acceptable? I have reached a point where words do not come easy. I turn to the Word….. From Romans 12: 9-13
9 Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. 10 Love each other with genuine affection,and take delight in honoring each other. 11 Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.12 Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. 13 When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.
We must never accept that which separates us from our God. Only that, that which the Father sent to be among us, will guide us and sustain us in the days ahead. Come Holy Spirit, Come. Next week “The Numbers Game”. Hope you come back. I’ll be waiting here in the pew.