Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Changes in the UMC

Dick and I have been in ministry with the United Methodist Church for over 45 years. During that time, we have become friends with many parishioners and fellow clergy who love Jesus and want to live for Him. The UMC has offered us a Christ-centered, Biblically-sound place to do that—until now. By an overwhelming majority, the UMC General Conference recently voted to blatantly ignore God’s Word and follow the world. You can read all about it here.

For example, the words, “We find homosexuality incompatible with Christian teaching,” were removed from the UM Discipline, indicating the UMC no longer considers homosexuality a sin. How did this governing body come to that decision considering Rom. 1: 26-27 and 1 Cor. 6:9-11?

For me the problem lies not in issues of human sexuality, but in veering away from Scripture. Without God’s Word guiding us, what hope is there for people to be saved? If the church follows the world in embracing what God deemed sin, how will people know they need salvation?

Moreover, although churches were promised disaffiliation from the denomination would always be an option, the UMC voted to eliminate that choice for congregations who disagree with the new tenets. Whether to remain United Methodist is now left up entirely to each individual.

I grieve for the loss of the United Methodist Church as I have known it. I feel as though a loved one has died. Losing her has profoundly affected so many of us. How do we go on without her?

And yet, as I sit here, praying, I feel like God is saying this loss is a means He is using to call each of us to stand up for our faith, to examine what we really believe, to leave our comfort zone and seek a place where He can stretch and grow our faith. And He will walk with us through the struggle, strengthening us as we take those first tentative steps.

Despite these crushing disappointments. God does not leave us hopeless. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

Be encouraged!

©2024 Pamela D. Williams.
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