Largest Methodist Church in Michigan Votes 616-9 to Leave the Denomination
Jesus was a rebel. He rebelled against the world and overcame it. In times like these, Christian unity can be found in rebellion.
But Christians are, of course, to strive for peace and avoid conflict when they can. Where to draw the line?
Take the case of Cornerstone Church of Caledonia in Michigan, the largest United Methodist congregation in the state.
It has voted to leave the mainline Protestant denomination, according to The Christian Post. The vote wasn’t close, either. The final tally came in at 616-9, with two abstentions.
The UMC website emphasized that the split has not been contentious. I guess it was a peaceful rebellion of sorts.
“This isn’t a renegade spirit that we have,” Cornerstone pastor Ken Nash said. “We want to have a connection [with the UMC] in the future. It just doesn’t have to be as formalized.”
“We realized we can have a gracious exit,” Nash continued. “That allowed us an opportunity for more dialogue around how can we continue to be a bridge between the differences and not be forced into one camp or another.”
The two camps are divided over the question the UMC has been debating for decades — the church’s stance on homosexuality.
“Since the formation of The United Methodist Church over 50 years ago, members have engaged in a passionate debate to define church beliefs and relationships with LGBTQ persons in the church,” a spokesperson for the UMC’s Michigan Conference stated, according to WXMI-TV.
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“The root of this conflict is how United Methodists interpret the Bible.”
The UMC is the third-largest Christian denomination in the U.S. The debate over same-sex marriage and the ordination of people in same-sex relationships has been heated at times.
According to the Post, progressive leaders in the UMC — having failed to change the official rules time and again — have gone into full-fledged rebellion by blessing same-sex marriages and approving the ordination of practicing homosexuals.
Cornerstone’s move to leave the UMC pales in comparison to the audacity of the progressive rebellion.
Nash was right. No renegades at Cornerstone. Rather, it’s a ploy to not choose a side on the LGBT issue. In making the decision, Cornerstone made no decision at all.
The Cornerstone website has this to say about the LGBT question:
“While we do not perform same-sex marriage ceremonies, we do invite all people, including LGBTQ+ persons, into full participation within our church. At Cornerstone, participation includes attendance, serving, receiving the sacraments, and membership. We also invite LGBTQ+ individuals and their families to not only participate but to step into the discipleship journey and receive spiritual care that every sacred person deserves.”
If Cornerstone is allowing unrepentant sinners to receive Holy Communion, it is not rebelling against the world. It’s surrendering to it. Let me put it plainly: Cornerstone is not conservative.
And if they are suggesting that homosexuality is not sinful, they are willfully ignoring Scripture. How they can interpret it any differently is beyond me.
Leviticus 18:22: “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.”
1 Timothy 1:9-10: “The law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine.”
1 Corinthians 6:9-11: “Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
There are plenty more passages in both the Old and New Testaments that make the same points crystal-clear. There should be no debate on the matter. It’s that simple.
In 1972, Pope Paul VI delivered a sermon in which he famously said, “From some fissure the smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God.” It appears that Cornerstone, in an attempt to clear out the smoke, forgot to put out the fire.
Jesus said, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Christians who rebel against the onslaught of LGBT demands participate in Christian unity.
Anything else is a farce.