Who left Whom?
Even if you don't read my post, I pray you will watch the video at the end. It is very eye-opening because it is not speculation about the future but what is happening now, in the words of those who believe such.
People have asked me why I left the United Methodist Church, though that is no longer my focus, for clarification, I will write one post on this subject. The two outcomes that persuaded me to leave were (1) they left me first, and (2) they reduced God to be no more powerful than myself. They question the validity of the resurrection, the perfection of the incarnate Christ, and the absolute truth of the Bible.
First, I will explain what I mean by saying they left me. At the last Annual Conference of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference, it was blatantly obvious that no one cared what my opinion, as a conservative, was. They worked hard to elect delegates to General Conference and the Judicial Conference who were progressive, they fought hard to keep all conservatives off the docket. They succeeded and not one conservative pastor was elected bishop. I read posts online that boasted that the last conservative bishop had retired.
Many bishops and leaders broke their covenant with me, a fellow ordained elder, by disregarding and defying the Discipline they promised to uphold at their ordination. They performed same-sex marriages and ordained self-avowed practicing homosexuals. And no one who had the power stopped them.
This whole debacle started over the issue of homosexuality and if it is compatible with biblical teaching. But that was truly just the beginning, it has escalated from there. This should be no surprise to anyone, once you determine the Bible is no longer authoritative, you open your thinking and judging to just about anything. Let me explain.
Bishop Karen Oliveto wrote to the Mountain Sky Conference telling them that they must not make an "idol" out of Jesus and that Jesus was not perfect but was learning about prejudice as he walked the earth. The piece she wrote was taken down, but John Lomperis screenshot the article so that it could still be read. You can read her piece here.
An idol is an image or representation of a god used as an object of worship. This, then, means that Bishop Oliveto does not believe in the basic tenets of Christianity. John 1 tells us, "In the beginning, the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God." John 1:1 (italics mine). John wrote this gospel and lived, served, and learned at Jesus' feet for three years, which, to me, makes his knowledge much more trustworthy than Oliveto's. If John says Jesus is God, I believe his word.
That Jesus was not perfect would again go against the basic teachings of Christianity. If we did not believe that Jesus is perfect, we could not accept his redemptive work on the cross. The author of Hebrews tells us, "For, by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins." Hebrew 9:14b (italics mine).
I believe the Bible is the inspired, inerrant word of God. That is not the case with many in the UMC, one UMC seminary grad says, "I do not take the Bible as inspired or inerrant or infallible." (7:51 video below). A UMC District Superintendent says, "The UMC is allowing pastors to state from the pulpit that Jesus is not the only way to heaven and that Jesus was not resurrected. (10:35 video below) . And when asked the questions himself he said he didn't know if Jesus was the only way to heaven or if Jesus was resurrected.
In the Great Rivers Conference, drag queen, Isaac Simmons, a.k.a. Penny Cost is a candidate for ministry. He/she wrote a poem stating that the Bible and God are nothing (1:59). How can you be a Christian and state that the Bible and God are nothing? I cannot serve a God who is no better than myself. A God that has no power beyond what I have.
I serve a God who created the universe, who created me, who created Isaac out of his great love for his people. He is able to be with me and with others simultaneously, meeting our need for companionship and being faithful to his promises. I don't understand God and I'm okay with that because if I could understand he would not be the God I worship. In his omniscience, omnipotence, and perfect holiness, he will be my God until I meet him in heaven someday. He loved me enough to send his Son to die for my sins and show me the way to eternal.
My God "...came to seek and save those who are lost."(Luke 19:10) Because "he does not want anyone to be destroyed but wants everyone to repent." (2 Peter 3:8c). He seeks us every day.