In yet another violation of biblical principles, the progressive United Methodist Church (UMC) voted to make “Reverend” Cedrick Bridgeforth, an openly gay man, bishop at their official meeting last week. Of course, they did. But if church rules and Bible doctrines no longer matter, why have them?
Sadly, more churches seem to be minimizing or reinterpreting Scripture. These deceivers often emphasize (code words alert!) diversity, equity, inclusion, tolerance, and strive to be ‘welcoming.’ It’s true Jesus welcomed sinners, but He also told them to repent, obey His commandments, and to go and sin no more!
After being elected, Bridgeforth told those gathered at the Western Jurisdiction meeting that he was “grateful to God Almighty” and “to my husband, Christopher.” But wait a minute. The UMC Book of Discipline forbids ordaining ‘practicing homosexuals.’ But rules are meant to be broken, right? Not if Jesus is your final authority. He is the One who created mankind and all things. He ordained and defined (natural) marriage between one man and one woman (Mark 10:6-10).
The Book of Jude appeals to Christians to stand and fight against attacks on the faith. See if you notice any similarities to today’s church as Jude warned first century Christians saying:
For certain people have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into indecent behavior and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. Jude 1:4
Deception, godlessness, and false teachers are nothing new.
Don’t miss the fact that a man in an open same-sex “marriage” was still elected to the office of bishop in the Methodist Church. Bridgeforth plans to “chart new ground.” He served as the California-Pacific Conference’s director of innovation and communication and received 73 votes out of 93 ballots cast. For those keeping score, that’s a majority.
It’s important to note that during the last decade, the splintered Methodist denomination finally split. Biblical Christians were tired of compromise, LGBTQ policies, women pastors, political correctness, and division over abortion and marriage. So after years of debate over holding the biblical line or accommodating sin, conservatives officially parted ways with the UMC and launched its Global Methodist Church.
Former UMC General Conference delegate, John Lomperis of the Institute on Religion & Democracy, said Bridgeforth’s promotion exhibits “further direct defiance of the UMC’s official rules, which is increasingly becoming normalized.” He adds:
“Bishops are entrusted with the sacred responsibility of upholding and enforcing our church’s doctrinal and moral standards. When the bishops are so openly breaking these standards, then this is a true ‘inmates running the asylum’ situation,”
According to the Christian Post, Loperis remarked about a female bishop also elected by the UMC, that she even refused to say if she believes in the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ. Apparently [she] does not believe in “basic biblical doctrine about His incarnation.” This is stunning.
Plenty of people mention God or even claim to believe in Him, but does your faith translate over into your life? Where’s the fruit? Do you obey the commandments? Anyone can say they are Christian and millions do, but it’s apparent they do not really follow Jesus and live out their faith according to the Bible. They are man-pleasers rather than God-pleasers (Gal. 1:10).
I think we know the sobering answers to these questions. It is reflected in the moral rot and decay of culture and the infestation of social justice and liberal ideologies into American churches.
It’s important to understand the historical decline. In 2016, the United Methodist Church (Western Jurisdiction) appointed the first openly lesbian bishop, and the election was unanimous! Karen Oliveto’s ordination was later deemed invalid by the Church’s Judicial Council a year later, but that didn’t matter; she remains in her position to this day.
The day before the 2016 UMC convention in Oregon, the “Reverend” Laura Young, a 48-year-old Methodist pastor in Ohio joined over a hundred United Methodist Church clergy members who came out as gay, lesbian or bisexual. Young stated at the time:
“I feel lighter already. I can be a better pastor and a better person when I can be my full self, living in the light and with integrity.”
In 2019, the UMC voted – by a slim margin – to uphold the church’s bans on ordaining LGBTQ clergy and performing same-sex weddings. However, that vote was disregarded by many progressive leaders within the UMC who rebelled and continued to commission openly gay clergy as well as officiate same-sex weddings.
The Bible warns us not to align with them and also says God will not be mocked. He never changes and neither does His Word which teaches you will reap what you sow, either sin and corruption or righteousness and everlasting life (Isaiah 40:8, Gal. 6:7-8).
Churches have been divided on politics for over a century, but the greater issue is division over clear, biblical, foundational doctrines and teachings. By the way, the (formerly) United Methodist Church is the third-largest Protestant denomination in the USA. Don’t think this couldn’t happen at your church.
The Apostle Paul said the Holy Spirit lives in believers and we are temples of the living God. He writes:
Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? …Therefore “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.” 2 Corinthians 6:14, 17
How about you or your church? Do you have a decision to make?
For those in seeker-sensitive “churches” who no longer adhere to or believe what the Bible teaches, it doesn’t matter what they say. Christ the King will return as promised, sin will be judged, and righteousness, holiness, grace and truth will prevail.