Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth… Ephesians 6:14
Recently, something significant happened within the United Methodist Church. According to Franklin Graham, “In a vote of 438-384, delegates from around the world attending the church’s General Conference in St. Louis reinforced a UMC policy established in 1972 stating that ‘the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.’ The church also strengthened its ban on LGBT clergy.”
Kudos to the UMC for standing on God’s Word in the face of enormous pressure from the world.
I was reminded by a friend of something I wrote in May of 2016, which bears repeating. It emphasizes the importance of standing firm and making our voices heard in support of God’s Word. Here’s a part of that blog.
Yesterday, one of our church members sent me a link about abortion and the United Methodist Church of America. He sent me the article by Jim Daly of Focus on the Family because I had been sharing with my Bible Study group that I (we) need to stand firm in defense of the gospel and authority of God’s Word.
This is a part of what Daly wrote.
“For 40 years the United Methodist Church has supported the Supreme Court’s infamous Roe vs. Wade decision – that is, until last week.
Delegates of the country’s third-largest religious body voted 445 to 310 to repeal the official resolution supporting the case establishing a constitutional “right” to abortion during its General Conference. They also voted to sever its affiliation with the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC), an interfaith organization co-founded by the United Methodist Church.
The RCRC advocates for abortion without restrictions – the legal killing of any pre-born child for any reason at any point during pregnancy. The group even supports partial-birth and sex-selection abortion, and promotes rituals to bless the work of abortion clinics.”
Why the change of heart?
The movement away from abortion and the continued stance for biblical marriage is largely due to the presence and the voice of its five million African members who are predominantly conservative in their theology, in other words, they believe in what the Bible says.
If those five million African members fled, things would not have changed. They stayed and made their voices heard, which resulted in change.
I happen to believe that, within the church, the pro-LGBT and pro-choice movement are the result of a minority voice held in concert with a very worldly chorus. It may be time for those who hold to the authority of Scripture to raise their voices in an anthem declaring the sanctity of life and the value of God’s creative order in marriage within the church.
There are times to take a stand by leaving. However, there are other times to stand firm and advocate for what is right in the sight of God. I take heart in what Paul wrote in Galatians 6:9. He encouraged us by writing, “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary”.
May God continue to grant us the wisdom to know when to flee and when to stand firm and make our voices heard amidst the din of sin.
Something to think about…