That this is even being considered now in the history of the United Methodist Church just makes you stop and wonder what Wesley and Whitefield would say. And on top of that, the fact that the win against the normalization of homosexuality within the denomination at the official level was so narrow. I cannot imagine the righteous anger, the just fury they would feel that their beloved denomination would even be flirting with going over the cliff in this regard. Yes it was still a win for those who oppose the normalization of homosexuality within the denomination, but I agree also with those who want to normalize it too: time is on their side. They just need to extend their reach into the denomination a bit further and a split will surely happen. Or they might get sued for discrimination against homosexual people between now and the next conference in four years. Maybe I’m wrong though. God willing, maybe things will turn around.
But unfortunately, I believe at this point, too much damage may have been done internally to hurt their cause, too much of the culture has infiltrated the denomination, to the point where reversing it will be next to impossible. It would be a tremendous uphill battle on an already slippery slope that is quite steep. God can do all things though and can reverse that damage. But unfortunately, history (how God has acted) shows where these things end up typically: in the gutter of dead, godless, nominal, “progressive” Christianity, turning away from doctrinally convicted, historically faithful, Gospel-centered Christianity. I have a friend who is a pastor in the denomination and he’s having quite a difficult, frustrating time with all of this. And not only this issue, but some other things as well. Pray for his strength and resolve to be sustained by the grace of Christ. There are many faithful believers within the denomination who desire to see change, not change toward the progressive way, but change toward the historically faithful way of the denomination.
On a side note (disclaimer): does this mean I cannot stand homosexual persons, hate them in any manner, or that we should not reach out to them? Absolutely not! I have friends as well as family who are gay, they know my stance on the issue, and yet I still love and care for them, just as I do anyone else who is human (sinful). It is a shame this one sin has been exalted above all others by our Christian culture, unbiblically. Sin is sin and despicable in the eyes of the Lord, from self-righteousness (something tolerated within the church unfortunately) to homosexuality, because it all is an affront to the goodness, name, honor, and glory of God. It is a shame too that there is not more outreach by evangelicals to the homosexual community. We should love them just as we love any other sinners, being the fact that we ourselves are sinners too and no better.
But despite all of this, regardless, homosexuality is explicitly written out as sin in the Scriptures and should not be tolerated as something acceptable in the body of the church, just as adultery should not be, or greed, or really self-righteousness (legalism) as well. We should lovingly oppose it. It is an offense not against evangelicals, but rather, according to the Scriptures, it is an offense against God Himself, just as every single one of our sins are, from the least to the greatest. Those “scholars” like Shelby Spong and others, who would attempt to do theological and Scriptural gymnastics to show homosexuality to be something the Biblical writers themselves accepted is absurd. The text is clear on the issue. Paul was not a “repressed homosexual“.