If rules and doctrines no longer matter, why have them? In another violation of biblical principles, the progressive United Methodist Church (UMC) voted to make “Reverend” Cedrick Bridgeforth, an openly gay man, a bishop at their official meeting last week. Of course, they did.
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 the good news is the UMC is no longer “United.”
The UMC Book of Discipline forbids ordaining ‘practicing homosexuals.’ But rules are meant to be broken, right? The question is what or who is final authority?
The Book of Jude appeals to Christians to stand up for the truth 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. It’s just disappointing.
Don’t miss the fact that a man in an open same-sex “marriage” was still elected to the office of UMC bishop. Bridgeforth served as the California-Pacific Conference’s director of innovation and communication and received 73 votes out of 93 ballots cast.
During the last decade, Methodists finally split. Biblical Christians in the denomination are tired of compromise, LGBTQ policies, women pastors, and division over abortion and marriage. So after years of debate over gay pastors and accommodating sin, conservatives officially parted ways with the UMC and launched its Global Methodist Church earlier this year.
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.”
Plenty of people mention God or even say they 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 do you really follow Jesus and live out your faith according to the Bible? Are you a man-pleaser or a God-pleaser (Gal. 1:10)?
I think we know the answers to these questions, and the truth is sobering. 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 not just one denomination.
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.
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 to align with those who rebel and also says God will not be mocked. He never changes and neither does His Word. You will reap what you sow, either sin and corruption or righteousness and everlasting life (Gal. 6:7-8, Isaiah 40:8).
Churches have been divided on politics for over a century, but the greater issue is division over clear biblical doctrines and teachings. By the way, the (formerly) United Methodist Church is the third-largest Protestant denomination in the USA.
The Apostle Paul said because the Holy Spirit lives in believers, we are temples of the living God.
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.