Repent, Pray, and Stand for the UMC

No matter your position of influence in the United Methodist Church, your hope in Christ is needed now.

God’s Clarion Call to Repent

by | May 12, 2018 | UMC Renewal | 0 comments

This post immediately precedes the application exercise at This is What Repentance Looks Like.

I am not writing here to lecture those under the influence of demonic spirits to carry the termite-like destruction of “progressive” theology through the church. The lost will act as lost people act. They need prayer, love, relationship, and a clear presentation of the Good News of Jesus. If I could meet Ms. Oliveto over a lunch somewhere, we’d shake hands, and I would genuinely enjoy asking questions, listening, and seeing how God can bring delight and freedom to those desires He has placed on her heart, and free her from those encumbrances that He did not.

No, my ire right now is not against the progressives, the left, the liberals, the antinomianists, humanists, relativists, metaphysical naturalists, or whatever label we’re using at the moment. I am infuriated with those, like myself, who say we’re standing up for the good of humanity and the authority of scripture on homosexuality and many other issues. If our response of the last 40 years is what we call standing up, I’d hate to see the cleanliness of our men’s urinals.

Why is no one enforcing the clear will of the General Conference and the Judicial Council? When no one does, why are there no organizations devoted to strategizing a complete, one-sided, and shut-out victory of church teaching to be expressed through the governing structures of the UMC? If these efforts don’t exist yet, why haven’t we started them? Why has the laity not been mobilized to pray? Why does a person like myself who is devoted to intercessory prayer and many hours of digesting current events not informed about these fundamental crises of the UMC?[1] Is it too much to ask for help from the church at large to overcome the persistent shouts of a few outliers? Why let the tail wag the dog? Is it too much to ask for help from God?

If the UMC cannot clearly and lovingly put this issue to rest, then we’re not capable of doing anything else by God’s power. This crisis occurring in our own house where we have the most authority is elementary compared to the battles we’re born to win in the kingdom of darkness.

Sure, the noisy few hold an unjustified amount of power in UMC governance. Yes, the homosexual lobby is persistent, passionate, and willing to stoop to low tactics unbecoming of a follower of Christ. And Goliath was big and strong too. But he’s dead, our God reigns, and the Israelite nation they tried to annihilate is celebrating its 70th anniversary of their return to the land next week. Playtime is over. It’s time for Methodists to shout like David, “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?”[2]

Cowardice is as much a sin as homosexuality. Running from battle is as much a sin as murder. “Whoever is slack in his work is a brother to him who destroys.”[3] Poor stewardship of our leadership responsibilities is equal to one who intentionally leads others astray. “And Jesus said to His disciples, ‘Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin,’”[4]

I am deeply concerned for the salvation and sanctification of church members on both sides of this issue. Each can accuse the other of not following the real Jesus but are blind to the logs in their own eyes. I am speaking now to the people on my “side”: REPENT NOW AND REMEMBER YOUR BAPTISM. You were not purchased with unprecious gold or silver, but with the holy blood of Jesus Christ. Your life is not your own, and it is not your own to protect and defend and direct. Will you, who were once saved by grace, continue in your walk to save your own skin and your own little dominion by your own effort? How DARE that thought be entertained, and coddled, and lived out in practice! How dare we spit on Him who sacrificed His life on our behalf! Your job is not to save a church building or a pension, but to be obedient to the heavenly calling God placed in your spirit and to faithful to the leadership post to which you were appointed. REPENT, STAND UP, and FIGHT!!

“For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries [me and you if we do not repent and act in accordance with the salvation given to us]. Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has spurned the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, ‘Vengeance is mine; I will repay.’ And again, ‘The Lord will judge His people.’ It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”[5]

Application: This is What Repentance Looks Like

[1] I know spiritual warfare enough to know – as incredulous as it sounds – that it actually took a lot of fight and sacrifice just to get this information to our little gathering last week. Praise should be given to Walter Fenton, to the WCA, to those supporting the WCA, the church hosting the meeting, and to the pastor in Tulsa who asked for the WCA to come visit. If there were any breach in that chain of faithfulness, many more would not be informed and primed for mobilization. I would not be praying, fasting, and writing to you today. I thank everyone involved. Your investment in Christ will never return void. But for as much warfare as it’s requiring just to get the information out that there is a battle, we are going to need thousands of times more to win this war for the long haul and come out a battle-hardened, zealous, alive-in-Christ bride capable of exploits to see everyone come to a saving knowledge of Jesus. Let’s get moving. The hour is not too late, and it is not for us to judge whether it is.

[2] 1 Samuel 17:26, ESV

[3] Proverbs 18:9, ESV

[4] Luke 17:1-2, ESV

[5] Hebrews 10:26-31, ESV