Category Archives: denominations
Several rather strange (and tragic) events happened over the last few weeks involving members of the Church of God in Christ denomination.
STOMP JESUS controversy – A professor at Florida Atlantic University who demanded that students write Jesus’ name on a piece of paper and then stomp on it has been placed on administrative leave due to concerns for his personal safety. Deandre Poole, a member of Lighthouse COGIC in Ft Lauderdale came under fire for the bizarre exercise after one student refused to participate and was subsequently threatened with suspension. Poole claims he was “just doing my job”. More here
FOLK STAR GAY controversy – Michelle Shocked was a celebrated folk singer whose schedule was packed with venue appearances around the country. That was until she unexpectedly unleashed on homosexuals and gay marriage during the second half of her concert in San Francisco with a sizeable group of gays in the audience. Shocked sharply rebuked homosexuals and repeated several epithets including telling them “God hates fags”. Shocked is a long time member of West Angeles COGIC pastored by Bishop Charles Blake. The fallout has been even stranger.
EASTER SUNDAY MUSLIM EXECUTION – Members of the Hiawatha COGIC in Ashtabula, Ohio were traumatized after Easter Sunday service when a 25 year old man shot and killed another man outside the church then entered yelling Muslim statements typically associated with executions in the name of Allah. Turns out the shooter, Reshad Riddle was the son of the murder victim. Full story here
Over the last twenty years, you’ve seen them fall like dominoes: the so-called Christian denominations that have policied themselves into homosexual acceptance. It doesn’t just happen. The homosexual antinominialists and their blind eye allies, employ a number of subversive tactics to turn whole denominations away from what used to be their foundational principles. A major problem of the contemporary church and its Sauls Army of members is that their fear of what homosexuals are doing is evident. That fear has emboldened an enemy of the cross that could be put down with one smooth stone. But there must exist a resolve to do so.
A great blog on the Gospel Coalition site by Kevin DeYoung takes you past the smoke and mirrors and reveals how this train wreck of a theological tragedy is occurring before our very eyes. DeYoung cites Tom Oden’s prophetic book of warning “Requiem”. Three steps and centuries of foundational truth is trashed as if it were a musty pair of old socks. Tolerate. Accept. Endorse.
The first step is always a study committee.
In response to claims for moral legitimization of behaviors widely thought displeasing to God, each of the mainline denominations has dutifully appointed elaborate study commissions to report back to the general legislative body on how the church might respond to this form of sexual orientation, practice, and advocacy. (152)
If the first study committee comes back with a traditional reading of the text, or if the legislative body dismisses the committee’s progressive interpretation, you can always assign another study committee amidst outcries that the recalcitrant conservatives suffer from “homophobia and reactionary stupidity” (153).
And if the traditional view cannot be overturned right away, try dismissing the whole controversy by telling people (with no small amount of chronological snobbery) that saner Christians understand this is nothing worth fighting over.
The fact that homosexual practice is not a weighty moral matter was asserted by the United Methodist Sexuality Report as a “consensus among Christian ethicists,” yet without any evidence to support this curious assertion. All the conspicuous Christian teachers who have resisted same-sex intercourse (John Chrysostom, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, John Calvin, and other consensual ecumenical teachers) are weighed in the debate less heavily than selected modern proponents of moral relativism and utilitarian permissivism. (153)
The next step is admonish “the people of God to wait for a firm ‘scientific consensus’” on the matter (154).
Then some leading lights in the denomination can offer new exegetical avenues for avoiding the traditional understanding of familiar texts. Three evasions in particular are quite popular.
The first evasion is that the normative moral force of all biblical texts on same-sex intercourse may be explained away by their cultural context. This leads to the conclusion that any statement in the Bible can be reduced to culturally equivocal ambiguity and indeterminacy on the premise of cultural relativism…
The second evasion hinges upon a strung out interpretation on Romans 1:26-27…
The third evasion argues that when Genesis 1:27 declares that God created male and female, the text has no normative significance for how sexual behavior is to be understood, since it is merely a distinction with no further moral meaning. (154-55)
If all else fails, the final step is to announce triumphantly and with a terrific celebration of grace that “Christ is, in an amoral fashion, the end of the law” and charge others with legalism if they don’t share in your antinomianism (156).
You have played the whore with many lovers; and would you return to me? says the Lord. Look up to the bare heights, and see! Where have you not been lain with? By the waysides you have sat waiting for lovers, like a nomad in the wilderness. You have polluted the land with your whoring and wickedness. Jeremiah 3: 1-2
Call it the 50 Shades of Gray, Religious Version. Or maybe it should be referred to as Church of the Living Dead. Either way, the American Church has fallen/jumped into the pit of immorality and is showing no signs of wanting to get out. Behaving more like a dog returning to its vomit instead of a bride waiting on her betrothed, the AC has left its first love. Like the foolish Galatians, the American Church has been bewitched and is under a heavy delusion.
Just one of the many lovers she is whoring with under the green trees of politics and compromise is the homosexual movement. Perhaps a sign of the steadily weakening resolve of the church to standfast is Charisma Magazine printing Canadian liberal theologian Ronald J. Siders oped with a deceptive headline attached. Christian media is in on the game as well. Sider is the president of Evangelicals for Social Action, which develops biblical solutions to social and economic problems. Actually, ESA is progay. And thats not a biblical solution to the sin of homosexuality.
Have parts of the church treacherously partnered with homosexuals to attempt to destroy God’s creative marriage design and rebuild it in their own image and likeness? Most certainly. But note the word attempt. Because despite their best efforts, they will miserably fail. Ask any of the people who attempted to build the tower of Babel.
Siders argues correctly that because of the partnership of deceived (aka inclusion) Christians with homosexuals, three key threats will materialize and directly impact the institutional church.
1. It would weaken the connection between marriage and procreation and the connection between biological parents and their biological children. Almost every court case supporting gay marriage explicitly downgrades the role of procreation in marriage. In the Massachusetts Supreme Court’s decision bringing in gay marriage, the court explicitly said the state was indifferent to family structure; that is, society has no preference for children growing up with both biological parents!
2. The embrace of gay marriage will almost certainly change what is taught in public schools. If in law gay marriages are equal to marriages of husbands and wives, then the schools will certainly begin to teach that to all our children as the proper view for every good citizen.
3. There will be a variety of pressures to silence people who believe homosexual practice is sin. Virtually all legal experts agree that if the law sanctions gay marriage, there will be a colossal confrontation between religious liberty and “gay rights.” Through licensure and government grants a wide variety of faith-based organizations will face growing pressure to abandon their stand on homosexual practice and gay marriage.
And he cites (as we have numerous times on GCMW) that homosexuals and their political allies are lying about exempting the church from gay marriage laws. Its just a deceptive shell game.
As Marc Stern of the American Jewish Congress has warned, once the law recognizes gay marriage, there will be court cases against religious institutions (colleges, universities, camp grounds, hospitals, adoption agencies, and so on) that refuse to treat legally married same-sex couples the same as married heterosexuals.
Similarly, it’s likely that government will slowly withdraw benefits from faith-based organizations that believe they shouldn’t treat legally married same-sex partners the way they treat husbands and wives. Gay activists will undoubtedly argue in the courts that government dare not “subsidize discrimination” and therefore government funds must not flow to faith-based organizations that oppose gay marriage or refuse to hire persons engaged in homosexual actions.
The issue in Sider’s sleight of hand article is not his accurate description of the problem, but the unbiblical “solutions” he posits. For example, Sider’s wolf skin is exposed when he says the solution to the homosexual issue is redesignation.
“First, we can demonstrate our desire to respect and treat gay people fairly. One significant way to do that would be to support the legal recognition of civil unions. (This may actually reduce promiscuity as well.)”
Beware the brokers of seduction.
One commenter thankfully came right out and said it.
Ronald Sider is a far left-wind socialist who is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He is about as “evangelical” as Jeremiah Wright — just more smooth and diplomatic, and deceptive, in the promotion of his agenda. This article is a good example of the smooth, slick way he promotes his left-wing agenda, posing as an “evangelical/charismatic.” I can see why someone who doesn’t know who Ronald Sider is or his past would be taken in. This typical ad hominem argument is typical of satan himself — “Because of your failures in this area, you have no right to speak in THAT area.” The enemy, the “accuser of the brethren,” constantly attempts to silence our voice and render us powerless by pointing out past failings or current weaknesses. There are a number of fallacies in the slick article above. Here are just a couple:
1. While the statistic is constantly presented — to beat Christians down — that Christians divorce at the same rate as non-Christians, this statistic is so misleading as to in actuality be used mostly as a lie.
2. Those who are on the frontlines defending our society against the onslaught of the influence of homosexual perversion and it’s attempt to justify itself by moral equivalence to normal marriage are NOT the ones committing adultery and getting divorced. Even if it were true that adultery abounds and half of all Christians who marry will eventually divorce — which it is NOT– that still does NOT characterize the lives of those who have been and continue to be true champions giving their very lives to defending the moral foundations of our nation for future generations. Of course, the likes of Ronald Sider and his comrades in the leftist media, love to expose the occasion leader caught in moral failure as yet another ad hominem argument against the whole Body of Christ.
Ignoring requests from the Episcopal presiding bishop, the denomination’s South Carolina diocese became the 5th to break away in protest of its embrace of homosexual conduct. [source] Its a move that is worthy of praise. Church leaders who go against the will of God and the word of God should forfeit their leadership authority. If they refuse to return to biblical truth, the only choice of integrity is to leave.
Despite the presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church writing a pastoral letter to the members of the South Carolina diocese to stay, a majority of parishes voted to leave the denomination over its ordination of gay clergy and acceptance of same-sex unions.
The vote took place at a convention organized by the South Carolina diocese leadership at St. Philip’s Church in Charleston on Saturday, Reuters reported. It followed the U.S. Episcopal Church’s certification last month that South Carolina Bishop Mark J. Lawrence, who had criticized pro-gay positions of the denomination’s hierarchy, had abandoned the church’s doctrine, discipline and worship.
“This has never been about who is welcome or not welcome in our church,” Lawrence was quoted as saying at the convention, attended by about 200 people. “It’s about what we shall tell them when they come.”
Congregations in San Joaquin, Calif.; Quincy, Ill.; Fort Worth, Texas; and Pittsburgh, Pa., also left the church in recent years.
The acceptance of homosexuality in mainline white denominations has devastated and divided congregations and their denominational rulers in an almost civil warlike fashion. Citing liberal policies and resolutions, Rev. William Coats wrote, ” The Episcopal church has experienced a dramatic loss in membership over the last 35 years. This climate of loss has clearly affected our morale and has fed a level of internecine antagonism rarely seen in our church.”
In response to error-ridden leader of the denomination, the diocese asserted that it preceded the Episcopal Church, thus had no authority to demand it remain in association with the denomination’s extreme positions.
According to the Christian Post, Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori, the presiding bishop, sent a letter to the diocese last Thursday, writing that she wanted the Diocese to remain part of the Church. “Your presence adds to the ability of this community to discern the will of God, even if you disagree vehemently with one or another resolution passed by a particular General Convention,” wrote Schori. “Never in the history of Christianityhave all the faithful agreed about everything, and I doubt very much that we will come to full agreement about everything before we join the saints in light at Jesus’ Second Coming.”
But the SC fired back: “We disagree with her statement that a diocese cannot leave TEC. It is in error historically, canonically and under the civil laws of this state.”
Allowing practicing, unrepentant homosexuals into leadership in church is nothing short of rebellion and no church who value to be faithful to biblical values should retain fellowship.
Standing in Christian solidarity with faithful clergy and laity of the United Methodist Church, Gay Christian Movement Watch supports the censure of Bishop Melvin Talbert for encouraging clergy to go against the Book of Discipline by officiating at same-sex unions.
The letter asks the executive committee of the Council of Bishops to file a formal complaint against Bishop Talbert. It also asks that a handful of other bishops, some active and retired, be censured if they don’t issue statements repudiating Bishop Talbert’s call for clergy to perform same-sex unions.
According to the letter, those bishops stood with Bishop Talbert as he made such an appeal at a gay rights rally held during General Conference in Tampa. The letter says some of those bishops, when contacted, responded that they did not know what Bishop Talbert was going to say and do not support disobedience of the Discipline.
The letter notes that Bishop Talbert was named to lead the Western Jurisdictional Conference’s Strategic Plan for Gospel Obedience, and in that capacity also has encouraged clergy to go against the Discipline.
The Discipline, the denomination’s law book, declares the practice of homosexuality to be incompatible with Christian teaching. Church law also forbids the ordination of gay clergy and forbids clergy from officiating at same-sex unions.
“We are deeply concerned that Bishop Talbert has undercut that very discipline and order,” the group’s letter says, “by encouraging dissension, disunity and disobedience, and advocating anarchy and chaos in response to the actions of the 2012 General Conference, taken after focused prayer, study, and holy conferencing.”
We urge the council of Methodist Bishop to follow biblical directives to rebuke and censure any recognized leader who supports division and subversion of the will of God and the mandates of the church of Jesus Christ. Talbert has repeatedly demonstrated that he is unworthy of the office of a bishop and should publicly be rebuked for such ungodly behavior.
CLEVELAND – The nation’s foremost organization of African American pentecostal episcopates has released a statement rejecting the ordination, approval and acceptance of unrepentant homosexuals into Christian ministry. Despite increasing numbers of predominately white formerly mainline denominations capitulating to ordaining and consecrating open homosexuals, others are drawing a spiritual and policy-based line in the sand.
The Joint College of African American Pentecostal Bishops (JCAAPB) released a strongly worded statement via its website decrying “prejudice, bigotry and violence” against homosexuals, but maintaining a unwavering biblical position in the process.
The act of homosexuality is a sin according to God’s Word. God’s intent in creation was that male and female would be complimentary, that the privilege of sexual expression would be between male and female only, and this expression would be only in the context of marriage. Both heterosexual and homosexual sexual behavior outside of marriage violates the human spirit and distorts God’s intent for our lives. The Holy Scriptures condemn homosexual practices (Genesis 19:4-10; Leviticus 18:22; 30:13; Romans 1: 26-28; and First Timothy 1:8-10), and we follow this instruction and example of Jesus.
While the world systems are being continually affected by cultural and sociological changes, we will not compromise or deviate from the standards set by God. We do not endorse or consecrate homosexuals to the Holy Office of Bishop, or condone their ordination into Holy Office as Deacons or Elders (Priests), for to do so is both dishonoring to God and a betrayal of our Faith. The ordination of a practicing homosexual to any church office contradicts the clear mandate of God. Therefore, the Joint College will NEVER accept or bless same-sex unions of any kind or grant those living such a lifestyle Apostolic Succession into Holy Office.”
Headed by former COGIC official J. Delano Ellis, the Joint College first made news in April 2004 when it convened a special session on the so-called “gospel of inclusion” and declared it heresy and its chief advocate Carlton Pearson, a heretic [source].
The organization counts among its executive board COGIC Presiding Bishop Charles Blake, Sr, Bishop Alfred Owens, head of the Mt Calvary Holy Churches of America, Bishop Walter Thomas and Bishop Claude Alexander of Kingdom Association of Covenant Pastors.