So, What Will United Methodists Be?

by Rev. Dennis Hartman

Published May, 06, 2013

Over the years the United Methodist Church has supported many strange and radical ideas. From the God is Dead professor to the current Gay issue the United Methodist Church seems to figure out a way to live with sin. Over the course of those many years their denomination have begun to fall apart and lose members. From the largest Protestant Church in the United States they have fallen. Within in their ranks you can find people who don't believe the Bible to opposite groups like the Confessing Movement and Good News folks. There has always been a serious tension between both groups. And for whatever the reason there was always a forced tolerance by the deniers. These deniers are the praised and the heros of the God haters. And these heros have always come up with ways to hoodwink the Bible believers into staying in the church. This sort of compromise is possibly the sin unto death that the Apostles warned us about.

For years God has tried to "reach out" to the United Methodist Church. However, the concept of "love" was twisted into the bullying rod which has shamed many good folks into accepting a lot of leftist nonsense. This contrasts with what they used to be while they were on the cutting edge of Biblical Christianity in the 1800's. The Circuit Riders, a group of men of small "formal" education faced the challenge of taking the Gospel from coast to coast. And perhaps they were the backbone of that which is called Manifest Destiny of which the leftist leaning educated heroes of Lucifer continually scorn. Their battle cry was "Souls for Jesus." Neither rain, hail, snow, heat, wild animals could not stop them. They confronted the people who were lawless and many times over came this group by their preaching, living and sometimes pure brut strength. And sometimes they paid the ultimate price for standing for Jesus. This then was the great foundation that was laid by lovers of God. They touched the lives of both Indians and frontier settlers. They did not love themselves. Even when not confronted by the evil people they died all to soon from the natural elements in which they labored. They were an unstoppable force for Christ and at that time an unbeatable foe of sin. They conquered the West and the rough tough American frontier. They believed Christ, and lived Christ. For them, to die was to gain. This was real Methodism. There was no denomination at the time who could match their zeal for our Lord. None!

But the above story of the past seems to be a lie as compared to what passes for Methodism today. Man's need for a Savior has not changed a bit. But man does feel that somehow, because he is now highly educated, and learned the humanistic philosophy of Darwin, that he is smarter. Even more intelligent then God Himself. Now they look at the Bible as a nice book, but it is antiquated and needs to be reinterpreted to meet our contemporary needs. If it can not be contorted to approve of our life styles today, it must then be denied as something that was not in the original manuscripts.

The pastors of United Methodism are all highly educated. Many of them hold a doctors degree of one kind or another. Their call seems to be more predicated on their ability to fulfill their high educational requirements by the denomination rather then God's requirment. But with in this mix there is contention. That contention is evidently caused by the fact that some of these preachers are slowly beginning to wake up. That is what God calls sin must not be accepted or twisted into an accepted moral life style.

Hence we enter the current furor within the United Methodist Church. There is a style of living that the Bible wastes no time in condemning. That is the Sodomite life style. Since the time of the Civil Rights marches here in the South, many gays have dreamed of the day that they too could flaunt this sexual life style into an unsuspecting Church. African American people were born dark colored. Never to my knowledge was the color of a mans skin called a sin in the Bible. However, it is not so with the gay life style. Over the course of years, one denomination after another fallen to this insidious sexual life style which has been embraced in the name of christian love. In many cases it split the churches.

Many United Methodist blogs and web sits are a buzz with this issue. Predictions run as freely as the spring melt runs off the snow capped Rocky Mountains. And those brooks, streams and rivers as they tumble over the rocks on their way down makes far less noise then this issue. This article will not make predictions of an eventual Church split. I may err however, by saying that the decision might be made for the United Methodists by an arbitrary decree from some government agency or leader rather then an internal conference vote. So let's look beyond this issue itself.

Let's assume that there is a split. Some say it will split along the same lines of the old Methodist Church North and South. This is somewhat unlikely. Some say that the large city churches will go with this strange life style. We should not bet on that either. However the boundary lines are drawn, only God knows. But there is still a more important issue here. That is, what will the Biblical disposition of the new Church be that results from a slplit? Let me qualify this idea a bit more. What do those who hold to the Biblical view on this subject want to be theologically?

The two main groups that seem to have any spiritual leadership withing the United Methodist Church are the Confessing and the Good News people. Beyond their few articles on holiness, you will find little if anything positive support of the Methodist Arminian point of view. In the old days, mainline Methodism was just that. But with the advent of Christian radio and TV, this position has gone wanting within most Methodist/Wesleyan circles no matter if they are United Methodist or not. Then too, both of these groups have powerful influence from the Calvinistic and Baptistic points of view. These two groups are also hoping to have influence in such a split. So lets talk about this.

While these none Methodist brothers are friends, would it be right of them to feel that Methodism must give up their Biblical theological stance? But more importantly, how many United Methodist lay people, much less any other Methodist/Wesleyan groups, really know and understand our own Biblical theological creed? For example, what has the Good News magazine produced that support our doctrinal distinctives. In one article they wrote during the Gulf war they spoke of how soldiers were getting saved. Yet the picture they produced showed a deep canvas lined whole with a soldier standing in it being baptized by immersion. While article was not speaking to the topic of modes of baptism, they compromised with our Baptist brethren by showing this picture. For some strange reason we modern believers labor under the false idea that immersion was the only mode of baptism taught in the New Testament and practiced by the apostles. There is neither Biblical proof nor warrant for this. Yet the Good News magazine was more then pleased to publish this. I suppose that it was their proof that somehow by producing this picture, that they too believe the Bible. If that is the case, they are worshiping a water god rather then or Lord who never ever commanded anyone to be baptized like he was, no matter the mode John the Baptizer used.

So the question to those of you who think that the split will come, just what do you really want to be? A Methodist Christian, or a cess-pool of thrological indifference? Methodism had at one time theological standards which did not include the liberal nonsense of today. Most of the Biblical Methodist schools of thought in the 1800's were Arminian in their opinions. And all produced proof of those doctrines. That proof was founded unequivocally on the Bible.

Now the lie of those who differ with this position is given in this wise. Arminianism is the foundation of liberalism and particularly humanism. Hence, to be an Arminian is to be anti-Bible and God. Yet I find it strange that there are many liberal "Calvinist and Baptist" churches and pastors. If Calvinism is a bulwark against liberalism, then why do they have God deniers too? The bottom line is that liberalism is the out growth of Darwin's theory of mans origin. And by the way, Darwin knew the hell that he was unleashing into the western culture by his stupid nonsense.

So what will the United Methodist be? I guess only time will tell. It would be nice however, for those who stand and separate from this anti-Christian life style, a sin by Biblical standards, to be strong on the Methodist Arminian doctrines. If those who stand with you from other denominations are true friends, they would not be offended in the least by such an insistence. Therefore, it is my firm belief, that you would be very wise to seek your Biblical roots.

There is another thing to consider too. There have been many congregations and pastors who left the United Methodist Church over the years. There are also small Methodist groups and pastors who may be looking to return to the mother church. Perhaps there ought to be an olive branch extended to these pastors and people. A branch that would honor their stand while the mother church frolicked with the wrong crowd. Some of these folk remained true to their heritage of Biblical Methodist Arminianism. Therefore, the group who remains standing for the faith should open its doors to allow these people to join. Pastors from these smaller groups should not be hindered just because they do not have degrees from seminaries. By doing so, the new group will help kindle a fire of enthusiasm. And perhaps, the holy fire of God might fall to create a much needed revival from on High. Certainly such a olive branch should not be ruled out.

There are many ways to make up for lost ground for the glory of the Kingdom. So it is time to think beyond a split. Just what do you want to be? While the holier then thou answer is a "Christian" is tempting, you must certainly know that even without denominational labels, certain theological issues are still with us. Eternal security, and the above mentioned mode of immersion are just the tip of this theological iceberg that you will need to be careful of. So tell us please, what plans are being made to be real Methodists in theology which will bring theological balance back into Biblical Christianity? I pray that you will determine to stand strong for both orthodoxy and Methodist Arminianism. And please dethrone the water god.

On final note. Your leadership must come clean. Do they want the split because of a real Biblical issue, or is it an unwarranted way to gain power? I would suggest, that if it is a Biblical issue, then the suggestions above should find a warm and an unassailable embrace. After all, historical Methodism, from which the denomination departed almost a 100 years ago, should once again fine grace in your soul. If for power, then to ignore your historical Methodist Arminian roots and focus only on some mild form of Wesleyan holiness as if that makes you Methodist is a real cop out. After all, even the Baptists, Calvinists and Pentecostals believe in some form of holiness. The point here is that there is far more to historical Biblical Methodism then just holiness. Again, you can not escape the idea, that if brothers from other denominations really love you as they support you in the discharge of Biblical duty, they will not mind if you once again embrace the theology that converted a nation to Christ. Perhaps this could be a new Biblical Manifest Destiny for Biblical Methodism again? Who know?

Pastor Hartman has been in the ministry for thirty seven years. He graduated from the Institute of Christian Service of Bob Jones University. He also holds B.S. and M.S. degrees from Columbus State University and did post grad work at the same school. He has taught in the public school system for fifteen years. He has traveled once to Russia, three times to the Ukraine, and twice to England in a humble effort to help the missionaries spread the Gospel of Christ. After resigning form his pastorate in 2005, he supplies for other pastors when needed. While he is Independent Methodist, he is currently attending and working with a neat conservative United Methodist Church. If you wish to contact Pastor Hartman, about this article, please feel free to do so.