July-August 2015 – In late May, a former United Methodist minister wrote an op-ed in the Mississippi Clarion-Ledger newspaper lamenting that he had to surrender his ministerial credentials when he acknowledged “my decision to live openly” as a homosexual. The ex-pastor handed over his clergy credentials in order to “attempt to circumvent a church trial, should anyone bring charges against me.” In June, he surrendered his credentials and resigned as a pastor during the Mississippi Annual Conference.
United Methodist policy does not allow him to serve in the role of pastor. The denomination’s Book of Discipline addresses the issue biblically and clearly:
While persons set apart by the Church for ordained ministry are subject to all the frailties of the human condition and the pressures of society, they are required to maintain the highest standards of holy living in the world. The practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching. Therefore self-avowed practicing homosexuals are not to be certified as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve in The United Methodist Church.
Yes, the sin of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching in the Bible just as adultery, drunkenness, and all other sins are.
So this ex-pastor wrote his op-ed to rail against biblical teaching and blame those whom he said used the Bible “to justify slavery, to deny women the right to vote, to prop up segregation and deny the most basic of civil rights to African Americans and other racial minorities.”
He must not know of a man named Martin Luther King Jr., a Baptist minister who relied on God and the Bible to lead his charge to end segregation and provide civil rights to African Americans.
Did some in the South use the Bible in an attempt to justify slavery? Of course some did, but was their attempt in line with biblical teaching and God’s character? Absolutely not. The Bible discusses and has instances of polygamy, but does it condone multiple wives? No, in fact it teaches in Genesis that one man and one woman is how God designed marriage. The Bible discusses slavery and how someone is to act if they are enslaved. The Bible never condones slavery.
The ex-pastor also calls the biblical teaching on sin and homosexuality “dangerous.” Well, sir, you’ll have to take that up with God and His Word, where it refers to homosexual behavior as “shameful” (Romans 1:27). To defend the homosexual lifestyle, many argue that Jesus never spoke on homosexuality. If Jesus is the Son of God – and the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one in all aspects – then yes, Jesus spoke on homosexuality and other sinful behavior. Whatever God opposes, so does Jesus because they are one.
It seems as though this former minister is deceived and blames God and His church for the loss of his ministry. Honestly, he is himself responsible for his choices. He is the one who has chosen a sinful lifestyle and chosen to engage in behavior that his own denomination calls “incompatible with Christian teaching.”
It is sad to see people within the Christian church deceived and confused by sin. This man has now gone to work for one of the nation’s largest organizations promoting the radical homosexual agenda. His goal is to bully people who hold the conviction that homosexuality is a sin and to coerce them into endorsing his chosen lifestyle.
Christians are under attack, even from those who profess to follow the God of the Bible. But you and I know that those who endorse sinful behavior are deceived and now working against the God they once proclaimed.
One thing you can count on is that the American Family Association will never endorse a behavior that God calls an “abomination” (Leviticus 18:22). Furthermore, I will never bow to any pagan agenda or godless demand. I am a man of the cross, a follower of Jesus Christ, and my allegiance is to God. All who proclaim the name of Christ need to make this commitment to follow God and His word because the enemy is out to deceive us and destroy our faith.
Walker Wildmon, a recent political science graduate of Mississippi State University, is assistant to AFA president Tim Wildmon.