The Bible Doesn't Change, but Our Understanding Does

An Address to the South Georgia Delegation to the 2019 General Conference

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bait and switch

Do not be deceived by clever rhetoric from UMC clergy (retired or current) who have abandoned the teaching of both God the Father and God the Son as found in the Holy Bible with regards to sexual morality and have chosen to serve the god of progressivism. It is not a sin to be a slave. It is not a sin to be a female. I would even opine that it is not a sin to have same sex attraction or desire. However God’ law (or laws) consistently define sexual morality and sexual immorality throughout the Biblical narrative. In addition, the laws of nature (created by God) with regard to anatomy and reproductive physiology and the family structure are simply incompatible with the LGBTQ+ agenda. Yes, we are commanded to love all persons. Yes, we are to affirm the humanity and equal status as persons of all. However, I would further opine that redefining what God has consistently defined as sin to be otherwise is unloving and unkind. Scott S.

Scott S 16 days ago

Neither Does God's Word Change

It surprises me when some people think they can break all the rules and not hurt anybody. God's rules are there to help you, so when you break them people get hurt, they really get hurt! When we Obey the Rules things go better - especially in a spiritual sense. We have the type relationship with God as He intended. When one Obeys the Rules, it doesn't make you a Christian, accepting Christ and placing your faith in Christ do that. When you place your faith in Christ, you want to follow Jesus in every way. You willingly Obey the Rules. Conversely, when someone breaks all the rules, we have to doubt that their faith is in Christ.

Come the General Conference on sexuality, the Obey the Rules Plan is what we in the United Methodist Church desperately need. So much better to follow Christ and abundance, rather than following the world and the shallow things it offers.

Skipper 17 days ago

Things change

Other examples of changed Methodist doctrines could be cited such of those prohibiting members from attending amusements:

"We know that theaters are immoral, that dances are indecent and, that there is an immense amount of social immorality, Commercialized amusement debauches everything. Dancing has ceased to be aesthetic and has become acrobatic and athletic. The theaters are vile in that they breath the smell of sex."

While it would be difficult to find specific verses on this matter, I am certain those who formulated the prohibitions felt they had divine sanction to do so. The GC 1924 largely did away with these strictures. Despite Jesus creating wine from water (or was it Welch's grape juice?), the American church continued to oppose alcohol even in communion.

I do not find that the author has claimed authority to speak for anyone other than himself. Pointing out that many oppose his viewpoint comes close to a negative argumentum ad populum fallacy. Truth is not determined by merely how many support or oppose a statement.

David 19 days ago

And there is another way to view the changes

We have been adrift from our theological moorings for so long we no longer who we are and what we believe and we do not even realize we are adrift. In other words we are not becoming "more enlightened", we are becoming less enlightened and moving forward with our own understandings rather than what the creator God intended.

betsy 19 days ago

Creede's typical disconnect

Having read Creede Hinshaw's opinions over the years espousing liberal political positions and his belief in the inevitability of secular society's triumph over traditional interpretation of scripture, makes me take most anything he writes with a very large grain of salt. He in no way reflects the feelings on the issue at hand of an overwhelming majority of the laity of the South Georgia Conference nor of a signicant majority of the clergy of the South Georgia Conference, including, I believe, the current Bishop of that conference (who can certainly speak up for himself). He certainly has the right to express his opinions, but it is somewhat misleading for this site to not include a disclaimer that he speaks only for himself and not for the South Georgia Conference.

John 19 days ago

Disclaimer

I believe it is quite apparent, Editor's note: This article was originally presented as "An Address to the South Georgia Delegation to the 2019 General Conference" which is listed at the top of the article. Further, it seems quite apparent to me that Rev. Hinshaw is not speaking on behalf of the South Georgia Conference but, rather, to the Conference. Perhaps you somehow misinterpreted the article?

John Astle - Associate Editor 18 days ago

And yet

And yet the one column this site publishes from someone involved with the South Georgia Conference on the direction in which our denomination should move espouses such fluidity in scriptural interpretation that eventually any behavior is to be accepted and promoted because of love, a libertine anything goes type of love, negating all else Scripture makes clear. Jesus taught that love means saying you are forgiven but go and sin no more. Creede and others elsewhere who espouse his idea that we should get with the times conveniently ignore the sin no more directive of our Lord. Look, I’m a sinner and need Scripture and faith in our Lord to give my life meaning. Being part of a denomination that stands for nothing concerning right living offers no meaning. If that’s the path we choose, we might as well just become members of political parties and get involved in a few reputable charities to help the less fortunate. I’m not Jesus, and it’s not up to me to Judge. But the Divinely inspired authors of Scripture made it crystal clear that marriage is an institution bless from the very beginning of time between one man and one women and sexual relations with a member of one’s on sex is incompatible with both the OT and the NT. So is adultry. Are we willing to have in our pulpit ministers of either sex who are actively engaged in adultry? This isn’t about whether LGBQT folks are welcome to join us other sinners in the pews to worship and to seek redemption through faith. Of course all is welcome. It is about whether we abandon unambiguous language in Scripture just because it’s considered politically incorrect to demand adherence in our clergy to a Scripturally based code of conduct and to enforce compliance with what each clergy member vowed in their ordination oaths.

John 18 days ago


Notable Quotes   


    "The Judicial Council’s work compellingly shows that our denomination is in schism and has been for some years and if we really want to heal this schism, then (dare I say it?) we have to back up and try our best to answer basic questions. What is it, actually, that unites United Methodists? ... Consider this one, argued this month before the Judicial Council: 'For us, the church is defined not by formal structures or doctrines or lines of authority.  It’s defined by connections between people…We hold such interpersonal connections in so high a regard that we understand them as the essence of the church.' (Emphasis added)

   "With all due respect to the person who made this claim, it represents much that is wrong with United Methodism. ... If doctrines do not define church, then we don’t know our identity or mission. If we don’t know our identity and mission, we will never be able to agree on what constitutes appropriate or inappropriate behavior and we will never be able to exercise meaningful accountability.

– The Rev. Steven Rankin, in a post "Judicial Council Proves We're Already in Schism"

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