Should there be reorganization or repentance?

“United Methodists to vote on reorganization

Associated Press

United Methodist Church leaders in Indiana will vote this week and next on whether to create a single new conference for the state’s largest Protestant denomination that would change the way it’s governed and possibly reverse years of declining numbers.

A reorganization plan that delegates will vote on would unite the North Indiana and South Indiana conferences …

The Rev. Adolf Hansen of McCordsville, co-chairman of a joint planning team, said the plan … would instead create an entirely new organization in which local congregations discern their ministries and form clusters with other congregations that then would connect with one another regionally.

‘We don’t want it to be business as unusual, only on a larger scale. We think the creation of something new is far more energizing,’ Hansen, vice president emeritus of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Ill., said Tuesday.

The Rev. Cynthia Reynolds, the church’s Warsaw District superintendent and co-chair of the planning team, is confident delegates will vote to unify.

‘I think it will be supported. I really feel people are open to discern what God is leading us to do,’ Reynolds said. …

[Indiana Bishop Michael J.] Coyner, who presides over both conferences, also predicted a unification vote. Doing so would streamline the church’s bureaucracy and free resources to focus on growing a combined membership that has been in steady decline, now numbering 208,700, down 7 percent from where it was five years ago.”

Excerpted as reported in The Indianapolis Star.

The United Methodists have for several years preached a different gospel than the one preached in the Bible.  Their version of the gospel does not encourage people caught up in sin (like sodomites) to repent.  It also allows people of different religions to share their false doctrines in their churches.  Is it any wonder their numbers have declined?  I suspect that those who left were tired of sticking around with the hopes that the churches would change for the better.

One of the leaders in this article claimed that creating “something new” would energize their churches.  The only thing that can really energize a church is the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8) who comes when the genuine word of God is preached, but it’s obvious from his statement that people getting genuinely saved is not their concern.  “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17) and this is the newness these spiritually dead churches need.  They appear to be more interested in religious fads. 

Another thing that disturbs me is how the leaders in this article have religious titles before their names like “the Rev.” this or that.  Talk about vain pride and self-exaltation!  Jesus was against using religious titles (Matthew 23:8-10).  There is only one person in the universe that should be called reverend and that’s God (Psalm 111:9).  Like it says in Proverbs, “Pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall,” and that’s another contributing factor to their declining numbers.

Another church leader states that the people in their churches have God’s discernment to do what they should, but if that were the case why are they promoting things that are contrary to God’s word in their congregations?  “…[T]hey have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they showed difference between the unclean and the clean…” (Ezekiel 22:26).  “They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.” (Titus 1:16)

These churches not only need reorganization, they need repentance.  Maybe they should repent first and then reorganize.

–posted by Harry A. Gaylord–

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