Bishop, Disciple Bible Study Author, Claims Bible Opposes UMC Stance On Homosexuality At Epworth-by-the-Sea Camp Meeting
From: Gary Loy <ZTAmaniac@email.msn.com>
Bishop Wilke is engaging in unsound hermeneutics. It seems to me that he doesn't know the difference between ceremonial law and moral law. The Pergamos church was condemned for accepting the notion that a Gentile had to conform to the Jewish ceremonial law before becoming a Christian. That issue, one of ceremonial legalism, had already been settled at the first church council in Jerusalem by decreeing that Gentiles did not have to obey the Jewish ceremonial law. Homosexuality is a moral issue, and the Biblical decrees mentioning homosexuality view it as immoral, an abomination in the Lord's sight, a rebellion against God's established natural order.
The example of the Pergamos church and the present situation in the United Methodist Church regarding homosexuality is not analogous. Upholding God's moral law as revealed in the Holy Scriptures is not legalism. We need to fully grasp what St. Paul taught about Christian liberty. We are free in Christ, but we are not to use that liberty as an occasion to the flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof. Jesus said, "If you love me, keep my commandments." As Christians, because we love Christ, we should have a desire to obey the Lord's commandments with the enabling power of the Holy Spirit. God's moral law exists for our benefit; it does not exist as an instrument of our bondage.
From: David R. Ball <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To whom it may concern:
I served in the United Methodist Church in the North Georgia Conference as a pastor for eight years. I was not "one of the boys" who graduated from Candler, I graduated from Toccoa Falls College with a degree in Pastoral Ministries. I took a strong stand against the homosexual issue in the church and I called for the District Superintendent, the Bishop and other pastors in the Gainesville District to make public declarations as to where they stood on the issue, my request was ignored.
It seemed to me that most of the leadership in the United Methodist Chruch is either afraid of losing their pensions or being moved to a less profitable position within the denomination. This lack of intestinal fortitude to stand up against those who would apostisize the denomination caused me to leave the United Methodist Church and move on to a denomination that truly believes in the Bible, the Free Methodist Chruch.
Those of you who wish to change the direction of the United Methodist Church must, must, use the courage that God has given you to insist that your bishops and district superintendants use their offices to defend the Bible and the only way to do this is to make public their true beliefs. When I say public I mean use the news papers, raidio, and television to state where they stand. Most of the preachers that I have met in the North Georgia Conference stand in fear and awe of those that they think have the last word in their ministries--the bishop and that superintendents. I, however; believe that they should stand in awe of God and do the things that God wants of them. Gentlemen, it is God who has the last say as to where you will serve in His kingdom not the bishops or the D.S.. Do what God wants of you!
Rev. David R. Ball
From: Wesley Corie <email@example.com>
God help the UMC--We tout Disciple B.S. as a God-send and church-saving. Maybe so. Now it's creator/author Wilke seems to have overlooked much of the Bible with his outspoken view favoring sodomites. It is a godless generation and a godless "church" that turns its back on the Word of God, the tradition of the church, the experience of 2000 years of the faith, and sound reason. What cause, other than animalistic, lustful self-gratification can be furthered the advancement of homosexuality?
From: William C Thorne <T5201129@email.msn.com>
The following is a letter I sent on March 10th. I have received no acknowlegement as
Disciple lll Writers & Adult Bible Study Contributors
I want to express my thanks for the fine lessons in the Adult Bible Study Series and the Disciple courses I, II, III. The material is excellent because it does not compromise scripture and is therefore informative and powerfully challenging to "remember who and whose we are".
There is great pressure for a cafeteria approach to Holy Scripture to accept parts of the Bible and reject other parts when the Word goes against the culture.
I am taking the liberty of giving you materials which addresses some of what I have learned about the homosexual issue over the past several years. My interest began after two of my relatives who were in the homosexual lifestyle and died while they were still quite young. No one including clergy could offer them any advice or help which could have saved their lives because of ignorance of the subject.
There has been a powerful call in my life to do what I can to disburse information on that subject which could enlighten others particularly those in the church. Even with this call, I did not get directly involved until last year after taking Disciple III.
The enclosed video contains the following:
I am sending an outline of material I have used in conducting 4 class sessions at St James UMC. Two sessions were with my son in law, a doctor of psychology, who has who helped people escape the lifestyle by facing painful issues in their early childhood. He said that there is real danger to children for temptation to experiment if they are not properly informed.
"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge-because you have rejected knowledge". (Hosea 4:6). I sincerely believe that if the church was knowledgeable on the subject of homosexuality, there would be more effective disciples for Christ.
Most churches have failed to address the subject of homosexuality intelligently. This has resulted in rhetoric of those who would condemn the homosexual as totally lost and those who would affirm the lifestyle. Both approaches are wrong.
The answer has come from those churches that have educated their clergy and members to offer truth and love to those desiring change and to network with ex-gay ministries such as Exodus International. (http://www.exodus.base.org.) The objective for change is not heterosexuality but wholeness in Jesus Christ and that applies to all of us.
Why I am I sending this to you? To witness to the wonderful transforming power of Jesus Christ when we believe and apply God's eternal principles with love and without compromising these principles.
May God continue to bless your work
William C Thorne
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