Deadline for Judicial Council Comments
Concerned United Methodists need to be aware that Tuesday, June 30 is our Judicial Councils deadline for comments on the Creech/Social Principles decision in Kearny, Nebraska. (Here is the UM News Service article #366) about it and my letter to the Council, with an attachment on biblical references to the subject of homosexuality. It concludes with an addendum on the hope of salvation for all sinners through salvation by Jesus Christ. Council members need to have an accurate understanding of this much misunderstood issue. Please give them your insights. I hope you find this information useful in formulating your own comments. Lou Priebe of Messiah United Methodist Church in Springfield, Virginia (E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Letter to the UMC Judicial Council - Louis Victor Priebe
The Judicial Council June 19, 1998 United Methodist Church c/o Sally Curtis AsKew P. O. Box 58 Bogart, Georgia 30622
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
Greetings in the divine name of our Lord and Savior. Your responsibility on August 7-8, 1998 to decide upon the request from the South Central Jurisdictions College of Bishops about authority of the UMC Social Principles and legitimacy of homosexual "marriages" is indeed an awesome one. Many thousands of devout Christians are in prayer that you will have the great wisdom, perspective and strength which will be necessary to courageously deal with these momentous matters in a compassionate, loving, responsible and responsive manner.
I am a member of the 3600-member Messiah UMC in Springfield, Virginia, a Washington, DC suburb. As a 33-year veteran of the public relations profession (PRSA Accredited in 1970), I am compelled to give you my professional analysis from practical experience in the arena of public opinion and, more importantly, as a committed Christian husband, father and servant. In my judgment, you are being called to render a decision about a profoundly egregious matter. Its ramifications could, if not handled properly, easily be truly disastrous for our denomination.
Militant homosexual advocates are aggressively and skillfully waging war on basic tenants of our Christian faith. Biblical references to homosexuality are quite clear in defining the practice as "an abomination" unto God (see attached.) To deny homosexuality as a very serious sin is to condemn its practitioners to eternal damnation. Our churchs credibility to proclaim The Gospel is indeed in peril because of this issue. We must be faithful to Truth.
Recently, Ive heard it said that "Since the Creech decision, there is no principle in our United Methodist Social Principles and no discipline in our Book of Discipline." That is how it appears to many concerned Christians. The Creech affair was, no doubt, part of a carefully strategized process. As of June 14, 237 United Methodist pastors have now taken that appalling decision as a license to follow Creechs destructive lead. How will they be disciplined when they act on their public commitments? Moreover, the Reconciling Congregations Program now boasts 12,800 individual members, 146 congregations, 20 campus ministries, and 6 conferences among its supporters. Many thousands of United Methodists are sure to decrease giving and thousands more will leave our denomination as departures accelerate as a consequence of indecisiveness, vacillation, and appeasement of this relatively tiny minority. Wishful thinking wont change that. Constructive biblically aligned actions and courageous leadership from bodies such as yours will effect the constructive change that is so urgently necessary.
Our churchs mission is to proclaim The Truth, as revealed in Holy Scriptures and in the person of Jesus Christ. Yet, implications of appeals not to "further detract from our central mission" and, therefore, not to act on this issue are extremely dangerous. Zealously determined, militant and well-financed homosexual extremists are working very, very hard to impose their agenda of legitimizing the depraved practice, sanctioning homosexual "marriages," ordination of clergy and other nefarious activities. Without staunch indignation and vigorous defense of righteousness by decent Christians, those people who profane our faith are sure to be successful. Evasive ecclesiastical platitudes, naive idealism and craven appeasement will only guarantee that debauchery prevails.
Realities of the homosexual lifestyle include multiple anonymous partners (often in the hundreds and even thousands!),brief uncommitted relationships, filthy sexual practices, lewd and highly offensive public conduct, AIDS (and many other STDs), very high suicide rates, etc. We need to lovingly minister to these needy people, not condone their sin. I am hopeful our denomination will be more fully supportive of very worthwhile Christian groups like Transforming Congregations and Exodus International which counsel people out of this perverted lifestyle and nurture them as they seek to maintain a Godly life. Their message of Christlike love and forgiveness is "repent, go and sin no more."
Please, dear brothers and sisters in Christ .right the wrong of Kearney, Nebraska. May your resolution of this vexing situation be just and may your actions be truly compassionate, constructive and effective. Please let me know how you decide upon this profound matter and your rationale for that decision. My prayers are with you.
Your brother in HIS service,
Louis Victor Priebe
Hope: The wonderful promise of salvation, therefore, exists through Jesus Christs infinite love, His compassionate anguish for all people living in any type of sin, and His unbounded forgiveness for those who come with truly contrite hearts to receive His all-embracing mercy. Upon genuine repentance, submission to His divine Lordship in our lives and true commitment to "go and sin no more," homosexuality is not an unpardonable sin and will be forgiven through Almighty Gods Amazing Grace!
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