From Clarity to Confusion: The Alarming Acceptance of Homosexual Identity in Wesleyan-Arminian Churches
by Jeremy Fuller on behalf of the General Board
John Wesley was promoted to Heaven on March 2, 1791, at the age of 87. It has been well said that when Wesley was carried to his grave, he left behind him a good library of books, a well-worn clergyman's gown, and the Methodist Church. His unwavering commitment to Christ and the clarity of the holiness message precipitated a Revival of True Religion, the like of which few Christian pilgrims in other centuries have had the privilege to witness.
The Father of Methodism was a meticulous record-keeper. Due to this admirable discipline we know to the man what the results of his life’s work were. At the time of his departure there were 294 British preachers, 71,668 British members, 19 missionaries (5 in mission stations), and 43,265 American members with 198 American preachers. Today Methodists number about 30 million worldwide .
Two Hundred and Fourteen years after the Founders Promotion to Heaven the British division of the Methodist Church has grievously compromised to the point of condoning homosexuality. In June of 2005 the Methodists of Great Britain officially voted to bless gay couples . I ask, “How does this happen?” How did this mighty movement, so miraculously conceived and established in such a short time, sink so low as to brazenly reject clear Bible commands concerning homosexual behavior and fully embrace what God unequivocally calls an “abomination”?
The United Methodist Church
The United Methodist Church in America is also severely divided over the sin of homosexuality. Recently, the UM Church’s Council of Bishops proposed to change their ruling on the subject in their Book of Discipline. The proposal makes provision for individual churches or conferences to determine whether or not to ordain homosexual pastors and to permit pastors to officiate at same sex wedding ceremonies. A vote on that plan is expected at the February 2019 special session of the General Conference . Based on my present assessment of the United Methodist Church, I predict it will pass.
Two of the Methodist Churches that prolific holiness author Beverly Carradine pastored before he entered the evangelistic ministry are now identified with more than 700 “reconciling congregations”  within the UMC. These United Methodist churches affirm homosexual relationships and “celebrate the sexuality and spirituality of same and opposite gender loving persons and pledge to provide resources that lead to a deeper understanding of God’s precious gift” .
One word. Tragic!
There are other alarming developments in various Wesleyan-Arminian denominations in America. I will address two of the most egregious.
Last year (summer 2017) at the General Assembly of the Church of the Nazarene ninety-seven percent of the delegates voted to remove the word “perversion” from their manual statement as a caricature of homosexuality. Dr. Orville Jenkins Jr. (former District Superintendent of the North Florida District) wrote an open letter to the Board of General Superintendents rightly asking, “Since when did this behavior cease to be a perversion or aberration of God’s intended best for our lives? Our overwhelming action on this appears to be indicative that we have lost our moral courage as a church and are now more concerned about ‘not offending’ someone" . God Bless Dr. Jenkins!
In addition, to this treacherous action the General Superintendents permitted for the first time ever an exhibition of a rainbow flag and the letters LGBT on their conference floor . What disturbing and embarrassing developments within that Christian denomination – a formerly red-hot force for God and holiness in America.
The militant campaign within the Nazarene Church to normalize same sex attraction and to repudiate the stigma that has always been attached to sodomy is sadly winning the day. The goal is to alter completely their formerly sound doctrinal position on Gender Identity. The “Love Wins” movement vigorously operating inside the Nazarene Church falsely believes that the passage of CA-724 enshrined “a lie” into the manual – namely, that God created humankind as “male and female.” They will not be satisfied until CA-724 is overhauled to accommodate transgenderism.
Without a True Revival within the Nazarene Church the “handwriting is certainly on the wall”!
In the Spring of 2011 the Board of General Superintendents of the Wesleyan Church authored and distributed an 18-page Pastoral Letter on Homosexuality which rightly forbids “Gay Inclusion” but argues for “Gay Sensitive” Churches . The letter is beautifully written and much of it is doctrinally sound, but a careful and discerning review will find that one of its primary goals is to present a clear case for ‘homosexual identity’ within the Wesleyan Church.
I will include two examples from the aforementioned letter (carefully note the underlined words):
"One of the gifts to be offered by the Church to those who are or have been homosexual is the assurance that we will stand by them as they ‘go on to perfection’ (Hebrews 6:1, KJV) and mature in their love for God and for others."
"Sooner or later, making disciples of those who are or have been homosexual will mean confronting the question of their participation in church membership, volunteer service, leadership, and even (in some cases) ordained ministry. Loving God by serving others is a pathway to spiritual wholeness. Providing Christ-followers with such sanctifying opportunities and supervision takes Spirit-filled discernment. Obviously, a person who is practicing an openly gay life style or who has only recently made a profession of faith and is still an untested novice should not be placed in church leadership (any more than a promiscuous heterosexual should be made a church board member, Bible study leader or worship team member). However, redeemed, sexually reoriented OR celibate single Christians should be encouraged to discover their spiritual gifts and listen for God’s calling related to the unique role He wants them to have in building up the Body of Christ. As the Church sees evidence of their gifts and calling, along with their continued growth in grace and the fruit of the Spirit manifesting consistently in their lives, then increasing levels of trust can be extended. Our prayer is that everyone we disciple will “become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13)."
A shallow perusal of these paragraphs may not detect the subtle error. The truth is this letter endorses homosexuality as an acceptable identity! “Sexual Reorientation" is clearly presented as an optional category. This is where the slippery slope begins on the downward slide to total apostasy on this matter.
If I were a Pastor in the Wesleyan Church and I received this “Letter” as a moral reference point I would be departing from the clarity of the Biblical witness and long-standing, long-held Christian positions. This is the crux of the entire matter. To accept the homosexual identity (“same sex attraction”) as a morally neutral “orientation” is to reject centuries of faithful and certain proclamation on this issue.
Same Sex Attraction
Same sex attraction is NOT morally neutral. You ask, “What if a person promises to remain celibate and to not act on these forbidden attractions and affections?” “Should they not be accepted as Christian Brothers and Sisters?” “Should they not, perhaps, even be ordained to the ministry?” “After all – it is only in yielding to temptation that sin occurs.” It IS TRUE that there is NO sin in temptation (the solicitation to evil). The classic example of Jesus being tempted and yet without sin prevails (Heb. 4:15). However, the argument is made from a false premise. These questions are asked and the arguments advanced based on the bogus premise that same sex attraction is morally neutral. It is Not! This is where the heresy is conceived.
Allow me to illustrate the Acts and Affections Relationship!
Murder is wrong. It is sin. But the act of murder is preceded by an evil affection the Bible calls hate. God has commanded, “Thou shalt not kill [(murder) Exodus 20:13].” But that is not all God has outlawed with regard to the subject. Leviticus 19:17a reads, “Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart . . . .” So, God not only prohibits the act of murder, but He forbids the evil affection that leads to the ruinous action. The subject is readdressed in Saint John’s first epistle. “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also (1 John 4:20-21). So, the divine prohibitions against both murder and hatred are equal in force and degree, even if the civil consequence is imbalanced.
The eighth commandment teaches, “Thou shalt not steal (Exodus 20:15).” God, in love, declares it is morally wrong to take what does not rightly belong to you. The tenth commandment is a sister commandment to the eighth. Whereas the eighth regulates the Act, the tenth regulates the Affection. It reads, “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's" (Exodus 20:17). Long before wicked king Ahab broke the eighth commandment by stealing godly Naboth’s vineyard he broke the tenth commandment by wanting what was impossible for him to righteously have, not to mention the violation of the sixth commandment (murder) in the process.
Once again, we see that the Judge of all the Earth has the sovereign authority to regulate not only the Acts of Mankind, but the Affections of the Human Heart. Consent to Hatred is sinful. Consent to Covetousness is sinful. You don’t have to commit the acts of Murder and Theft to be in trouble with God. Just consent to the affections from which the acts spring and you have transgressed the commandment. The same is true of same sex desire. You don’t have to commit the forbidden act. When a man or woman consents in their hearts to unlawfully desire what they can never righteously have – they have sinned.
A Sin of Antiquity
Homosexuality is not a new sin for modern times. Homosexuality is a Sin of Antiquity. It is as old as the ancient and depraved civilizations of Mankind. As Leviticus 18:22-25 shows: "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion. Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you: And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants."
Where Do We Stand?
The Church of Jesus Christ must not allow the modern world to press Her into its Satanic mold. The liberal left’s LGBT agenda in America is having its desired effect in the Church across our Homeland. Many denominations have totally rejected the truth about homosexuality. (Wikipedia lists more than 50 Christian Denominations in North America that have openly affirmed LGBT. “LGBT Affirming” means they no longer consider homosexuality or transgender identity to be sinful.) Others are about to embrace false views. And still others are so confused on the subject that they don’t really know what they believe.
We must stand where holy people have always stood – with God’s Word. We reject any supposed science that is not in harmony with the Holy Bible. God’s Word clearly teaches that acts of homosexuality are sinful and we attest that the affections are as equally abominable. These affections are unnatural (Romans 1:27) and unholy and must be resisted in their infancy even as the temptation to hatred or greed must be rejected. This means we do not allow for men to identify as Homosexuals. We do not allow for women to identify as Lesbians. We must call out homosexual activists who are laboring to normalize same sex attraction and popularize the acceptance of a homosexual identity (celibate or otherwise) within our churches. All same sex attraction can and must be cleansed even as hatred and covetousness must be cleansed. No unclean thing will enter into the New Jerusalem. As Revelation 21:27 assures, “And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.”
The Prophet and the Priest
The Church must not lay down the sacred mantle of the prophet in this critical hour. Compromise in this glorious institution often takes place as spiritually dull men try to shoulder under their priestly responsibilities and mission without prophetic discernment and power. As we reach out to help broken people we must remain committed to not just deal with the symptoms of their spiritual maladies, but to go all in for a full cure of the divinely abhorred disease. There is no spiritual remedy outside the supernatural! We must constantly guard against the temptation to offer earthly solutions for problems that only have a heavenly cure. “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts (Zechariah 4:6).”
A Sufficient Remedy
There is a remedy. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).” God’s Word is either true or false. It cannot be both. It must be one or the other. And if it is true and words have meaning - ALL means ALL! This blood remedy includes same sex attractions irrelevant of their cause. This is our message of hope to a lost and dying world. There is a remedy! The Blood of Jesus Cleanses from ALL Sin! Hallelujah!!!
 Wikipedia, Content Number 11 Article, Sub-Heading “Death."
 Bates, Stephen, The Guardian, Methodist Leaders Vote to Bless Gay Couples, June 30, 2005.
 Cornelius, Earle, Lancaster Online, Plan Regarding LGBT Rights Will Be Discussed At United Methodist Church Gathering, June 2018.
 Reconciling Ministries Network.
 Reconciling Ministries Network, Mission.
 Reformed Nazarene, A Warning to the General Superintendents to the Nazarene.
 The Wesleyan Church, Pastoral Letter on Homosexuality.
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