Duke University, along with 93 other colleges associated with the Methodist church, are demanding that the governing body break with biblical teaching and accept accepting “gender identity/expression” and “sexual orientation” as normal, not sinful, within the church.
The demands were issued by the National Association of Schools & Colleges of The United Methodist Church (NASCUMC), whose members signed a joint statement calling on church leaders to secure full access to all members of the LGBTQ+ community.
The very phrase ‘humanistic’ in the argument horrifies many Christians and many people point to the warning issued by Paul to Timothy.
“For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear” II Tim 4:3 (NIV).
In further perversion of the truth, the group and its members claim that ‘social justice’ is a foundational principle of biblical belief.
“Historically, the Church has witnessed a profound commitment to the sacred worth of all persons and to social justice,” reads the statement, “such as the Church’s positions on civil rights, women’s rights, and the rights of different ethnic communities.”
“We call upon the leaders of the United Methodist Church at this 2019 Called General Conference to honor the past and current practices of inclusion by amending their policies,” continued the NASCUMC, noting that gender identity (which means denying the physical genders God created) and sexual ‘orientation’ be accepted.
“The Methodist Church currently believes that ‘the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching,’ and therefore, does not allow for members of the LGBTQ+ community to be ordained as ministers or serve in the church, according to its Book of Discipline.
Most likely, that doctrine is derived from the many scriptures that call homosexuality an abomination.
“The 2016 General Conference directed the UMC Council of Bishops to propose ways for the church to maintain unity in the face of ongoing disagreements about human sexuality,” said the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry in a statement.
“NASCUMC members hope their statement will influence delegates of the special General Conference to approve legislation that creates an open and welcoming environment in the church for members of the LGBTQ community,” continued the Board.
The Board also stated that it is important for religious leaders to broaden their inclusiveness, in order to maintain their legacy as being “proponents of social justice and broad educational access.”
Many people argue that the entire point of the church is not to conform to society’s view of ‘justice,’ which change from generation to generation (consider slavery), but remain true to the doctrine delivered by the unchangeable God.
Either way, by forcing the issue, the NASCUMC has created a schism that may not heal rapidly, or at all.