Letter to the Editor: Reader sees danger in Reconciling group

8/15/2006

Editor,

The Reconciling (Congregations) movement was started with the express purpose and goal of having homosexuality accepted for church membership by the United Methodist Church. Its leaders have brought (such) legislation to General Conference, and its leaders have voted for church membership for homosexuals. The group knows Christians cannot allow this evil, and so they try to cover up their real purpose. 

The Reconciling movement is the greatest evil ever faced by Methodism. No other group has caused the loss of so many members or kept us from winning people for Christ. Each four years when they bring up a vote to approve homosexuality for church membership, we lose thousands of members. The group has operated under different names in the past. This protects its leaders from discipline, yet the same people are there under a new name. 

When one of its members faces charges of breaking church law, like performing a homosexual union, they fix the jury and nullify the verdict by ignoring church law. They think God is so easy to fool. What a tragic mistake. They feel no shame just like Jezebel. The real Methodists must bear their shame, at least for now. Who has the courage to stand up and be counted for God? Stand in the strength of the Lord!    

I read Susan Major’s letter (in the July 19 Advocate). It is she who misunderstands the Reconciling movement. I hope and pray that she has healthy intentions. Remember God knows our hearts. Methodists have always reached out to immoral people and murderers, but they must change their ways to join us. That is because we belong to God. We live the way God wants us to, and that’s not always easy, but it’s the only way for Methodists. Those who promote adultery or homosexuality as acceptable practice for Christians are far from being Methodist.  

The loss of hundreds of thousands of members by the UMC is directly attributable to support of homosexuality by a few church members. Those leaving were good Christians and are sorely missed. They leave a huge hole in our denomination. They left because those promoting homosexuality were not properly disciplined. The UMC deserves to lose even more if it fails to keep Christian discipline in the future. We cannot look the other way and pretend not to see. Otherwise, we are Pharisees, not followers of Jesus Christ. We can serve ourselves or we can serve God. Serve God! 

If you invite homosexuals to church, you must be prepared to help them by showing them God’s way. To accept their lifestyle is to cause them harm. If you promote homosexuality, a person you lead into sin might be a member of your own family. If not, you will still have to answer to God. Jesus said, “A person who causes even one of my little followers to sin would be better off thrown into the ocean with a heavy stone tied around the neck” (Luke 17:1-2).  Jesus goes on to say that we are to correct His followers who sin. 

Methodists pull people up out of the mire of immoral living and into God’s family. Jesus told us to “feed my sheep,” meaning to take loving care of them. Encouraging others toward homosexuality is the opposite of feeding the lambs. We Methodists have a lot of work to do. We can’t sit by and watch as more and more people engage in homosexuality and adultery. 

Attendance at the Lake Junaluska Youth Week was way down this year. The Lake Junaluska incident is clearly responsible. The group that promotes homosexuality should never have been allowed to hold a retreat in the camp. Youth and parents rightly hold the camp responsible. The camp can never put this behind until Director Jimmy Carr admits a mistake was made and offers a full apology for the damage done. 

Immoral people cannot be church members until they stop being immoral. No discussion – we must obey God! The Bible warns us that people will call evil good and good evil. So it is today. We choose to obey God or we choose not to. 

To those who support or practice homosexuality, turn back to God while you still have time. Ask God for forgiveness and lead a new life in Christ. With God all things are possible.

Skipper Anding
Ridgeland