Letters: Conference service draws responses


Two homosexual women addressed our Annual Conference this year on Friday night. They seemed to feel that their congregation had accepted their lifestyle. They need to know that this is a terrible sin. First Corinthians 5 tells us that when a congregation tolerates immorality, the evil of it will spread like yeast through a batch of dough. Because of such tolerance, we now have six states that have approved the evil of same-sex marriage. John Wesley preached on I John 3:8 at Long Lane in London in January 1742 that, “Anyone who keeps on sinning belongs to the devil”. It also says you can tell God’s children from the devil’s children accordingly.

These two “partners” may feel comfortable, but Romans 1:18 says, “From heaven God shows how angry he is with all the wicked and evil things that sinful people do to crush the truth.” It speaks of un-natural evil desires and that “they gave up the truth of God for a lie.” The lie is that God doesn’t care about sin, such as immorality. The truth is that “God so Loved the World that He gave his only Son.”

Why do these people want the church to accept their evil practices so badly? Why do they refuse to live a new life in Christ? The church is made of people and only God can forgive our sins for eternity. It would be of no profit to them for the church to accept their evil. Jesus said, “You must be born again.” To be a follower, one must live a new life in Christ, repenting of sin, turning from your sin and embracing God.

Pleasing God must be put ahead of pleasing one’s self. Wesley preached on “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” (Luke 9:23). Wesley was good at helping people think about eternity and telling them of the glad tidings of salvation. It is our place to lead people to the light, too. We can tell them of the peace and joy that come from serving God.

The main hall of the Convention Complex was surrounded by hundreds of doors brought by different churches. I talked with a group from a different ethnic background from my own about the Friday night incident. Their preacher related it to the doors. It is important to know which doors to open and which doors to close. Wow! I hadn’t made the connection! We must close doors to evil and tolerating evil like the Bible says.

John Wesley’s horse brought him slowly to Newcastle, England. He saw drunkenness and cursing and swearing even coming from little children (this was about to change). He said the town was “ripe” for him who calls sinners to repentance.”

Let’s remember the doors. If we open the door to cursing, drunkenness, drug use or immorality it will spread. It may not be easy, but once opened we can close the door to evil with God’s help through prayer. Let’s open the door that has darkness behind it, and bring others to the light of Christ, explaining and showing them what it takes to be a real follower. The better example we make of our own life, the brighter the light of Christ will shine in our lives. Arise and shine!
Skipper Anding

The Open Doors worship service June 12 at Annual Conference was unlike anything I’ve experienced in a lifetime of attending church. The kind of witness represented in Friday night’s service is the sort of thing that can open doors for people who’ve given up on church as a place where they can find what they’re looking for in life. I think it’s tremendous that the Mississippi Conference of the United Methodist Church can be home to both the innovative and unconventional proceedings of Friday night as well as the worship and witness which are alive and well in the most traditional congregations of our church.
I’m grateful to be a United Methodist.
Mark McLain