Sunday, August 28, 2005

Methodist Pastor Suspended for Denying Membership to Gay Man

This is disturbing. Look at this story here: What I find particularly chilling is that they say this pastor is "not subject to any one local church." This means that whatever the congregation may think, the denomination says, "that's too dang bad. Either he does what we tell him to do, or we yank him and give you a new pastor whether you like it or not." Having grown up in a system (Southern Baptist Convention) that emphasizes the autonomy of the local church, it is mystifying to me that the denomination would tell a church they can't tell if their pastor is biblically faithful or not, and that only the denomination can determine that. Where is room for the priesthood of believers, or for the ability of believers to determine for themselves the truth or falsity of a pastor's words? Even more chilling, where is accountability for the denomination? When a denomination has no safeguard against straying from God's Word (read: autonomous local churches), a denomination is ripe for a fall. This is what has happened to this particular branch of Methodism.

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