Traditional Branch will Blossom

I'm a Methodist, not by design, it's just the way things worked out. I don't actually class myself as a Methodist, but I do attend a Methodist Church. It was the church that God first called me to when I was exploring faith, the church which accepted and loved me ,no questions asked, and the church where I eventually received conviction from the Holy Spirit, gave my life to the Lord and turned from my old lifestyle.

People talk a lot nowadays about inclusive churches and how important it is to be accessible to the LGBTQ+ community. My experience was of an inclusive church but not the sort they are talking about. My church included me, they didn't compromise on Biblical truth, they gave me space to work things out with God, yet they didn't feel the need to align with the LGBTQ+ community and wave a rainbow flag over the door in order to attract me or other members of that community to its services. We don't need a special sticker or flag to prove that we, as Christians, include everyone, surely that goes without saying.

The Methodist church in Great Britain is coming to a crossroads as an important vote takes place at this year's conference to allow same sex marriage to take place within Methodist premises. There is much talk of the need to be inclusive with the report itself titled, God in Love Unites Us. Unfortunately, the report itself has had the opposite effect, there is a lot of fallout and unhappiness within the church, and there will undoubtedly be a significant loss of membership if this vote goes through.

This article entitled, Wheat and Weeds, a Prediction about the coming split in the United Methodist Church predicts that the traditional branch of the church will blossom and then cites examples of liberal churches which are dying off. It’s a sad read for those all of us in the British Methodist Church who fear that Methodism as we know it will split, and that many of our churches who maintain a liberal stance toward sexuality will gradually die off.

If this is all being done in a misguided attempt to be inclusive, we would do well to remember that , yes, God in Love unites us, but God in Love tells us the truth, God in Love calls us to repent,

God in Love wants all his children to live in obedience to his Word, God in Love sent his only Son so that we could find salvation when we truly repent of or sins.

Let us seek that God of Love, making sure our churches are all inclusive as we welcome anyone through the door, allowing space for God to work in their lives and transform them as he did me, through my Methodist church family.