Friday, July 16, 2010
Why Do Some Denominations Reject the Bible?
With the Bible (the Word of God) so clear on the subject of the sin of Homosexuality, how do Christian denominations (i.e... United Methodist church, American Episcopalian church, and the Evangelical Lutheran church of America) accept homosexuality? I left the ELCA because of this issue.
I realize that this question may be too controversial for your blog, but you can always reply to the e-mail.
Blessings, Brian Todd
This is a good question Brian and the answer is easy though not pleasant. As a matter of fact there will many who think the answer is not loving, kind, or even nice. Our standard however, is the bible and not what we “feel” is nice but what does the bible say?
First, we need to realize that not everybody who claims to be a Christian or who claims to follow the bible actually is a Christian.
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'” (Matt 7:21-23, ESV)
Only believers have the Holy Spirit of God. One of the duties of the Holy Spirit is to teach God’s truth to His children. One of the signs of being a true believer is loving and desiring the Scripture, not to mention obeying the Scripture. There are at least two ramifications possible if one does not have the Holy Spirit; first, an individual does not belong to God and second, one has no one to teach the truth of God. As a result one becomes very susceptible to false teaching and their own emotional and subjective reasoning.
Most, if not all main-line denominations such as the United Methodist, American Episcopalian, and the ELCA have long ago abandoned the scriptures as inspired and authoritative. Unbelieving individuals, regardless of how moral, well meaning, and intellectual have infiltrated these and other denominations. As a result, for quite some time mainline and liberal denominations have not been Christian in the sense of being redeemed, Christ-like and Christ followers as prescribed by the New Testament. Unbelievers will always reject, alter, or miss-apply the truth of Scripture because they do not have the Holy Spirit to teach them correctly and to prevent heresy or doctrinal error.
So, Brian, the answer as I said is easy. Liberal and main-line denominations stopped treating the bible as divinely inspired and authoritative. They no longer interpret the bible with the same hermeneutics as you or I. We believe God said what he meant and meant what he said. When the plain sense of scripture makes sense, we are to seek no other sense. The bible is to be interpreted from a literal, historical, grammatical and contextual hermeneutic. Most main line or liberal denominations interpret scripture from differing hermeneutics, such as spiritual or allegorical rules of interpretation.
Of course, many people simply discard and reject anything that does not agree with their reason or sensibilities. When man becomes the judge of what Scripture says rather than letting God say what he said, the result is similar to the experience of the children of Israel during the period of the judges:
“In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 21:24, ESV)
You have denominations and individuals rejecting God’s laws and standards and establishing their own sense of scripture. Sense they have rejected God’s laws and standards God rejects them and allows them to go their own way, for a while. Remember there is coming a day of judgment when God will set the crooked path straight and make all things right!
Thanks for your question! Thanks for reading the Gospel-Driven Disciples.
Posted by Gregg Metcalf at 1:00 AM