Friday, April 25, 2008

Remove the wicked from among you, bishops included

A great reminder as the The United Methodist Church gathers in Fort Worth, Texas.

Every United Methodist General Conference since 1972 has debated homosexuality. Always, the church has reaffirmed the historic Christian stance that sex is God’s gift for marriage between man and woman, and that homosexual practice, along with other non-marital sex, is “incompatible with Christian teaching.” United Methodism officially prohibits ordination for practicing homosexuals along with others sexually active outside marriage, prohibits the celebration of same-sex rites, prohibits church funding for homosexual advocacy, and calls for monogamy in marriage and celibacy in singleness. The current United Methodist teachings reflect the historic and universal consensus among virtually all churches. In 2004, United Methodism became the first Mainline Protestant denomination in the U.S. specifically to endorse “laws in civil society that define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.” read more here.

1 Corinthians 5:1-13 (New American Standard Bible)

1 It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles, that someone has his father's wife.
2 You have become arrogant and have not mourned instead, so that the one who had done this deed would be removed from your midst.
3 For I, on my part, though absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged him who has so committed this, as though I were present.
4 In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled, and I with you in spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus,
5 I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
6 Your boasting is not good Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough?
7 Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed.
8 Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
9 I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people;
10 I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world.
11 But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler--not even to eat with such a one.
12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church?
13 But those who are outside, God judges. REMOVE THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOURSELVES.

Paul instructed the church:
Not to keep company with the unrepentant brother.
Deliver the brother to Satan in hopes that he would repent.

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