By Steve Bumpass
September 9, 2016
CHARLOTTE – Leaders in the United Methodist Church are facing criticism for not upholding the standards of Scripture after a North Carolina pastor was allowed to keep her job – even though she violated the denomination’s Book of Discipline.
The Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church stated that what is known as a “just resolution” had been reached in the case involving Rev. Val Rosenquist – a pastor in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The female pastor from the Tar Heel State married a same-gender couple in April – despite church rules that prohibit pastors from performing same sex “marriages.” Details of the resolution have not yet been released.
American Family Association Senior Vice President Buddy Smith, who is also a retired elder in the United Methodist Church, blames church leaders for not doing their job.
“Unfortunately they have an agenda that is not anchored to historic Christianity in this matter and it is unhinged from the teachings of the Word of God, the authority of Scripture, and they’re failure to uphold the Book of Discipline,” Smith argues.
Smith calls for high-ranking members in the church to step up and stand for the biblical principles upon which it was established.
“It’s time to call on our leadership to really lead according to the standards of God’s Holy Scripture,” the pro-family advocate added.
Smith laments over the current situation, insisting that the bishops’ failure of leadership is both heartbreaking and tragic.
Dr. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League, said it deeply saddens him whenever he sees this kind of spiritual rot among churches in his own home state.
“Methodists are among the finest of denominations,” said Dr. Creech. “But if they want to remain that way they better relearn what the Bible teaches about church discipline.”
“I realize church discipline is painful,” he said, “but it is one of the most important ways we show love in the church.”
Creech added that when he was a boy there was a time when his mother was too lenient and didn’t correct him about much of anything.
“One day, our pastor’s wife confronted my mother about my behavior, rightly arguing I was too unruly. My mother replied, ‘Yes, I’ve seen it too, but he’s just a boy, and I hate to see him broken hearted or crying from a spanking or some other correction.’ ‘Then you don’t love him as you ought to love him,’ said our pastor’s wife. “Either watch him cry a little at the present because he’s been corrected, or eventually both you and your child will grieve deeply because he’s a crook and in jail,’” Creech recalled.
“It’s not just Methodists today,” said Creech, “it’s across denominational lines.”
“The church’s failure to deal with blatant sin among its own is a malfunction of love. The failure to discipline not only gives the errant individual a false sense of security about their own spiritual condition, but also seriously compromises the light of the church in a lost and dark world. I can think of few things so sad,” he concluded.
Rosenquist will get to continue as pastor of the First Methodist Church in Charlotte.
United Methodists could take up recommendations to same-sex marriage, as well as the ordination of gay and lesbian clergy in a specially convened conference in 2018.
This story is posted with permission from OneNewsNow.com. The Christian Action League contributed to a portion of its content.