"Awake, you who sleep,
Arise from the dead,
And Christ will give you light." (Ephesians 5:14)
This is going to sound a bit weird, but I am very excited about the future...and it has begun by the conscious sin of another person (group of persons). Let me explain.
In recent months a movement within our denomination (The United Methodist Church) made the decision to deny Scriptural principles concerning human sexuality and relationship, to defy the Discipline of our denomination, and to display a lack of integrity when it comes to keeping their own sacred vows of covenant. The issues, was the election of an openly gay bishop by the Western Jurisdiction. This decision was the crowning "achievement" (disgrace) of a 40 year movement within Methodism.
For me personally, this was a sin for all the reasons I mentioned above. And I am glad it has finally happened. Why...because now those of us who believe in the authority and power of God's holy Word must wake up. The evangelical believer's within United Methodism must rise from the seeming dead and experience the life that Christ has waiting for His faithful Bride.
The verse I began this post with spoke of waking up and rising form the dead; it spoke of receiving the light from Christ. But interestingly enough, it comes after the Apostle Paul has been writing about walking in the light (vs. 8); about finding out what is acceptable to God (vs. 10); and about not having fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness....but rather about exposing that darkness (vs. 11). God is calling the church to WAKE UP. And perhaps, just maybe, this is the wake-up call the Church has been needing.
For those who have been faithful stewards, let me ask you a question. Do you truly believe that God is God, and the He is able? If so, then know that He knows exactly what the Church needs. And sometimes, it needs a spiritual kick in the b.......well, you know what I mean.
I have shared with many that instead of wanting to break away from The United Methodist Church, I am excited about the possibility of revival that this conflict has brought to us. It is my heartfelt belief that The United Methodist Church stands on the cusp of two possibilities:
1. The destruction of Methodism's continued testimony in the world.
2. A great and new spiritual awakening within Methodism.
I choose not to give up on what God can do through His faithful servants.
I have come to be excited about the revival my children can inherit within The United Methodist Church. Will the Church look different for my children than it does now...sure. Will there be the need for God to do a cleansing of His Church...sure. Will God's people have to endure a separating of the chaff for a healthy harvest to grow...sure. But my God is able, and I believe His people must fall on their face, pray, turn from their sin and seek His amazing, grace lined faced. God can heal His Church, and I am excited to see what the future holds during this time of revival.
So yes, I am excited about the catalyst that this sin provides within The United Methodist Church. I am excited for the revival that is just waiting to happen. And I beg those who are heartbroken by the "brokenness" of our connection, don't leave, or turn away...become part of the revival to come. Get excited about what God is going to do.