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The Counterfeit Christ of the United Methodist Church

by | May 20, 2024 | Apostasy, Opinion, Religion, Social-Issues, The Church

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The modern world has no shortage of counterfeits—be it counterfeit money, counterfeit Chinese goods, or counterfeit churches. But in the midst of all the counterfeits stands one eternal, unchanging truth, Jesus Christ. Yet, even His name has not been spared from the world’s relentless pursuit of deception. The latest culprit in this grand charade is none other than the United Methodist Church (UMC).

The United Methodist Church, established in 1968 through the merger of the Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church, has long been a significant force in American mainline Protestantism. Its roots trace back to John Wesley’s evangelical revival in 18th-century England, which advanced such things as personal piety and a “methodical” approach to discipleship. Though not without its problems, for many years, the UMC would have been considered one of the more conservative branches of Protestant Christianity in America with a bent toward biblical orthodoxy, despite its errors.

However, over the last few decades, the UMC in America has steadily drifted from its foundational moorings, abandoning the Scriptures as its authority, and succumbing to the siren call of cultural relevance. This gradual apostasy has been marked by increasing theological liberalism, a diminishing emphasis on the Word of God, and a relentless pursuit of social acceptance at the expense of biblical truth.

The 2024 General Conference of the UMC marked a watershed moment in this downward spiral. In a controversial move, the UMC voted to lift its long-standing ban on LGBTQ+ clergy and to officially affirm same-sex marriages. This decision, ostensibly made to promote “inclusivity” and “unity,” has instead deepened the rift within the denomination.

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Bishop David Graves presided over the conference, which saw delegates overwhelmingly agree to redefine marriage as a sacred union between two people of faith, irrespective of gender. This revision was presented as a necessary accommodation for Methodists in Africa, where homosexuality is illegal, but it has sparked outrage among Bible-believing Christians who see it for what it is—a betrayal of Christ.

The last few somewhat conservative voices within the UMC—the majority of who are outside of the U.S., such as Rev. Jerry Kulah of Liberia—have decried this move as a capitulation to cultural pressures, arguing that it undermines the clear, unchanging teachings of Scripture on marriage and sexuality. Kulah and others have been vocal about their intention to seek disaffiliation from the UMC, viewing the recent developments as a stark departure from orthodox Christianity.

Then we have “Reverend” Valerie Wilson, in an interview with PBS, who defended the changes, arguing that the church is becoming “more aware of who God is,” beyond traditional teachings. She said that she hopes that those resistant to these changes “will one day be liberated and set free and come to experience the liberating, unconditional love and grace of God.”

Of course, this rhetoric is nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to justify the church’s departure from God and descent directly into the pits of Hell. What the UMC now presents is not the Christ of Scripture but a counterfeit—a Christ made in the image of man, one who bends and molds to the whims of fallen humanity. This “counterfeit Christ” is a product of cultural appeasement, designed to affirm sin rather than confront it, to offer comfort without the call to repentance, and to extend grace without the necessity of transformation.

This “Christ” is appealing to unregenerate men because he is the golden calf that assuages the consciences of those who sin against the true Christ. He is a “Christ” who requires no sacrifice, no denial of self, no bearing of the cross. Instead, he offers a broad, easy path that leads not to life, but to destruction.

The UMC’s new “Christ” is one who stands in stark contrast to the biblical Christ—the Christ who bled and died for sinners, who called all to repentance, who defeated sin and death through His death, burial, and resurrection. The biblical Christ demands that we die to ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Him. He offers not the fleeting comfort of cultural relevance but the eternal joy of reconciliation with God.

The United Methodist Church has traded the true gospel for a counterfeit, a cheap imitation designed to placate the demands of a fallen world. This “counterfeit Christ” is nothing more than an idol, fashioned to fit the desires of those who refuse to submit to the authority of Scripture. In doing so, the UMC has abandoned its mission to be a light in the darkness, choosing instead to become indistinguishable from the world it was called to transform.

As believers, we must recognize this deception for what it is and stand firm in the truth of the gospel. If it happened to the UMC, it can happen to any church, any denomination, or any Christian who isn’t truly born again and washed in the saving blood of Christ.

We must proclaim the biblical Christ, who alone has the power to save, transform, and bring true freedom. Anything less is a counterfeit, and no counterfeit can ever satisfy the deepest needs of the human soul.

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