Saturday, November 12, 2005

Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors

The Methodist denominational promise Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors was affirmed in a statement from The General Commission on Communication of the United Methodist Church.  Apparently some persons have asked that the promise be withdrawn because of a judicial council interpretation of church law that allowed a pastor to deny church membership to a man based on his sexual orientation.

What is this promise supposed to mean?

If it means open to Christ, I’m all for it.  We should all have open hearts to be able to respond to what Christ wants us to do.  We should all have open minds to Christ, so that we can rightly discern and know what God wants us to do.  We should all have open doors to Christ where we receive Him and are willing to follow Him wherever He leads.
I don’t think that is what the message that this promise is meant to convey.

If it means that all are welcome, I’m again all for it.  I don’t want to get into a debate about sexual orientation and church membership.  That has been endlessly debated elsewhere.  We should have love and compassion for every individual that comes through the doors of the church.  I believe that our primary responsibility to them is to preach the gospel.

It if means that we should accept any and all behavior and doctrine in the church, I am set against it.  If some in the church begin to teach that there are many ways to God, we should not have an open mind or heart to this unbiblical teaching.  If some in the church begin to teach that the Bible has mistakes, we should not have an open mind or heart.  If some in the church begin to teach that we should tolerate all sin in the church, and accept it because we don’t want to offend, we should not have an open mind or heart.  

We should have Open Hearts, Minds, and Doors not to our popular culture, but rather we should have open hearts to the Holy Spirit, open minds to study and interpret scripture, and open doors to follow Christ wherever He is leading.    

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