New Manifestations of Idolatry and Impurity in the Modern Mainstream Church

LGBT, Christianity

Some very recent revelations of actions within two mainstream Protestant church denominations are manifesting levels of idolatry and impurity which are unprecedented and extremely disturbing but are also unfortunately not unexpected. They are but the latest logical extensions of the philosophy the Leftchurch has been operating under for many decades.

One of these actions involves a Seminary famous for its Leftist leanings, while the other involves a local church body belonging to a denomination of which this author was once a member. One act was a blatant display of pagan idolatry, while the other was an act of insanity and impurity.

The Idolatry: Confessing Sins and Giving Worship to Plants

…because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. Romans 1:25 [ESV]

Union Theological Seminary in New York is a very influential “progressive Christian” institution that teaches church leaders from many different Protestant denominations. On September 17, 2019, a professor of worship urged his students in afternoon chapel,

to “confess to the plants” their sins against them.

The purpose of this ‘exercise’ was to give a confession as,

an “expression of worship” and as a “liturgical response to our climate crisis.”

Union Theological Seminary in New York

This is giving worship to what has been created instead of the Creator. It is blatant idolatry in an institution that claims the mantle of “Christian.”

However, I cannot say this is an unexpected development at this institution in particular. The phantom “climate crisis” is but their latest excuse to champion Leftism over God.

On Union Theological Seminary’s website, their “Statement of Mission” begins with an acknowledgment of their Leftism.

Progressive theology has long taken shape at Union, where faith and scholarship walk together to be a moral force in the world.

Continuing on the same page, Union’s “Vision Statement” begins,

Education at Union Theological Seminary is deeply rooted in a critical understanding of the breadth of Christian traditions yet significantly instructed by the insights of other faiths.

The vision statement drones on for another hundred words and this is the only place where the word “Christian” is mentioned. There is one other mention of the word “Christian” in the “Mission Statement.”

However, there is no mention of the words, God, Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit, Lord, Great Commission, or Bible in either official statement of the Seminary. In fact, Christianity is officially regarded as a hodge-podge of “traditions”  to be “significantly instructed by the insights of other faiths.”

Moreover, Union has a very revealing “Statement of Diversity” that includes this;

We recognize that our mission is best fulfilled when we notice and embrace diversity across all social identities (race, class, gender, sex, ability, faith/belief, sexual orientation, age and all of the dimensions of identity that live within us),

Inset.2.9.21.2019The key to comprehending the all-inclusiveness declared here is the phrase “embrace diversity across all social identities” with a parenthesis clarifying that they really mean ‘all’ such identities. This is full-throated advocacy of identity politics and all the dangerous refuse that accompanies it.

The most recent and vociferous identity group to come to prominence has been the ‘transgender rights’ crowd. This movement promotes fantasy over reality and has produced an astounding amount of support for the prospects of child abuse even with toddlers, as this journal has documented several times.

The movement toward transgenderism has now permeated all corners of modern society in the western world. This occupation seems almost complete with the successful foray into formerly “Christian” denominations who are now welcoming and affirming the rights of “transgendered” individuals to lead their congregations.

The Impurity: Calling a Transgender Pastor

For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, Romans 1:21-24 [ESV]

A local church in Ohio did something on July 1, 2019, that I believe is unprecedented among any of the plethora of Baptist church denominations. This congregation enthusiastically called a “transgender woman” by the name of Erica Saunders to be their new pastor.

Peace Community Church in Oberlin, Ohio, welcomed Erica Saunders as their new leader, an LGBT-affirming pastor who started identifying as a female in her first year of seminary at Wake Forest University School of Divinity.

14349176502_719a4da182_mTwo items from this quote stand out right from the start. One item is that the author of the article has perhaps unintentionally accepted that ‘Erica’ is now a ‘her’ despite the biological reality that ‘Erica’ is actually a ‘he.’

Secondly, as was the case with Union Theological Seminary, the aberrant ideas took hold in the academic institution of training for church leaders. I have some experience combatting this kind of mindset in the same denomination which includes this Ohio church.

Peace Community Church is affiliated with the Association of Welcoming & Affirming Baptists, the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America, the Alliance of Baptists, and the American Baptist Churches of the Rochester/Genesee Region.

I served as pastor of an American Baptist Church for nine years until I left both the congregation and the denomination. I spent a considerable amount of that time battling with many others against the incursion of groups such as the “Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists” aka AWAB and the “Baptist Peace Fellowship” into the American Baptist Churches.

The furious struggle of that time in the late 1990s through the mid-2000s was whether or not American Baptist Church congregations should be allowed to “welcome and affirm” practicing homosexuals into leadership positions in the local church while still affiliated with the denomination.

For my part, with God’s urging, I presented the biblical view that this should not be allowed through petition, and in a personal one-on-one meeting with the highest-ranking congregational authority in the ABC. The meeting resulted in a polite but firm refusal to attempt changing this policy of accepting LGBT leaders into the denomination.

The Spirit also moved me to present the biblical case in the form of a proposal at the Biennial Regional meeting of the ABC. All but 3 churches represented there voted to adopt that proposal, however, the vote was disallowed on a procedural technicality. Moreover, even though hundreds of churches and an entire region of the country left the ABC over this, the denomination remained resolute in its insistence upon this radical ‘inclusiveness.’

The church I served tried to carve out a middle way through this morass. On my recommendation, the congregation amended its Constitution to prohibit calling leaders who espoused the LGBT “welcoming and affirming” position. Against my recommendation, they also decided to remain affiliated with the larger American Baptist Churches denomination.

Inset.4.9.21.2019Nor is the ABC the only denomination providing such examples of sinful insanity and impurity within its ranks.  Those who also support the LGBT position include the Episcopal Church, the Presbyterian Church USA, the United Church of Christ, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and even some in Reform and Conservative Judaism.

The three largest Christian organizations, Catholics, Southern Baptists, and Pentecostal or Assemblies of God churches do not support such positions. The generally Leftist United Methodist Church has yet to endorse ordaining LGBT supporters, however, it is under some pressure towards that end.

The Indictment: The Mainstream Church has Crossed the Rubicon

“Crossing the Rubicon” is a phrase taken from a historical event in 49 BC. It refers to  Julius Caesar crossing into Italy leading his army specifically against Roman law.

At the time, Caesar was a powerful general of the Roman army and the Governor of the region of Gaul, located in modern-day France. He wanted to enter Italy at the head of his army, which was expressly forbidden by the then Republic of Rome.

When he crossed the Rubicon river, he violated that law and set in motion a war which he would win and become the first ‘unofficial’ Emperor of Rome. It was written that just before Julius Caesar crossed over into Italy, he declared “Let the die be cast!”, and led his troops across the water.

For Caesar, that meant there was no turning back from their course now. It was a course that would rend a republic that lasted almost 500 years, and create a tyrannical dictatorship which would decay into decadence, division, and destruction.

The mainstream church has now crossed her own “Rubicon.” There is no turning back for those who practice idolatry and sanction impurity, except to confess their own sin in sorrow to the LORD Jesus Christ, repent, and “sin no more.”

Inset.5.9.21.2019That is incomprehensible to the Leftist mainstream church leadership today who proudly display their destructive, unrighteous behavior for all to witness. They have become the same as those Paul excoriated who are “claiming to be wise,” and yet they “became fools.”

However, there is a very bright ‘silver lining’ around these stormclouds. That silver lining is the transparency of the modern technological age provided through the advent of smartphones.

This means that the rise of cult-like Christian doctrine is not veiled in secrecy as it once was, because almost anyone anywhere can find these “new” teachings through an internet search. Thus, no person should be able to claim ignorance if they choose to be or remain a part of any organization espousing such evil.

Conversely, this also provides a critical tool for the faithful to warn others away from heretical teachers with the truth of the saving gospel of Jesus Christ. It has literally never been easier to access Scripture online and all the tool needed to understand the Bible.

Anyone can access not only multiple versions of the Bible but the tools needed to find and decipher the original Hebrew and Greek of the Bible and do so for free. For example, my primary source for this is e-sword and can be downloaded for free.

Arm yourselves with the truth, and prayer and the support of brothers and sisters so that, like Jesus, you can tell others that in Christ,

you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John 8:32 [ESV]

D.T. Osborn

Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001

Featured and Top Image courtesy of David’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of David Merrett’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of michael_swan’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 3 courtesy of Equality Michigan’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 4 courtesy of Sam T’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 5 courtesy of Kigali Wire’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text

Originally published in TIL Journal

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