Monday, June 12, 2017

The Downward Dive Into Deviancy Doesn't Diminish

Another day, another new low in the religious world. When you see something new and heartbreaking, there are usually only a couple of possible culprits. This time is no exception as the United Methodist Church announces without a whiff of shame: Transgender person commissioned as deacon.

The Northern Illinois Conference on the evening of June 4 commissioned an openly transgender individual as a provisional deacon.

The United Methodist Church has ordained transgender clergy before. However, the Rev. M Barclay is the first openly “non-binary trans person” to become a United Methodist deacon, according to Reconciling Ministries Network. Non-binary means Barclay identifies as neither male nor female but as gender neutral.

Barclay — who uses singular they pronouns — serves as director of communications at Reconciling Ministries Network. The unofficial United Methodist group, based in Chicago, advocates for full inclusion of LGBTQ people in all aspects of church life.

The "Reverend" M. Barclay is actually a woman born Mary Ann Kaiser but now is apparently refusing to recognizing her own gender, making her what is known as a "non-binary trans", a term that makes no sense whatsoever but that doesn't stop a "church" from celebrating her ordination to be a deacon. Notice in the announcement the cavalier way they note having "ordained""transgender clergy" in the past, as if commenting on the weather. What next? People who celebrate this sort of thing and clamor for "full inclusion" of people dead in their sins and suffering from mental illness into positions of leadership in the church need something new on a near daily basis to affirm so that they can keep up their progressive street cred. People who are trans-generational, like men who think they are little girls? Men who think they can menstruate and breast feed? People who dress up like animals? The lid is off Pandora's Box and there is literally no limit on what can be accepted. Scratch that, there is literally no limit on what must be accepted.

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As a much needed reminder, the Bible has this to say about deacons and their qualifications:

Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless. Their wives likewise must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things. Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, managing their children and their own households well. For those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus. (1 Timothy 3:8-13)

Do you suppose Paul ever envisioned a cross-dressing woman who refused to even acknowledge that she is a woman in the first place being called as a deacon? If you can imagine something like that, you need to go back to your Bible (or go to it in the first place).

The church needs to be a place where the mentally ill, the abused, the confused, all can come to find redemption and healing. When they come what they don't need is affirmation of their sins and illness, they need the healing that comes from Christ Jesus in the form of the Gospel and repentance from sin. Someone who is a lost sinner that thinks that they are neither male nor female and that is in a sinful, destructive relationship with someone else of the same gender is not aided by being affirmed or being celebrated. Those who do so are simply piling condemnation on their own heads. What people like Mary Ann Kaiser need is to be told is that she was created as a woman after the image of God, made a woman by God's sovereign will and decree. As a woman who suffers from mental illness there is hope of healing in Jesus Christ. She will never find peace seeking to hide herself from God in a lie but there is eternal peace to be found in surrendering herself to Jesus. Please pray for her, for all those like her, for those who "affirm" her and for those faithful Christians who are trying to keep the house of apostasy called the United Methodist Church moored to Jesus. 

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