35 years ago, church elders called out sexual sin and made sure it was not an acceptable practice for its leadership. In one Wisconsin church, it ousted a homosexual pastor. This past weekend, the church not only “repented and apologized,” they welcomed the pastor back to the pulpit, and issued a pro-LGBT proclamation.
The Apostle Paul, reacting in shock and dismay, said of the Corinthian Church:
“It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife. And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you. For though absent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did such a thing. When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.
But things have changed. God’s Word now allows for homosexual sin, because it’s legal now.
That’s not right. God’s Word is unchanging. No, it is the modern “church” that has fallen away.
The Kenosha, Wisconsin church has restored a pastor who was told to leave more than three decades ago because of unrepentant sin. He was gay. Still is. The Wisconsin Gazette reports:
For the first time since the United Methodist Church declared “the practice of homosexuality” to be “incompatible with Christian teaching,” a local church congregation will apologize to one of its former pastors affected by the decree.
Thirty-five years after being dismissed from his position as associate pastor, First UMC of Kenosha is inviting the Rev. Kevin A. Johnson, now pastoring in Palm Springs, California, and his husband, back to Kenosha for a “Weekend of Reconciliation” on Feb. 4-5, 2017.
The invitation was under consideration for more than a year as First UMC of Kenosha went through steps to declare itself a Reconciling Ministries Congregation in the UMC, which means welcoming openly the LGBTQ+ community into its church despite the restrictions still imposed by the church’s official Book of Discipline (church law).
The weekend will include a youth group reunion, as well as an interactive discussion with Johnson reflecting on his journey the past 35 years.
Johnson will preach during the festival service on Sunday morning, Feb. 5 at 10:30 a.m.
The weekend will conclude with the issuance of “The Kenosha Declaration,” a statement urging other churches that dismissed out LGBTQ+ clergy from duties because of their sexual orientation to reconcile with them publicly “as a means of grace and healing in the church and wider communities.”