I just read a post at the 9 Marks blog about a remark made by Al Mohler to a group of "twenty-somethings." He remarked that "a young man entering a church should not expect to reform it so much by persuading the old guard, but by raising up and discipling a new generation of younger men and waiting for them to grow into positions of leadership." Reflecting on the events of the last couple of weeks at the United Methodist Church General Conference, this statement struck me as particularly timely.
I desire deeply to see the UMC redeemed and reformed. I do not believe that our Lord is through with us. I do believe he would like once again to use the people called Methodists to spread scriptural holiness throughout the land. The problem is that there are a significant number of United Methodists who refuse to submit to the authority of the Church, the Scriptures, and above all, our Lord. They refuse to agree with our Lord about what constitutes sin, and they revel in it. And the Church as a whole suffers as a result. How shall we reform the Church?
United Methodists would do well to take Mohler's advice. We are unlikely to change the minds of those whose have hardened their hearts against the conviction of the Holy Spirit. So, we must mount an energetic, orthodox, evangelical, doctrinally sound, passionately holy, righteously angry, Christian mission of discipleship. We must train young men and women to love holiness and to be restless until our Church once again becomes a place of faithfulness to God. Perhaps some are already doing this. It will not happen overnight. But by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and by the power of his Spirit, perhaps it will happen. It must.