Either My Way or the Highway #UMC

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I disagree

It is an overstatement to say that the IRD is trying to destroy the church. Truthfully, I used to share your view until I encountered basic orthodox Christianity with a Wesleyan accent; and that is all the IRD is promoting. My guess is you are confusing basic orthodox Christianity with modern fundamentalism and that is a very serious mistake. Some suggested reading that gives a "jumping off spot" for basic orthodox Christianity: "Body & Soul" by M. Craig Barnes; "The Good News We Almost Forgot" by Kevin DeYoung; "Comforting Hearts and Teaching Minds" by Starr Meade; "Mere Christianity" by C. S. Lewis. and for a Wesleyan accent spend time at seedbed.com.

Modern fundamentalism is judgmental and restrictive and attempts to box people in.

Basic orthodox Christianity moves a person into the wide open space of God's amazing grace.

The United Methodist Church drifted from teaching basic orthodox Christianity with a Wesleyan accent a long time age and other thoughts and ideas of what it means to be a Christian of the Methodist persuasion have taken root.

Methodism came into being for a specific reason: connecting individuals to a triune God of holy love and enabling them to live a holy life centered in God 24/7 regardless of their circumstances--and yes there are certain boundaries that define what a holy life centered in God looks like. But remember, Jesus said his yoke is easy and his burden is light. And I can testify that he spoke the truth. The only hard part for me has been learning to give up control and working through my anger and frustration that the UMC has drifted from the message about a triune God of holy love who is most definitely way more verb than noun; an unfathomable God of mystery who loves even me more than I can ever think about loving myself.

To get a good idea why Methodism is in existence, try reading "Wesley and a People Called Methodist". Turns out the Wesley brothers were not perfect, nor did they do every thing right. But their goal was unwavering: connecting individuals to a triune God of holy love and enabling them to live holy lives regardless of their circumstances.

Orter T. more than 5 years ago

New Gnostic Interpretation

I respectfully disagree with the position which prefers to re-write the Bible to fit their needs or the needs of the culture or world around us and continues to ignore the full truth of the Gospel taught by Jesus Christ and revealed by the Holy Spirit to the writers of the Old and New Testament. These are the new Gnostics of our day.

Christ came in Love to fulfill the Law. God does speak to us through Holy Scripture. The Love Christ taught was not a Gnostic view then nor is it now. The traditional view of scripture in the United Methodist Church does not seek to purify the church. We all come to the church with spots. Our denomination and our churches have grown in Loving as Christ Loved. To love all our neighbors, to invite all into fellowship and a relationship with Jesus Christ. Our Doors are open.

However, we have taken a Biblical stand on sexuality and have stated what we as a denomination believe is consistent with Christian teaching and our Methodist heritage. Yes, we have restricted who is qualified to be ordained and lead a congregation and yes we have restricted Christian Marriage in our churches to a man and a woman. That does not mean we don't love and welcome the Gay couple with children, that does not mean that people of all backgrounds can't serve God and the church in so many other ways other than as clergy. We are all sheep with spots, we are saints and sinners.

It is time for the progressive minority in our denomination to accept how far we have come in our denomination, honor holy conferencing, honor oaths of clergy to the full truth of the Bible and to honor the United Methodist Discipline. If we can be United with Christ, we can do amazing things for the Lord. However, if there is going to be a new Gnostic approach to Scripture and to leading our churches then it is time to find a loving way to separate. I want everyone to remember that we are a Christian denomination who have chosen to believe certain things. If one does not agree with those views, that does not mean they are not Christians, it means that a different denominations in our Christian family might suit them better.

Rev. Merrill Bender more than 5 years ago

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