(This post originally appeared on my Facebook – facebook.com/j.lemastersmith on January 10, 2023, all reference are from the UM Book of Discipline 2016).
We all know The United Methodist Church is dealing with some significant issues right now. Yet, there is a great deal of misinformation going around, preying on the reality that we don’t teach Methodist doctrine well in our local churches.
One lie that folks are circulating to fear monger is that The United Methodist Church will no longer believe Jesus Christ is the son of God, Lord of all creation, or the savior of the world. This is not true. Our doctrine–three articles of which are included in the pictures–clearly list out our beliefs about Jesus. And sure, this could change. But to change these, we have to remove a restrictive rule from our constitution. That requires a 3/4 majority vote of General Conference (our Congress) – which is between 600 and 1000 delegates from around the world.
THEN – it has to go before each annual conference and we have to have 3/4 of all voting members of all annual conference meetings vote to remove. And then, should this pass, then we have to go to the next General Conference and vote to remove or change these articles (some of which we have had since the early 1800s). I highly doubt we can get a group of 600-1000 Christians to agree that Jesus Christ is not the song of God, and then get 3/4 of all Methodist representation from around the world to vote on this.
Why would these people be Christian otherwise? In a later post I will explain the language I think they are using to fabricate this lie.
2 thoughts on “Disaffiliation Rumors, Myths, and Opportunities #1 – Will we still believe in Jesus?”
All well and good. I hope you are correct. That said, I don’t think the big change will come all at once via a General Conference, but will be eroded slowly through the acts of individual bishops, etc. to the point where while the official doctrinal standards will never change, they will be treated as historical artifacts.
I am a member in an annual conference that has the infamous “Ms. PennyCost” as a candidate for ordination, for instance. It bothers me no end to see this individual being promoted, as it simply gives more ammunition to those championing disaffiliation.
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Sure, the erosion may be a thing, but my hope is a balanced approach. As for Ms. PennyCost and other outliers, I think this continues to be just that, an outlier. The reality, I am happy to be in same denomination and Ms. PennyCost, just so long as my gun carrying church members who hunt, fish, and protect livestock with those guns can also be here.