United Methodists form Wesleyan Covenant Association

“In these times of great uncertainty about the future of The United Methodist Church, we believe it is important for orthodox congregations, clergy, and laity to work together, to support one another, and to encourage each other,” said a group of 40 United Methodist pastors, theologians, and lay persons in a statement that announces the creation of the Wesleyan Covenant Association (WCA). “We long for a church committed to sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the last, the least, and the lost.”

Jeff Greenway

Jeff Greenway

“The Wesleyan Covenant Association represents the very best of our warm-hearted theology and action-oriented spirituality, and will provide support, encouragement, and resourcing for like-minded and like-hearted United Methodists,” said the Rev. Jeff Greenway, lead pastor of Reynoldsburg (Ohio) United Methodist Church. “During these turbulent times in our denomination, I find this association to be a source of encouragement and hope.”

Carolyn Moore

Carolyn Moore

The WCA is being launched as a member-based network of United Methodist congregations, clergy, and laity to provide “the encouragement we need to stay committed to our rich heritage while standing firm on the non-negotiables that make The United Methodist Church a vital contributor to the Body of Christ,” said the Rev. Carolyn Moore, senior pastor of Mosaic United Methodist Church in Evans, Georgia.

The Wesleyan Covenant Association (wesleyancovenant.org) will be gathering in Chicago for a one-day conference to promote its goals and welcome new members on October 7, 2016.

Keith Boyette

Keith Boyette

“My fervent prayer is that we will be able to share our witness in ways that will impact the Bishop’s Commission on the Future of the Church positively and contribute to the advance of God’s Kingdom among the people called Methodists globally,” said the Rev. Keith Boyette, pastor of Wilderness Community UM Church in Spotsylvania, Virginia. “Those who choose to participate in this great endeavor will be better positioned I believe to embrace a fruitful future regardless of what ultimately occurs within The United Methodist Church.”

Madeline Carrasco Henners

Madeline Carrasco Henners

“As a young orthodox United Methodist, I am excited about the creation of the Wesleyan Covenant Association as a coalition committed to the authority of God’s Holy Word, our Wesleyan heritage, and Holy Spirit empowered revival,” said the Rev. Madeline Carrasco Henners, pastor of Luling (Texas) First United Methodist Church. “We know that many pastors in many progressive annual conferences feel isolated from their fellow orthodox brothers and sisters. This alliance will help them have their voices heard in matters affecting the unity of the Global Church.”

Jim Cowart

Jim Cowart

“Clergy and laity across the nation are rightly concerned about the state of The United Methodist Church in the United States,” observed the Rev. Jim Cowart, pastor of Harvest UM Church in Byron, Georgia. “Although blessed with sound doctrine, a history of personal and social holiness, and a rich heritage, the church seems to have lost its way in the 21st century. The Wesleyan Covenant Association provides us with a wonderful opportunity to gather around the best of what we are with those who are of like commitment to work toward making disciples for the transformation of the world.”

Pastor Levingston

Kenneth Levingston

“Christianity was born in a hostile culture. We were born in the Roman empire, that tried to destroy Christianity. And so it’s not the culture that’s going to determine who we are, it’s our faith,” said the Rev. Kenneth Levingston, senior pastor of Jones Memorial UM Church in Houston. “It’s whether or not we’re willing to stand up in the culture and love it and still call it to live in a faithful way and a faithful manner with Jesus Christ.”

Comments

  1. Thank the Lord I am a witness to this starting. My heart has been strangely warmed from the first announcement. This has lifted my spirits and I can tell you as a lay person, it needed lifting. I am honored to be able to be there to be a part of the Wesleyan Covenant Association. I can now see a dim light at the end of a long dark tunnel. Finally, Finally, Finally. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

    • Rev. Thomas Luther Teate says:

      The lack of will on the part of the Bishops in the United Methodist Church is leading me to suggest a new name for the denomination…THE UNTIED METHODIST CHURCH! Seems that “Untied” is a much better description of the Church. We seem not to be tied to the Word of God or to Christ Jesus! By taking away scriptural authority, by what authority will be led? Opinion? Experience? Tradition? There are many books on these topics but why choose another book when we have a book that is God Inspired already in your possession? I cannot walk away from the Word of God, but I can walk away from a denomination that no longer has faith in its teaching! In recent years our South Georgia Conference spent a whole session debating the whether to cut the number of districts or keep them the same. We spent all that time trying to say a dollar and few moments seeking to say souls! It broke my heart! Now we have Bishops and Elders who have made a vow to God and the UMC to uphold the Book of Discipline and they have walked away from their vows and no one is holding them accountable. I predict that the United Methodist Church will soon be just a blip in history. We are not a church that has the form of Godliness but we no longer have the power to proclaim the Gospel or Transform the World! The culture has transformed us! That too breaks my heart! Now that the door has been cracked open by this sinful heresy I expect there will be more and more demonic activity within the Church and the World. Those who did not stand guard at the gate will be judged most severely by God!

      • Lena Whitson says:

        Thank you for your thoughtful comments. Having been quite upset since our Annual Conference in June, I am feeling that I must also “walk away from a denomination that no longer has faith in its teaching!” It is difficult because I love the people in my congregation where I have been worshiping for over forty years, but my conscience tells me this is what I must do.

        • The divide is already happening in Canada with the Anglican Church. At issue there is “WHO OWNS THE CHURCHES” and the answer is, not the people in the pews.
          The same is held true in my church where I am a Card Carrying Methodist and I am on our worship team. Our church, my church, infact is not my church at all. The building and the land are owned by the district we simply pay to keep the lights, pay the pastors and pay these bishops that make up new rules for us to follow. If we do not follow these rules then the district can close our church, my church and sell it.
          Here-in lies the problem. What good is it having a book of discipline if it is not followed? What’s the point of membership in my church if I have no say. Will the membership be asked to vote on these vital issues? No there are delegations and ultimately its a smoke screen to conform to the world. But the bible says, do NOT be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. We should not be celebrating a sin to get more people into the church to proclaim they are sinners? What good is this to be of the world but lost to God? This is not my home. My hold is in Heaven with The Lord. Yes I am a sinner but you don’t see me joining others suffering from the same demons as me parading on the streets! Its insane.
          So in closing, in Canada the congregations have split into 2 groups, the separation of the Sheep and the Goats. The sheep hear their masters voice and the goats eat up anything that sounds good. It has left the gays with the church buildings they can not longer afford and the parishes are forced to close their doors.
          We need to vote with our MONEY. If you are against the Gay movement then simply do not send your MONEY to the district. Take the food from their plates. Send a message LOUD and clear. WE will NOT be sending in our portion for this Debauchery!!!

      • I agree with you completely. I have watched the church diminish its effectiveness since the mid-1950s, when one minister told me that the great Biblical stories (Sampson, Jonah, etc, were just myths to encourage the people of that time, because there was no man who could bring down a building with his bare hands and there was never a fish large enough to swallow a man.

        The minister telling our congregation this was a graduate of a theological seminary at Denver, Colorado. My answer to the minister was, “You serve a mighty small God. With my God, nothing is impossible.”

        I believe the Bible speaks clearly about sexual sins being wrong. I also believe that the job description for elders, deacons, etc., in Timothy that they are to be married men, with a wife and children, and they are to have their children under control.

        I pray for the people of authority in the UMC, that they will come to their senses before it is too late. Jesus said that it would be better that those misleading new believers and children were to have a millstone tied around their necks and they be drowned in the deepest sea. Now that is a dire warning to those at the head of our denomination!

  2. Joe Black says:

    Thankful for those who still hold to biblical truth..

    • If this group makes you a better person. A person who is more caring, more compassionate, more accepting of those who may be different from who you think you are, then it is the correct connection for you.
      Any group that makes someone less compassionate, less caring and more judgmental should not be a group that is in any way connected with what Jesus taught. Not the Jesus about whom men, twenty, or thirty years after his death wrote about in the Gospels. The spirit of Jesus, the spirit of God that is in each of us, and around us. That spirit would accept others who may be different, in sexual orientation, in religion, in the way they look or how they dress.
      Those who choose to cling to a BoD that has been written and rewritten, and for the past 4 2 years has disenfranchised our LBGTQAI sisters and brothers are fighting a losing battle, especially in this beautiful nation, who has given voice and rights to women, our LBGTQAI friends, relatives, coworkers, and others whom we all know and about whom we care

      • Licensed local pastor says:

        Who’s Christology are you following? If this is how you truly feel then why don’t you leave the denomination. If your faith is not based on the scriptures, what is it based on?

        • Rob Mayette says:

          Pretty uncharitable of you to ask someone else to leave the denomination because you disagree with them…

          • Wally Kanowski says:

            And why should someone stay and work to dear down what I believe? Wouldn’t we each be better served in different organizations?

          • I am confused at what you are asking, Wally. Are you referring to the LBGTQAI working to tear down what the church has believed since it’s beginning here, or are you referring to those who hold true to the BoD working to tear down what you believe?

  3. Tom Lucas says:

    Almighty God guide our hearts, minds, and hands as You would.

  4. Leigh Brown says:

    Your use of the word “orthodox” is incorrect. In Christianity, “orthodox” is used in regard to adherence to doctrine/the creeds of the church, and in regard to the ancient practice of worship (such as use of iconography). “Orthodox” was used to define early Christian belief against early heresies until the schism in 1054. After the split, the eastern church retained the use of the word “orthodox” and the western church became “universal”. Roman Catholicism has since used the word “orthodox” with regard to its doctrine and practice, but the Eastern Orthodox Church would not consider this true. Similarly, neither they nor the Roman Catholic Church would consider the Protestant traditions as “orthodox.”

    At any rate, the word “orthodox” in any tradition is used in reference to adherence to the doctrine of that particular church or faith. For United Methodists, this is found in paragraph 104 in the Book of Discipline. Using the word “orthodox” in reference to conservative vs progressive views on the social principles, inclusivity or same-sex marriage is erroneous.

    It’s also worth noting that frequent (mis)use of the word will not actually change its meaning, no matter how much you may wish it to be true. Both progressives and conservatives feel deeply their conviction with regard to inclusivity in the church. This conviction gives neither the right to change the meaning of the word orthodox, or to co-opt that word in an effort to devalue others or enforce an agenda.

    • John Wesley Leek says:

      The concerns these pastors share are not limited to issues of human sexuality, though self described “progressive” views on sexual activity often correlate with divergent viewpoints on many other issues more central to doctrine.

      Do you believe the conflict in our church is limited to what people choose to do with their bodies and what authority the church has for selecting those few specifically called as United Methodist Elders and Deacons?

    • Orthodox translates as “straight teaching”. That makes the use chosen in this context pretty clear. There is one “straight teaching” that is faithful to the scripture and it’s plain meaning regarding homosexuality. This doctrinal position is not about inclusivity, we include all. It’s about church discipline regarding unabashed sinful and (to use your word), erroneous teaching and practice.

    • Licensed Local Pastor says:

      ORTHODOX
      or·tho·dox/ˈôrTHəˌdäks/
      adjective
      adjective: orthodox; adjective: Orthodox

      (of a person or their views, especially religious or political ones, or other beliefs or practices) conforming to what is generally or traditionally accepted as right or true; established and approved.

      I believe based on this definition from GOOGLE that the use of the word Orthodox is justified in this case.

      • UMCpastorjohn52 says:

        ORTHODOX
        “conforming to the Christian faith as represented in the creeds of the early church.”

        Guess it’s just a matter of which definition you choose to share……..

    • Edwin Rose says:

      Use of the phrase “same-sex marriage” is incorrect. Same sexes can be have wedding ceremonies, change their last names, live together, share property, be legal partners, but can never be married. That relationship is reserved for a man and a woman only. Frequent use of the phrase will not change its meaning.

    • Angeline says:

      Definition: orthodox – adjective
      Conforming to what is generally or traditionally accepted as right or true; established and approved.
      Synonyms: conservative, traditional, observant, devout, strict; synonyms: conventional, mainstream, established, well established, traditional, “orthodox views”
      Antonyms: unconventional
      “The orthodox group stands with the Apostles, the prophets, the martyrs and the biblical witness as revealed in Scripture. The orthodox have the whole of the church throughout the ages standing with them. The orthodox are contending for the faith “once for all entrusted to the saints” (Jude 3). The heterodox come and go with every generation. They rise up, make a big noise, cause a huge stir, and tell the church that we are no longer “relevant.”
      From: Orthodoxy vs. Heterodoxy: The Fundamental Divide in the United Methodist Church by Tim Tennent

      • Dan Gangler says:

        If what you say about orthodoxy were true, slavery would be legal, women would not vote in public or church elections or be ordained by the church and divorced people would not be able to be ordained or continue their status as ordained, to mention a few things once held as orthodox. Also, those of us who strive for the inclusion of all people including LGBT United Methodists, are labeled by your “orthodox” groups as heretics because we oppose your brand of orthodoxy. I praise God that God is more inclusive just as Jesus was more inclusive agaibst the orthodoxy in His day. I pray that one day you will see a hospel of grace and nof one of law.

        • Matthew L. says:

          Certainly not true on the issue of slavery, but this is an oft-repeated faulty comparison. There are writings from the 3rd century by eastern fathers denouncing the institution of slavery, and by the 4th century we have the staunch abolitionist St Gregory of Nyssa. Part of the Byzantine liturgy included prayers for the freedom of slaves. There were prominent western fathers against slavery as well, including St Anselm. That slavery was staunchly defended by a very minor segment of global Christianity for a couple of centuries does not make it a valid comparison to the 2,000 year witness of orthodox Christian teaching against the immorality of homosexual practice. Indeed, it is rather remarkable that early Christians did take such a stern position against all forms of same-sex sexual relations within a Hellenistic society. On your other points, I mostly agree. I do not believe divorcees should be ordained, nor do I think the church should so easily re-marry lay divorcees. As for the ordination of women, there is evidence of women holding prominent positions in the early church, while there is none for their acceptance of homosexual behavior.

          Kind regards,
          – Matthew

        • Jeff Lucas says:

          Jesus said, “if you love me you will keep my commandments” enough said.

    • Chuck East says:

      Actually, the use of orthodox, adjective, was absolutely correct. It was not used in context of the Orthodoxy, noun, as in the Russian or Greek Orthodox churches. It was used to describe a condition of “traditional, Gerald accepted, or normal”. Look up the definition, perhaps you will disagree with the orthodox definition, but that would be unorthodox. Or to accept the judgemental attitude you have expressed, you are wrong. There is no equivocation of this point. We accept the rules of language or we do not. Dictionaries change the meaning of words all the time because they are relative to the culture they reflect. The Bible either is relative and reflective and should be changed with the times, or it is the one, true absolute. It can’t be both. To think otherwise would be unorthodox.

      • Leigh Brown says:

        You are mixing scripture and tradition here. Biblical interpretation is a different conversation. The Book of Discipline is undeniably subject to change and interpretation – we do this every 4 years at General Conference. The present language on human sexuality was added to the BOD in 1972. It is not a part of the doctrinal standards, and was not in place for the majority of the history of United Methodism. It is unreasonable to suggest that to be orthodox (within the context of Methodism) is to accept language added to the BOD in 1972.

        • Doug Mays says:

          That language was only added in 1972 because there had been no need of it before, because never before had anyone tried to push the Church into the unorthodox notion that sexual relations between persons of the same sex was legitimate Christian conduct.

    • Leigh what a fabulous comment. Thank you.

    • Lawrence Kreh says:

      “Orthodoxy” as defined by many across denominational barriers, refers to adherence to the Nicene and Apostles’ Creeds without considering many core doctrines as “symbolic” or relative to changing times. In this sense there is orthodoxy in Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant traditions that adhere to the principles encompassed in these creeds, whether a church is officially creedal or not. Progressives and theological liberals (as a generalization) see historic Christian doctrines as relative in time and culture sand truth as more relative than fixed as humans progress in understanding and knowledge.. Christians who are orthodox can differ on non-essential doctrines as defined by historic church and creeds and the issue is theological, not social. Homosexual practice is the “catalyst” for conflict only because there is an issue defined in the Discipline, and some Christians make too much of one issue. The primary issue is theological.

    • Leigh Brown, your complaints about the word “orthodox” are incorrect. At the time of the great schism between Eastern and Western churches (leaving the Copts out of the discussion for now), the English language as it exists today had not yet been formed. While the Greek roots of the word “orthodox” certainly existed, as an element of the English language, the word did not.

      As you say, “the word ‘orthodox’ in any tradition is used in reference to adherence to the doctrine of that particular church or faith.” Those of us who believe that the language in the BoD regarding sexuality should NOT be changed are, then, by your own definition, operating under the orthodox viewpoint.

      While it certainly is true that “Both progressives and conservatives feel deeply their conviction with regard to inclusivity in the church,” again on your own words, “[t]his conviction gives neither the right to change the meaning of the word orthodox.”

      • Leigh Brown says:

        The doctrinal standards are found in paragraph 104. The Book of Discipline in its entirety is not doctrinal, and it is dynamic. The language regarding human sexuality was not added until 1972; it has been in place for a relatively short time in the history of our denomination. To suggest that something adopted in 1972 is now orthodox seems silly to me.

        I am not clear on what you are saying in your last paragraph. I have not seen any examples of progressives claiming the word orthodox as unique to themselves within United Methodism.

        I will stand by my objection to the claiming of the word orthodox by Good News or the authors.

        • Kimberly Chesser says:

          I don’t believe the folks who refer to themselves as orthodox have done so as it relates to the addition made in 1972. Rather, I believe this their view of the entirety of holy scripture. As Bud Tillinghast suggested, the only true “orthodox” church is the Orthodox Church itself. Protestantism, Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy are distinct. But, the word orthodox, as mentioned by Lawrence Kreh, often is used by Christians a descriptor of their theological views (not church doctrine), and is generally accepted as a more traditional interpretation, as in the Orthodox Church’s interpretation (but not its dogma).

        • Guerschon Saint Ange says:

          It seems like you are not aware that our denomination was only four years old when the language regarding human sexuality was added in 1972 as you pointed out. The United Methodist denomination was created in 1968. The next general conference after its creation was 1972. Therefore in its infancy, the denomination added this language in the BOD.

  5. Byron Putnam says:

    This is Good News.

  6. Linda Hall says:

    Praise the Lord… This gives me encouragement for the United Methodist Church.

  7. The idea of a Wesleyan Covenant Association on the surface is a good thought. Many Renewal Groups have had the same idea. None of these have come up with an adequate plan of implementation, details, and structure as to how to divest yourself from your current UMChurch or to stay at your current Church operating under a new Polity. None of these groups presented a plan at GC 2016 that would accomplish this, knowing they had 4 years to work on it from GC 2012.. A new entity must have a core curriculum so that many or a viable assembly of members would come from the original body to sustain itself. I hope that if you continue this Association that you will be able to contact each Methodist Church in the USA and solicit their joining it. As it is now, there is no centrality or coordination of the many fractured plans being considered. Maybe this WCA can become the Flag Gospel Ship that says “Follow Me”.

  8. Licensed Local Pastor says:

    I am looking forward to what will come out of this meeting.

  9. Donna Alberts says:

    I’m excited to see a group of orthodox clergy and laity willing to work on this doc e Nant of like minded people. I’m retired and will hold this group in my heart and pray for you all.

  10. Jim Morrow says:

    Who is responsible for leading this thus far? Making the doctrinal choices? Curating these statements? Crafting the material made available here?

  11. This is just what we need to help us return back to our first love as a society. I believe this is the way to get more people looking and expressing the rich heritage of the Methodist society. Thank you Jeff.

    How can we join the The Wesleyan Covenant Association ?

  12. Karen McGee says:

    So excited about this! This is a great way to keep our commitment to the holiness of scripture and the traditions of true Wesleyans alive in a world where a social worldview threatens our Christian worldview. God Bless all of you & how can we and our congregation become a part of this?

  13. Jerry Aufrance says:

    With the inevitable separation of the United Methodist church, because of the new interpretation of Jesus teachings, it is obligatory for us to remain a loving, caring church. We need to continue praying for our denomination and avoid any litigation.

  14. Robert Bowman says:

    This is Great News!!!

  15. Lawrence Kreh says:

    Encouraged, hopeful, and grateful!

  16. Brian Jennings says:

    I am renewed with hope for a future in the church I grew up in.. As a conservative with traditional values, I am so weary of all the name calling when I and others like me choose say we believe in marriage as a loving, holy bond between a man and a woman. And when we consider homoseuality a sin. A sin no greater than all the others we call out, but a sin just the same. Or when we say we think abortion is murder of a life created by God, but so freely thrown away and now even supported by some leaders in our church. And it hurts me to see our people turn on the natioin of Israel. Our BOD is being trampled on. Maybe now, we will have a true way forward.

  17. Bud Tillinghast says:

    No American Methodist clergy can, with any sense of church history, claim to be ‘orthodox’. All our ordinations are un-orthodox. According to the ‘Discipline’ of Anglicans or Roman Catholics, none of us are clergy by the rules. Those rules were broken when John Wesley, out of a call to serve the mission of Christ, dared to do what he had no ‘right’ to do, ordain clergy. If he had not done so, none us would be arguing now as United Methodists about the ‘rightness’ of marrying or ordaining gays.

    Even his brother, Charles, disagreed with John and famously penned the words that, for some reason, never made our hymnals:

    How easily are bishops made,
    By man or woman’s whim.
    Wesley his hands on Coke has laid,
    But who laid hands on him.
    (It works well to the tune of ‘O God our help in ages past’)

    So those of you who choose to be ‘Carolinian’, worriers about the rules, to our ‘Johannine’, acting by the spirit to meet missional need, have to admit that by ‘orthodox tradition’ that you are not clergy.

  18. Stafford Miller says:

    Will the Wesleyan Covenant Association meet regionally, for those who can not be in Chicago, ie: New York, South, West and so on?

  19. sara Hardaway says:

    What is this high school? I find this to be smug and divisive. Us versus them. Seriously??? Jesus never meant for the way, the church to exclude anyone. This is a sad commentary and certainly not helping the Bishops to find a way forward. It is a profound lack of real information and experience of people different than you.

    • Leigh Brown says:

      And this (us vs you) is exactly why we should not resort to labeling and name calling. To claim the name “Orthodox Methodist” with regard to our present division is to say that those holding different views (“they” or “them”) are not “Orthodox Methodists” – suggesting that “they” do not hold to tradition or basic tenants of our teaching.

      I think we will serve our bishops well if we avoid this unsubtle and incorrect attempt to strengthen division.

      • William says:

        If you are referring to the progressives as “they” or “them”, it is a fact that they do not hold to tradition or basic tenants of our teaching on marriage and sexual immorality by their stated positions. It is they who are responsible for our present division as they outright reject traditional/orthodox doctrine and Biblical truth on the matter. It is the recent actions of the progressives that have strengthened division. WCA is a reaction to their disobedience and the breaking of church law. Blaming WCA is like blaming the United States for declaring war on Japan after Pearl Harbor.

      • Guerschon Saint Ange says:

        We are not call to serve our bishops, we are call to serve God and remain faithful to the word of God. We are to follow our bishops as they remain faithful to the word of God. If they deviate from it we are no longer obligated to them in any form or shape.

  20. The use of the term orthodox is erroneous in the extreme. The hermeneutic and historical ineptitude of the so-called Good News movement within the UMC is only made more clear as you assert that your small slice of one American denomination is best among the plethora of expressions of the Universal Body of Christ. Wesley was against slavery when not many others were. Wesley was for women in leadership before most. Wesley would understand the movement of the Spirit in calling persons of every sexuality to the ministries of the church. Your culture of hate will die whether it takes 10 years or 100, because it is not of the Lord. What you need to understand is that Paul is wrong in Romans 1 on understanding homosexuality as “unnatural” and “shameful”. But this is obvious because his entire theological anthropology is based on a literal reading of the creation events. If you want to be orthodox in how you emulate the Rev Mr John Wesley realize that what is true in scripture will prove true in our lives. And what proves true over and over is that love is the last word. Be a follower of Jesus in the Spirit and stop worshipping the fallible words of the humans who penned our sacred texts. Wisdom is vindicated by her children. Go and learn what this means, I desire mercy not sacrifice.”

  21. Fred Hester says:

    Thank goodness and PTL. Finally our money can quit going into a dark hole in the ground and start going to True Ministry that would be pleasing to Wesley and will glorify Christ.

  22. Scot Bontrager says:

    I’m wondering about Rev. Moore’s comment, “the encouragement we need to stay committed to our rich heritage while standing firm on the non-negotiables that make The United Methodist Church a vital contributor to the Body of Christ,”

    What, in her mind, are the “non-negotiables?” Without spelling that out, I assume I, and many others, cannot belong.

    I consider myself to be orthodox (as in, I can say the Orthodox creeds without any mental/hermeneutic gymnastics) and Wesleyan, but I doubt I share the same view of the nature of the authority of scripture as most of this group. Is there room for those who are orthodox but cannot affirm the epistemic and hermeneutic commitments of the Evangelicals? I affirm scripture is God-breathed, useful for teaching and sufficient for salvation, but I cannot affirm that it is a norm above the full revelation of God in the person of Christ (that is, I hold that Christ is a norm which norms scripture; likewise, the creed stand in a normative circle with scripture, they are mutually informative, something quite Orthodox and orthodox, but very much outside the Evangelical view).

    What are the non-negotiables of this group? Must one be Evangelical as well as orthodox?

  23. What is the reason to believe that WCA will be any more effective than the numerous associations that already exist i.e. Confessing Movement? Other than talking about what is wrong what will they concretely do to fix it?

  24. Charles Smith says:

    I was considering leaving the UMC because I thought that it was no longer Christian. We talk about the lbgt people leaving, but no one ever thinks that the conservative people will leave the umc. I was going to do just that. Now I am rethinking that decision. I was thinking that the umc was no longer Christian and that it no longer had any spiritual power or discernment. it was a social club instead. I’ll have to rethink that too. Thank God that something is being done, or at least trying to be done, to save the conservative branch of the umc. I hope it works as I’d hate to leave the umc as I am ultra conservative (and I am just 33) and the umc appears to be ultra liberal.

  25. Charles Smith says:

    Sorry I forgot to mention. Charles Smith Talladega Alabama

  26. N. Wright says:

    Making something legal, does not make it ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. We have to look to the Bible for clarity on spiritual and ethical matters.

  27. `Diane Powers says:

    The scriptures are God-breathed giving inspiration to Godly men who wrote our Bible. Thus, we are to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ who is God as is the Holy Spirit. We have no right to change His word or His commandments to please the “world”. When the Bible says something is an “abomination” to God, we better stay away from that which offends Him. How can there be such a mish-mash of changes when following the Word Of God is the ONLY way that is the truth? There will be grave consequences to those who deliberately disobey His Holy Word. NOTHING ON THIS EARTH IS WORTH GOING TO HELL FOR.

  28. Sheri Graeber says:

    How sad that our UMC has become such a place lacking grace and so filled with judgmentalism. Doctrine is NOT an essiential matter of faith. Wesley said agreement in essiential matters of faith and in all else, grace, We find here a group forming to which Wesley would object using in his name.
    Why does the LGBT group seem to engender such strong responses? We have let so many other changes in doctrine evolve such as ending slavery and ordaining women.
    In history, we see these kinds of responses when the “reigning” power structure is threatened. It seems to me this group is about maintaining power in a denomination that continues to lose members more rapidly than most others . Our 2016 General Conference was clearly an example of reason winning out over power plays in the forming of the Bishops Commission. A non inclusive church is a church destined to implode and die.

  29. Rev Jerry Lowans says:

    Albert Outler who is normally given credit for putting together the “Wesleyan quadrilateral model” to describe Wesley theology and expansion of the Anglican triad to include reasoning wrote this about John Wesley , “‘The Wesleyan quadrilateral’ thus consists of scripture, reason, tradition and experience, with scripture as the “NORMING NORM” to be placed ABOVE all other authority.” Note “prima scriptura”. When we do not base our reasoning, and experience on the strong foundation of scripture, we will reap what we sew, the seeds of the world. Praying and receiving the Holy Spirit to guide us in the word (Scripture) is what we need to be a community of Jesus’ followers. Jesus said that without him we can do nothing. I would emphasize that without him we do nothing right and acceptable in God’s eyes. I pray for a revival in our church that followers of Jesus may be guided once again by the logos that we may became renewed flesh in this world. We should desire to be in the word and not in the world without the word. Amazing what one letter and do to the meaning of so important a journey in life.

  30. Mark Roush says:

    I would respectfully ask that everyone look up their nearest Orthodox Christian Church and ask what it is to be Orthodox. Your answers are ALL incorrect. So go to the source. If you have trouble finding one of these churches e-mail me.
    May the Lord be with you

  31. Emmanuel Nkrumah says:

    Praise be to God!

    This group is a gift from God, and “a means of grace” if you will. Keep up the good work for Christ.

    Shalom

  32. UMCpastorjohn52 says:

    ORTHODOX
    “conforming to the Christian faith as represented in the creeds of the early church.”
    There are many definition of the word “orthodox”…choose which one suits your agenda the best.

    We as Methodists, and now as United Methodists, have always agreed to disagree.

    We have been the Methodist Episcopal Church, then we split over slavery and the Methodist Episcopal Church South was born…then we reunited as the Methodist Church, and we still have the African Methodist Episcopal Church today in our fold and now the United Methodist Church and we will survive this latest disagreement. By what name we survive is still to be decided.

  33. Joseph W. Davis says:

    As a retire pastor in Alabama , thia the best new that I have hear in a lone time..To me it said that God is not dead. He yet here ..
    As Black preach in Alabama We we have a change for our church. We have form The Alabama Community of Hope Missionary Society,.

    The ALABAMA COMMUNITY OF HOPE MISSIONRY SOCIETY will share the good news of Crist “the Wesleyan Way”

    I hope we we can be a part of the Wesleyan Confess Association, and
    thank you
    Joseph W. Davis
    2011 8th Street
    Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35401
    (205) 886-1444
    e-mail: davis.nbcfc@gmail.com

  34. 2 edge sword says:

    All this fuss over a word “orthodox” What does it matter? If you have this much disagreement over a word, you’re efforts are all doomed. The problem is not with the LGBT person it is in trying to change the word of God into saying sin is not sin.If you want to explore a word try John 1:1 “Word”. A Christian cannot go against ones faith or the leading of the spirit. There is no compromise! I will never understand why people join a denomination and then try to change it. There are many others that will meet your needs. If the Bishops do not stand fast against this progressive attack on our faith, I and many many more will leave the denomination.

  35. Rev. Dr. B. French says:

    “My fervent prayer is that we will be able to share our witness in ways that will impact the Bishop’s Commission on the Future of the Church positively and contribute to the advance of God’s Kingdom among the people called Methodists globally,” said the Rev. Keith Boyette,
    This statement to me is as wrong as it can possible be. Are we not to seek God’s will? Are we not to ask God to guide the Bishops? It is not about us impacting the Bishops, but it IS about us asking God to impact the Bishops. This is not about my side or your side. This is about God’s will for our church and not about manipulating the will of the Bishops.

  36. Rena Hagen says:

    I would like to know how we United Methodists can claim to practice our faith but totally disreguard the doctrine chosen in the Book of Discipline by the majority of United Methodists. The Worf of God is our guideline to help us live our lives in Christ Jesus.

  37. I often hear from those that promote homosexual conduct as acceptable in the church say that the church allows those living adulterous lives to join the church, so it is OK for them too. However, this is not true. What Christ Himself recognizes is that those that come to Christ through a personal relationship put off their old sins and learn to walk a holy life, regardless of their PAST sins.
    Put simply, any faithful denomination or independent body should have the goal of demoting sin, NOT promoting it! Allowing lesbians and gays to marry or be clergy promotes sin, the same as allowing a pastor to remain in the pastorate who has an ongoing adulterous relationship(s) is definitely promoting sin.

  38. David Arnett says:

    I have been a Methodist all of my life. I grew up in a rural Montana community where Brother Van Orsdale once preached God’s word. We stand beside WCA as we seek new dire
    ction for our future.

  39. As a retired UMC minister and the founder/director of Agrimissions I have grown tired of our constant “kicking the can down the road.” Much of the rhetoric I see appears as if most want to try to work within the UMC. Have you not learned by now that all it takes is one new appointment to undo all you have invested into a church? The issue is far greater than the homosexual issue but is one of Scriptural authority. if we truly believe the Bible then there is no compromise. Compromise is exactly what Christ wrote to the Church of Pergamos in Revelation 2: 12-17. I am not optimistic that the Bishop will deal Scripturally with the renegade conferences. The UMC needs to do one of two things. (a) Oust the renegade conferences from the UMC and take a solid stand or (b) work out a favorable agreement for congregations and clergy to leave the UMC with their property, retirement, etc. The issue has finally come to a decision point with no return.

  40. The creation of the WCA at this moment is, I believe, a work of God. Judging from the voices listed in the article above, this is proof the Gospel of Jesus knows no barriers between sexes and races. It is the same old good news the early church began with two thousand years ago, and it’s attracting a brand new people by its timelessness. Our prayers go with those who gather on October 7. May this most important Wesleyan voice be heard and heeded by our bishops..

  41. Kathryn Bowden says:

    I am thrilled about the formation of the Wesleyan Covenant Association. Please be assured there are many that support you, even though we are unable to come because of a previous commitment.
    May God bless and prosper your vision for the future of upholding Biblical faithfulness in our church.

  42. Bruce Bachus says:

    John Wesley believed that God’s changes our hearts on the path to salvation to a heart that loves God with all its heart, soul, mind, and strength and a heart that loved its neighbors as itself. He stated that our neighbors are in essence the entire human race. He defined Christian perfection as perfect love and defined that as loving God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. He defined the kingdom of God as righteousness, peace, and joy. He said righteousness had two branches (1) the love of God (2) love of man. In his sermon Almost a Christian two things differentiating an almost Christian from an altogether Christian were the latter’s love of God and love of man. It will be wonderful to see a Wesley based group whose every statement and action will reflect their love of God and love of man.

  43. Rev. Matthew Shepherd says:

    What a gift from God to have a place to dwell in likeminded community! As an orthodox Weslyan UMC pastor, I’ve felt isolated in my theological convictions. We love our LGBT brothers and sisters, but they have no place in church leadership. Equally, it’s my hope that as the revival of orthodoxy grows, we will grow in our historic understanding of Biblical complementarian roles in church leadership as well, the same understanding our Weslyan forefathers upheld. Our ladies have been subject too long to the curse of liberalism that badgers them into seeking an identity outside of an orthodox understanding of submission to a loving, caring husband and his spiritual covering–scriptural principles we must revive. We need two parent, traditional homes for our children, and strong, Godly Methodist men in our pulpits and clergywomen to staff our Women’s and Children’s ministries. There is a lost world in need of our faithful witness. The Weslyan Covenant is our vital hope for this ideal and message. I am eager for October to arrive. May God stir the hearts of our connection to see God’s truth in scripture.

  44. Iam alive again after been considered death after long debates and referars of same marriage petitions at 2016 UMC General Conference. Note with clarity that I came from Africa a continate that rich culturally, but iam careful to let my culture over shadow biblical culture. I am therefore excited to be part of the convention.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Meanwhile, a group of United Methodists announced the formation of the Wesleyan Covenant Association, a member-based network for congregations that regard the church’s teachings on homosexuality as part of Christian orthodoxy. […]

  2. […] Entre-temps, un groupe de Méthodistes Unis a annoncé la création de l’Association de l’Alliance Wesleyenne (Wesleyan Covenant Association), un réseau de membres d’églises qui considèrent les enseignements de l’Église sur l’homosexualité comme faisant partie de l’orth… […]

  3. […] Entre-temps, un groupe de Méthodistes Unis a annoncé la création de l’Association de l’Alliance Wesleyenne (Wesleyan Covenant Association), un réseau de membres d’églises qui considèrent les enseignements de l’Église sur l’homosexualité comme faisant partie de l’orth… […]

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