An Open Letter to the People of The United Methodist Church:
As clergy and lay leaders of healthy, vibrant orthodox United Methodist congregations, and as teachers preparing the future clergy leaders of our denomination, we welcome the creation of the 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. We long for a church committed to sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the last, the least and the lost.
Committed to the Wesleyan expression of orthodox Christianity, we believe the church can and must do better. We are alarmed by the growing loss in average worship attendance in many of our annual conferences. We regret the now numerous instances where colleagues in ministry have broken covenant with the rest of the church and sowed the seeds of schism. We are grieved by the actions of annual conferences that have decided not to conform to our Discipline. And we are disappointed in leaders who have failed to maintain the good order of the church. Consequently, the work of faithful pastors and laity has been undermined, healthy congregations have left the denomination, and thousands of United Methodists have gone in search of other places to worship and serve.
We believe the Wesleyan Covenant Association will give orthodox United Methodists hope for the future and serve as a source of encouragement as the church works through a critical period of discernment. We want to serve in close partnership with our brothers and sisters in Africa, Europe and the Philippines. And we want to be prepared to act as one in light of the important work and recommendations of the Bishops’ Commission on the Future of the Church. We encourage all orthodox clergy and laity to remain steadfast and faithful in these uncertain times. We believe the Wesleyan Covenant Association will bind us together and make us a strong, united witness for Scriptural Christianity.
We believe that God is “doing a new thing.” We believe a new and better day is coming for the people called Methodist who are committed to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, the authority of the Scriptures, and the church’s being a missional force determined to reach a lost culture. We yearn to step into this new future together with others of like minds and hearts.
Please visit the Wesleyan Covenant Association website (www.wesleyancovenant.org) to learn more about it. We also hope you will plan to join us in Chicago on October 7, 2016, for the first gathering of the association.
We are confident you will be hearing more about the association in the weeks and months ahead, and we trust you will join us as we band together for the sake of a vibrant, Wesleyan expression of orthodox Christianity.
Billy Abraham, Perkins School of Theology, Dallas, Texas
Bill Arnold, Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, Kentucky
Ryan Barnett, Kerrville First UMC, Kerrville, Texas
Keith Boyette, Wilderness Community UMC, Spotsylvania, Virginia
Madeline Carrasco-Henners, Luling First UMC, Luling, Texas
Ferrell Coppedge (lay), Mount Bethel UMC, Marietta, Georgia
Bryan Collier, The Orchard UMC, Tupelo, Mississippi
Jennifer Cowart, Harvest UMC, Byron, Georgia
Jim Cowart, Harvest UMC, Byron, Georgia
Dan Dalton (lay), Dalton & Tomich, Detroit, Michigan
Maxie Dunnam, Christ UMC, Memphis, Tennessee
Walter Fenton, Good News, The Woodlands, Texas
Scott Field, Crystal Lake UMC, Crystal Lake, Illinois
John Gaulke, Altoona UMC, Altoona, Iowa
John Gerlach, Trinity UMC, Windsor, Connecticut
Jeff Greenway, Reynoldsburg UMC, Reynoldsburg, Ohio
Joy Griffin (lay), International Leaders Institute, Carollton, Georgia
Wes Griffin, International Leaders Institute, Carollton, Georgia
Jeff Harper, Evangelical UMC, Greenville, Ohio
Jeff Jernigan (lay), Powder Springs, Georgia
Rick Just, Asbury UMC, Wichita, Kansas
Charles Kyker, Christ UMC, Hickory, North Carolina
Jessica LaGrone, Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, Kentucky
Thomas Lambrecht, Good News, The Woodlands, Texas
Jim Leggett, Grace Fellowship UMC, Katy, Texas
Kenneth Levingston, Jones Memorial UMC, Houston, Texas
Pat Miller, The Confessing Movement, Indianapolis, Indiana
Carolyn Moore, Mosaic UMC, Evans, Georgia
Mike Morgan, Marion First UMC, Marion, Iowa
Norman Neel (lay), San Augustine, Texas
Martin Nicholas, Sugarland UMC, Sugarland, Texas
Craig Peters, Shueyville UMC, Shueyville, Iowa
Rob Renfroe, The Woodlands UMC, The Woodlands, Texas
Chuck Savage, Sardis UMC, Atlanta, Georgia
Branson Sheets, Covenant UMC, Winterville, North Carolina
Stephens Sparks, Indianola UMC, Indianola, Mississippi
Greg Stover (retired elder), West Ohio Annual Conference, Lake Waynoka, Ohio
Andrew Thompson, Springdale First UMC, Springdale, Arkansas
Richard Thompson, First UMC, Bakersfield, California
David Watson, United Theological Seminary, Dayton, Ohio
Max Wilkins, The Mission Society, Norcross, Georgia
* Church names provided only for identificational purposes.
The Methodist Church needs to keep the Weslyean tradition and also the current discipline. If the Bishops and pastors do not abide by the discipline they should be starting their own church. They are not Methodist if they cannot or will not follow the rules of the Methodist church. At this point I would rather be a Christian than a Methodist. I have been a member of the Methodist church all my life. My parents and grand parents were in this same church.i have not moved my membership yet, but strongly considering it after very much prayer.
After reading this article and the WCA website, it sounds like this organization is doing a roll call for United Methodists who would align themselves to the stated beliefs on the website. I wonder if this organization is the precursor to a new denomination? Are there Bishops who endorse this? Institutions? Will this be the catalyst for an amicable separation?
I am looking forward to see what this movement is about. I know the first meeting in October will set the groundwork for membership and am looking forward to what will come. This will be great!!!
You should really change the wording of this title as it is misleading. You make it appear as though ALL UMs have endorsed this Wesleyan thing: we haven’t. I know because I’m one who hasn’t and would never. You could just as easily post an article that reads “UMs endorse Reconciling Ministries”. But you would never say something like that.
That is what “they” are expecting! They will keep pressing till we give in or enough people who fight back give up and move on. “They” should remove themselves from the denomination if they don’t agree, yet they are forcing the denomination to change.
True Methodist need to stand strong for the Bibke and its teachings. God gave His only son to
Die a horrible death for our sins now it is our turn as Christian Methodists to stand firm for our
Biblical teachings and forget about being polically correct.
I am very interested in this association and it’s potential to guide the UMC back in a more righteous path.
The major challenge that will confront this effort will be messaging. Communicating good over the forces of evil is a significant challenge in this era of mass deception. Satan and his followers virtually monopolize the American morality microphone. Perhaps it is the fulfillment of Paul’s warning about what itching ears want to hear. But, there will have to be a ground game designed that can reach into UMC congregations all the way down to each individual and finally tell them the ugly, unedited truth of what has happened to their church and with the Word of God. Many have not looked behind the curtain to see what is really happening, while others have been too complacent or in denial to do so. The curtain needs to be fully opened. It is a given that the left will attack this effort with full force while showing no restraint. They will bring in their powerful secular cohorts in an all out war. They do not and will not play fair. It is time for a full measure
Temple cleansing across the UMC so that those who call themselves Methodists can make their conscious decisions of what they actually believe and who they actually worship.
I belive orthodoxy is a label as an ecumenical approach is all I pray for…inclusive of others like the LGBT and others…a rigid enforcement is the worst thing to ask for.
Believing the Bible is orthodox. The Bible is unequivocally clear in that it teaches:
God’s created order for marriage is that between a man and a woman, and the practice of any sexual relations outside that union is incompatible with Biblical – Christian teaching and is, therefore, sinful.
Would the groups statement on authority of scripture not contradict the doctrinal understanding of the “quadrilateral” as defined and explained by Albert Outler? It seems that the statement of this group excludes reason, experience, and tradition completely.
William, you really need to read your Bible more. The “patriarchs” of the Bible mostly had multiple wives. Men were obligated to have children with their brother’s widow. Etc.
Diana, please see see Matthew 19 and what Jesus said God’s created order for marriage is in his condemnation of divorce as we’re now in the New Covenant era awaiting the Second Coming. Even in the Old Covenant era, there was no same-sex polygamy, with polygamy not God’s plan, or the acceptance of sexual immorality.
Have you read the book of discipline? Your feel we should follow the book of discipline? Do you believe so Methodist Church should follow the precepts that we set by Wesley?
Certified Lay Servant
I noted something in the atticle above to the effect that “God is doing New thing” No God is not doing a new thing..God is the same today, yesterday and tomorrow….He expects us to follow his precepts as set forth in the Holy Bible ait is our standard to follow which lists sins, and rules to follow to receive forgiveness for the sins we commit..SIN IS SIN and I can’t find any amendments to these sins
We as humans with all.of our weaknesses keep trying to change what the Holy Bible statesc and anything we do in that area is futile. Churches have disciplines and covenants etc. but if they are not founded in the teachings of Jesus then we are working for Satan.
Has anyone really seen God doing much for America lstely? What about the persecuted Christians in the mid east??? Is GOd helping them No! Why ?Thst was our job and we failed miserably. .is He not helping anywhere? No! Why? Simple answer. The governments of the whole world , the people , church people and Church leaders have turned their backside to God.
We keep trying to change God and his teachings. God is not mocked..God does not bend his teachings especially to meet man’s demands.
Is it too late to wake up the church? There Is a small window of opportunity..God has always opened this window but we must act and act now. We must pray, Pray, Pray and most of all GET BACK TO THE BIBLE
Are we really going to be hung up on one word? Noun, verb, adjective, is that the important thing or is Jesus and the bible the focus?
The time for regret and grief has come and gone. Time for the orthodox to move on. The COB has proved to be a bitter disappointment in its lack of leadership and responsibility. My first thought, aided by one of my greatest spiritual leaders, was to hope we could move on steadily and in love. After further consideration, my opinion is that those who disobey the Discipline should be removed, and they are not entitled to any funds or properties from our churches.
Should not love for God and love for all our neighbors be the focus?
Not sure what this left and right thing is. I’m an English guy from Lincolnshire where Wesley came from. I was a Thatcher fan (that’s pretty Conservative and on the right of Btitish politics) but the idea that we don’t place the same value on people who are LGBT* is strange to me as a true Methodist originally, rather than UMC.
* and whatever other letters you care to add of course
The Bible also says, “Let ye who is without sin cast the first stone” We all sin and fall short of the glory of God. I don’t really support this issue, but isnt a sin a sin. Dont forget over eating is a sin, entering church after touching blood (women on your Cycle), smoking, lustful thoughts all sins, and the list goes on and on. The Bible also says, we should ask God what to do then trust God to work it out and have faith that he will.
This is like saying “Methodists support Voldemort.” Just because some are on the side of bias and hate doesn’t mean all of us are. Please, Wesleyan Covenant Hoo-Haw, slyther back into the hole you came from. The Spirit moves and God shines Her justice on all Her children!
You don’t understand. This isn’t about some mythical “pc.” This is because Christian bigotry is contributing to death. The position of Good News and its ilk contribute to great harm to LGBTQQIA people. Our lives are not just being pc.
So…eaten shrimp lately? Gossiped? Do you call Levites to deal with household mildew issues? Please. Hiding your bigotry behind the Bible just insults the Bible. Own your heterosexism and hate and let your bigot flag fly.
Oh, and make sure you don’t wear mixed fiber clothing. Adonai HATES that stuff.
More righteous path…like when we supported slavery?
Wait, seriously…Satan? Good luck with that…
Bingo! Protestant homophobes gather here!!!
Oh, and thru the power of Google, anyone else notice the preponderance of white men signing this statement? You’d think they felt threatened or something. Sorry, sisters, but news break: God is not straight, white, or male.
The moment you said “they” you affirmed the schism has already happened.
According to the Bible, gluttony is also a serious sin, but we welcome those with obvious signs of gluttony into our churches week after week. We allow, nay even encourage, them to “pig out” at our covered dish suppers! We even let them led Sunday School class, sing in the choir, and even be clergy and lead our congregations! Has anyone of us ever seriously counselled anyone at a church supper to say, put back some of that food piled high on their plates?
“Proverbs 23:2 proclaims, “Put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony.” ” (http://www.gotquestions.org/gluttony-sin.html)
What is in the Bible that make sexual sin so much more worthy of our earthly condemnation and exclusion from our fellowships and leadership positions than other sins, like gluttony, for just one example? If we take a hard line on sexual sin, how can we justify not taking an equally hard line on gluttony, greed, divorce, and all the other Biblical sins that we now mostly are silent on? Or is the WCA proposing that we need to take an equally hard line on all of these other sins as well? These are serious and honest questions and I’d appreciate honest and serious responses. Thanks.
Yes! I agree that it sounds like the evangelical wing of the UMC has finally had enough. I left the UMC in 2008 over the growing liberalism that I saw. I became a nomad, briefly joining the Nazarene church. I want to come home, I hope that they split!
We are talking about New Testament teaching here! Jesus is NOT divided, you cannot have Jesus the savior without surrendering to Him as Lord. Trying to call real bible believing Christians out as bigots and hypocrites only proves that you are NOT a true disciple of Jesus! The world shall know true Christians by their love for one another, have you bore any fruit lately? It’s called Good News, Jesus didn’t die for our sins so that we could trample Him under feet. Jesus didn’t solely die to take away our sins, He died so that we might have a relationship with Him! This “reconciliation” nonsense needs to stop, we cannot have reconciliation without REGENERATION! It’s called being a new creature.
JESUS DIDN’T DIE TO MAKE BAD MEN GOOD, JESUS DIED TO MAKE DEAD MEN LIVE! —— Leonard Ravenhill.
Read the rest of that scripture! After they had dropped stones and left Jesus told the woman, “Go and sin no more, lest something worse happens to you.”
“Satan” is used 34 times in the NT, including by Jesus. If call yourself “Christian” (a follower of Christ) then you are compelled to accept that Satan is real and works in hearts and minds to generate evil in the world.
The reason many do not accept that Satan is real is expressed best in this verse:
2 CORINTHIANS 11:14 “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.”
“rigid enforcement”? Jesus enforced discipleship rigidly. Are you even a disciple of Christ?
Non you need to read your NT more. The OT does not apply to Christians in a legal sense. In the NT, which does apply to Christians, adulterous living is not permitted. Furthermore, there are at least 9 passages in the NT that teach homosexual living is not acceptable in the church.
The OT is for Christians basically a history book now that explains how Christ came into the world via a Jewish line. It also provides principles for holy living, but again, it does not bound Christians to anything written in the OT, since Christians now live under grace, not under the law.
This my friend is called rationalization and a slippery slope. The goal of the church is holy living, that is, it is there to demote sin, NOT promote it! If we follow this reasoning, then we can just commit every sin in the book and use your rationalization, including murder, rape, child abuse, you name it, without restraints.
Now to be accurate, Christ forgives ALL past sins, and even future ones. However, the NT has hundreds of teachings on living a holy life and not living a sinful life.
The OT is not applicable to Christians. Christians are bound only by the NT, that is, the New Covenant. So quoting rules Jews were to live by is illogical and simply unfair.
Jesus was emphatic about the importance of every word: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by EVERY Word out of the mouth of God”.
Are you hung up on ignoring the words of Jesus?
Oh, did you notice at General Conference that it was the black African bishops that led the way in rejecting gay and lesbians in the church! Rethink your logic.
Thank you Jane Wesley!!!