CHOSEN FOR A PURPOSE: A Homily for the Congregations of the Global Methodist Church

Ordination of Francis Asbury

CHOSEN FOR A PURPOSE

A Homily for the congregations of the Global Methodist Church

{I have published portions of this homily in various places over the years. If you are a frequent reader, parts will sound familiar}

This church has been preserved through a great and continuing conflict.

This morning we gather in our local church—both a little anxious and a little eager—to  know what God has planned for us. We come to the mountain or to the plain, to the woodland or to the sea, in cities, small towns, and countryside communities. Our worship houses are as varied as our locations. We meet in historic churches, modern halls, small storefronts, living rooms, and in the open air.  Yet, we share a common journey that has brought us to a common place. “We would see Jesus: this is all we’re needing…”

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Recovering Doctrinal Integrity through the GMC: The Way of Salvation

The series on Recovering Doctrinal Integrity was interrupted by pressing work in my home Annual Conference of my former denomination. Because time has passed since the last article, it may be helpful to summarize some key points from the earlier articles. Feel free to jump to the first major heading at any time.

The Global Methodist Church (GMC) is doing excellent work at recovering doctrinal integrity. The efforts of the authors of the Transitional Book of Doctrine and Discipline (D&D) are commendable. They direct us onto the path of that primitive religion which we are taught through Holy Scripture, was guarded by the early church, and is restored in the Methodist movement.

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South Carolina Update, Pigs Still Can’t Fly

This is the second essay for those already involved in the separation process in the SC Conference of the UMC. The first essay is here and stresses the importance of having an attorney. That applies to this commentary also. If you are not in the process, then this commentary may not be understandable. In the first commentary I described some of the provisions as being as serious as stipulating that the agreement is only valid if delivered by a flying pig during a month with three full moons. The Conference has since issued an amended version. Pigs still can’t fly.

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How the GMC Could End Up Like the UMC, and Why It Won’t

I recently had reason to learn who is the Chair for the Conference Board of Trustees in South Carolina. I found a name on the Conference website, but no other information. What are his professional qualifications? What is his day job? What is his commitment to the Christian faith and involvement in the church? This is not idle curiosity, and I have no desire to dox him. I wanted to know his professional qualifications and his moral framework for decision making so I could better understand and evaluate the work that is coming from that office.

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South Carolina, UMC Separation, and Flying Pigs

Every Christian recognizes the virtue of Charity and desires to nurture it to perfection. Sometimes, we need to be reminded that Prudence is a virtue also. There is a biblical term for walking in the company of one while leaving the other behind. It is called folly. Do not be foolish. Let Charity judge the motives for another’s action, but Prudence will recognize the reality of those actions and the effect they will have.

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Recovering Doctrinal Integrity: The Rule of Faith

This third essay in the series addresses the section of the Articles of Religion that are known historically as the Rule Of Faith. The Rule of Faith identifies the ultimate authoritative source for the church from which all other teaching and practice must be judged. In the original Thirty-Nine Articles this section contains two  statements on the authority of Holy Scripture and one on the place of ecumenical creeds. They comprise a total of five sentences plus a list of books of the Bible. The Rule of Faith for the Church should be that simple and that easy to locate.

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Sermon — Out of Bondage — Exodus 20:1-18

Opens In New Tab…..Resolution 480P….10_16_22….. Run Time:27:05

Deliverance, Spiritual Warfare, Holiness, Christian Perfection, Centrality of the Cross, Atonement (sacrificial, substitutionary, ransom, Christus Victor) New Birth, Real Presence of Christ, the Sacraments, Sanctity of life

I do not publicize where I am speaking nor do I comment on where I have spoken. This message has been posted online by the host church and received sufficient distribution that I feel comfortable reproducing the sermon-only section here,

Recovering Doctrinal Integrity: Nature of the Triune God

The preceding article recommended a path to recovery of doctrinal integrity through the Thirty-Nine Articles which were accepted during the rise of Methodism. The hope is to generate discussion among common laity and clergy ahead of the time when will be asked to ratify our doctrinal standards.  Those of us coming from the UMC have lived in an environment where doctrine was ignored, and anything could be believed and preached. We are products of that environment. Each of us come with preconceptions that may be challenged for the first time. This essay examines what we lost in the abridgement to Twenty-Five Articles from Thirty-Nine and invites consideration for the return of at least some of them.

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A Radical Proposal for Recovery of Doctrine through the Global Methodist Church

The team that produced the doctrinal section of the Transitional Book of Doctrine and Discipline (TDD) gave us an excellent work. They began with existing doctrinal statements of the 1968 uniting conference of the UMC (such as they were) so that we might have continuity and common reference points. They are forthright in their affirmations, and they restrained themselves from innovations. They did not assume an authority that rightly belongs to the conciliar processes of the church. If we read sections that we wish were worded differently—so do the authors. If we find things missing that we wish were there—so do the authors. The TDD presents the integrity of our doctrinal heritage, identifies some weaknesses, and uncovers some controversies that must be resolved. They did their job well. We should expect the work which they left for us to do will take a few years to finalize. It is not something that can be accomplished by sending a dozen people on a weekend retreat.

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