These conversations are not statements of our doctrine as expressed in the Book of Discipline, nor are they guidance provided by the Study Commission on Doctrine (SCOD), but they are intended to be open and respectful discussions on various present-day topics. Our intention is not to limit discussion but to elevate it by assuring that God’s love and respect is always expressed. For more information click ABOUT.
Month: March,2017
JUNIA PROJECT

JUNIA PROJECT

March 31, 2017 By dwayman

The Junia Project is led by two Free Methodist women:  Gail Wallace and Kate Nunnelly.  It is a resource for great articles on Women in Leadership.  You can find their website here.

Here is their greeting:

ABOUT THE JUNIA PROJECT
Welcome, and thanks for dropping in!

We are a volunteer community of women and men advocating for the inclusion of women in leadership in the Christian church and for mutuality in marriage.

We believe that when interpreted correctly, the Bible teaches that both men and women are called to serve at all levels of the Church, and that leadership should be based primarily on gifting and not on gender.

 

 

Excerpt from: GOD’S LOVE EXPRESSED AND EXPERIENCED

Excerpt from: GOD’S LOVE EXPRESSED AND EXPERIENCED

March 30, 2017 By dwayman

This is taken from the larger work published here:  God’s Love Expressed and Experienced

“An important premise of Wesleyan Theology is that we have faith in God that is not driven by fear, but rather by trusting in the power of God’s sanctifying work. This faith provides space in the individual’s life as well as in the church for God to do His work. According to the Pew Study of 2013, 51% of persons who self-identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual are actively involved in religion.2 The opportunity to care for such persons and trust in God rather than fear, judge or exclude such fellow seekers is our God-given opportunity. The deep longing of every person’s heart is to be accepted and loved. This longing is not only a longing for God’s love but for the love of family and church just as we are. When the church singles out particular groups of people from full inclusion in the community of faith, the church refuses the prevenient grace of God. To experience the saving and sanctifying grace of God, every person needs to know that he or she is loved by God, by God’s family and hopefully by their own parents.3 Each person also needs to experience the support of a community that is willing to listen to the pressures and tensions of his or her inner self, or soul. Though not all pastors and congregations may understand particular pressures and tensions in the inner life of a lesbian,

LGBT – ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY

LGBT – ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY

March 29, 2017 By dwayman

Annotated Bibliography of Select LGBT References

Rev. Bruce N. G. Cromwell, Ph.D.
SCOD 2013

Bell, Rob. Sex God: Exploring the Endless Connections between Sexuality and Spirituality. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2007.

Rob Bell is, well, Rob Bell. This is a very readable and compelling book that is more about relationships than sexuality per se. Roughly 200 pages (when you include the end-notes, Scripture citations, and the like) it’s a book that I’d certainly recommend but not one that necessarily speaks loudly into this particular conversation. Could it help someone improve their marriage? Absolutely. Could it help us in formulating a compassionate response to the LGBT question? Perhaps, but not directly.

And to be honest, the fact that it’s Rob might turn some people off. I like this work of his. I don’t remember anything in it that made me squirm or get queasy. But it might not be the best thing for some people to be handed a book but someone whose name is inflammatory in certain circles. Just a thought.

Brown, Peter. The Body and Society: Men, Women, and Sexual Renunciation in Early Christianity. New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 1988.

I first read this work while working on my doctorate in Patristics. Peter Brown is a genius when it comes to Christian antiquity, and I pretty much trust his analysis and scholarship at face value.

HOMOSEXUALITY AND THE CHURCH HISTORIC (all)

HOMOSEXUALITY AND THE CHURCH HISTORIC (all)

March 29, 2017 By dwayman

HOMOSEXUALITY AND THE CHURCH HISTORIC – Complete document
What Does the Tradition Component of the Quadrilateral Have to Say Regarding the LGBT Debate?

Free Methodist Study Commission on Doctrine, 2014 Dr. Bruce N. G. Cromwell

Philipp Melanchthon, the great German reformer and quite possibly the first systematic theologian of the Protestant movement, famously said, “In necessary things, unity. In doubtful things, liberty. In all things, charity.”1 As debate surrounding the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered (LGBT) community grows and intensifies, such counsel is no doubt wise and necessary.

While in graduate school I read John Boswell’s work, Same-Sex Unions in Pre-Modern Europe.2 Boswell gained prominence in 1980 by receiving a National Book Award for his investigation into what he saw as a historically accurate overview of homosexuals, their challenges, and their freedoms up to the fourteenth century.3 Within Same-Sex Unions he tried to demonstrate that in the first millennium of the common era communities had, within the structures of Christianity, actually allowed same-sex couples to cohabitate and live functionally as married. Talking about the cultural ethos of the Greco- Roman world and the development of marriage rites and liturgical practices, Boswell attempted to demonstrate that examples of the recognition and blessing of same-sex unions are neither novel nor exceptional. Unfortunately, his argument lacks a smoking gun and conveys no conclusive proof. We all read from a particular bias, with particular cultural and religious assumptions. Boswell, who sadly died from AIDS- related complications shortly after the release of Same-Sex Unions,

BLACK LIVES MATTER

BLACK LIVES MATTER

March 29, 2017 By dwayman

A Sign of Solidarity and Support:

A Word from St Paul’s Free Methodist Church

Dear Editor:

After a recent conversation with Police Chief Lou Lorton and Sergeant Deb Keserauskis, one of our pastors was encouraged to share with the larger Greenville community why we have decided to place a Black Lives Matter sign on our lawn. The following is our latest thinking about why we continue to replace our sign every time it is taken.

We understand that there are many differing viewpoints regarding the Black Lives Matter movement, and we want to be sure to state that we do not support or condone violence in any form, especially toward police. We believe such violence is profoundly unChristian.

Our decision to display a Black Lives Matter sign on our church lawn is simple: we want to say “black lives matter.” Since its beginning in 1860, the Free Methodist Church has been committed to racial justice and equality. Our denomination’s founders were abolitionists. The BLM movement is a current-day expression of this commitment to racial justice and equality, and we believe this commitment is at the heart of the gospel.

We share the goals of the Black Lives Matter Yard Sign Project (founded in St. Louis, https://blacklivesmatteryardsignproject.wordpress.com), on the one hand to create conversation but also to show the solidarity and support that this movement intended (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/01/black-lives-matter-signs-national-movement-st-louis).

At St Paul’s we are committed to giving witness to the good news that God was in Christ reconciling the whole world to himself.

GENDER IDEOLOGY HARMS CHILDREN

GENDER IDEOLOGY HARMS CHILDREN

March 29, 2017 By dwayman

The research on Gender Dysphoria, which is the difficulty experienced in Gender identity is often a politically charged topic with various researchers being contested.  This is one such source.  The credentials of the researchers are not contested but the findings are not acceptable to some within the psychiatric community.  This article is written by three medical doctors;

Michelle A. Cretella, M.D.
President of the American College of Pediatricians

Quentin Van Meter, M.D.
Vice President of the American College of Pediatricians
Pediatric Endocrinologist

Paul McHugh, M.D.
University Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Medical School and the former psychiatrist in chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital

You can read the original article here.

Their findings in digested form:

1. Human sexuality is an objective biological binary trait: “XY” and “XX” are genetic markers of male and female, respectively – not genetic markers of a disorder. The norm for human design is to be conceived either male or female. Human sexuality is binary by design with the obvious purpose being the reproduction and flourishing of our species.

2. No one is born with a gender. Everyone is born with a biological sex. Gender (an awareness and sense of oneself as male or female) is a sociological and psychological concept; not an objective biological one. No one is born with an awareness of themselves as male or female;

WOMEN’S SERVICE IN THE CHURCH:The Biblical Basis

WOMEN’S SERVICE IN THE CHURCH:The Biblical Basis

March 28, 2017 By dwayman

NT Wright in his article here sums up his exegetical study of Scripture with this conclusion:

“I believe we have seriously misread the relevant passages in the New Testament, no doubt not least through a long process of assumption, tradition, and all kinds of post-biblical and sub-biblical attitudes that have crept in to Christianity. Just as I think we need radically to change our traditional pictures of the afterlife, away from the mediaeval models and back to the biblical ones, so we need radically to change our traditional pictures both of what men and women are and how they relate to one another within the church and indeed of what the Bible says on this subject. I do wonder, sometimes, if those who present radical challenges to Christianity have been all the more eager to make out that the Bible says certain things about women, as an excuse for claiming that Christianity in general is a wicked thing and we ought to abandon it. Of course, there have been plenty of Christians who have given outsiders plenty of chances to make that sort of comment. But perhaps in our generation we have an opportunity to take a large step back in the right direction.”

La Postura de la Iglesia Metodista Libre sobre Inmigración

La Postura de la Iglesia Metodista Libre sobre Inmigración

March 28, 2017 By dwayman

in English

Comisión de Estudio Doctrinal (SCOD 2013) Obispo David Roller y Dr. Bruce Cromwell

Al acercarnos al tema de la inmigración nos damos cuenta de una tensión fundamental entre nuestro deseo de cuidar a todas las personas y nuestro deseo de respeto el derecho de los gobiernos de establecer leyes y de mantener una política económica. Ambos son impulsos legítimos, pero ambos deseos están sujetos a los principios de Dios extraídos de la narración bíblica. Si, como sugeriremos a continuación, el mandato a cuidar a las personas se halla en una categoría diferente y superior al derecho del gobierno de restringir la inmigración, entonces monitoreamos las leyes del gobierno que crean fricción con el mandato de cuidar a las personas (ver “A, “B” y “E” de 2011 Libro de Disciplina ¶ 3221, edición de 2015) y abogamos para cambiar tanto nuestras acciones como nuestras leyes (“C” y “D” del mismo párrafo).

Las leyes de inmigración están íntimamente relacionadas con la ciudadanía (solamente los no ciudadanos están sujetos a las leyes de inmigración) y la ciudadanía es un concepto del gobierno basado, a su vez, en las realidades del nacimiento. Las dos realidades de nacimiento opuestas como bases legítimas de la ciudadanía son “Jus Soli” (derecho a la ciudadanía del suelo, es decir, por derecho de nacimiento) y “Jus Sanguinis” (derecho de la sangre, es decir por los padres). En el primero, la ciudadanía se basa en el lugar de nacimiento y en el segundo se basa en la ciudadanía de los padres.