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: April,2017
BT Roberts OPEN OPPOSITION TO ALL WRONG and INJUSTICE

BT Roberts OPEN OPPOSITION TO ALL WRONG and INJUSTICE

April 5, 2017 By dwayman

In 1860 our Free Methodist founder, Benjamin Titus Roberts, wrote in the April EARNEST CHRISTIAN that:

Open opposition to all wrong and injustice is another element of Scriptural righteousness. Many who will not do wrong themselves will countenance it, at least indirectly, in others. This is usually the first step in a loss of virtue. They who, for the sake of party interest, personal relationship, or any other cause, is silent when they should reprove, will soon apologize for, then justify, then approve, and, if occasion serves, perpetuate the wrong from which, at first, their moral sensibilities revolted. 

Often as we live our blessed lives due to Christ’s work in us, we can live in that blessing without speaking out against the injustice and wrong so prevalent in our day.  These convicting words, written 157 years ago, remind us that Christ calls  us to an active participation in bringing justice and mercy to our world.

Our 2015 Free Methodist Book of Discipline says it this way:

¶3221       Worth of Persons

We are committed to the worth of all humans regardless of gender, race, color, or any other distinctions (Acts 10:34-35) and will respect them as persons made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27) and redeemed by Christ’s death and resurrection.

The  Old  Testament  law  commands  such  respect  (Deuteronomy 5:11-21). Jesus summarized this law as love for God and neighbor (Matthew 22:36-40).

CELIBACY and SINGLENESS

CELIBACY and SINGLENESS

April 5, 2017 By dwayman

Celebrating and Supporting the Lifestyle and Gifts of Celibacy and Singleness

By: Cameron Shepherd Beyenberg

Identity and Isolation

On June 26, 2015 the Supreme Court of the United States of America (SCOTUS) decided with a 5-4 split decision that same-sex couples can legally and civilly marry in each state throughout the nation. While this decision stimulated a celebration amidst the LGBTQ community, it has prompted a dramatic reaction from the Church in America as well. For those denominations and congregations that have not sided with this ruling, the conversation has been difficult to say the least. Some have written articles of warning to the Church declaring that if they do not make the right steps, same-sex couples will attack them with lawsuits.1 Others have written ways to explain that although these congregations and religious bodies who do not believe in same-sex marriage are safe, that the decision is a spiritual attack on the American Church.2

With all of this stated the foundation of the conversation seems to be faulty and missing key factors that can aid to a healthier, Biblical, and Christ-centered/Missio Dei perspective. First and foremost, as a Christian, my identity is rooted in Christ: in His birth, life, teachings, actions, death, resurrection, ascension, and promises. As a child of the Most High King, I recognize that there are certain attributes in this world that contribute to how I can be described.

IMMIGRATION – LOCAL CHURCH

IMMIGRATION – LOCAL CHURCH

April 4, 2017 By dwayman

Our congregation on the Westside of Santa Barbara is blessed to be bi-cultural and bi-lingual.  This congregation has resources for all churches during this time of fear and anxiety about immigration.

In a recent report to the conference leadership team, pastor Rich Sander wrote:

 Pueblo FMC partnered with the Trinity Episcopal church to bring a forum to Santa Barbara regarding the Sanctuary movement and practical next steps for congregations. In SB, we’re meeting again this coming Wednesday as we form an inter-faith coalition that stands with the immigrant and refugee. Below is an overview of what we learned at the forum from speaker Alexia Salvatierra. First, I wanted to reiterate that what we have learned is that its more important for us to be in the work of “changing hearts and minds” than going full-steam-ahead on protests, declaring sanctuary, and/or housing immigrants/refugees. While all of the latter are important, chances are that they are much less needed than the former. Our main goal is to lower anxiety. Easy ways to do that are found in the web site. I’ll go over the documents and their usefulness: 1) Rights/Derechos – One of the main ways we can help immigrants and refugees is for them to know their basic human rights as well as the rights that are afforded to them with regard to arrest and/or entrance into their homes. This card is easy to print out and laminate; anyone can use it when they are being questioned, arrested,
ASSISTING IN IMMIGRATION

ASSISTING IN IMMIGRATION

April 1, 2017 By dwayman

There are those who think we should not assist our people who need legal help in their immigration.  However, the love of Christ compels us to help those who are in need.  It is explained this way by Larry Roberts:

“The Free Methodist Church – USA is joining 14 other evangelical denominations to form the Immigration Alliance —a national effort that equips local churches to provide legal services to under-resourced immigrants.

“There is clearly a deep need and a demand for these services,” FMCUSA Chief Operating Officer Larry Roberts said. “Because these services are of such high importance to those who need them, this is a powerful opportunity to bless those immigrants amongst us and introduce them to our churches and our Savior through the relationships that can be built in this process.”

The Immigration Alliance launched Tuesday, Oct. 21, as a coalition of evangelical denominations — including the Free Methodist Church – USA and fellow Wesleyan Holiness groups such as the Church of the Nazarene and the Wesleyan Church — that represent more than 28,500 congregations. The alliance is committed to multiplying the number of sites across the country providing low-cost, high-quality immigrant legal services over the next three years.

With more than 22 million foreign-born, noncitizens in the United States – and with only 12,000 private immigration attorneys and 2,800 nonprofit immigration attorneys and accredited staff in the United States – the need for trustworthy, authorized legal services has never been greater.

CULTURAL HUMILITY

CULTURAL HUMILITY

April 1, 2017 By dwayman

In the medical world the language of Cultural Humility is replacing Cultural Competence.  Often Cultural Competence is seen as being an end point – where a person is assumed to now be competent in providing medical (pastoral) care for persons of a different culture.  However, the recognition that every individual is culturally unique (as well as unique in their spiritual journey), we should be humble in discovering who this unique person truly is.

This video is a short two minute explanation of how to use Cultural Humility: