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.
Posts by douglas.britt
WESLEYAN PERSPECTIVES ON WOMEN IN MINISTRY

WESLEYAN PERSPECTIVES ON WOMEN IN MINISTRY

December 20, 2016 By douglas-britt

Azusa Pacific University — July 2005 – Dr. Karen Strand Winslow

This presentation was created to address a need in Free Methodist churches for education about the ordination and placement of women pastors in order that people in and out of the church might experience the salvation of God as preached and enacted by women pastors. In spite of our formal denominational stance, which is to ordain women as elders and located them, Free Methodist women face opposition from local congregations who have not resolved objections to women ministers. Many steps have been taken to ameliorate this problem, which is, to a significant degree, one of lack of education, exposure, and experience. One such step, this paper, requested by the Board of Bishops, was created to address objections, and answer questions regarding women pastors.

Those who resist women preaching and ministering often do so on the grounds of 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 and 1 Timothy 2:12-15, which seem to restrict first century Corinthian and Ephesian women from conversing and teaching in the emerging church. However some of the Free Methodists among these are unaware of why their church ordains women. Like many Christians, they think the New Testament allows women to serve in all sorts of capacities in the church except that of senior pastor. Thus, a large part of the discussion below examines these passages.

Free Methodist churches claim the Wesleyan theological foundation for faith and practice. The term “Wesleyan” means a holistic methodology that widely embraces Scripture,

Pastoral Responses to Marital Failure

Pastoral Responses to Marital Failure

December 20, 2016 By douglas-britt

Dr. David Kendall

In the gospel records the opponents of Jesus attempt to drag him into the controversy over grounds of divorce. They put the question to Jesus, is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason? (Matthew 19:3). Clearly these Pharisees, conservative by bent, observing what they perceive to be Jesus’ rather low or liberal view of law based on His treatment of people and apparent violation of the traditions of the elders, put the question in terms of the liberal interpretive view: Are they correct to say that any offense can be grounds for failing to keep the marriage covenant?[1] Jesus refuses to go there. He cites the Genesis-Creative design and supports the permanence of the marriage covenant. He does so over against the liberal view of the law. But Jesus does not stop with a critique of the liberal view. He implies that even the conservative view may be suspect. He does so when the Pharisees respond by citing the Mosaic provision for a certificate of divorce. Why did Moses make this provision, if not to be used? Jesus answers that Moses conceded to the hardness of human hearts. The provision was made to clean up the relational and social mess created by hard-hearted refusal to keep covenant in relation to wife and God. But it was never God’s intent that marriages should end. So, Jesus concludes that one who divorces his wife forces her to commit adultery, except in cases where the wife has already violated the covenant on moral grounds.

SEXUAL ISSUES: A Pastoral Resource

SEXUAL ISSUES: A Pastoral Resource

December 20, 2016 By douglas-britt

Dr. Denny Wayman

We live in a day when Christians are being confronted on a variety of fronts. Perhaps the issue most frequently challenged is our view of sexual purity. Based on the statement in Genesis which Jesus affirms in Matthew, we teach that “in the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” (Matthew 19:4-6) This statement posits the simple fact that our sexuality is a God-intended biological and relational unity that has deep spiritual significance.

Welcoming those who struggle with sexual issues is an important part of pastoral responsibility. In the discussion that follows, we offer answers founded on our understanding of biblical teaching, with the supportive resources of reason in the study of the sciences, the wisdom of our church tradition and the verification of our own experiences.[1] This is not intended to be the final word on these issues and we invite other input on this vital area of pastoral care.

In the vast arena of sexual concerns, this discussion looks at three general areas: sexual purity, sexual variance and sexual disorders.

Sexual Purity

The biblical commandment to “not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14) describes God’s counsel and spiritual requirement in relation to sexual purity.

FREE METHODISM’S LIVING WITNESS: Sesquicentennial Reflections

FREE METHODISM’S LIVING WITNESS: Sesquicentennial Reflections

December 20, 2016 By douglas-britt

Dr. Howard Snyder

Bishop L. R. Marston got it right when he named his 1960 centennial history “From Age to Age a Living Witness.” Free Methodism’s witness is still a living one, despite the amazing changes of the past one hundred fifty years. Our new age is the twenty-first century.

Today there are nineteen Free Methodist bishops throughout the world, and only four of them are North Americans. Worldwide Free Methodist growth has birthed a church where less than 10 percent of its approximately 900,000 members live in the United States and Canada (about 76,000 in the United States; 7,800 in Canada).

What would B. T. Roberts think? Certainly he would celebrate! This is what he would have wanted to see. Of course he would quickly ask: Is the church maintaining the Bible standard of Christianity? Is it preaching the gospel to the poor?

The growth of global Free Methodism truly is something to celebrate. Like most movements, Free Methodism is more dynamic at its growing edges than at its historic center. But signs of life are everywhere. Like a one-hundred-fifty-year-old tree, the FM Church grows mainly in its branches. Yet it still draws life from its roots and trunk, even as it is nourished by its branches. For continued health, the roots must grow ever deeper as the trunk grows sturdier.[1]

Free Methodism’s roots go deep and far. We trust they are still nourished by Scripture, in good gospel ground.