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.
Browse posts tag by Bishop David Kendall
THE FREE METHODIST POSITION ON IMMIGRATION

THE FREE METHODIST POSITION ON IMMIGRATION

December 21, 2016 By dwayman

en español

SCOD 2013
Bishop David Roller and Bruce Cromwell

At the heart of the arguments surrounding immigration matters is a fundamental tension between our desire to care for all persons and our respect for the rights of the state to establish laws, including economic policy. Both are legitimate impulses but their position, vis-à-vis each other, is subject to God’s principles extracted from the Scriptural narrative. If, as we will suggest below, the desire to care for persons is a different and higher category than the state’s right to restrict immigration, then we monitor laws of the state that create friction with the mandate to care for persons (see “A,” “B,” & “E” from 2011 Book of Discipline ¶ 3221) and we advocate to change the behaviors and laws in question (“C” and “D” from the same paragraph).

Immigration laws are based on citizenship (only non-citizens are subject to a particular state’s immigration laws), which is a concept of the state based, in turn, on birth realities. The two opposing birth realities for granting citizenship are “Jus Soli” (right of the soil or birthright citizenship) and “Jus Sanguinis” (right of blood). In the former, citizenship is based on place-of- birth and in the latter it’s based on parent’s citizenship. Jus Sanguinis was Roman law but has gradually lost favor to Jus Soli, especially in the New World.

Both of these rationales, one’s place of birth and parent’s citizenship,

PASTORAL RESPONSES TO MARITAL FAILURE

PASTORAL RESPONSES TO MARITAL FAILURE

December 21, 2016 By dwayman

David W. Kendall
2012

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? 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,

WOMEN IN MINISTRY — Some Hermeneutical Reflections

WOMEN IN MINISTRY — Some Hermeneutical Reflections

December 20, 2016 By dwayman

Introduction

Almost everyone believes and allows women to be in ministry. Even those who will disagree with my views on the matter do, in fact, recognize not only the privilege but duty of women to be in ministry (where would the church be if throughout history women had not served in nearly every form of ministry!) The first question is: what limitations have been paced on the leadership of women in ministry and why? The second question is: are these limitations general and universal or specific and contextual? I will return to these questions at the conclusion of this paper.

How We Treat The Bible

I begin with several assumptions I make about the Bible. First, the Bible is the Word of God and is therefore the final authority for Christian believing and living. The Bible is not so much a single book as it is a library of books — different kinds of literature, written over long periods of time, for different life settings of the people of God. Despite all these differences, however, we believe the Bible is unified in its witness to the one true God and reveals His plan for the world and humanity.

These assumptions are critical to our discussion. Let me explain. It is not enough to find a verse or passage that teaches something and accept that as the only or the most important word on the subject. We must rather seek to get a sense of the flow of Scripture,

FRAMING MISSIONAL RESPONSE TO 21ST CENTURY CHALLENGES

FRAMING MISSIONAL RESPONSE TO 21ST CENTURY CHALLENGES

December 20, 2016 By dwayman

By Bishop David Kendall

The Challenges of Same-Sex Marriage

Biblical, Theological, Historical Framework

We will respond to the proponents of same sex marriage and our friends who experience same sex attraction out of the larger historical and theological framework of the biblical story. According to our scriptural story, God created all that is and is committed to redeem the whole of creation. God calls a people through whom he chooses to work for the world’s well-being, in continuity with God’s original creation-design to entrust the world to the care, keeping, and developing of the human beings who bear God’s image. Through the people of Abraham, Israel, Judah, Messiah, and the Church (a renewed and expanded “Israel”) God offers grace and power to redeem the world and its peoples.

As part of the Church, therefore, we are on mission with Jesus to accomplish the plans of God for his world. That mission is revealed in the Scriptures, grounded in the historical ministry of Jesus, and will consummate in partnership with all Jesus’ followers who continue with his power and authority what he began until the end of the age.

Accordingly, we understand our identity and calling in continuity with the historic and kingdom agency of God’s people. The primary trajectories for mission trace to the fulfillment brought in Jesus. We understand our calling to be that of followers, of continuing with Jesus to bring his kingdom work to fullness of expression in our world today.

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.