A Pastoral Letter from the Board of Bishops – FMCUSA regarding the Equality Act.
The Board of Bishops continues to call the church to the values of the Free Methodist Way, including God-Given Revelation. We are committed to the Word of God and, like our founders, believe God calls us to articulate biblical mandates prophetically. In keeping with our forebears’ example of guidance on moral issues, we stand in strong opposition to the so-called “Equality Act” recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. While we agree that the civil rights of all U.S. citizens must be protected, this act violates the constitutional rights of religious persons and institutions to freely live and legally operate in accordance with their deeply-held religious convictions. For further explanation, we endorse the excellent statement recently released by Dr. Brent Ellis, President of Spring Arbor University, attached here.
As President Ellis writes in his last sentence, “A true ‘Equality Act’ would find a way to provide civil rights protection for the SOGI (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity) population without incriminating institutions and persons of faith.” Please be in prayer for our legislators to protect freedom of religion in our nation. Pray for our nation and for your church in these challenging days.
View the PDF of Dr. Ellis’ statement here: https://fmcusa.org/…/The-In-Equality-Act-SLFinal.pdf
Additions to The Pastoral Letter from the Board of Bishops – FMCUSA
Friends in Christ,
The Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) has watchfully followed The Equality Act for at least two years and has been working with legislators to craft an alternate bill called Fairness For All. The implications of The Equality Act for our universities and indeed our churches are real. We realize that our members follow diverse news sources and draw their own conclusions. We continue to seek to learn more about the best way forward, as Christian organizations and legislators from both parties are working across the aisle on this matter.
The Free Methodist Church is a member of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE). “Founded in 1942, the NAE seeks to honor God by connecting and representing evangelical Christians in the United States. It represents more than 45,000 local churches from 40 different denominations and serves a constituency of millions. NAE has been a longtime advocate for the religious freedom for people of all faiths and none, and seeks continued protection for all people of goodwill to live in accordance with their genuinely and deeply held convictions.”
A link to the NAE statement about the Equality Act is posted below.
From the onset of articulating The Free Methodist Way, we have lived in the tension that our biblical commitments on a variety of issues do not line up with any political party and all five of the values must be held together as a whole. Love-Driven Justice is indeed a biblical value; so is God-Given Revelation. We cannot sacrifice one for the other. Let’s keep listening to one another as we engage in respectful discourse and seek the Lord together for wisdom and discernment.
As always, we call the church to fervent prayer.
For further information, see these two resources: