How should a Christian view the split in the United Methodist Church?


Clarify Share Report Asked August 28 2022 Mini robert fowler

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Open uri20160825 6966 rhyaou John Matthews Retired Professional Singer, Conductor and Seeker
After having been a United Methodist for 30+ years, and as an employee of Methodist churches, I feel somewhat qualified in answering this question. Here is a short explanation of the choices to be offered Methodists in the next couple of years.

Most of the controversy seems to center around the church accepting gay clergy and gay marriage. There are some other doctrinal issues but this is the main argument. Currently, and this could easily change, there are three choices Methodists will make:
1. Keep the status quo. No gay marriage; no practicing gay preachers and accept openly gay members.
2. Allow gay clergy and gay marriage.
3. Accept the interpretation of scripture that homosexuality, in all forms, is a sin and will not be tolerated on any level; in line with most Evangelical denominations.

That's kind of the divisions in a nutshell. The United Methodist Church as we know it today will not exist after the split. The possibility of three different "sects" could very well happen.

There is another problem with the Methodist Church as a whole. Each church is to tithe to their conference which, in turn, funds the national church and global outreach. The local church really gets very little for their money other than the satisfaction of their support for global missions. They will get a new preacher from time to time, but all expenses for a new pastor falls on the local church; moving expenses, etc. The local church doesn't have a lot of choice in the matter. Also, although the preachers belong to the state conference, all of their expenses are paid by the local church; salary, housing, utilities, continuing education, everything. 

If a church is a United Methodist Church, the denomination owns the building from which members worship. The local church pays and maintains their respective properties, but the denomination has the deed. The denomination might have contributed towards the building but that money is a minor sum considering the cost of these churches. 

There will be lawsuits in the future as churches exit the denomination. As it stands, a congregation can leave the denomination, but, there will be plenty of penalty charges placed upon any congregation trying to leave. That amount can be enormous. Legally, the denomination owns the property and will have to assume existing mortgages. That is a game changer to me. The denomination can't afford the hundreds of mortgages if each congregation decides to just up and leave. It really is complicated. 

I fear that this will cause lots of rancor and un-Christian acts. We are praying that this will not happen and that the split will be amicable and without conflict. Pray for the Methodists, please.

August 29 2022 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Profile pic Mark Vestal Proud of nothing of myself. Freed by Christ who did it all!
I was once a Methodist. I recently discovered, since learning that being a Christian is a faith and not a religion, most of the 45,000+ modern denominations of religious churches struggle with teaching the gospel that saves today. Our apostle Paul's gospel of Christ crucified and God's grace is unique and significant for us today compared to the gospels written to biblical Israel.

We have certainly confused the churches of the bible. It is imperative to study God's word as we are taught in (2 Tim 2:15). We must rightly divide the word of truth, the gospel of our salvation, as given to Paul from Christ ascended (Eph 1:13), from the gospel of Jesus while living on earth and the apostles to biblical Israel (Mat 10:6, Mat 15:24). We will otherwise be left confused in our understanding of the faith that is required for salvation (Gal 1:6-8), as we today live under God's grace and not covenant.

Abraham’s belief in God was counted to him as righteousness for God (Gen 15:6). God established His covenant with Abraham (Gen 17:2) which transcended to national (biblical) Israel (Isaiah 41:8). This is literally a covenant with biblical Israel, and no one living today or anyone else other than biblical Israel.

After Israel as a nation rejected Christ as their prophesied Messiah, Peter's church of God was established for the Hebrews that did believe (Mat 16:18, 1 Thes 2:14). They had to believe in His name, meaning belief that He was in fact the Christ (1 Peter 4:14, John 3:16). This church was not for Gentiles then or anyone living today (Mat 10:6, Mat 15:24). Faith in Christ’s name plus works for salvation was required for the believing Hebrews (James 2:26). Israel’s receiving of their promised earthly kingdom was put on hold due to their unbelief that Jesus Christ was in fact their Messiah (Acts 1:7, Rom 11:25).

Finally, with the revelation of the fellowship of the mystery gospel to our apostle Paul, the church, the body of Christ, was established for us today. Jesus Christ, who knew no sin, was made to be sin for us (2 Cor 5:21). His death on the cross served as forgiveness of our sins (Col 2:13, 2 Cor 5:19). He was buried, but death had no power over Him (Rom 14:9). God raised Him from the grave for our justification (Rom 4:25) and left our sin defeated forever (Rom 8:2). Believers are sealed with the holy Spirit of promise (Eph 1:13) until the day of redemption (Eph 4:30), and are hid with Christ in God (Col 3:3) as members of the church, which is His body (Eph 1:22-23). Faith alone in Christ being our savior is the only means for salvation today (Gal 2:16). In fact, works with the belief that it is to obtain or maintain salvation, puts us into debt with God (Rom 4:4) as this shows lack of faith in what Jesus Christ alone completed for us. We should certainly work for God once we have faith alone, but not with the belief that it is needed for salvation in addition to what Jesus completed on our behalf (1 Cor 15:3). Christ did all the work necessary for us (2 Cor 5:21). We only need to believe this and add nothing to it. God shows His love for us (Rom 5:8) with the unmerited gift of salvation made available by his grace (Eph 2:8). Our belief is how we receive His free gift (1 Thes 2:13).

The fellowship of the mystery that was hid in God since the world began (Rom 16:25, Eph 3:9) was only revealed to our apostle Paul after Christ’s ascension to heaven (1 Tim 1:16). Had Satan known this mystery information he would not have crucified the world’s savior (1 Cor 2:8). Christ's message to Paul for the remaining Jews and Gentiles is very different from that of Peter to the believing Hebrews (Eph 3:2, Col 1:25, 1 Cor 1:23). There is no longer a difference in Jew, Gentile, bond, free, male, or female (Gal 3:28, Col 3:11) in this “but now” (Rom 3:21) dispensation of God’s grace (Eph 3:2). Members of the church, the body of Christ (believers) have spiritual blessings and a heavenly kingdom that awaits (Eph 1:3).

September 02 2022 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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