During today’s Holston Conference “Listening Post,” delegates to the United Methodist Church’s February General Conference heard from people wanting to express opinions about upcoming legislation related to homosexual ordinations and marriages. The Holston Wesleyan Covenant Association gave the delegates this statement:
First, we would like to thank all the delegates for the time you have spent preparing for this daunting task. Our prayers remain with you as General Conference 2019 approaches.
Our main point is a simple one. A church that abandons Scripture as its basis for understanding God and God’s will for humanity becomes rootless and will wither. The Methodist movement has thrived since the 18th century because it has treated the Bible as authoritative, adhering to its teachings.
Grace is the overwhelming message flowing through the Bible, and Methodists have always been people of grace. We know that all people are broken by sin, and therefore all people are welcome to come before God in worship and fellowship, pursuing forgiveness and healing.
It is inappropriate, however, for a church to affirm and celebrate actions opposed to God’s will. In its very beginning, the Bible in Genesis 1:26-28 describes God’s desire that humans reflect his image by pairing as male and female, and the Bible continues to uphold this idea as the basis of marriage throughout. A serious reader of Scripture also has to honor how the list of sins in Romans 1:16-32 is linked to the earliest break between God and humanity rather than the unique context of a past culture.
We ask that the Holston Conference delegates to General Conference 2019 support and vote to implement the Modified Traditionalist Plan, including new methods for enforcing our church’s Discipline. We also ask that you have the courage to provide a gracious exit for churches and clergy unhappy with any plan that may pass.
With Christ’s Love,
The Board of the Holston Chapter of the Wesleyan Covenant Association