I have not posted in some time now and it is not due to writers block. I have a condition which is quite common in my part of the pew. The confusion of direction and doctrinal abuse has left many United Methodists seeking answers through conversations among themselves, with their Pastor, or even leaving the pew to seek answers among the larger Christian community. My journey is one born of confusion and the need to truly know God’s will for me at this point of my life. How do I reconcile doctrine or church law to God’s law and as a layman however odd it may seem to some, God’s law to me is clear concise and plain in its intent and purpose; while the direction and intent of the Methodist church seems to be directed by whichever group or agenda driven model prevails at the moment.
Having taught Sunday school for a number of years and the little experience I have gained writing blogs have led me to prayer, study and a number of biblical commentaries and study literature that has helped me in understanding God’s word. I would in no way infer that I have reached the level or understanding of the writers of these materials but the value of their work has been a blessing and source of understanding and enrichment of this journey I am now on. I have come to the conclusion that the Old and New Testaments are inseparably woven together so that the true meaning and intent of God’s law and word in totality, requires the other for one to understand the whole of the word. I love the Methodist church but find myself confused as to the efforts of some to change the intent of God’s law and word as written in the bible to fit the social needs of our world today. John Wesley said it best:
It is therefore expected of all who continue therein that they should continue to evidence their desire of salvation,
First: By doing no harm, by avoiding evil of every kind . . . ;
Secondly: By . . . doing good of every possible sort, and, as far as possible, to all . . . ;
Thirdly: By attending upon all the ordinances of God. (see ¶ 103)
Wesley’s illustrative cases under each of these three rules show how the Christian conscience might move from general principles to specific actions. Their explicit combination highlights the spiritual spring of moral action. (From The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church – 2012. Copyright 2012 by The United Methodist Publishing House. )
I call your attention to the third rule above. This past Sunday I sat in a different pew and started this journey I have for so long sought to avoid. As I look ahead to the issues that we as a denomination will face in this new year 2016, I cannot help but wonder if we will respect all the ordinances of God as we decide the issues facing us. I covet your prayers and pray that the Holy Spirit will give me the discernment I need to stay in the pew.