Christ Church has always been and will continue to be a traditional, Wesleyan congregation. Our mission IS TO MAKE DISCIPLES WHO MAKE DISCIPLES. OUR HOPE IS THAT EVERYTHING WE DO AS A CHURCH WOULD HELP PEOPLE EXPERIENCE THE LOVE OF JESUS, EQUIP THEM TO FOLLOW JESUS WELL, AND ENCOURAGE THEM TO LIVE IN A WAY THAT INVITES OTHER PEOPLE INTO THE FAMILY OF GOD.
Today we aim to continue our ministry by upholding that scripture and the Holy Spirit are imperative to our faith, practices, and daily lives.
Below are our beliefs on specific topics on which this denominational turmoil is focused. Click through to see our “in short” answers. If you would like more detail on any of these things, please follow this link.
John Wesley, in his 1786 “Thoughts Upon Methodism” wrote:
“I am not afraid that the people called Methodists should ever cease to exist….but I am afraid lest they should only exist as a dead sect, having the form of religion without the power. And this undoubtedly will be the case unless they hold fast to both the doctrine, spirit, and discipline with which they first set out.”
The challenges that all great movements face are to go through time 1). Preserving its identity 2). Being relevant to the present age. Most have not succeeded (Collins and Danker, ix). Traversing the flow of history is a difficult task. “The historical process itself is made up of numerous contingencies, unforeseen factors, setbacks, and adversity….” and has brought the death of many thriving movements that “now line the ash heap of history” (Collins and Danker, ix ). Collins uses the Roman Empire as an example of a once-great civilization that is now “simply a topic for historians” (Collins and Danker, ix)
But then he points out Jesus’ words to Peter in Matthew 16:18 “…you are Peter, the rock on which I will build my church, and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it.”
Even though we have these words of assurance from Jesus, it does not mean that our church, The United Methodist Church, will continue to exist the way it has in the past or in the way it is attempting to exist today. Again quoting Collins, “The compromising and co-opting forces of culture over time can transform a theological tradition and thereby undermine its earlier commonly celebrated identity” (Collins and Danker, ix).
This is where we find ourselves today. The culture has undermined our long-held identity, and we are at the point where we must discern and decide if we can continue, in good conscience, to serve Christ through a Scripturally, theologically, and doctrinally compromised Church. Or if we must make the move to another denomination that offers a return to the historical orthodoxy of the Methodist Church.
Collins, Kenneth J., and Ryan Nicholas Danker, editors. The Next Methodism: Theological, Social, and Missional Foundations for Global Methodism. Seedbed Publishing, 2022.
Wesley, John. Thoughts on Methodism. 1786.
We believe there is one true God Who exists eternally in three Persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
We believe that Jesus Christ is the unique Son of God – 100% God and 100% Man. He was born of a virgin. He lived a sinless human life and died on the cross as our substitute taking upon Himself the penalty for our sins, and He rose from the dead and ascended to heaven where He sits today at the right hand of God. We believe Jesus will return to earth at a time of God’s choosing.
the holy spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is present and at work at all times making people aware of their need for Jesus Christ. When we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit takes up residence in us and then constantly reminds us of all Jesus said to us. We believe the Holy Spirit guides us in our Christian walk, reveals our sin, and points us to the Father.
We believe the Bible is God’s Word, fully true, written by human authors under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit.
We affirm that the core of the Christian faith is revealed in Scripture as “the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints” (Jude 3; NRSV). We look to the Bible, therefore, as our authority and trustworthy guide, which “is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16; NRSV). We believe Scripture to be the church’s primary and final authority on all matters of faith, practice, and lifestyle.
We maintain our Wesleyan Orthodox beliefs in the matter of human sexuality.
The United Methodist Book of Discipline has been clear on this topic since the conception of the denomination. However, these long-standing stances have been disregarded by progressive clergy and lay people across the denomination with no accountability.
We stand with the current official position of the UMC.
1. All persons are persons of sacred worth and are welcome in our churches. All are deeply loved and wanted by a gracious God who found us worthy of the death of his Son, Jesus. (John 3:16)
3. United Methodist pastors may not marry homosexual couples, and our church may not use our sites for gay marriages. (Genesis 1:28; Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:4-6; Mark 10:5-8; Ephesians 5:31-33)
4. self-avowed practicing gay persons may not be ordained in the United Methodist Church.
In words that could have been prophetically written to Methodists of the twenty-first century, Leonard Ravenhill declared: “there is no greater tragedy than a sick church in a dying world.” For the church to reach the world, it must be prepared to spread the health and wholeness of Christ, not the sin-sickness that often makes us indistinguishable from the world” (Collins and Danker, 216).
In the imaginary and naturalistic world of humanism in which we now live, the doctrine of sin has fallen on hard times. We do not have to read very far into the Bible before we realize the consequences of human rebellion (Genesis 3). None of us are exempt. 1 John 3:4 says. “Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.” Sin is that which is marked in scripture to separate us from God and is forgiven by His Son on the cross. As we seek Wesley’s Christian Perfection, we follow closely the command of Christ to “go and sin no more” (John 8:11 NRSV). Sin is not something that we live in. It is something that we, through our relationship with God and with each other, actively battle against. Condoning sin is easy; living like Christ is not.
We believe in the authority of scripture over our lives. We must be willing to confess our sin and claim the transforming power of God through Jesus, or we will never be successful in “spreading scriptural holiness across the land.” John Wesley
We may all agree on the fact “that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” and that we all “need a Savior.” However, as we take a serious look at our lives, we find that even though we have “received Christ as Savior,” we often fall way short of allowing him to also be “Lord of our lives.” When we accept Christ, we are ‘justified,’ which is what God does FOR us, but then, our whole life still lies before us, and this is where Sanctification begins. Sanctification is what God does IN us.
The decision concerning the future direction of Christ Church and the Methodist Church is important because the Church is NOT only about us or the present moment. The Church has its life in both time and eternity, among those who have gone on before, among those now present, and among those who “…will believe in me (Jesus) through their (our) word.” (John 17:20 NRSV). So, this decision must honor the past, address the now, and be enduring into the future.
The materials that have been assembled and presented here are provided to assist you as you diligently and prayerfully consider your vote on the disassociation issue before us. If you have any questions or further concerns, there are informed lay persons and clergy who would love to join you in Holy Conferencing concerning your decision.
And now, “May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace. Amen” (Numbers 6:24-26 NRSV).