A preacher on upcoming changes to her church’s doctrine on marriage
I foresee 2021 as a turning point for the Methodist Church in the UK.
Even before the coronavirus took hold, membership was in decline.
In 2019 a task group, appointed by the Methodist Conference, published a report entitled ‘God in love unites us’, containing recommendations to the Conference to change the definition of marriage, sanction cohabitation of couples, and encourage same-sex marriage services to be held in our places of worship.
Many passages in the Bible will have to be reinterpreted to accommodate these changes, which will require the doctrines of the Methodist Church to be rewritten.
Such changes will inevitably cause division within congregations and their ministers, personal grief, anxiety and ultimately loss of membership. These far-reaching changes have the potential of placing the future of the Church at risk. The government is not forcing the Church to take these steps, so is there a ‘hidden agenda’?
Bible-believing Methodists will have to decide whether they believe the Bible is the Word of God or whether it can/should be reinterpreted to accommodate the ‘modern’ world.
I attended a meeting where we were encouraged to embrace these recommendations. There, I realised the Methodist Church was no longer following the tenets laid down by the Wesley brothers of scriptural holiness, but was embracing what seemed to be more of a social/political gospel.
I do not believe I have the luxury of being able to have my own opinion on these matters
John Wesley wrote these words towards the end of his life: “Here I am; I and my Bible. I will not, I dare not, vary from this book either in great things or small. I have no power to dispense with one jot or tittle of what is contained therein.”
Having studied the ‘God in love unites us’ report carefully, I knew I should write and publish my own response. As a Bible-believing Christian I do not believe I have the luxury of being able to have my own opinion on these matters.
Ordained ministers who are unable to affirm this new doctrine will likely lose their livelihood, their accommodation and their pensions could be affected, which is not an easy place to find oneself when there is a family to support. Local preachers may have to stand down.
At this distressing time it is good to remind ourselves of the words of St Paul in Romans 12:2: “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
‘A view from the pew – response to the report “God in love unites us”’ – is available free of charge from Cllr Mrs Armorel Carlyon, 3 Strangways Villas, Truro, TR1 2PA or contact email@example.com