Month: January,2022
HONORING GOD’s COVENANT:  Caring for the Earth

HONORING GOD’s COVENANT: Caring for the Earth

January 18, 2022 By dwayman

Free Methodists and Creation Care

Honoring God’s Covenant: Caring for the Earth

Howard A. Snyder

Introduction

God has an everlasting covenant with His earth, as well as with His people. Since we humans are God’s stewards on earth, called to care for the garden (Genesis 2:15), God’s earth covenant is our stewardship commission. This is particularly true for Free Methodists, called to “maintain the Bible standard of Christianity.”

God’s Covenant with the Earth

The Lord God brings salvation to earth through a series of revealed covenants, culminating in the New Covenant in the blood of Jesus Christ. The first of these covenants, following humanity’s fall into sin and after the flood, is revealed in Genesis 9.

God says to Noah after the flood, “I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark” (Genesis 9:9–10 NRSV). God makes it clear that this covenant is “with every living creature” and is “for all generations.” It is in fact an “everlasting covenant” — true and to be observed throughout all history. God calls this simply His “covenant between me and the earth” (Genesis 9:12–16). All covenants have a sign, and the sign of this covenant is the rainbow.

CALLED FROM HATE AND DISDAIN TO LOVE

CALLED FROM HATE AND DISDAIN TO LOVE

January 10, 2022 By dwayman

At the beginning of 2022 the Word of the Lord came through Jim Wright to all of us.  Representative of the thousands of sermons given on January 9th, Wright provides us with God’s guidance in times when we often look to others far less helpful.  A lawyer and professor, his message to us is that we are called away from hate and distain to love toward all.

His text is 1 John 3:16-24:  We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us—and we ought to lay down our lives for one another. 17 How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help? 18 Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. 19 And by this we will know that we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before him 20 whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 21 Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have boldness before God; 22 and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we obey his commandments and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. 24 All who obey his commandments abide in him,

PANDEMICS AND THE CHURCH AND STATE IN  HISTORY

PANDEMICS AND THE CHURCH AND STATE IN HISTORY

January 7, 2022 By dwayman

It is helpful to hear from a Christian scholar from Nigeria as we often get caught up in our individual nation’s politics and lose sight of our global Christian witness, purpose and history.  Here Dr. Bernard B. Fyanka, Redeemer’s University Ede, Osun State Nigeria, provides an insightful analysis of the church and state as both encounter a pandemic.

The conclusion to his analysis states:

” In my opinion, the central agitation of the church with regards to this pandemic and possible pandemics in the future should have been over the designation of the churches as entities providing essential and emergency services. This characterization should be based on the original basis of the relationship between the church and state in which the church is viewed as a charitable organization providing medical, social and spiritual relief to communities.The emphasis of the church should not have been on rights to congregate but rights to work inparallel status with doctors, nurses, police, and other emergency services in providing much-needed relief. Finally, as opined by the catholic church, ‘the Church has direct authority fromGod Himself over the exercise of religion and the meaning of faith and morals. But this authority does not preclude cooperation with legitimate governmental entities in fostering the common good, which in fact is required by the Church’s own moral teaching.”

Free Methodist Bishop Emeritus David Kendall notes:  “Dr. Fyanka’s point, as I understand it, is that the church is not called to protect and advocate for its own rights,