FREE METHODISM’S LIVING WITNESS: Sesquicentennial Reflections

FREE METHODISM’S LIVING WITNESS: Sesquicentennial Reflections

December 20, 2016 By

Dr. Howard Snyder

Bishop L. R. Marston got it right when he named his 1960 centennial history “From Age to Age a Living Witness.” Free Methodism’s witness is still a living one, despite the amazing changes of the past one hundred fifty years. Our new age is the twenty-first century.

Today there are nineteen Free Methodist bishops throughout the world, and only four of them are North Americans. Worldwide Free Methodist growth has birthed a church where less than 10 percent of its approximately 900,000 members live in the United States and Canada (about 76,000 in the United States; 7,800 in Canada).

What would B. T. Roberts think? Certainly he would celebrate! This is what he would have wanted to see. Of course he would quickly ask: Is the church maintaining the Bible standard of Christianity? Is it preaching the gospel to the poor?

The growth of global Free Methodism truly is something to celebrate. Like most movements, Free Methodism is more dynamic at its growing edges than at its historic center. But signs of life are everywhere. Like a one-hundred-fifty-year-old tree, the FM Church grows mainly in its branches. Yet it still draws life from its roots and trunk, even as it is nourished by its branches. For continued health, the roots must grow ever deeper as the trunk grows sturdier.[1]

Free Methodism’s roots go deep and far. We trust they are still nourished by Scripture, in good gospel ground.

GOD’S LOVE EXPRESSED AND EXPERIENCED: A Pastoral Response to Same-Sex Attraction

GOD’S LOVE EXPRESSED AND EXPERIENCED: A Pastoral Response to Same-Sex Attraction

December 20, 2016 By

By Dr. Denny Wayman

An application of Experience and Reason in Caring for Persons with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Orientations and their families Free Methodist Study Commission on Doctrine

The church’s care for persons who self-identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender1 is important to God. This paper attempts to provide Free Methodist pastors with guidance to faithfully fulfill our calling and express God’s love. As a part of the larger work presenting the Wesleyan Quadrilateral’s reliance on Scripture, Tradition, Reason and Experience, this paper focuses on the wisdom gained from our Experience and our Reasoned study of human sexuality.

An important premise of Wesleyan Theology is that we have faith in God that is not driven by fear, but rather by trusting in the power of God’s sanctifying work. This faith provides space in the individual’s life as well as in the church for God to do His work. According to the Pew Study of 2013, 51% of persons who self-identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual are actively involved in religion.2 The opportunity to care for such persons and trust in God rather than fear, judge or exclude such fellow seekers is our God-given opportunity. The deep longing of every person’s heart is to be accepted and loved. This longing is not only a longing for God’s love but for the love of family and church just as we are. When the church singles out particular groups of people from full inclusion in the community of faith,

TWO BECOME ONE: God’s Blueprint for Couples

TWO BECOME ONE: God’s Blueprint for Couples

December 20, 2016 By

Summarizing concepts in the book by Donald and Robbie Joy
Evangel Publishing House, 2002

From slow reflection across 56 years of marriage, we want to bring together here a record of how we have come to see the bold and empowering vision of Creation — how Man and Woman came into being to create a mystery in the image of God with an echo of Trinitarian mystery two become one! And we will construct here the unfolding pieces of that discovery, how God’s original creation “male and female in the image of God” descended into the pain of deformity as the Woman’s worship focused on the Man, and the Man responded by ruling over the Woman. The long-term goal of the Gospel includes healing that universal human deformity and pointing us toward the ultimate wedding and the heroic Bride and Groom at the end of Scripture.

Slow Learners

I, Don, grew up, as Robbie did, in a home punctuated by prayer and Bible reading for the whole family. I enjoyed life in a family which fairly glowed with parents who lived and worked together in a glorious harmony and synchrony. It was clear that all of us in our home and extended family lived under the lordship of Jesus. The wall motto in my grandparents’ house, visible to the dining table participants said it all:

Christ is the head of this home,
The unseen guest at every meal,