Resolved Obedience 3

Resolved Obedience 3

The Christian Church has faced many struggles and battles over Her two-thousand-year history.  Attacks from without and within are common—and they almost always have a presenting issue, the thing that is most loudly discussed, as well as a core issue, which has almost always revolved around attacks on the reality of the Trinity, the Divinity of Jesus and/or the Holy Spirit, and the reliability of the Scriptures…

We are in such times again, and it is rending the United Methodist Church apart.  Below is a third resolution that I and we are presenting to our Annual Conference this June…

RESOLUTION FOR BIBLICAL ORTHODOXY

THE TENNESSEE ANNUAL CONFERENCE

Whereas, individuals and groups have arisen repeatedly within Christendom challenging the veracity of the Scriptures, the humanity and/or divinity of Jesus, the Personhood of the Holy Spirit, or the reality of the Trinity; and

Whereas, while the presenting issues over the centuries have varied, the core Christological issue has not: Is Jesus Christ truly the fully-God, fully-human living Word of God as presented in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament… or not?  And,

Whereas, the presenting issue in the late third century championed by Arian and his many followers denied the full divinity of Christ; and

Whereas, the current presenting issue revolving around human sexuality essentially does the same thing, denying the assertion in John 1 that Jesus is the pre-existent, co-eternal, living Word of God by denying the veracity of what Jesus spoke both orally (the “red” letters) and through inspiration (the “black” letters) of Scripture; and

Whereas, the core issue then as now is the same—the denial that Jesus is God the Word and that the Word has authority within the Church—which undercuts the reality of a Triune God and contradicts the central teaching of the Nicene Creed; and

Whereas, the Bishops of the early church repeatedly showed the courage to confront heresies and incorrect or misguided teachings in defense of the authority of the Word as contained in the Scriptures despite pressure from “really nice folks” within and without the Church who were pressuring for change that aligned with the prevailing attitudes in the culture; and

Whereas, the Bishops in the early Church realized that there was no “holy center” or middle ground between Arianism and Homousian belief; and

Whereas, Bishops and leaders of the modern church should likewise realize the incongruity between sexoualikios protimisi opos kai theos (sexual preference as god) and Homousian (One God in three Persons) belief; and

Whereas, the United Methodist Church desperately needs leaders of equal courage in this day to confront both the presenting and the core issues threatening the very life of the Church;

Therefore, be it resolved, that the Tennessee Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church calls for our Bishops to exhibit the same courage as their early Church counterparts to defend the Authority of the Word, the Reality of the Trinity, and the supremacy of orthodox Christianity considering the onslaught of antithetical teaching and thought in our time.

Submitted by Rev. Dr. Craig Green and Livingston First United Methodist Church


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