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PETITION TO RE-ESTABLISH DOCTRINAL STANDARDS

Whereas the vast majority of the Methodist people, by the preventing, justifying and sanctifying grace of God, believe traditional Christian doctrine as represented by the Articles of Religion of the Methodist Church and the Confession of Faith of the Evangelical United Brethren Church,

Whereas adopting the recommendations of the 1972 Report of the Theological Study Commission on Doctrine and Doctrinal Standards have immeasurable harmed the Church, resulting in loss of members,

Whereas continual doctrinal exploration can never produce unifying faith,

Whereas ever-shifting theology produces aberrant behavior in the Church, such as gay wedding ceremonies,

Whereas it is irrational to assume a process of human inquiry can produce eternal, religious, saving truth,

Whereas the Judicial Council neglected its duty to interpret the Constitution of our Church, TO WIT, "[did] not decide" the "broader question" of whether said Report established any "new standards or rules of doctrine," even though they were petitioned to do so by the 1972 General Conference,

Whereas the Judicial Council failed to form an independent judgment in the matter, instead relying heavily on excerpts from said Commission's report and statements on the floor of the General Conference,

Whereas in Decisions 353, 358 and 468 the Judicial Council of our Church, in collusion with said Commission, perpetrated a fraud against the Methodist people, failing to give full merit to said Commission's statement, "we have proposed a genuinely new principle for doctrinal self-understanding in The United Methodist Church," yet ruling said Commission's recommendations do NOT alter "our present and existing standards of doctrine,"

Whereas
the Judicial Council erroneously claimed that Section II of the 1968 Book of Discipline was a "legislative enactment" and therefore did not have the force of constitutional law, even though the aforesaid Articles and Confession were at the time our "present existing and established standards of doctrine," and therefore part of the Constitution by logical extension of meaning,

Whereas the Judicial Council was intentionally misleading with regard to the impact of said Report on the Restrictive Rules, inappropriately ruling "on the basis of a narrowly construed interpretation of the question" of constitutionality, i.e., that there were no recommended changes to the actual words of said Articles and Confession, and that said Articles and Confession were not "in" the Constitution, meaning (absurdly) that they were not printed in the actual text of the Constitution,

Whereas the General Conference, on the basis of the Judicial Council's decision, failed to forward said Commission's recommendations to the Annual Conferences for ratification, though a reasonable assessment of the facts would require it to do so,

Whereas the effect of said Report, action and Decisions is to misrepresent God and the Methodist people,

Whereas continued doctrinal conflict threatens to split our Church, as the recent Dialogues on Theological Diversity would suggest,

Whereas there is ample legal basis for the General Conference to determine matters of doctrine (Judicial Council Decision 358) at this time,

Be it therefore resolved that the Church officially rejects doctrinal pluralism, the so-called "Wesleyan" quadrilateral, "Our Theological Task" and all other recommendations of said Commission, rescinds the previous motion to adopt said Report, and hereby re-establishes the Articles of Religion and the Confession of Faith as our "present existing and established standards of doctrine" for the Church in all areas of her life and ministry.

Michael D. Hinton, M.Div.
Pastor, Mayflower/Graham Chapel
United Methodist Church
P.O. Box 638
Mayflower, AR 72106
Phone: (501) 470-0539

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