Confessing Movement Conference: Voluntary Apportionments, Marriage
Non-negotiable, Non-believers May Leave
From: John Miles email@example.com
To: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Date: Monday, September 13, 1999 9:30 AM
Subject: confessing movement
I went to the Confessing Movement meeting in Indianapolis last week. I had a great time
and I will be sharing some of the ideas and messages that I heard over the coming weeks.
Today I want to share with you the affirmation that we developed at that meeting. Each
time we meet we try to develop a statement that we can take away from the meeting. Next
week I would like to print your responses to the Indianapolis Affirmation. What parts do
you agree with? What parts do you disagree with and why?
Confessing Jesus Christ as Son, Savior, and Lord, we the supporters of the Confessing
Movement within the United Methodist Church, meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, September
9,10, & 11, 1999, offer these reflections and concerns to our brothers and sisters in
the United Methodist Church.
We celebrate the signs of God's grace within the United Methodist Church
including: our church's commitment to racial and gender inclusiveness, Disciple Bible
study, the new Christian Believer study, the Emmaus Movement sponsored by the Upper Room,
the United Methodist Volunteers In Mission, expanding ministries among the poor, the
crisis ministries of UMCOR, the recovery of an emphasis on spiritual formation, and the
growing recognition of the primacy and centrality of scripture and prayer.
From the beginning of the Confessing Movement, our purpose has been to
contend for the apostolic faith, to reclaim and reaffirm the church's ancient ecumenical
faith in Wesleyan terms within United Methodism, and to call for a new level of integrity
and accountability in upholding our constitutionally established doctrinal standards. We
call upon our Bishops to guard, defend, and teach the historic apostolic faith without
apology. If there are clergy and laity or local churches who cannot abide by and remain
true to the teachings of Scripture and our doctrine we encourage General Conference to
provide for an exit process with pension, property, and without penalty.
While the baptismal document is still in process, we remind the church
that a personal profession of faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord is integral to full
Christian initiation and church membership.
We urge General Conference to affirm more strongly the sanctity of the
unborn child and to reject unreservedly partial-birth abortion.
We appeal to the General Conference to affirm trust in the connection by
returning mandatory apportionments, other than ministerial items, to "askings",
a concept used for almost 200 years. Moreover, we urge the General Conference and the
General Council on Finance and Administration to incorporate board and agency surpluses in
the budget planning process in order to free churches to address local missional needs. We
urge General Conference to simplify the process of determining the amount of a local
church's askings by limiting askings to a maximum of 10% of the total expenditures paid by
each church, exclusive of capital improvements and benevolence.
Our present teaching on human sexualitycelibacy in singleness and
fidelity in heterosexual marriageis non-negotiable. We affirm the decision of the
Judicial Council that conduction a same sex union ceremony is a chargeable offense. We
urge that conducting or participating in such a union be added as an offense to Paragraph
2624. We reject efforts to extend to same-sex domestic partners those rights generally
reserved to preserve and support heterosexual marriage.
We welcome a spirited discussion on structures within the church which
focus on the making of disciples in local congregations and energetically explores the
vehicle of the World Methodist Council as an expression of our global nature. However,
with respect to the preliminary Connectional Process Team Report, we have serious
reservations; we strongly oppose inequitable representation, losing the voice of the
Central Conference delegates and retired clergy, and adding layers of bureaucracy.
We reaffirm the church's primary mission which is to reach lost people
with the good news of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross and his glorious
bodily resurrection. "There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name
under heaven by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)
I hope to share your comments and concerns next week.
John Miles, Heber Springs.
Editors note: This is not the official document which will
be issued in an official news release by the Confessing Movement later.