Methodist Ministers Shocked By UMC Bishop's Opposition To Christian Evangelism
Rev. Kent Svendsen - Northern Illinois - December 2, 1999
From: Rev. Martin Corie
Brothers & Sisters in the SBC
As an elder in the UMC, I am ashamed that someone in a position of leadership in our denomination has accused you of "un-Jesus-like arrogance" simply because you wanted to evangelize a corner of this sin-darkened world called Chicago. That "leader" knows about shining shoes but doesn't appear to know much about saving souls. Reminds me of a group of folks our Lord Jesus referred to as "white-washed tombs" because they were more concerned with appearances than with eternal realities. Please know that it will not be the council of "religious" and civic leaders from the Windy City before whom you and we all stand at the judgement. It will be none other than that JESUS CHRIST of NAZARETH, the only begotten Son of God, sinless in life, faithful to death, triumphant at the resurrection. It is His Word alone that matters...be faithful to it and you will be BLESSED!
Martin W. Corie Louisiana Conference firstname.lastname@example.org
From: Rev. Kent Svendsen
December 2, 1999
Dear Southern Baptist Brothers and Sister In Christ,
I am an ordained Elder within the United Methodist church who is a member of the Northern Illinois Conference. I was shocked and dismayed to see an article attacking your upcoming efforts to evangelize the Chicago area. Within that article I read the following:
Please know that his opinion is not that of many United Methodists within our conference. I would like to encourage you in your efforts to bring the saving message of Jesus Christ to the Chicago land area. If I can help in any way please feel free to contact me.
Jesus said: "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6) If would appear that my bishop and I disagree on how to interpret this scripture passage. For to me it proclamations that Jesus is in fact the only "way" to heaven. I see this statement as a declaration of "truth" spoken by Jesus' own lips. Finally, if Jesus' death on the cross wasn't necessary for the world's salvation, then Christ died in vain and the continued martyrdom of Christians around the world is simply a tragic mistake.
This may be the only way you will hear from those of us who support you in your evangelism efforts. For we face censorship and at times even rebuke for trying to offer our opinions on these matters. But in spite of that, we boldly continue to declare the Good News of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ and stand with you in that cause. Know that our prayers will be with you that a great harvest for God's kingdom will be realized.
Rev. Kent L. Svendsen
God bless you, brothers and sisters. Thank you for being faithful to the Great Commission. I want you to know that the apostate unbeliever who calls himself a Bishop does not speak for the vast majority of United Methodists. Thank you for the contribution you make to the cause of Christ! Eric Sizemore, Pastor of Colquitt UMC, Colquitt, GA.
Dr. Richard Land
Dear Bro. Land,
I join with several of my fellow UMC's as we say, we do not agree with C. Joseph Sprague of Chicago. We welcome any and all evangelistic work in the name of Jesus Christ.
I welcome the faith servant hood of all Christians for the salvation of the world.
Yuka Imma Chisas (Slave of Christ - in Choctaw)
Isi Nakni (Buck - Choctaw)
Dennis (Buck) Linton-Hendrick
Office: Box 130, Wallace, NE 69169, Phone & FAX: 308-387-4423
Dear Southern Baptists,
I'm writing to you to applaud your efforts to bring the message of Christ to the Chicago area. Our denomination does not have its act together in interpreting Jesus' commission to make disciples of all the nations. We are badly split in the way we see the crucial issues of the gospel, operating in at least two different paradigms of understanding as to how we see the ministry of the church and the call of Christ. Be assured of my support, and I know that multiplied hundreds of thousands of United Methodist pastors and laity across this land share the same passion for souls that has motivated you to come to Chicago. May the presence of Christ and His Holy Spirit undergird and strengthen you to accomplish His will. Thank you for loving the souls of persons in Chicago enough to come.
Rev. Richard C. North
Dr. Richard Land
Dear Southern Baptists,
This letter is addressed to you Dr. Land, but it is for all Christians who call themselves Southern Baptists. First, I want to praise God for your faithfulness in deeds to the Great Commission of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, by planning the evangelism of Chicago. I am truly jealous of your missionary zeal and pray our denomination will be gifted by the Holy Spirit with your denomination's faithfulness in the area winning souls to Christ.
Second, I would like to apologize for the un-Christian hate rhetoric which is being used by representatives of the United Methodist Church to criticize your faithfulness to Christ's command. The great majority of Methodist laymen and a large portion of clergy who seek to be faithful to biblical Christianity and John Wesley's legacy of scriptural holiness come under the same dishonest criticism from some of our denominational leaders.
Third, United Methodist leaders like Bishop Sprague do not represent Methodism, in spirit, truth or doctrine. So please, do not consider his words representative of the majority of Christians called United Methodists. Although I do not speak for our denomination, I stand with the majority of all United Methodists that I have come in contact with throughout my membership and ministry in our denomination.
Finally, please pray for our denomination that we my again be defined as "evangelical" along with the Baptists as the older dictionaries of the American language have defined the word. I will endeavor, with God's help, to be in prayer for your efforts for Christ in Chicago and the world.
Love in Christ,
Rev. John Warrener, MDiv., MBA
Unofficial Confessing Movement Page
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