Georgia UM's Say "NO" To Endless Homosexuality Dialogues And "YES" To Scriptural Christianity
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 15, 2000
Contact: James Gibson, 912-967-2282, firstname.lastname@example.org
SOUTH GEORGIA EVANGELICALS AFFIRM GENERAL CONFERENCE DECISIONS
COLUMBUS--Countering several statements and actions, both official and unofficial, by other annual conferences, evangelical clergy and laity attending the South Georgia Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church have issued a statement affirming the decisions of that denomination's recent General Conference.
"The Columbus Affirmation," signed by some 60 attendees at the annual breakfast meeting of the Good News/Confessing Movement Fellowship, expresses support for the General Conference upholding "traditional doctrine and policy with regard to same sex behavior." It also affirms, using the words of Methodist founder John Wesley, that "all Scripture is infallibly true" and the Church is bound by its authoritative teachings, which "cannot be changed or laid aside by legislative or judicial decisions of an ecclesial body" or "reinterpreted in a manner inconsistent with the authoritative Tradition of the Apostolic Church."
The statement further asserts there is "no compelling reason to continue debating or dialoguing over same sex behavior and the related issues of 'homosexual ordination' and 'same sex marriage.'"
The signers of the statement envision a recovery of United Methodism's Wesleyan heritage and "a revival of Scriptural holiness and Scriptural Christianity among the people called Methodists in the new millennium."
The full text of the statement and the list of initial signatories follows.
As members of the South Georgia Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church, we, the undersigned, affirm the decision of the recent General Conference to uphold traditional doctrine and policy with regard to same sex behavior. The Church of Jesus Christ is bound by the authority of Scripture as the inspired Word of God. With Methodism's founder John Wesley, we affirm that "all Scripture is infallibly true" (Sermon 16--The Means of Grace). Its teachings cannot be changed or laid aside by legislative or judicial decisions of an ecclesial body. Neither can its teachings be reinterpreted in a manner inconsistent with the authoritative Tradition of the Apostolic Church.
In light of the unequivocal teaching of Scripture, the unanimous witness of Apostolic Tradition, and the concurrence of eight consecutive General Conferences, we find there to be no compelling reason to continue debating or dialoguing over same sex behavior and the related issues of "homosexual ordination" and "same sex marriage." God and the Church have spoken. Those who cannot abide by the Word of God and the doctrine of the Church should seek other avenues for the expression and practice of their faith.
We affirm and support ministries of transformation to the sexually broken. Such ministries are a vital expression of compassion toward the suffering and of obedience to Christ, who calls us to seek and save the lost.
We call the Church to rediscover its rich heritage of Scriptural holiness and Scriptural Christianity. John Wesley wrote in the Preface to Volume V of his Works, "I want to know one thing--the way to heaven; how to land safe on that happy shore. God himself has condescended to teach the way: For this very end he came from heaven. He hath written it down in a book. O give me that book! At any price, give me the book of God!" He prided himself on being homo unius libri, "a man of one book."
With fervent prayer, humility, longsuffering and an abiding faith in the God who transforms death into new life, we anticipate a revival of Scriptural holiness and Scriptural Christianity among the people called Methodists in the new millennium.
Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in Him, Because we have trusted in His holy name. Let Your mercy, O LORD, be upon us, Just as we hope in You. (Psalm 33:20-22)
We stand as servants of Jesus Christ: Son of God, Savior and Lord.
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