Jesus says, “Salt is good. Have salt in yourselves (Mark 9:50). You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot (Matthew 5:13).”
When individuals join the United Methodist Church, among other vows, they agree:
To renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness, reject the evil powers of the world, and repent of their sin; To accept the freedom and power God gives them to resist evil, injustice, and oppression; To receive and profess the Christian faith as contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments.
For years United Methodists have affirmed the primacy of Scripture. The 2016 UMC Discipline, states:
United Methodists share with other Christians the conviction that Scripture is the primary source and criterion for Christian doctrine. Through Scripture the living Christ meets us in the experience of redeeming grace. We are convinced that Jesus Christ is the living Word of God in our midst whom we trust in life and death.The biblical authors, illumined by the Holy Spirit, bear witness that in Christ the world is reconciled to God. The Bible bears authentic testimony to God’s self-disclosure in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ as well as in God’s work of creation.
Currently the United Methodists Church maintains that homosexual activity is immoral, bars gays and lesbians from serving as clergy, and opposes same sex marriage.
The United Methodist Church does not condone the practice of homosexuality and considers this practice incompatible with Christian teaching. We affirm that God’s grace is available to all. We will seek to live together in Christian community, welcoming, forgiving, and loving one another, as Christ has loved and accepted us. We implore families and churches not to reject or condemn lesbian and gay members and friends. We commit ourselves to be in ministry for and with all persons.
While persons set apart by the Church for ordained ministry are subject to all the frailties of the human condition and the pressures of society, they are required to maintain the highest standards of holy living in the world. The practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching. Therefore self-avowed practicing homosexuals are not to be certified as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve in The United Methodist Church.
To ensure that no annual conference board, agency, committee, commission, or council shall give United Methodist funds to any gay caucus or group, or otherwise use such funds to promote the acceptance of homosexuality or violate the expressed commitment of The UMC “not to reject or condemn lesbian and gay members and friends” (¶ 161G). The council shall have the right to stop such expenditures.
We affirm the sanctity of the marriage covenant that is expressed in love, mutual support, personal commitment, and shared fidelity between a man and a woman. We believe that God’s blessing rests upon such marriage, whether or not there are children of the union. We reject social norms that assume different standards for women than for men in marriage. We support laws in civil society that define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
38.4% believe there are clear and absolute moral standards for what is right and wrong.
60.1% think homosexuality should be accepted by society.
17.9% “strongly favor” allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally.
9.7% think more women in the workforce is a change for the worse.
67.6% think that having children without getting married is a change for the worse.
6.5% believe that abortion should be illegal in all cases.
98.3% believe in God or a universal spirit,
83.6% believe in Heaven.
61% believe in Hell.
69.1% believe the Bible is the word of God.
37.1% look to “religious teachings and beliefs” when it comes to questions of right and wrong.
37.4% believe churches and other religious organizations focus too much on rules.
82.5% think many religions can lead to eternal life.
61.9% pray at least once a day.
42.9% meditate at least once a week.
46% attend religious services at least once a week.
38.7% read scripture outside of religious services at least once a week.
25.1% participate in prayer groups, Scripture study groups or religious education programs at least once a week.
15.8% share their faith with “non-believers or people from other religious backgrounds” at least once a week.
Over the past year or so, many have suggested that those who believe the Bible to be God’s living word and the supreme moral authority, to leave the United Methodist Church and form a new denomination.
But consider how much Jesus enjoyed being with sinners and how much sinners enjoyed being with Jesus. If you have Jesus in you, sinners should like being with you!
If you are a UMC member who:
- Believe the Bible is the word of God and the absolute moral authority for what is right and wrong
- Believe all individuals deserve life more than we deserve our rights
- Believe Heaven is real and without Christ we are destined for Hell
- Believe that only a relationship with Christ and his righteousness can save us from our sins and lead to eternal life
- Believe the “salt” of Christ can preserve the Bride of Christ
could it be that Jesus is calling you to be the “salt” that helps preserve the UMC?