Bishops: United Methodism is

Here’s the distillation of United Methodism in the “Episcopal Greetings” from the front of the 2012 Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church.

This book of covenant sets forth the theological grounding of The United Methodist Church in biblical faith, and affirms that we go forward as “loyal heirs to all that [is] best in the Christian past.” It makes clear that The United Methodist Church is an inclusive society without regard to the ethnic origin, economic condition, gender, age, or the disabilities of its constituents. It asserts that all who are baptized and confirmed are ministers of Jesus Christ. It affirms the conciliar principle and connectionalism as distinctive marks of United Methodist ecclesiology, makes clear the global character of the Church’s mission, and declares interdependence with other Christian bodies both in spirit and cooperation. It affirms with John Wesley that solitary religion is invalid and that Christ lays claim upon the whole life of those who accept him as Lord and Savior.



2 thoughts on “Bishops: United Methodism is

  1. Interesting to contrast this with something I happened to be rereading today, the opening paragraph of Germanus of Constantinople’s commentary on the liturgy (early 8th century):

    “The church is the temple of God, a holy place, a house of prayer, the assembly of the people, the body of Christ. It is called the bride of Christ. It is cleansed by the water of his baptism, sprinkled by his blood, clothed in bridal garments, and sealed with the ointment of the Holy Spirit, according to the prophetic saying “your name is oil poured out” (Song of Songs 1:3) and “we run after the fragrance of your myrrh” (Song of Songs 1:4), which is “like precious oil, running down the beard, the beard of Aaron” (Psalm 133:3). The church is an earthly heaven in which the supercelestial God dwells and walks about. It represents the crucifixion, burial, and resurrection of Christ; it is glorified more than the tabernacle of the witness of Moses, in which are the mercy seat and the Holy of Holies. It is prefigured in the patriarchs, foretold by the prophets, founded in the apostles, adorned by the hierarchs, and fulfilled in the martyrs.”

    It is interesting how absolutely saturated with Biblical language and imagery this writing of a Byzantine bishop is, whereas, except for a few flashes, the paragraph you’ve cited from our bishops is operating in a very different vein.

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