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Unified Statement


THE FAITHFUL CHRISTIAN LAITY OF THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

UNIFIED STATEMENT

We, The Faithful Christian Laity of the United Methodist Church (Faithful Christian Laity), believe in and affirm the United Methodist Church’s Articles of Faith, as written in ¶103 in The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church (Book of Discipline). We believe that the sacred Scriptures received through and from the early church, affirmed by the Protestant Reformation, and passed down to the United Methodist Church, is the inspired and authoritative witness for Christian life and doctrine. Like John Wesley, we believe that Bible is the “final authority in all doctrinal matters.” The Bible says that all have sinned, and all can be cleansed of their sin and reconciled to God by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We, as Christians, are called to “go now and leave your life of sin” (John 8:11). This calls for repentance and an earnest desire to turn from a sinful life. We believe that “no Christian whatsoever is free from the obedience of the commandments which are called moral” (Article VI of the Book of Discipline). We believe that we are called to sanctification, “that renewal of our fallen nature by the Holy Ghost, received through faith in Jesus Christ, whose blood of atonement cleanseth from all sin; whereby we are not only delivered from the guilt of sin, but are washed from its pollution, saved from its power, and are enabled, through grace, to love God with all our hearts and to walk in His holy commandments blameless.” Both the Holy Bible and the Book of Discipline (1 Timothy 3, and ¶304.3, respectively) call for church leaders to maintain the highest standard of holy living in the world.

We are greatly grieved by the failure of the appointed and elected leadership of the Pacific Northwest Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church to uphold, first, God’s Holy Word and, secondly, the Book of Discipline, particularly with respect to holding all clergy accountable to the highest standards of holy living and sound doctrinal teaching. In addition, we are greatly grieved that because of our leaderships’ actions our entire denomination suffers from division, strife, and loss of members. Our witness for Jesus Christ has been poor and we, as an Annual Conference, have been ineffective at fulfilling the Great Commission.

Therefore, we, The Faithful Christian Laity of the United Methodist Church, united in belief and as one body under the headship of our Lord Jesus Christ, do purpose to:

    1. Remain true to our calling to empower people to become transformed disciples of Jesus Christ to proclaim to each other, the community, and the world, that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. We are united in the desire to serve the poor, the hungry, the naked, the stranger and prisoner, focusing on others’ needs rather than our own. We will provide a sanctuary where the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit are worshipped in holiness and where the saints are instructed in the ways of the Lord.

    2. Manage our internal affairs first according to the law of God as written in His Word, the Holy Bible, and secondly, to the laws of the United Methodist Church, as stated in the Book of Discipline;

    3. Work diligently to hold the leadership of the United Methodist Church accountable first to the law of God as written in His Word, the Holy Bible, and secondly, to the laws of the United Methodist Church, as stated in the Book of Discipline, relating to the performance of the duties of their appointed offices; and

    4. Actively seek out and partner with other like-minded United Methodist laity who support these same ideals and who will covenant with us in active opposition to any activity within the Pacific Northwest Conference of the United Methodist Church or the greater United Methodist Church that deviates from these laws.

We believe that God’s grace extends freely to all who would receive it and it is the responsibility of the church to minister to all who seek God without regard to age, gender, marital status, or sexual orientation. We stand firm in our belief that once justified through faith in Jesus Christ, the regeneration of the Holy Spirit calls to us to repent of our sins and reject the lifestyle choices that would keep us in bondage to sin, with sin clearly defined for us by God in the Bible. It is the responsibility of the church to gently lead those who would continue or fall back into sin after justification towards repentance. If the person is unrepentant, as evidenced by openly living a life contrary to God’s Word and fails to respond by private and group counsel of the Church (Matthew 18:15-17), we are commanded to expel the immoral brother (1 Corinthians 5:9-13). And when the immoral person has repented and responded to the “punishment by the majority” we will “forgive and console him, so that he may not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow” (2 Corinthians 2:5-11).

We further covenant among ourselves to not allow the rebellion and poor witness for Jesus Christ of our Annual Conference to distract us from our commission to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19). To this end, we will strive to maintain and enhance the existing programs God has called us to and will boldly establish and support any new ministries we are called to begin by Him.

Signed,

The Steering Committee of The Faithful Christian Laity of the United Methodist Church

David Battey, Snoqualmie, WA
Cathy Bihler, Edmonds
, WA
Kathy Cosner, Bremerton
, WA
Byron Fitch, Ritzville
, WA
Angel Manuel Fitzpatrick, Jr., Fairfield
, WA
Connie Gent, Burlington
, WA
Howie Schwend, Mill Creek
, WA
Don Shoemake, North Bend
, WA