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1998 Tulsa Resolution


CONFESSING MOVEMENT:

A MESSAGE TO THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

Confessing Jesus Christ as Son, Savior and Lord, we, the 1000 United Methodists in attendance at the 1998 Confessing Movement conference, respectfully send this message in love to our sisters and brothers in The United Methodist Church.

  1. We believe that God, and God alone, can heal our denomination. Therefore, we invite all United Methodists to engage in fasting and in regular, intentional prayer for the renewal of The United Methodist Church.

  2. We call on all United Methodists to be faithful to Scripture and loyal to the doctrinal standards and ethical teachings of The Book of Discipline. We who affirm the classical Wesleyan standards far outnumber those who oppose them. The Confessing Movement is within The United Methodist Church and intends to stay there. Our mission is to enable The United Methodist Church to retrieve its classical, doctrinal identity and to live it out as disciples of Jesus Christ.

  3. We are convinced that both Scripture and The Book of Discipline are quite clear in rejecting the practice of homosexuality and the performing of same-sex unions. If there is any weakening of these biblical and disciplinary standards, we will be forced to reconsider our commitments to the existing structures of The United Methodist Church. As United Methodists, our first loyalty is to scriptural holiness and divine revelation as given in Jesus Christ.

  4. We request that the General Conference provide relief for those who are unwilling to live under the doctrinal and ethical standards of The Book of Discipline. We favor an amicable exit for those clergy and/or local congregations, with an equitable settlement concerning pensions, property, and institutional resources.

  5. We recognize that some of our general and annual conference boards and agencies within The United Methodist Church are expending funds in ways that are sometimes contrary to Scripture, disciplinary standards, and good stewardship. Therefore, we believe that every local church has ample reason to reconsider, for the sake of conscience, its commitment to apportionments.

  6. We believe the present exorbitant reserves of the General Board of Global Ministries and other agencies effectively isolate them from accountability and are an affront to the financial faithfulness of the local churches. This is unacceptable and must be corrected.

TO THE BISHOPS OF THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

  1. We urge the Council of Bishops to hear carefully and respond compassionately to the agony experienced by evangelical pastors and laity, particularly in the California-Nevada and Nebraska Annual Conferences. We are embarrassed and shaken that some in those Conferences feel they can no longer in conscience remain within the connection.

  2. We support the calls of Bishops Marion Edwards and Lindsey Davis and their respective cabinets for a special session of the General Conference to deal with the current crisis regarding same-sex unions. To postpone resolution of this crisis until the year 2000 is completely unacceptable.

  3. We implore the Council of Bishops to exercise fully their teaching office as mandated by disciplinary paragraph 414.3 – "To guard, transmit, teach, and proclaim, corporately and individually, the apostolic faith as it is expressed in Scripture and tradition, and, as they are led and endowed by the Spirit, to interpret that faith evangelically and prophetically." - and to hold each other accountable in teaching and defending the doctrinal and ethical standards of The Book of Discipline.


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