Faithful Avon UMC To Withhold 100% Apportionments In Light Of PNW Bishop's Unfaithfulness And Absence Of Denominational Discipline
MOTION TO WITHHOLD APPORTIONMENTS
I respectfully move that this Administrative Council, effective immediately, withhold 100% of our apportionments to The United Methodist Church and send the following letter of explanation to the Bishop.
Dear Bishop Elias G. Galvan:
We are withholding our apportionments for the following reasons:
Avon United Methodist Church is unequally yoked to an unbelieving denomination whose leadership does not discipline a Bishop who appoints a pastor who proudly and publicly proclaims himself a practicing self-avowed homosexual; whose Bishops participate in ceremonies where same-sex couples have their unions blessed as if they were being married; whose leadership does not discipline a Bishop who proclaims in a United Methodist Seminary that Jesus Christ was born through natural procreation and that He is not the only way to salvation and that He did not die on the cross for our sins and that His blood sacrifice was a superstition and that His body was not resurrected.
Avon Church is unequally yoked to an unbelieving denomination whose apportionments are spent supporting this type of leadership, whose apportionments are spent publishing welcome materials which quote their Social Principles doctrine advocating abortion for those pregnancies which the mother may define as “unacceptable”; whose apportionments publish reports which question the authority of the Bible, and publish press releases from our Bishops which denounce our nation’s response to the events of 9-11 rather than denouncing the actions of those who murdered thousands of men, women, and children in the Twin Towers.
We are unequally yoked to a denomination whose apportionments are spent in support of the Re-Imagining Community where the goddess Sophia is worshipped, whose apportionments are funneled to the World Council of Churches at the rate of $500,000 per year and whose financial resources are massive – their Pensions and Benefits Fund alone stood at 11.6 Billion Dollars at the end of last year.
Our apportionments are being funneled to support an unbelieving denomination whose actions and published doctrine run contrary to the Truth of God’s Word.
Avon United Methodist Church
13743 Avon Allen Rd.
Mount Vernon, WA 98273
July 9, 2002
UNIFIED STATEMENT OF THE BODY OF AVON UMC
In light of the highly visible actions, or lack thereof, by the leadership of the Pacific Northwest Conference of the United Methodist Church, we find ourselves distraught over the division this has caused in our local church body. Many members of our church have stated openly that they cannot be members of a church that would knowingly appoint a homosexual pastor. Some have already withdrawn their membership and have left to seek fellowship elsewhere.
We believe that the Holy Bible is the divine Word of God, and that scripture is clear that the practice of homosexuality is a sin (Leviticus 18:22).
We believe that God’s Word says that all have sinned, and all can be cleansed of their sin, by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ ... and in Christ’s own words we 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.
The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church (hereinafter referred to as “Book of Discipline”) clearly states that the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching(¶161G). The Book of Discipline also states that self-avowed practicing homosexuals are not to be accepted as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve within the United Methodist Church (¶304.3).
Both the Holy Bible and the Book of Discipline call for church leaders to maintain the highest standard of holy living in the world(1Timothy 3, and ¶304.3). In this area we find the Book of Discipline appropriately aligned with God’s Holy Word and with our heartfelt belief.
Because of the failure of the appointed leadership of the Pacific Northwest Conference of the United Methodist Church to uphold first God’s Holy Word and, secondly, the Book of Discipline, we, the congregation of Avon United Methodist Church, united in belief and as one body under the headship 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 other’s 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 churches 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. However, 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. This is as true for the homosexual as it is for the fornicator, the adulterer, the idolater, the covetous, the drunkard, the murderer and the thief. 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, we are called to expel the immoral brother (1 Corinthians 5:9-13).
We further covenant among ourselves to not allow this or any other issue 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.
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