Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Annual Conference 2015

1 Peter 1:14-16

As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” 

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A year ago I posted the following.  Annual Conference 2015 for the BWC is upon us this time next week.  Not a lot has changed from a year ago.  It is still a tough place the BWCUMC and the General Church finds itself. At General Conference 2016 some decisions will be made that will shape us or break us as United Methodists.  Here is last year’s post.

(May 30, 2014) Posting today from my iPad so the format might be a little different. Just wanted to post something – as I attend Annual Conference in Baltimore with the United Methodists of the Baltimore-Washington Conference.

We will discuss and vote on many things this week. Some will have little impact on the life of the church and some may lead to healing or a church split in 2016 or sooner or later.  My prayer is that a split will not happen – that we will seek holiness.

There are questions galore about Scriptural Authority – about the inclusion of all at the table – about sin and acceptance – about the life of the church.

I won’t debate the subjects here – I have done that in the past. Folks who read this blog regularly know where I stand on the issues at hand. What I hope will happen – is a call to holiness. A call to follow Christ and the holy example He set. The love for sinners and yet the call to go and sin no more. The inclusion of those thought marginal by this society – yet the challenge to walk by truth and faith. A call to repentance and to faithfulness. A call to walk in the light – in Christ – John might write – the light of the world.

The church’s future stands not on a single issue of disagreement – but rather upon our willingness to deny self and follow Christ. Are we willing to deny our agenda and seek His face and desire His grace.  Are we willing to deny our feelings and seek His desire for us?

I’m not sure if I will be a United Methodist forever. There may come a time when I might not agree so much with a stance the church takes that I cease to connect with this denomination. My hope is that time will never come – but it might. At that time my faithfulness to Christ will have to lead me and direct me – even as it does now as I identify as a Christian who practices his faith in the United Methodist Church. And as a third generation UMC pastor – that will not be a decision I make lightly – but rather something those who know me know I have wrestled with for over 40 years.

My call today is simply for holiness. Put aside what we want and seek what God wants for us – for our church – for our people. (That ends last year’s post.)

As I said – very little has changed – we are still in a place where disagreement abounds.  My prayer – once again – is for holiness – a holy boldness if I might – to stand by Biblical truth and the historic faith of our fathers and mothers.  If we do not focus our energy on making disciples – there will be no church left to discuss.  We shall see!  I will be reporting what happens.

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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May 22, 2015 - Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , ,

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