There are exciting movements going on today, called “Confessing Movements.” These consist mainly of individuals in mainline denominations, working to bring biblical beliefs back to their wayward denominations.
Following is an “Arminian Today” blog about the Confessing Movement in the United Methodist Church (UMC). Personally, I grew up in the Evangelical Friends Church International (EFCI) denomination, which shares a common Wesleyan Holiness heritage with the UMC. (Granted, we have to go back rather far to locate that common, biblically sound heritage.)
Back to the “Arminian Today” blog – I am copying the blog verbatim. Click here for the original source of this blog (update 03/10/12 – this link no longer works). I have emphasized certain points by bolding or [bracketing].
The Confessing Movement in the United Methodist Church
[blogsite author – anonymous]
From time to time I get to pray with a few Methodist pastors. Despite being trained in liberal institutions, these brothers remain somewhat conservative. I say somewhat only in that we haven’t discussed every doctrinal issue and I know that their passion for holiness is not the same as my own from our conversations. But they are still conservative Methodist pastors within the United Methodist Church and for that I am thankful to God. They pray with a desire to see Jesus exalted in His Church and with a passion to see the fire of God that once burned bright in the Methodist church to fall again on the UMC.
Thankfully there is a movement within the UMC to call Methodists back to the fire and passion of John Wesley. Wesley, contrary to popular opinion, didn’t start the Methodist church. He never left the Church of England and his call was reformation and revival among Anglicans of Wesley’s day. But from Wesley and Whitefield came forth the Methodist church. From the time shortly after the death of John Wesley until the early 20th century, the Methodist church dominated. In the United States alone the Methodist church planted more churches and saw more souls come to faith in Christ than any other movements. The fires of revival that came from John Wesley did not die until the Methodist colleges and universities begin to embrace the spirit of the age and adopted to modernity. Various Methodist colleges and seminaries, one by one, begin to subscribe to the unorthodox views coming out of Europe in the late 19th century that denied inerrancy and the infallibility of the Bible, embraced evolution, and embraced a faulty understanding of Jesus Christ, His cross, His resurrection, and His gospel. This led to the demise of the Methodist church and since the early part of the 20th century, the Methodist church has been irrelevant in terms of making an eternal impact for God’s true kingdom.
But there is hope. God is raising up men and women in the Methodist church that are being faithful to Jesus and His kingdom. They are embracing the Bible as the inerrant Word of God, that Jesus Christ is fully God and He alone is the way of salvation, that God desires holiness and that He wants all the nations to hear His gospel (Mark 16:15). These Methodists are beginning to show signs of the old fashioned holiness fire that burned in the chests of John Wesley, George Whitefield, John Fletcher, Richard Watson, Francis Asbury, Richard Allen, E.M. Bounds, Peter Cartwright, and Samuel Chadwick. I would also place Leonard Ravenhill in with these men of God along with other “Methodists” such as William and Catherine Booth. The fire of God that sparked a passion for souls, for prayer, for worldwide revival is starting to brew again in the hearts of many Methodists and I praise God for that. They are tired of church as usual and they want to see the Lord glorified in His Church again.
I urge you to pray for the Confessing Methodist movement. I believe that this faithful remnant has keep the UMC from going the way of the PCUSA or the Lutherans. The Holy Spirit is using many from the confessing movement to turn hearts back to the Lord Jesus and once again the gospel of the new birth that comes through faith in Jesus Christ is being preached (John 3:3-7; 1 Peter 1:18-19). 2 Corinthians 5:17 is once again being taught by many confessing Methodists. Luke 24:47-49 is once again being lived out among confessing Methodists. The fire of holiness from passages such as Acts 15:9 is being prayed for and applied by confessing Methodists. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 is once again being taken seriously as is 2 Timothy 3:16-17. I praise God for this and so should you too my friends.
For more on the confessing movement, see their website here.