State of the United Methodist Church – Resources

General Resources

  • To remain current with updates on the United Methodist web site, click here.
  • Good News is an evangelical magazine published by United Methodist ministers.  Several articles have been published regarding the Way Forward initiative Click here to access.
  • The Wesleyan Covenant Association connects Spirit-filled, orthodox churches, clergy, and laity who hold to Wesleyan theology.  To join their newsletter, click here.

References Regarding Theological Division

The links below will give you a sense of the divisiveness within the United Methodist church.

Bishop Joseph Sprague, retired Chicago bishop, served as a paster for 27 years in the United Methodist church as well as 7 years as an ecumenical officer.   Bishop Sprague espoused that Jesus was not born of a virgin nor was he physically resurrected.    Bishop Sprague was cleared of a heretic charge and continued to serve the church.   Click here to read his beliefs he shared in a 2002 presentation to a United Methodist Denver seminary.

Bishop Karen Oliveto is a lesbian married bishop who oversees the Rocky Mountain and Yellowstone conferences.   The bishop was elected despite the Book of Discipline’s stance that “the practice of  homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching. Therefore self-avowed practicing homosexuals are not to be certified as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve in The United Methodist Church.”  Click here to read differing responses from United Methodist clergy to her election in 2016.

In May of this year, the Minnesota Conference in the United Methodist Church changed wording in the Apostle’s Creed which removed the reference to God as Father.   Click here to read more details.

Earlier this year, Pastor Roger Wolsey, who heads the Wesley Fellowship ministry in Colorado, published his views as a progressive Christian.  Among several proclamations, he states that Jesus did not die for our sins because God isn’t this wrathful nor is there a hell.  Click here to see the entire article.

The Way Forward 

Bishop Gary Mueller, our Arkansas Bishop, has provided a video to add more background information regarding the Way Forward initiative.  Click here to view the video.

The United Methodist denomination has created a communication toolkit regarding the General Conference in February.  Contents include 1) an explanation of the United Methodist structure, 2)  the purpose of the February General Conference, 3) the content that will be discussed in the General Conference, and 4) how to remain informed during the General Conference.  Click here to access the communication toolkit.

Rob Renfroe, senior pastor of the Woodlands United Methodist church and president of the Good News magazine, has published a number of articles regarding division in the United Methodist church.    To read his article regarding the failure of church leadership to arrive at a scriptural-based solution regarding homosexuality, click here.

David F. Watson, vice president for academic affairs, and associate professor of New Testament at United Theological Seminary, has offered his perspective on the “One Church Plan.”  He expresses concerns that what we are facing is not simply a clash of ideologies, but a crisis of governance for all areas in which there may be disagreements.   To read more details about his position, click here.