I would like to begin by saying that I have heard and have been told about conversations, from certain individuals about certain individuals, concerning the recent departure of attendees from Trinity United Methodist Church, of which I am one. With this letter, I am explaining some of my actions and the actions of others, when our congregation, at the time, engaged in discourse with the regional head of the UMC.
After said meeting, many of the congregation have left and have tenured letters of resignation to the church. This stems from recent events that have transpired that have unfortunately resulted in the resignation of our Pastor, Doyle Williams. There were ‘demands’ made not only of him, but also on the congregation, that again, I was a part of, that required a choice to either take a stand on Biblical Principles and not bend, or bow to man made tradition. I and others took a stand upon the Bible. I personally see this in terms of the Book of Galatians, when the Apostle Paul withstood the Apostle Peter to his face. Paul says that Peter was to be blamed for his actions. Peter was being a hypocrite, saying one thing and doing another.
Galatians 2:11-14 (NASB)
11 But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For prior to the coming of certain men from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to withdraw and hold himself aloof, fearing the party of the circumcision. 13 The rest of the Jews joined him in hypocrisy, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in the presence of all, “If you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, how is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?
Peter was caught in his deception.
You see saints, we have an obligation to stand up to people and organizations, secular and religious, when they stray from a Biblical stance. Paul takes a stance because the future of the gospel is at stake. I in nowise am taking this lightly and find it a very serious turn of events. Therefore, I am stating that this website is no longer associated with Trinity United Methodist Church or in any way associated with the UMC.
Your traditions invalidate the word of God.
Mark 7:13 (NASB)
“thus invalidating the word of God by your tradition which you have handed down; and you do many things such as that.”
Acts 5:27-32 (NASB)
27 When they had brought them, they stood them before the Council. The high priest questioned them, 28 saying, “We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and yet, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” 29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men. 30 “The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had put to death by hanging Him on a cross. 31 “He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. 32 “And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him.”
Just these two passages of scripture speak volumes about man’s traditions, beliefs and values that don’t always line up with God’s teachings. My first point is that there comes a point were we have to take and make a stand when we see these Biblical principles at stake. Do we follow Christ or man? Are you a Christian or not?
Secondly, It has been argued over for centuries whether tradition is on par with the Bible. I hold to the opinion that while tradition and thought can be enlightening, in the end the Bible is the final authority. From what I am hearing, tradition is creeping back into certain church organizations.
For example, the UMC believes that only ordained pastors that have been through ‘classes’ and have had hands laid on them, via ‘Apostolic Succession’, can serve a valid communion. It’s their organization, so they can believe as they see fit. It does not make it right. As my pastor Doctor Scott used to say, “Everyone has a right to be wrong.”
This one point of ‘Apostolic Succession’ is enough to make me walk away… and so I, or we, have. After a long and lengthy discussion, I and others could see that this was just one area where the UMC is unbending. The conversation continued, and it was stated that we, being baptized and hence heirs with Christ, this makes us priests of the Most High, so we affirm and say that we have every right to serve communion, and to perform baptisms.
In our conversation, we were told that, according to the UMC, we ourselves cannot serve a valid communion in our own household. For example, if I am having a prayer meeting and we want to have communion, we can serve it, but because we don’t have an elder or ordained individual to sanctify it, it is less than what you could receive in church…’invalid.’ My point is that unless you have hands laid on you, you technically cannot carry out this act. An act which was practiced in Christian homes through all of the early church’s history. There is one who ordains, and that is God.
Again, on this point alone, without dredging up others, I cannot and will not continue to lend my support to this denomination. We will continue to keep this website going, as I and others will be posting articles and later on, more audio sermons. It is our hope that you will continue visiting this site and will keep in touch leaving comments if the Lord leads you to do so. We also ask for prayer for guidance for not only this site, but for the fellowship that has emerged from this situation. God bless you for all your support in the past and I/we look forward to continuing to serve you in the future.
Yours in Christ,
Grace and Peace to you!