At least seven United Methodist churches in South Carolina are included on a list recently released by the Wesleyan Covenant Association of congregations that affirm the group’s statements on biblical authority, faith and moral principles.
The WCA is an unofficial caucus of the UMC that connects Spirit-ﬁlled, orthodox churches, clergy, and laity who hold to Wesleyan theology.
The churches include Covenant UMC, Greer; Grace Community UMC, Fort Mill; Lowell Street UMC, Greenwood; Mount Horeb UMC, Lexington; Pinopolis UMC, Pinopolis; Pond Branch UMC, Gilbert; and Zoar UMC, Greer.
Their list is updated frequently, so visit https://wesleyancovenant.org/recommended-churches/ for the most current list.
The churches listed are not necessarily members of the WCA but have chosen to affirm their commitment to the WCA’s statements, which are as follows:
Statement on Biblical Authority
Given the current challenges directed to the unique place of the Bible in the church, we affirm that the core of the Christian faith is revealed in Scripture as “the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints” (Jude 3; NRSV). We look to the Bible therefore as our authority and trustworthy guide, which “is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16; NRSV). Illuminated by tradition, reason and experience, the revelation of Scripture is the church’s primary and final authority on all matters of faith and practice.
Statement of Faith
We affirm classical Wesleyan doctrine and the historic faith, which the church has used to define the parameters of Christian teaching. Doctrine, properly understood, unifies the church and gives direction to its life. All congregational, clergy, and lay members of the WCA affirm the following doctrinal standards:
- The Nicene Creed (AD 381) http://anglicansonline.org/basics/nicene.html
- The Articles of Religion of the Methodist Church (AD 1808) http://www.umc.org/what-we-believe/the-articles-of-religion-of-the-methodist-church
- The Confession of Faith of the Evangelical United Brethren Church (AD 1963) https://www.umc.org/en/content/confession-of-faith
- The Standard Sermons of John Wesley
- The Explanatory Notes Upon the New Testament by John Wesley (1755) http://wesley.nnu.edu/john-wesley/john-wesleys-notes-on-the-bible
- The General Rules of The Methodist Church (1868) http://www.umc.org/what-we-believe/general-rules-of-the-methodist-church
Statement of Moral Principles
Given our current time and context, we highlight and affirm the following moral principles, acknowledging that other moral principles merit our further attention.
Gender Equality: Scripture teaches that men and women are of equal value in the eyes of God. Accordingly, the church should treat women and men equally. We believe that both women and men are called to and gifted for ordained and licensed ministry, and both genders are able to hold any role of leadership within the WCA.
Equality: We believe that all persons are of sacred worth. Therefore, we gladly welcome all who seek to grow in their relationship with God to attend worship services and participate in the church’s ministries. No person shall be disqualified from becoming a member of a local congregation, holding a leadership position in the church or becoming an ordained or licensed clergy based on race, color, nationality, national origin, marital status or economic condition. The WCA specifically renounces all racial and ethnic discrimination and commits itself to work toward full racial and ethnic equality in the church and in society.
Marriage and Sexuality: We believe marriage and sexual intimacy are good gifts from God. In keeping with Christian teaching through the ages and throughout the church universal, we believe that marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union. We believe that God intends faithfulness in marriage and celibacy in singleness.
Human Dignity: We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity. Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual or group are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor the doctrines of the WCA.
For more on the WCA, visit https://wesleyancovenant.org/.