FM History & Polity – Assignment 3

Post a reflection based on your reading of the first three chapters of the 2015 Free Methodist Book of Discipline.  Don't forget to come back and share observations on at least three of your fellow classmates' posts.

8 Responses to “FM History & Polity – Assignment 3”

  1. Jodi Hollamby says:

    This is a tough reflection to write. 🙂 I”m just going to simply write what I thought about each of the 3 chapters.
    Chapter 1 – Pretty much summarizes what I have come to know over the last 15 years of being a Christian in the Free Methodist Church. I do love how closely this ties into actual scripture.
    Chapter 2 – Honestly – over my head! I do believe that I will learn more about organization in the years to come. Good to know that I have this to refer back to if needed.
    Chapter 3 – Another chapter that ties closely to scripture – which I love. There were a few topics that I had never really given much thought to or I was able to see that topic in a different light. Another chapter that will definitely come in handy.

    • Jim Lenaway says:

      Ditto, Jodi.

    • Matthew Argot says:

      Yes. I took these chapters as big votes of confidence. Knowing scripture is the authority and seeing that the priorities, definitions and virtues are all directly tied to scripture, says that God is leading the way, not just our own understanding

  2. Jim Lenaway says:

    The first two books of our class were fascinating reading with their rich history, Christian victory and life-changing journeys that effected millions for the cause of Christ. Then there’s the “Book of Discipline.” Very dry comparatively. Like reading the tax code.

    Nevertheless, I recognize the importance of laying out the order and the basis for functioning as a body of Christ. One phrase that caught my attention was the “Free Methodist distinctives.” B.T. and Ellen and the rest (even John Wesley) would want us to be distinct. Not just a cookie-cutter Protestant denomination. Our roots in freedom for all especially in the church and our goal of sanctification are important. How do we accomplish “Loving God, Loving People, Making Disciples?” We are an organization, so let’s be organized.

    At my stage in this journey, I was particularly interested in the process of moving from LMC to CMC to Elder. The purpose and plan of the Annual Conference was enlightening also.

    This Book of Discipline will make for a wonderful reference.

    • Matthew Argot says:

      Agreed. Specifics don’t make for page turning reading, but are extremely valuable when we have to make references and distinctions. Very clear on the “what” by the verbage as well as the “why?” with references to specific defining or supporting scriptures.

    • Jodi Hollamby says:

      A wonderful reference for sure!

  3. Matthew Argot says:

    Obviously this was a little more “heady” than the story format of the prior books, but still had some good discoveries and encouraging information in it.

    I appreciate that from bottom to top, the disciplines, definitions and policies are saturated in direct scriptural references. It’s inescapable that the Free Methodist denomination not only recognizes the authority of scripture but uses it as the defining guidelines for both our understanding and practices. I’ve taken this as a comfort personally, and shared/preached on it for others – that when one is following God’s word and it’s teaching/His leading you can proceed in full confidence knowing that the plan is His. I guess I hadn’t considered that it’s not just individual lives that put this into practice, but entire organizations/denominations can corporately allow God “run the show” so to speak. That it’s not a man made model, but a tool in God’s hands.

    I appreciate the distinctions made and the different levels of authority and voting systems. It was a little bit of high school civics over again but in a different structure. There is safety in having a chain of authority and checks and balances and I appreciate seeing the way they are set up within the denomination and that is seems like a very sound system that would not easily go astray.

    As with John Wesley, I was glad to see the levels in which lay leadership is not just given a voice but is integral in the system of leadership and decision making. I see this as one of the smartest and strongest things done in both Free Methodist history and current days. There is so much extra wisdom and safety in having lay leadership directly involved. It will give a more balanced perspective and honest/effective voice for decision making.

    Less of a page turner than the previous reads, but nonetheless inspiring and, personally, an extra boost of confidence in our denomination.

  4. Jodi Hollamby says:

    I loved the scriptural saturation as well. And I like how you worded it – that it gave you an extra boost of confidence in our denomination. I have definitely felt the same. These books have lit the fire even greater!

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