“Whate’er his Spirit speaks in me, must with the written Word agree.”               –Charles Wesley

Many of the more contentious arguments in the church today are over social issues. That has certainly been the case for the United Methodist Church — the church I call home. Nowhere have the UMC’s internal debates over such issues been on clearer display than during its recent General Conference in Portland, Oregon.

The General Conference is the representative body of the 13+ million-member UMC. It meets once every four years. General Conference equips the general church for ministry by ordering its life and funding its ministries. It is also the body within the church that has the authority to write or alter canon law, which for Methodists is held in our Book of Discipline. So at least theoretically, the General Conference can vote to change everything from the church’s doctrinal understanding of the Trinity to how a local congregation handles estate bequests (though in the case of core Christian doctrine the bar on any substantive change is much higher and more complicated than a simple majority vote). Click here to continue reading…


Wesleyan AccentWesleyan Accent provides free and subscription resources for Christian spiritual formation, catechesis, and discipleship in the Wesleyan way. By clearly articulating the Wesleyan understanding of Christian faith, WA seeks to strengthen discipleship, empower mission and evangelism, cultivate ministry gifts of young leaders, and nurture the professional and service life of young theologians.

Andrew C. Thompson joined the writing team of WA upon its launch in the Fall of 2013. For the full catalog of his articles on the WA site, click here.