John Wesley was a person who read broadly and sought God’s truth wherever it could be found. Free Methodists follow Wesley’s example in exploring issues that are being discussed in church and secular cultures.
This site, maintained by the Study Commission on Doctrine of The FMCiC, is intended to be a place where articles can be found on topics of interest to Free Methodists as well as the general public. There are also several helpful pastoral resources.
Much of the material found here has been written either by the Study Commission on Doctrine or other Free Methodists.
Interesting as the articles are, only two communicate the official positions of the Free Methodist Church in Canada.
“The Articles of Religion of The Free Methodist Church” (denominational doctrinal statements)
“The Christian Journey” (pastoral teaching followed by personal and social lifestyle applications)
These two documents excerpted from The Manual of The Free Methodist Church in Canada are the first documents you will encounter. They are placed as a convenient reference for those who wish to clarify the official position of The Free Methodist Church on various issues.
Note: A reference to a writer’s work in a footnote or bibliography is not a blanket endorsement by the Free Methodist Church of that writer’s perspective.
STATEMENT OF FAITH – Articles of Religion of the Free Methodist Church
- Free Methodist stance regarding Communion
- Children’s Communion Brochure
- Children’s Communion Brochure – Leaders Guide
- Communion Service for Children
- Communion Bibliography
- Christian Marriage
- HIV/AIDS: Implications for the Local Church
- Rethinking Sexual Identity with the Mind of Christ
- A Four Quadrant Framework for Thinking about Homosexuality in the Church
- Pastoral Reflections on Christian Singleness and Celibacy
- A Vision of Holiness for God’s People
- Defining the Elements of a Methodist Ethos
- Identifying Ministry & Life That Is Wesleyan
- Justification: “Clean Slate?”
- Sanctification: Free Methodist Position
- Sanctification: Saved to the Uttermost
- The World through a Wesleyan Lens
- Seven Steps Toward Free Methodist Renewal
- The Free Methodist Synthesis
- The Story of Christian Perfection
- Wesley’s Means of Grace
- What is the Meaning of Ordination?
- Life and Character of an Ordained Minister
- Dennis Camplin interview on the meaning of ordination
- Tom Gurnick interview on the meaning of ordination
- John Vlainic interview on the meaning of ordination
- Discipleship With The Same Sex-Attracted Christians
- Membership Covenants
- Providing Pastoral Care for Same-Gender-Attracted Individuals
- Service for Miscarriage or Stillbirth
- Suicide – A Funeral Sermon Resource
- A Clergy Guide to End of Life Issues – Book Review
- Cloning, Embryonic Stem Cell Research, and Approach to Bioethics
- End of Life Care
- Organ and Tissue Donation
- Ethics – How to Make Ethical Decisions in a Complex World
- A Theological Framework for Thinking about Technology
- Mental Health
- Physician Assisted Suicide
- Compassion and the Poor
- Human Rights
- Social Justice
- The Environment
- Child Abuse Prevention Policy
– Winning Kids Inc
- Documents to Help Us with Issues of Truth
- Baptism and Dedication
- Divine Healing
- Open Theism
- The Security of Believers
- Theology of Possessions
- Article on The Father
- How I Changed My Mind about Women in Ministry – Book review
- Jesus Transforms Cultural Norms
- Women in Ministry (FMCNA, FMCIC)
- Wesleyan Perspectives on Women in Ministry
- Women in Ministry (Reading the Bible as a whole, 1 Timothy 2:12)
- Why The Bible Does Not Prohibit Women Leaders – Bishop Kendall
COLLECTION OF SUBSTANTIAL PAPERS WRITTEN BY FMCIC AUTHORS FOR THE WEBSITE
The following authors, who are members of the FMCiC, have written substantial papers on pastoral, theological, biblical or ecclesiological topics (i.e. they are academic theses which have been approved by an academic institution or are papers that have been presented at a recognized public forum). The titles of their papers are listed below.
In an effort to protect the work of these authors from misuse, if you are interested in obtaining a copy of any of these papers, please send an email to the FMCiC. Your request(s) for a copy of a paper will be sent to the author(s).
• Amy Caswell: “The Story of Christian Perfection: the Perfection Narrative of George Clark and Other Friends of John Wesley”
The doctrine of Christian perfection was both a distinctive of eighteenth-century Methodism and the source of much debate. John Wesley spoke often of Christian perfection and yet never claimed to have had the experience himself. This paper examines the doctrine by looking at the narratives of the experience of Christian perfection that were shared among the early Methodists, particularly the narrative of Mr. George Clark, of London.
• Rob Clements “The Quest for the Historical Wesley: An Analysis of the Early Biographies, 1791-1825″
This paper explores controversies surrounding the publication of the first biographies of John Wesley, and discusses the ways in which these publications shaped Methodist self-identity in the early nineteenth century.
• Cliff Fletcher: “Sacramental Discipleship as a Pathway to Ecclesial Reformation In the Free Methodist Church”
Discipleship and sacrament are potential avenues of renewal in the Free Methodist Church in Canada. Growing out of Jesus’ own model, history (noting the Wesleyan contribution) and current cultural realities, the proposed model shows how discipleship, integrated to the themes and practice of the Eucharist (sacramental discipleship) can ignite reform and renewal.
• Dale Harris: “Heirs of the Earth: A Ministry Related Study of the Biblical Connections between Ecology and Faith.” (2008)
This paper develops a theology of Creation Care, arguing that the church’s witness to the Gospel should include a biblically grounded response to contemporary ecological issues, and proposing some ways in which this might happen. It A) develops a biblical framework for discussing ecological issues by examining 6 biblical texts (Genesis 1:26-28, Genesis 9, Matthew 5-7, Romans 8:16-23, 2 Peter 3:10-13, and Revelation 21-22); B) explores the results of a 2008 survey of over 600 churches across Canada on the topic of Creation Care Ministry, and C) presents some case studies and practical ideas for environmentally-focused ministry that emerged from this research.
Dale Harris is available to present this material as a seminar for Churches and Pastor Networks. Please contact the Ministry Centre for information.
• Matthew McEwen: “Concept of Sacrifice in the Theology of the Eucharistic Hymns of Charles Wesley”
This work explores the theology of the atonement through the use of imagery and poetry.
• Matthew McEwen: “Wesley and the Environment: A Sacramental View”
This paper is an examination of Wesley’s Survey of the Wisdom of God in creation.
• Bob Munshaw: “Be Thorough, But Be in Haste”
The focus of the paper is on the early missional impulse of the FMC. Beginning with an examination of an article written by John Wesley Redfield, I assess both the theological anthropology and normative praxis in late 19th and early 20th century FM missions.
• Howard Olver: “A Theology for Reaching the City”
“A Theology for Reaching the City” explores a biblical perspective on why Christians should be concerned with reaching the city with the transforming power of the Gospel and the guidance God gives us in how to do it.
• Chris Payk: “Prevenient Grace and Missiology: “John Wesley’s Doctrine of Prevenient Grace & Its Import for Christian Mission”
The Wesley brothers believed that salvation begins with prevenient grace, wherein God reaches incorrigibly sinful and spiritually depraved people, provides the spark of light needed to see the way to the Father’s Kingdom, and imparts the power to begin the journey. In John Wesley’s Doctrine of Prevenient Grace & Its Import for Christian Mission, Chris Payk examines what the early Wesleyan-Methodist tradition says about how salvation begins: (prevenient grace) and addresses the following questions:
– What did John Wesley think prevenient grace is and does, and
– What contribution does this Wesleyan doctrine make to contemporary Christian mission?
• Mary-Elsie Wolfe: A Strategy for Mobilizing Integrated Local and Global Ministry in Free Methodist Congregations, with an Emphasis on Gateway Cities
How can local Free Methodist churches live out Jesus’ commission in Spirit-led ministry that impacts, in amazing new ways, their Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and all the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8)? Often local churches are neither equipped nor motivated to think missionally, but do want to make a difference globally. The denomination can help them by ‘sharing of information’, ‘establishing boundaries’ and encouraging healthy local ‘teams’ through a B.U.G philosophy (Building Indigenous leaders, Seeking Unreached people groups and exercising Global stewardship). This model seeks to help churches break out of discouragement and passivity resulting from enormous and rapid cultural change everywhere in recent years.