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Methodist Church Ghana Constitutional Pdf Download

One might assume from the above, that these constitutional standards would at least make some sort of appearance within BM theological discourse. Over the years, members of the BM church have engaged in various forms of theological research including: ethnographical theology (Marsh 2019; Shier-Jones 2005), systematic theology (Greggs 2009; Stobart 2011), pastoral theology (Leach 2015), liberative theologies (Reddie 2012; Craske 1995), African theology (Dedji 2003; Pratt Morris-Chapman 2019), ecclesiology (Chapman 2004; Watt 2012), biblical studies (Lieu 2006; Marshall 2008), church history (Hustler 1997; Macquiban 2000), missiology (Walls 1996) and so on. However, while these writers have contributed to a wide range of subjects, few have ever mentioned (let alone reflected upon) the churches doctrinal standards. Moreover, those who do engage with the Deed of Union have tended to view the annual Conference (its "conferring") as the defining original feature of a BM theological method. A prominent example of this tendency is Stephen Dawes, whose influence, particularly his publication Why Bible Believing Methodists Shouldn't eat Black Pudding (1993), has been considerable within BM.6

Methodist Church Ghana Constitutional Pdf Download

While Dawes is quite right to highlight the "corporate" nature of the Methodist Conference (as opposed to the Primacy given to the Bishop of Rome) his belief that Conference has the authority to contradict the teaching of the Bible - "although the Bible says No, we will say Yes" (Dawes 1993:79) - actually gives Conference more authority than the Pope (Flannery 1988:756). Nevertheless, Dawes considers that the phrase, the "primacy of Conference" reflects "the constitutional position of the Conference as the authoritative body in Methodism" to determine how the church will "interpret scripture" and so "order its life and doctrine" (2004:115).

In sum, by suggesting that the BM Conference has the authority to contradict "scripture or tradition," these writers give the "magisterium" of Methodism (Conference) more power than Roman Catholics give to the Holy See.15 Essentially, the whole tenor of these writers is constitutionally problematic. Put simply, how could the BM church, which accepts the "fundamental principles ... of the Protestant Reformation" (Deed of Union 1932:302) give its Conference more authority than the Pope?16

In summary, it is hoped that this methodology, imbedded within the Deed of Union, has the potential to shed light on a number of important theological questions both nationally and internationally. For example, within the British Methodist context, they could actually be brought to bear upon recent discussions surrounding the redefinition of Marriage within the BM Church (British Methodist Conference 2019) in order to determine, constitutionally, whether or not a development of this nature coheres with the doctrinal standards outlined in the Deed of Union.21Moreover, given that many Methodist Churches around the globe grew out of BM, it is possible that this methodology could be utilised elsewhere. For example, in 2006 the Zimbabwean Methodist church was asked to "revisit its position in relation to polygamy" (Methodist Church Zimbabwe 2006:13). It is therefore likely that this question could also be examined in relation to the doctrinal standards identified in the Deed of Union so as to ascertain whether or not the evidence against polygamy is greater than that which would permit it. In conclusion it is envisaged that this methodology (and future adaptations of it), embedded within the constitutions of a number of Methodist churches globally, might offer a distinctive Methodist theological approach to a variety of contemporary theological questions.22

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