On why the church is involved in politics

“We are John Wesley’s sons and daughters and we, too, need to speak to our culture.”

“We need to clearly understand that The United Methodist Church has spoken on issues that are being debated throughout the state of Maryland and beyond,” writes the Rev. Barry Hidey, pastor at Bel Air (Md.) United Methodist Church.

They deserve to hear what The United Methodist Church has decided together.

Hidey points out in "United Methodists and the Maryland Ballot,” (Oct. 24, Baltimore-Washington Conference “e-Connection”) that United Methodists have prayed, studied, participated in holy conferencing, and debated to discern what the denomination must teach to its people and say to the world.

“Maryland’s voters need to hear not the loudest voice, nor another slick commercial to help them discern how to vote,” Hidey writes. “No, they deserve to hear what The United Methodist Church has decided together.”

Hidey emphasizes that since the days of John Wesley, Methodists have had a strong belief in social justice, mission and outreach ministries.

The 2004 United Methodist Book of Resolutions is cited by Hidey:

Taking an active stance in society is nothing new for followers of John Wesley. He set the example for us to combine personal and social piety. Ever since predecessor churches to United Methodism flourished in the United States, we have been known as a denomination involved with people’s lives, with political and social struggles, having local to international mission implications. Such involvement is an expression of the personal change we experience in our baptism and conversion.

The United Methodist Church believes God’s love for the world is an active and engaged love, a love seeking justice and liberty. We cannot just be observers. So we care enough about people’s lives to risk interpreting God’s love, to take a stand, to call each of us into a response, no matter how controversial or complex. The church helps us think and act out a faith perspective, not just responding to all the other ‘mind-makers-up’ that exist in our society.