Belin United Methodist Church finds itself at the crosshairs of which side to choose on several matters mandated by the national chapter. Worship leader Scott Lewis steps down over church’s potential decision.
You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
Luke 18:8 – “I tell you that he will swiftly grant them justice. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
The United Methodist denomination counts over 6 million members in the United States, and they are currently divided on the issue of ordaining gay ministers. More than a hundred congregations have already broken away from the denomination in opposition. While the church’s next major conference is scheduled for 2024, its Council of Bishops have decided to engage in mandating church participation regarding this and other curious topics.
It appears the Murrells Inlet church itself may divide over the mandates as congregants choose sides in this historic church which holds a legendary role in our area’s history.
Said Congregant Leigh Ann Z Marple on Facebook: I have seen so many recent posts about Belin UMC and staying united with Belin and standing with Belin and staying “united” with the Methodist church. That we are all God’s children and Belin is doing great work.
First and foremost, we are (all God’s children), and it is (doing great things).
I want to assure anyone invested in this process that I know the side that is for discernment is also VERY MUCH FOR Belin, believes in Belin, and loves Belin, just as much as the side that is against this process.
Discernment is just that, a chance to educate everyone so that an informed decision may be made. Maybe that decision will save the Belin we know, maybe it will make it better. We don’t and can’t know the outcome of a discernment period. But I cannot find one good reason not to take time out to fully educate the entire congregation on the matters at hand with the UMC (not Belin, the UMC as a whole). Every member has a right to be informed.
I certainly listen to and watch the presidential debates when election time rolls around, and pray other do as well, don’t you?
I know that this is a stressful topic for many, including myself. I was raised Methodist, growing up across the street from my church.
As for the issues – I have three children in very formative years of life. I care deeply about what they are being taught about the Bible and the importance of the Word of God. It pains me to know that there are children across America being taught by their pastors that Jesus was not resurrected, that there are many ways to salvation, there was not a virgin birth. It pains me that UMC seminary is telling future pastors that they shouldn’t evangelize persons of other faiths.
I have loved the UMC my whole life. I participated in Salkehatchie, was a member of the Hartsville District Youth Council in high school, and attended Youth Annual Conference multiple times. The messages I received there were priceless.
However, I cannot in good faith send my children to participate in these activities outside of the current safety of our church with the risk that MY denomination will teach them things that do not align with Christianity.
And we have been told “that’s not here and it isn’t going to come here”, but I am not willing to risk my children’s faith by resting on my laurels and just believing that to be true without doing my best to make sure that is the case. Many will say, “Belin would never”. And that may be so, but I want to be a part of a denomination I align with on foundational factors and can trust will teach my children the truth of 2000 years of Christian beliefs anywhere they go- currently no Bishop is holding anyone accountable who teaches these unbiblical lines of thought.
All of that to say, it is worth it to take the time to educate yourself and others on the issues plaguing our denomination.
Of note: I have noticed that some people only want to focus on the issue of accepting homosexual pastors and performing weddings- that topic IS before the UMC, but there are SO MANY foundational issues plaguing the UMC that aren’t being highlighted. Also, I just want to clarify- this has nothing to do with LGBTQ+ membership, though many posts I’ve seen would make it out to be that way. Please do not muddy the waters by spreading misinformation on that topic. Belin has always and should continue to welcome ALL members of any sexuality, nationality, race, etc, as Jesus would have us do.
Is this where the church finds God in all of this?
Added Congregant: Cindy Clevinger Mullins
I’ve been told by several people that Belin is just a building and maybe to some people it’s just a building!
But to me it’s our place of worship and fellowship . The people that tell me that it’s only a building has never truly walked this amazing campus before.
It’s history as a United Methodist Church and this is where my roots are planted
I know it’s just a building but to me it’s much more than that.
Please keep our beautiful church in your prayers.
Help us find peace and not to be afraid.