Repent, Pray, and Stand for the UMC
No matter your position of influence in the United Methodist Church, your hope in Christ is needed now.
Quick List: This is What Repentance Looks Like
This application immediately follows God’s Clarion Call to Repent.
A salvific response to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the crisis of the church in our day demands a verbal declaration of the following principles from all of us leaders at all levels, whether privately with accountability and/or publicly with culpability, as the Spirit leads:
- I repent of foregoing hope in a battle that is not yet finished. Instead, I declare in agreement with 1 Peter 1:3-16 that my living hope in Jesus Christ translates directly to a sober mind concerning the trials at hand and a will prepared for action as an obedient child. Though I do not see Jesus now, I love Him and conduct a holy life, just as He who calls me is holy.
- I repent of focusing too much on “my side” or “my denomination” more than remembering that any person saved by His grace is in Christ and may be called to engage in this fight in the UMC. Instead, I declare in agreement with 1 Peter 2:9-10 that I am first a member of God’s holy nation before I am a Methodist. I have brothers and sisters who can pray and ally with me, whether they are involved in other denominations, non-denominations, or house churches. I align my preferences for people with God’s vast love for every man and woman He is calling into His family from every background. I am a lover of all men as Jesus is.
- I repent of fearing to suffer, and of fearing those with the capacity or inclination to cause me suffering. Instead, I declare in agreement with 1 Peter 3:13-17 that I am blessed to suffer while doing good, and that it is a grievous evil to shun suffering of this kind. For Christ also suffered for me, though he had not sinned. I have no fear of trouble because I honor Christ.
- I repent of viewing this challenge to the church as any way unique, beyond God’s sovereignty in my life, as any way more forceful, more difficult, or more disheartening than challenges my brethren have faced throughout the centuries. Instead, I declare in agreement with 1 Peter 4:12-13 that this fiery trial brought to test me causes me to rejoice to the degree to which I am genuinely participating in Christ’s sufferings for His body. I rejoice that these challenges reveal His might and glory in not only myself, but in His holy church.
- I repent of abandoning the call to shepherd others among me while simultaneously accepting and expecting the promises of Christ for myself and my family. Instead, I declare in agreement with 1 Peter 5:1-4 that those who will partake of the glory to be revealed should lead and protect others whom God has given us. I willingly lead, first by example and presence, and ultimately with putting my life down for others to live, as Jesus and Peter did.
- I repent of myopically cultivating faith in Jesus to the exclusion of virtues like steadfastness and love for people I see at risk. Such blindness leads to falling away. Instead, I declare in agreement with 2 Peter 1:3-15 that I am diligent to practice these qualities by His divine power, which has granted me all things necessary for life and godliness. I refuse to be ineffective or unfruitful at this hour when the church is needed most.
- I repent of being afraid to call out deceived and deceptive teachers within the church, within seminaries, and within UMC leadership. Instead, I declare in agreement with 2 Peter 2 that there are “accursed children” within the fellowship “secretly bringing destructive heresies,” “denying [Jesus’] authority”, “exploiting with false words,” “following their sensuality,” “blaspheming the way of truth,” “reveling in their deceptions [during holy communion],” “enticing by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely escaping [error],” promising freedom while living as slaves of corruption, having hearts “full of adultery,” “insatiable for sin,” and “trained in greed,” and willfully insulting holy disciples of Jesus in ways even angels would not dare to judge them. In gentleness and in love I refrain from unedifying “Us vs. Them” speech, but I am not afraid to call out the destructiveness of specific people enslaved to the ways of destruction, in order to preserve the body, God’s chosen instrument for the proclamation of Jesus’ salvation of the world.
- Finally, I repent of allowing myself, my congregation, and my denominational leadership to be carried away with the error of lawless people. Instead, I declare in agreement with 2 Peter 3:14-18 that I am diligent, watchful, faithful, stable, without blemish, and at peace in the knowledge of the swiftness and patience of the Lord to work out salvation. I am not moved by any force but by Him.
Reading the entirety of 2 Peter, followed by 1 Peter, at this time, may be beneficial. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.
 1 Peter 5:14b, ESV