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DR. RICHARD WILLIAMSON, pastor of the historic Seaford United Methodist Church, Seaford, Long Island, NY will address the theme: "AN EVANGELICAL PASTOR IN A LIBERAL DENOMINATION." The United Methodist Church denomination has its roots in the First Great Awakening of the 18th century, flowing from both Arminian and Calvinist theological streams, the first championed by Evangelical hero John Wesley, and the second by another Evangelical hero named George Whitfield, both Anglican ministers. Today the United Methodist Church is the largest Methodist denomination in the world, and is a tragic example of how a denomination can stray so very far away from its Bible-honoring, Evangelical roots and enter into apostasy.
There was a time when the term "Methodist" was synonymous with a zealous, passionate Evangelical, reminiscent of the fiery circuit preachers of the Second and Third Great Awakening that many of us have heard or read about who traveled thousands of miles on horseback across the American frontier, tirelessly spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ from church to church, and at camp meetings. Today, sadly, the image of "revival preachers" would not likely be the first picture formed in the minds of those hearing the term "Methodist". Today most would immediately think of a liberal seminary professor or cleric who defends such abominations as abortion and homosexuality, and who may even deny such vital pillars of the Christian Faith as the Inerrancy of Scripture, the Deity of Christ, the Trinity, the Virgin Birth of Christ, the Bodily Resurrection of Christ or perhaps even the existence of God Himself.
Our guest today, Dr. Richard Williamson, is one of a minority in the United Methodist Church who stands firm as a defender and proclaimer of Evangelical fundamentals, and his congregation reflects those convictions. They profess to be a "Bible Based: Christ Centered: Spirit Sustained Congregation in the Wesleyan tradition". During this broadcast we will discuss the unique challenges faced by Evangelicals remaining in liberal denominations, specifically the UMC, and will address the question of whether or not they should remain there if they desire to be obedient to the Scriptures.
Thankfully, such Methodist denominations as the Free Methodist Church , the Wesleyan Church , the Church of the Nazarene , and the Evangelical Methodist Church remain reasonably faithful to the legacy of John Wesley and the Methodists of the 18th and 19th centuries.