THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNION AMERICAN METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH INC.
We, the members of the Union American Methodist Episcopal Church, in representation assembled, in order to form a more systematic and Christian serviceable Union, preserve our religious heritages, protect and keep inviolate certain Christian doctrines, to establish justice in ecclesiastical administrative government, insure religious harmony and tranquility, provide for the common and sufficient defense of all our members, promote and propagate the general religious and Christian welfare, invoke and secure the blessings of Almighty God upon and to ourselves, our posterity, and to all mankind, do set up, establish and ordain this Constitution of the Union American Methodist Episcopal Church.
We are convinced and therefore have concluded that there is no better way adopted to accomplish our wants for a peaceful and orderly ecclesiastical government, achieve our desire for the development and extension of the Christian Church, and realize our hope for the salvation of our souls, than to form ourselves into a Christian organization, agreeing among ourselves, one for all and all for one, to be governed by certain accepted and adopted forms and laws, including moral conduct, charitable response, and Christian brotherly kindness.
Thus as an example in laboring to promote the general welfare of all mankind, advance and hasten the coming of the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, we have chosen the Lord Jesus Christ Himself as the Supreme Head of the organization we now propose to establish and foster. We, therefore, publish the following constitution and general laws for the government of the Union American Methodist Episcopal Church.
We share in holding that the Bible is the primary source and norm for Christian belief. In all matters of faith and moral, the authority of the Holy Scriptures stands supreme. And the is to be understood, not with the mentality ot a ferocious literalism, but with and eye to seeing it as God’s living Word. When we affirm that Scripture is the primary basis for belief, we mean to emphasize also what is at the heart of the biblical revelation; namely, the purpose of God coming to fulfillment in Jesus Christ. This is at the head of the hierarchy of biblical affirmations. And this mystery is illuminated, not by tradition as a dead past, but by tradition as a developing understanding of Jesus Christ as Lord. And the mystery of God’s love in Christ is illuminated and brought home to each of us personally in Christian experience which is made available throught he community of faith.
We share also in the continuing emphasis on personal salvation. Religion that is not experiencing is not vital religion. The essence of Christianity is the experienced person to person relationship with God through Jesus Christ and the Community of Faith. From that profound inner reality flows, the fruits of faith.Its vocabulary consist of historic words: repentance, faith, justification. (Christian growth in grace and any contemporary words which reach for the same experiential meaning.) We share in the belief about practical Christianity that we cannot make progress in it without Christian habits and disciplines. The unorganized life is ineffective. The undiscplined life is no more worth living than is the unexamined life.
We share with other Christian bodies the basic affirmation of the biblical revelation. We believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Redeemer. We believe in the Holy Spirit as the person, power and presence of God ever working in men to lift them to higher dimensions of living. We believe that man is created in the image of God, he must choose whom he will serve and how he will live. We believe in justification by faith. We believe in sanctification, not as a fixed state, but as a dynamic movement by the power of the Spirit toward the realization of God’s aim in men.
We believe in the as the body of Christ, the community of faith, wherein the Christian life is called into being nurtured, and shared. We believe in responsible living in the world to the end that society may be transformed for the Glory of God and the benefit of men. We believe in life everlasting as an adventure with God, which begins here and now, and which continues as a creative adventure with God, with those who participate with Him the kingdom of heaven and beyond death. In our own way we strive for a fully balanced understanding of these great Christian affirmations.
We believe in God, by faith based on the written and spoken Word of God. We believe that God is the ultimate Spirit; the Alpha and Omega; the Ultimate Sovereign. We are not puppets on the stage of life. So we hold that God Himself, by His sovereign command, created us free beings with the power of saying yes or no. And that He is Ultimate Love. His power is an unfailing expression of His love. This is the meaning of the revelation of God in Jesus Christ.
God has spoken to mankind through the Lord Jesus Christ to reveal His character and His plan to the world. And we believe that by the power of the Holy Spirit, God’s desires and the plan for the world can be known; thereby, we have hope.
We believe in the forgiveness of sins. The doctrine of the forgiveness of our sins is one of the most triumphant notes in the scale of the Christian religion. The Bible sings when it assures us of God’s forgiving grace. The Old Testament proclaims it (Isa. 1:18, Ps. 103:2) But the sweetest strains of this note are not heard until Pauls sings it in the New Testament:
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom.8:1)
(The UAME Constitution taken from the 1998 Book of Discpline pages 11, 12 & 13)