Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Methodist Church will bar members from joining BNP

The annual Conference of the Methodist Church, meeting in Wolverhampton, has agreed that no member of the Church can also be a member of a political party whose constitution, aims or objectives promote racism.

This specifically includes, but is not solely limited to, the British National Party (BNP).

The resolution was brought from the floor of the Conference, known within Methodist circles as a Notice of Motion.

Revd Sylvester Deigh, who proposed the Notice of Motion, said; “We must be clear that racism is a denial of the gospel. An openness to all people, regardless of nationality, is at the heart of Methodist identity.

“This does not mean that people will be excluded from attending church – God welcomes all, saints and sinners alike. But it does mean that members of racist political parties will not be able to become full members of the Church.”

The notice of motion reminds the Church that those who support racist parties are also God’s children, and in need of love hope and redemption.

People who speak on behalf of the Methodist Church will also be barred from membership of such parties. The Church will now undertake the legal work required to put this into practice and report back to the Methodist Conference in July 2010.

Souce: Methodist News Service 09/07/09


old karl said...

I suppose this was the cause of the American revolution in the 1770's. It can happen in the UK, I suppose, but in America, the United Methodist Church can not bar any non-clergy person from joining any group they wish.
What good comes from forcing a person out of an organization? If it comes not from personal decision but from force, the person is still a member, anyway.
This is nonsense to a free society.

Olive Morgan said...

Yes, this decision is very startling, for the reasons you give and I have mixed feelings on the subject - although I abhor the BNP. I think perhaps my feelings would be much stronger if I found that my elected Councillor turned out to be BNP, which is why people brought this Notice of Motion to Conference. This is explained more fully by Methodist Preacher Methodist Preacher in his post Letters in the Recorder Letters in the Recorder.

Ralph said...

The C.of E. and Methodists have got a problem. Two of the founders of the above movements, John Wesley and Martin Luther had views about Islam which would result in prison, if expressed by a BNP member.

John Wesley said, “Ever since the religion of Islam appeared in the world, the espousers of it…have been as wolves and tigers to all other nations, rending and tearing all that fell into their merciless paws, and grinding them with their iron teeth.....” He goes on and describes Muslims as amongst other thing “destroyers of Humankind”.

As to Martin Luther, Rocoldo, a priest who studied Islmic culture around 1300, said the Koran was "irrational, repetitive and obscene". Martin Luther agreed.

I wonder whether the C.of E. and Methodist authorities are going to announce that their founding fathers were beyond the pale. Or are they going to admit that their founding fathers had some sort of a point and hence that their disapproval of the BNP's desire to prevent the UK being Islamised is just so much sanctimonious bigotry?