Memorial 54

CONSTITUTION: DOCTRINE OF SIN

Whereas, The Articles of Religion in The Discipline proclaim the wonderful benefits of the atonement that bring hope, forgiveness, healing, and holiness for those who place their faith in Christ as their Savior;

Whereas, The remedy for sin is clearly stated in the Articles of Religion but the problem that requires the remedy is not; and

Whereas, Christian traditions other than Wesleyan-Arminian are often providing less than adequate theological perspectives for our people;

Resolved, That a new Article of Religion be adopted by the North American General Conference and recommended to the Philippine and Caribbean General Conferences for their consideration and changing the Essentials if approved by a two-thirds aggregate vote of all General Conferences (cf. 6765:1, 6745:8). The new Article shall be Article 9 with the following Articles renumbered, and shall read:

9. Sin: Original, Willful, and Involuntary

225. We believe that through the disobedience of Adam and Eve sin entered the world and all creation suffered its consequences. The effects of sin include disruption of the relationship between God and humanity, deterioration of the natural order of creation, and exploitation of persons by evil or misguided social systems. The whole of creation groans for redemption. Each person is born with a proclivity toward sin, manifested in an inordinate orientation toward self and independence from God, leading to deliberate acts of unrighteousness. The residual effects of Adam and Eve's disobedience include a marred human nature from which arise involuntary shortcomings, faults, infirmities, and imperfect judgments, which should not be accounted the same as willful sin. However, as manifestations of the fallen nature of humanity, these shortcomings of God's holiness still necessitate the merits of the atonement, the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, and the self-control of the believer. Willful sin results when a morally accountable person chooses to violate a known law of God, using freedom of choice to please self rather than obey God. The consequences of willful sin include a loss of fellowship with God, a self-absorption with one's own interests rather than love and concern for others, a bondage to things which distort the divine image, a persistent inability to live righteously, and ultimately everlasting misery and separation from God. The atoning work of Christ is the only remedy for sin, whether original, willful or involuntary.

Gen. 3; 6:5; Ps. 1; 32:1-5; 51; Is. 6:5; Jer. 17:9-10; Matt. 16:24-27; 22:36-40; Mk. 7:20-23; John 16:8-9; Rom. 1:18-25; 3:23; 5:12-14; 6:15-23; 7:1-8:9; 8:18-24; 14:23; I Cor. 3:1-4; Gal. 5:16-25; Eph. 2:1-22; Col. 1:21-22; 3:5-11; I Jn. 1:7-2:4; 3:7-10.

COMMITTEE ON MEMORIALS

Wayne A. MacBeth, Secretary

Committee on Memorials

Recommended

General Conference

____ Adopted ____Not Adopted

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