Thus, when we ask candidates for ordination, “Have you studied our doctrines? Will you preach and maintain them?” These are the beliefs we are referring to. It is General Conference that has the authority to establish our doctrine. In fact, for most of our history our book was called not the BOD, but “The Doctrines and Discipline of the Methodist Church”. It is a chargeable offense for clergy to disseminate teachings that are contrary to our doctrinal standards.
I hope that we will talk about doctrinal matters more and get a better understanding of what we believe. Many of the conversations about our church have doctrinal implications and the General Conference is engaged in those conversations in many different legislative committees.