Use of Term "Native" (80113-GM-R9999)
Whereas, the United Methodist Church recognizes scripture as having authority; and
Whereas, Genesis 6 records how God found mankind “corrupt” and “filled with violence” and God pronounced that He would “destroy” “all flesh;” and
Genesis 6:11The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. 12And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. 13And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
Whereas, God caused, “every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man... and they were destroyed from the earth.”: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the Ark.; and
Genesis 7:17And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth. 18And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters. 19And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered. 20Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered. 21And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man: 22All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died. 23And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark. 24And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days.
Whereas, the earth was repopulated by the 8 living souls that had been borne aloft by the Ark; and
Whereas, the Ark did not come to rest in the Western Hemisphere, England (Britannia) or Australia; and
Whereas, the “Ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat (Genesis 8:4).; and
Whereas, the sons of Noah and their wives commenced the repopulation of the world, by means of dispersal, exploration and wandering; and
Whereas, the 2000 General Conference adopted Resolution Number 131 “Native American Religious Freedom Act”; and
Whereas, Petition number 40066 (Respecting the Native American Legacy and Tradition [40066-CS-R9999]) found in the 2004 General Conference uses the descriptor “Native” in referring to American Indians,
Therefore, be it resolved, that the General Board of Global Ministries and the General Board of Church and Society recognize and acknowledge that the use of the term “Native” as it relates to England, North and South America and Australia is not supported by Scripture; and
Be it further resolved, that the Flood as recorded in Genesis with reference to the depth, duration and eradication of all humanity except for eight people, thereafter created “visitors” in various parts of the world; and
Be it further resolved, that the term “Native” cannot connote a sense of “original occupant” for places like England, Australia and North and South America while remaining consistent with Scripture; and
Be it further resolved, that the use of the term “American Indian Religious Freedom Act” does not conflict with Scripture; and
Be it further resolved, the use of the word “Native” in the UMC Discipline and Book of Resolutions should only be used when it is consistent with Scripture, including the record of Noah and the Great Flood, found in the Book of Genesis; and
Be it further resolved, that the UMC General Board of Global Ministries and the General Board of Church and Society should conduct a review of all language in its Discipline and Resolutions to remove the word “Native” whenever it is incompatible with Scripture or is suggestive that Scripture is in error or not authoritative; and
Be it further resolved, that the review and removal of such an inaccurate word – Native - be completed before the General Conference of 2012; and
Be it further resolved, that the General Board of Church and Society reaffirm its commitment, expressed through the 1992 General Conference, to strengthen the American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978 and preserve the God-given and constitutional rights of religious freedom for American Indians.