United Methodists Vote to Keep Traditional Marriage Stance

"The UMC’s increasingly global delegation outweighs US push to shift LGBT positions, leading some progressive congregations to leave." - Christianity Today

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David R. Brumbelow's picture

Congratulations to the Methodists, and especially the African delegation that still believes and takes the Bible seriously.

Another article from the conservative Methodist Good News Magazine

https://goodnewsmag.org/2019/02/what-general-conference-accomplished/

One quote from the article:

“The most vitriolic atmosphere ever at an annual conference, with even leading centrists engaging in hateful rhetoric, lies, and character assassination, casting doubt on their claim to want to live together in one church body.” 

David R. Brumbelow

Bert Perry's picture

David, I don't know if congratulations or condolences are in order.  I'm leaning towards the latter, as the split appears to be pretty much inevitable--and quite frankly, if I were a conservative/evangelical Methodist, I'd encourage that split and would even give the breakaway faction a portion of the retirement money and a few of the seminaries. 

In my view, the choice is either (a) let the liberal faction go and try to retain some Biblical fidelity or (b) let them stay and trash the entire denomination.  And I'm pretty sure the liberal faction would say about the same thing, but with roles reversed.  Put differently, I think the conservative resurgence worked in the SBC because the liberals were a distinct minority in a church that was overwhelmingly conservative, both theologically and culturally.  The UMC doesn't have that advantage, as far as I can tell. 

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Dave White's picture

LGBT vote rocks Minnesota Methodists - To leave, stay, or something else? Many Methodists look to an uncertain future.

The Rev. Judy Zabel is among Methodist clergy wrestling with an agonizing question: Should her Minneapolis church remain part of a denomination that recently reaffirmed its ban on same-sex marriages and ordinations of LGBT clergy?

It’s a question haunting many of her colleagues across the state and nation, as they regroup following the United Methodist Church conference in February that exposed sharp rifts in the second largest Protestant denomination in America, and in Minnesota.

“It was heartbreaking,” said Zabel, senior pastor at Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church, which long has embraced the LGBT community. “We are not going to change our stance. Churches like ours are asking, ‘Can we live within a denomination whose core values are so different from ours?’ ”

The United Methodist Church is facing its most significant crisis in decades, not unlike divisions over homosexuality that have ruptured other Protestant denominations. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, for example, voted to allow churches to perform same-sex marriages and to ordain gay clergy in 2009. The Presbyterian Church later did the same. The decisions led to departures by traditional churches.

Many Methodist leaders expected they, too, would soon open their doors more widely to the LGBT community. A UMC General Conference on sexuality in St. Louis in late February offered two main plans.

Minnesota’s delegation and the majority of U.S. delegates voted in favor of a “One Church” plan that would have allowed individual pastors and regional bodies to make decisions on LGBT marriages and ordinations. It would be an option, not a requirement. ...

Minnesota is home to 360 Methodist churches and 60,000 members. They are among 7 million U.S. members, most in the south and southeast, plus 5 million in Africa.

That membership breakdown points to a source of tension on issues such as LGBT participation.

Because the UMC is governed as a “global church,” its policies are the same for a one-room church in Namibia as for a historic cathedral near Minneapolis’ Loring Park. While pastors have discretion on some issues, on questions like same-sex marriage and ordination, they do not.

Ron Bean's picture

I have a friend who is in the UMC. Her theologically conservative pastor applauded the decision both in church and by a letter to his members. Meanwhile the UMC Bishop sent a letter to members lamenting the decision, saying that the majority of UMC members supported gay marriage and clergy and implied that the African delegation had been bribed.

It is interesting to note that churches not agreeing with the decision are being allowed to gracefully leave the denomination and keep their pensions and buildings. This is a courtesy that other liberal denominations did not allow fundamentalists when they left their denominations.New England till has old empty or re-purposed church buildings that the denominations wouldn't give up.

I think we should encourage the conservative element in any way we can. Remember they know nothing of the doctrine of separation. We should also remember that the Baptist exit from the liberal NBC took decades.

 

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan