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Thread: Methodist in talks of splitting into 4 denominations

  1. #1
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    Methodist in talks of splitting into 4 denominations

    United Methodists float plans to split denomination after LGBTQ vote
    September 20, 2019 by Religion News Service Leave a Comment

    (RNS) — The United Methodist Church's deadline for petitions for its next global meeting passed Wednesday (Sept. 18), setting the terms for a final reckoning with LGBTQ issues that have divided the denomination for more than 40 years.

    The UMC's General Conference 2020, to be held in May in Minneapolis, will consider the structure of what church leaders hope can be an amicable, and orderly, breakup of a worldwide church that is the second largest Protestant denomination in the United States. The various plans come in response to a vote earlier this year by the church's decision-making body to strengthen language barring LGBTQ United Methodists from ordination and marriage.

    That decision came in February at a special session of the General Conference that approved the conservative Traditional Plan, which centrists and progressives in the church have rejected and adamantly resisted. The resulting chaos has led some churches to withhold money from the denomination or to call for schism.

    Observers at the United Methodist General Conference hung rainbow banners. (Photo by Chris Williams for the Presbyterian Outlook)
    Bishops in areas that are growing within the denomination and widely seen as conservative, such as the Philippines and African countries, have urged unity in recent statements, even as moderates, most of whom are based in the United States, are optimistic about the prospect of formal separation.

    "It's not a divorce. It's giving life to expressions of the church that are now in conflict," United Theological Seminary President Kent Millard told Religion News Service last month.

    The denomination won't release the full text of petitions that will be considered at the 2020 meeting until all have been translated into the four official languages of the meeting.

    But all of the most likely proposals provide for dissenting congregations to exit the denomination, while in most cases retaining ties to United Methodist support organizations such as publishing houses.

    The Indianapolis Plan

    The Indianapolis Plan would split the United Methodist Church into at least two denominations with differing theological understandings of LGBTQ ordination and marriage.

    One of the two new groups would uphold the language passed at the special session earlier this year. The other would remove language from the Book of Discipline, the UMC's consensus ruling document, that refers to the "practice of homosexuality" as "incompatible with Christian teaching."

    A possible third denomination would immediately celebrate the full inclusion of its LGBTQ members by marrying them and allowing them to be ordained.

    All of the new denominations would be allowed to retain "United Methodist" in their names.

    Read the rest of it here;

    United Methodists float plans to split denomination after LGBTQ vote - The Presbyterian Outlook

  2. #2
    They might as well just disband.

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  7. #5
    Might just as well. It'll be interesting how it looks in rural communities. Many of their "pastors" arent born-again. The female leader of the UMC near here had a fundamental disagreement with Hell being a real place. As we had lunch the Presbyterian doctor just looked at her and attempted to reason with her to study the bible. I sat there inwardly bothered. She pastors two local churches and her husband pastors 3. All rural smalltown small and dying congregations. I have spoken with her husband in a casual setting and I can tell you he does not have basic understanding of scripture. The UMC is dying. They are desperate to find someone to officiate services.

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  9. #6
    While mainline American denominations are slowly losing their members, there is a great revival raging in African UMC churches, which have been growing in leaps and bounds for decades. Since delegate assignments at our General Conference are based on church membership, the more evangelical Africans have turned the tide of global Methodism in a Wesleyan direction. This shift explains why the liberal American delegates have been decisively defeated in recent GC votes on gay marriage and ordination. But the real issue is not LGBTQ, but the authority of Scripture in global United Methodism.

    I retired from my UMC pastorate in a small city on July 1, 2015. Our church had some charismatics and we often cooperated in spiritual retreats and joint worship with the nearby AOG church. I'm worried about the fate of my former church in the inevitable upcoming schism because our regional conference is one of the most liberal. It seems likely that each church will be asked to vote on whether to stay UMC or join one of the inevitable more liberal factions. This festering division brings 2 thoughts to mind about how inept evangelicals are in waging practical spiritual warfare:

    (1) Many evangelicals have left the UMC to the liberals and put the spiritual security of those who remain in jeopardy from the influence of liberal pastors. This is a time to remain, so that the conservatives will win the upcoming vote in individual UMC churches on whether to stay or leave the denomination. Remaining means that those churches will retain conservative pastors instead of the liberals who may take over after the vote.
    (2) Evangelicals should flock to liberal UMC churches now to become members. That way, they can ensure that each church will vote to remain and each church will thereafter receive pastors from conservative evangelical Methodist seminaries like Asbury instead of from smaller liberal UMC seminaries. The newly evangelical UMC will be a spiritual force to be reckoned with, if only disgruntled departed Methodists and other evangelicals see to it that these wonderful church buildings become centers where the old-fashioned Gospel is once again preached with power.

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