"First United Methodist Church Indianola, Iowa" by Paul R. Burley / CC BY-SA 4.0

United Methodists float plans to split denomination after LGBTQ vote

Sep 20, 2019

By Emily McFarlan Miller

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.

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One comment on “United Methodists float plans to split denomination after LGBTQ vote”

  • John Wesley was by no means a sexual saint.  In his American days he had a scene with one of his parishioners and later denounced her from the pulpit.  He treated his wife appallingly, telling her that she was of no account and to keep herself plain during his frequent travels away.  He was often seen with religiously enthused women, and wrote them many affectionate letters.  His brother Charles said that women were “the serpents in Charles’ garden”.  (Nice piece of MCP  spin language there!). Think of Jim Casey in the Grapes of Wrath, who noticed that he could always get girls into the long grass after preaching, jus’ when the Devil didn’t ought to stand no chance.

    Were Wesley alive today he would undoubtedly be a person of interest to the Me Too movement.  There is of course no evidence that he ever consummated any of his transgressions – no concrete evidence that is.

    Anyhow, all this is irrelevant.  The Old  Testament is no longer a guide for Christians, I shudder to think what the world would be like if it were!  Anyway, Christ makes no mention of homosexuality, except in a discussion about divorce he refers to marriage as being between man and woman, and to claim that this outlaws gay sex is drawing an exceedingly long bow (Mathew 19.3).  That curmudgeonly old bugger St Paul has a few shots at it, drawing on the old testament for authority; a very questionable procedure.

    The real authority for dealing with sexual matters is contained in John 1. 8-11, the Woman Taken in Adultery: Go and sin no more.  This is often taken as being a requirement to be compassionate to sinners, which I’m sure it is, but it has always seemed to me to be more a matter of telling people to: Mind their own f***ing business.

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