The United Methodist Church has fractured over the role of LGBTQ people in the denomination. At a special conference in St. Louis this week, convened specifically to address divisions over LGBTQ issues, members voted to toughen prohibitions on same-sex marriage and LGBTQ clergy. This was a surprise: The denomination’s bishops, its top clergy, pushed hard for a resolution that would have allowed local congregations, conferences, and clergy to make their own choices about conducting same-sex marriages and ordaining LGBTQ pastors. This proposal, called the “One Church Plan,” was designed to keep the denomination together. Methodist delegates rejected its recommendations, instead choosing the so-called Traditional Plan, which affirmed the denomination’s teachings against homosexuality.This is a consequential vote for the future of the United Methodist Church: Many progressive churches will now almost certainly consider leaving the denomination. It’s also a reminder that many Christian denominations, including mainline groups such as the UMC, are still deeply divided over questions of sexuality and gender identity. While the UMC in the United States is roughly evenly divided between those who identify as traditionalists and those who identify as moderates and liberals, it is also a global organization. Many of the growing communities in the Philippines or countries in Africa are committed to theological teachings against same-sex relationships and marriages.read more: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/02/united-methodists-fracture-lgbt-plan-rejected/583693/
_________________SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
The Africans are not confused on this issue. They get it a lot better than the Americans."[W]e reaffirm our position as traditionalists and view marriage as union between Man and Woman as clearly defined in Scripture and affirmed in our COB 2016 statement in Lake Junaluska, and at the Africa extended cabinet (Ghana, February 2018), and at the May 2018 COB in Chicago, Illinois," the African Methodist bishops declared in their official statement. "[W]e remain faithfully committed to our consecration vows as Bishops of the church to 'maintain the unity of the church.'""God’s stance in the Bible that condemns homosexual behavior as a sin is being strongly defended by many key African Methodists as the longtime debate comes to a showdown this winter."