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Methodists plan church split

by Kent Covington
Posted 1/06/20, 10:29 am

United Methodist Church leaders from around the world have revealed plans to resolve disagreements over same-sex marriage and homosexual clergy by splitting the church and forming a new denomination. The proposal announced on Friday outlines an amicable divorce after delegates in St. Louis last year voted 438-384 to uphold Biblical marriage.

What’s the plan? A 16-member panel began working with a mediator in October and signed off on the plan last month to create a separate “traditionalist Methodist” denomination for conservative, Biblically faithful churches. The new denomination would receive $25 million and member churches would retain their assets. The next step could come at the UMC General Conference in May.

Dig deeper: Read Kiley Crossland’s report in Relations on the UMC’s debate over sexuality at the General Conference last March. For comparison, read Jamie Dean’s report in WORLD Magazine about the protracted legal battles between conservative Anglican and Episcopalian churches.

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Kent Covington

Kent is a reporter and news anchor for WORLD Radio. He spent nearly two decades in Christian and news/talk radio before joining WORLD in 2012. He resides in Atlanta, Ga. Follow him on Twitter @kentcovington.

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  • AlanE
    Posted: Mon, 01/06/2020 01:54 pm

    No rejoicing here over a denomination splitting, but--as splits go--this was done far, far better than most. Evidently, at least both sides sat down with each other and hammered out a proposal that is at least mutually agreeable. I suppose the most difficult part of this split will be where it runs down the middle of congregations. I trust and pray a winsome faithfulness to God's word will prevail in those cases. And, yet, there is still something to be wept over at the prospect of people willingly removing themselves from those who would be first to remind them of God's truth.

  • Clint Williams
    Posted: Mon, 01/06/2020 02:18 pm

    This seems like a curiously backward outcome. If the majority voted last year to uphold Biblical marriage, shouldn't the proposed split be creating a new denomination for the minority, rather than for the majority? A new "progressive methodist" denomination would seem to make more sense. It would be interesting to know what other considerations the panel is weighing to have arrived at this result.

  • JerryM
    Posted: Mon, 01/06/2020 04:08 pm

    Precisely my thought.  l also question the use of the word "traditional", which suggests reliance on more of a social movement rather than objective truth.  In this way, I think we are actually doing harm to our cause when we center our actions on being "traditionists".

  • My Two Cents
    Posted: Mon, 01/06/2020 03:45 pm

    United Methodists they aren't. As a Methodist PK growing up in the 60s and 70s, I saw every annual conference debate this even then. To my knowledge, except for the Baptists, the Methodists are the last of the mainstream Protestant denominations to bend the knee to Baal. It's sad, but inevitable. The Methodist church has become very watered down in the ensuing decades since my childhood. 

  • OldMike
    Posted: Tue, 01/07/2020 01:02 am

    There may be more hope than you think.  There are Presbyterian and Lutheran groups who still hold to Scriptural truth. Anglican/Episcopalian in some places. And others. Praise the Lord!  

  •  phillipW's picture
    Posted: Mon, 01/06/2020 07:58 pm

    Will the last two true Christians who leave the "United" Methodist church please bring the flag.

    John Wesley is rolling over in his grave.