METHODIST CHURCH has agreed to split

Josiah

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The United Methodist Church - the second largest Protestant denomination in the USA with some 13 million members - has agreed to split. No date or denomination names have been determined. The divorce is peaceful and cooperative.

It appears each UMC church will be able to choose which new Methodist denomination it desires to affiliate with.

The divide has been growing for decades as the denomination has become more and more liberal... including on issues of same-gender marriage, homosexual clergy, abortion and many other issues, nearly all social/moral issues rather than theological/doctrinal ones. Membership has been in steep decline over these issues.

The United Methodist Church has had major splits before (for example over slavery) but in the past has always eventually re-merged.
 

psalms 91

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About time, this should have been done years ago
 

tango

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There is a certain irony in a church that calls itself "United" splitting because of, well, disunity.
 

psalms 91

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There is a certain irony in a church that calls itself "United" splitting because of, well, disunity.
The issue is important at least to those of us thathold to the bible and what it says about same sex marriage and ordination. I hold to the traditional view and most of the ones I know do also. If my church would go any other way then I would no longer be a member as I couldnt support a doctrine that I find to be against Gods word.
 

tango

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The issue is important at least to those of us thathold to the bible and what it says about same sex marriage and ordination. I hold to the traditional view and most of the ones I know do also. If my church would go any other way then I would no longer be a member as I couldnt support a doctrine that I find to be against Gods word.
An issue big enough to cause a split is clearly important. My point was the irony in the "united" church splitting at all. It would be even more ironic if the end result is two churches who are disunited yet call themselves united.
 

Josiah

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An issue big enough to cause a split is clearly important. My point was the irony in the "united" church splitting at all. It would be even more ironic if the end result is two churches who are disunited yet call themselves united.

As I understand it, the new names of the resulting two denominations have not been chosen. I doubt either with be "The United Methodist Church" (the current name of the current denomination which is dividing) or that "united" will appear in their moniker. Nor will "American" or "USA" since the current UMC is very international and so will be the two new ones. There is already a "Wesleyian" church so that too will likely not appear in either moniker. The more traditional Methodists often think of themselves as "evangelical" so perhaps that vague, catch-all word might appear in the name of that denomination; perhaps. We'll see.
 

hjhsjnsshdjdh

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I was raised in the Methodist church, 16 years there and not once did they share the Gospel. To me, looking back, it was no more than a social club for those living in close proximity to each other. They taught Scripture as if it was a moral obligation on how to live life, kind of like life lessons to live by, but they NEVER gave the Gospel so that people could be saved and have the HOLY SPIRIT in them to live a Godly life. And so much of the Scriptures they never even touched upon, for if they had they would have known that they were not a Scripturally run church, as the LORD gave instructions in Titus and Timothy. HE is not the AUTHOR of confusion and there should be no confusion on how HIS body of believers should conduct themselves in fellowship. The vast majority of so-called churches today haven't a clue on how badly they are NOT representing GOD and HIS WORD.
 

hedrick

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I’ve been following the news pretty closely, and I’ve read the actual protocol. A couple of comments:

* The church hasn’t agreed. A small but somewhat representative team came up with this plan. A lot of people are supporting it. But there are skeptics. No decision will be made until the General Conference in May.

* Calling it a split is a great oversimplification. To understand it, you have to know that the Methodist Church is an international body. All areas of the world have the ability to adapt the Discipline for local conditions except the US.The proposal is to give the US that ability, too. Once that happens, the US will vote to allow ordination of gays, but probably as “local option,” i.e. with protections so gay pastors and marriage aren’t forced on congregations that don’t want it. The protocol has provisions to allow annual conferences and individual congregations to leave, in both directions. No doubt some will find it intolerable to share a denomination with churches that accept gays, and will leave. But it’s far from clear how many will. Lots of church have mixed views, particularly youth that accept gays. They may prefer to stay in a church that allows both options. But certainly some annual conferences and individual churches will leave.

* The existing UMC will continue, and will allow ordination of gays. Those who leave will form a new church. Pensions will continue, and the group that administers them will be used by both churches. The Wesley Covenant Association has been planning a new, conservative denomination for a couple of years, even after it “won” at the last General Conference. They have the draft of a new Discipline already. I don’t know whether a name has been chosen.

It’s my reading that the WCA doesn’t want the current UMC organization. There are too many churches that are the edge of closing, and too many national organizations that have to be funded. The main proposal that originated from them also had the liberal half inherit the existing UMC.

In my opinion the main thing that could stop it is the African churches. Their leaders have said repeatedly that they don’t want a split. They are growing, and within a few years will control the UMC.

I think the WCA and the most conservative churches are going to leave no matter what happens in May. The African churches will pretty much have to follow them. Staying yoked with a liberal US church when their friends are in a separate church seems unattractive. The proposal allocates $25M to help the WCA start its new denomination, and $37M for various groups, but mostly Africa. If the WCA is going to leave anyway, this gives them an incentive to do it this way.

The proposal requires a constitutional change. That takes a supermajority. So if there's substantial resistance, the Church could be stuck. Particularly since the protocol calls for the new US regional body and the new WCA-led denomination to start functioning during the last half of the May meeting, before the constitutional changes are approved. Personally I think the plan might end up being implemented even if the constitutional amendments fail, because there won't be any choice.
 
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