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Methodists vote to uphold Biblical sexuality


United Methodist Church leaders at the General Conference in St. Louis, Mo., on Tuesday Associated Press/Photo by Sid Hastings

Methodists vote to uphold Biblical sexuality

The United Methodist Church on Tuesday voted at its international conference in St. Louis, Mo., to apply its standards on Biblical marriage and sexuality more consistently throughout the denomination. The proposal, called the “Traditional Plan,” calls for better enforcement of existing church rules barring Methodist ministers from officiating same-sex weddings or being openly homosexual. In a separate motion the same day, the General Conference rejected a proposal that would have removed language from the United Methodist Book of Discipline saying that same-sex marriage is incompatible with Christianity and left decisions about marriage and ordination up to regional and local churches. The so-called “One Church Plan” had been a bid to avoid a denominational split.

Forty-three percent of the delegates attending the General Conference were from outside the United States, mostly from Africa, and they overwhelmingly upheld a traditional stance on marriage and sexuality. “We Africans are not children in need of Western enlightenment when it comes to the church’s sexual ethics,” the Rev. Jerry Kulah, dean at a Methodist theology school in Liberia, said in a speech over the weekend. “We stand with the global church, not a culturally liberal church elite in the U.S.”

The United Methodist Church, which has more than 12 million members worldwide and nearly 7 million in the United States, making it the second-largest denomination in the country, likely faces a fracture after the decision and will take up the question of how to handle liberal congregations that choose to leave at a later date.


Rachel Lynn Aldrich Rachel is an assistant editor for WORLD Digital. She is a Patrick Henry College and World Journalism Institute graduate. Rachel resides with her husband in Wheaton, Ill.

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Austinbeartux

I'm glad the UMC made this decision, but the sad part for me is to think about the minority's a) low view of Scripture, and b) how confused the minority is regarding their identity in their sexuality vs in Christ.

A) The minority has such a low view (esteem and respect) of Scripture that they're carving out what the Bible clearly says about homosexuality and sexual immorality and ignoring it.  Because they know better (supposedly.)

B) If their identity was in Christ, they would realize that they need to conform to scripture, and instead they're wanting to carve out Scripture so their identity can remain in their sexuality.  I genuinely believe the minority are Christians, but they have bad theology and their hearts and minds are in the wrong place.

Last point: The majority aren't simply rejecting sinners.  They're rejecting non-confessing, unrepentant sinners with bad theology.  Big difference.