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United Methodist panel approves Traditional Plan

Asbury United Methodist Church in Prairie Village, Kan., displays the gay pride rainbow flag along with the U.S. flag to show its opposition to the denomination’s Traditional Plan. Associated Press/Photo by Charlie Riedel

United Methodist panel approves Traditional Plan

The United Methodist Church’s Judicial Council on Friday upheld most of the denomination’s plan to continue to affirm Biblical marriage and sexuality. In February, delegates at a special UMC conference in St. Louis voted to adopt what’s known as the “Traditional Plan,” which calls for better enforcement of church rules forbidding Methodist ministers from officiating same-sex weddings or being openly homosexual.

The nine-member council, which met for four days this week in Evanston, Ill., reviewed the constitutionality of various aspects of the plan under church law and found all but a few rules of enforcement in compliance. The ruling paves the way for the plan to go in effect in the United States on Jan. 1, 2020, and in Africa, Europe, and the Philippines in May 2020. The council also approved legislation to provide a way for liberal churches to leave the denomination with their property.

“Grateful for United Methodist Judicial Council’s affirming constitutionality of most of Traditional Plan approved in February, plus affirming exits for dissenting liberal churches,” tweeted Mark Tooley, a member of the UMC and the head of the Institute on Religion and Democracy. “Globalizing United Methodism has orthodox, bright future that includes renewal for church in USA.”

Opponents of the Traditional Plan must now decide whether to leave the denomination or continue to fight Biblical orthodoxy within the church. “We call upon the Church to repent of the sin of homophobia,” the liberal Reconciling Ministries Network said in a statement. “Now is the time to rise and resist.”

Mickey McLean

Mickey is executive editor of WORLD Digital, oversees audience engagement, and is a member of WORLD’s Editorial Council. He resides in Greensboro, N.C.


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