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WorthyNews: United Methodist Court Upholds Ban on LGBTQ Clergy, Same Sex Marriage

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(Worthy News) - The United Methodist Church’s top court has upheld much of the Traditional Plan approved earlier this year, continuing the global denomination’s ban on the ordination and marriage of its LGBTQ members.

Approved by delegates to a special session of the United Methodist Church’s General Conference in February, the Traditional Plan strengthens language in the denomination’s Book of Discipline that bars LGBTQ clergy and forbids same-sex marriage.

That rulebook currently states that “the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching” and that “self-avowed practicing homosexuals” cannot be ordained as ministers, appointed to serve or be married in the church. [ Source: Christian Headlines (Read More...) ]

The post United Methodist Court Upholds Ban on LGBTQ Clergy, Same Sex Marriage appeared first on Worthy Christian News.

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i heard from a pastor its the "united" part that saved the day... other countries voted too but if it was only american methodist votes counted it would have been ok to have homosexual ministers, marriages, etc. 

 

any methodists out there that can verify/debunk this?  I am really interested in this because it speaks volumes to the where people are.  (not everyone)

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I'm not a Methodist but certainly glad they kept the ban.   Yes, the other countries' votes are holding back this evil.

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I have a friend who's a pastor in the UMC so I've been following this in some detail.  Local UMC churches are not monolithic.  My friend pastors in a rural area near one of the more liberal cities of his state.  His members are about split down the middle on this.  The local conference he is in is strongly progressive.  In some parts of the US, most UMC churches are fairly traditional and in other places very progressive.  If I recall correctly, about 2/3 of UMC people in the US would lean progressive and 1/3 traditional.

This is sort of a quick summary off the top of my head of what's been going on.

The demographic trend in the UMC is that growth in the US and Europe has been slower (or probably declining) compared to other parts of the world (especially Africa).  Every 4 years, the world-wide UMC holds a general council with the next in 2020.  With the demographic changes, within the next general council or so, the US and European delegates (mostly progressives) will definitely be outnumbered by traditionalists from around the world.  In the US, a number of regional conferences have basically been ignoring the UMC book of discipline (which is the definitive standard of behavior and process, etc. within the UMC) with regard to practicing homosexuals in the clergy.  At the last general conference (2016), it was decided that a special general conference would be held in 2019 to deal with the issue once and for all.  Basically, it was the last shot the progressives had before the traditionalists would definitely outnumber them.  

The current leadership (mostly progressive and US dominated) proposed and advocated an "agree to disagree" type of plan.  This took the form of a number of petitions (think of motions being proposed in a business meeting) which each addressed some part of church law/practice that would be changed or amended.  At the special conference, the petitions proposed by the bishops were voted down and the traditionalists submitted  a number of individual petitions which were narrowly passed.  The constitutionality of many of these were unclear and there was recently a meeting of the Judicial group of the UMC to rule on these.  Most of the petitions were upheld including enforcement of the book of discipline with minor changes in wording and a procedure for individual congregations to leave the UMC in the next few years over this matter.  Petitions dealing with requiring all individual pastors and bishops to annually basically agree to everything in the book of discipline to remain in the UMC were ruled unconstitutional mostly for reasons of vagueness and improper delegation of authority.  Basically, the petitions the traditionalists introduced to try to force out progressive clergy were overturned.

My best guess is that this is still far from resolved as a practical matter.  Perhaps most of the progressives (individually and as congregations) will leave and join another mainline denomination or create a new one.  However, there is the potential for regional conferences in the US to use procedural grounds for fighting this and dragging this out.  In the long run, demographics will dominate and traditionalists will eventually write and enforce UMC church law as they want, but there will probably be a contentious few years until that happens.  

 

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