The United Methodist Church Special General Conference Session held February 23-26, 2019 resulted in the passage of “Traditional Plan.” This plan upheld the many decades-published position in the Methodist Book of Discipline–the authoritative church policy of the Methodist church—which states,

“While persons set apart by the Church for ordained ministry are subject to all the frailties of the human condition and the pressures of society, they are required to maintain the highest standards of holy living in the world. Since the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching, self-avowed practicing homosexuals are not to be accepted as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve in The United Methodist Church” (Paragraph 304.3).

Since the 1980s the strong LGBT faction in the church has fought to remove this language from their Book of Discipline–language which they say “causes harm” to LGBT members of that denomination. This divide has deeply fractured that church.

The 2019 Session resulted in the passage of a plan that not only continues the Book of Discipline language, but takes new steps toward correction. Now, after the session, the pro-LGBT faction is distraught and angry. One leading pastor publicly weighed the options:

  1. Leave to form a new United Methodism.

  2. Stay, resist, give the Good News/Confessing Movement/Wesleyan Covenant Association the gracious exit they’ve been looking for in hopes that they will leave, and then reform the United Methodist Church for mission and ministry for the 21st century.
On occasion OrdinatioinTruth.com comments on developments in the Methodist church because there are important parallels related to the conflict in the Seventh-day Adventist Church over women’s ordination. Like the Methodist’s struggle, our church is divided between a North American leadership determined to change denominational practice, and the vast majority of the world church. And, as in the Adventist church, the Methodist pro accommodate-the-culture faction has not successfully made its case to the broader church. The overseas sections of United Methodism continue to rapidly grow, resulting in more, not less, GC Session delegates.

And when it comes to this issue, why should conservative United Methodists abandon their church when the LGBT faction has again failed to convince? Pastor Thomas Lambrecht writes that actually,

“Traditionalists have not been eager to leave the denomination. It is a mistake to think traditionalists have ‘been looking for’ a gracious exit. For over 50 years, Good News has enthusiastically encouraged evangelicals to remain in The United Methodist Church and help reform it” (https://goodnewsmag.org/2019/04/why-traditionalists-are-not-leaving/).
And

“Traditionalists believe we have the votes to fully pass and implement the rest of the Traditional Plan at General Conference 2020. With Africa gaining votes and the U.S. losing votes, and with the full ten-day time frame available, revised versions of the provisions that failed to pass in St. Louis or are declared unconstitutional by the Judicial Council can be passed and implemented.”
More interesting is the offer by conservatives to liberals of a “gracious exit”:

“Traditionalists would be open to a mutually agreed separation that multiplies Methodism into two or three new denominations. In that case, no one would be ‘leaving’ the UM Church, but everyone would be on the equal footing of deciding on a new affiliation with a new denomination.
“A scenario of multiplying Methodism would seek to treat everyone fairly and equally. There would be no winners or losers. All annual conferences and local churches would be able to make an informed choice about which new Methodist expression they want to be part of. The consciences and convictions of all would be respected because all could belong to an expression that embodies their convictions.”
Both sides seem see the impossibility of continuing together. The tide of the world and the tide of Scripture do not mix. In the absence of a change of view and heart, separation is an option that, more than ever, can be expected to be front and center in May 2020 when the next General Conference Session of the Methodist Church meets.

Adventists are thoroughly divided over women’s ordination. While there appears to have been no substantial action on the topic at Spring Meeting this year, our own 2020 General Conference Session is now about a year away. Then, the world church will elect new leadership for each of our 13 world divisions. A wise work by the nominating committee can help the Adventist Church address the church governance issues that have arisen because of the insubordination of some leadership in the NAD and their disregard for the 2015 world church decision refusing to permit individual divisions to decide for themselves whether to ordain women.

Adventists can avoid the Methodist path by refusing to ordain women to the gospel ministry, and, at the same time, avoid the catastrophic divide over LGBT which has the Methodist denomination on the brink of schism.

5 thoughts on “Methodist Church LGBT Conflict GC Session Looms

  1. This article has me wondering, is there a process in the SDA whereby we could “recall” Dan Jackson and a few others around him?

    How about a “recall” on Ricardo Graham in the PUC? Is it possible?

    Such A process would be traumatic for most church members. In looking for a way to avoid this in the SDA church, what options do we have? 10,000 signatures on a petition hand delivered to Elder Wilson requesting something be done? And that would generate 10,000 signatures requesting that nothing be done.

    It is becoming more obvious though, we have two churches and they can’t long endure the way they are.

    Reply
    • I would sign the petition to remove/recall Dan Jackson and his cronies, that is if it would do any good to so start a petition,

      Reply
  2. This is so preposterous; and really unbelievable! Who would have ever thought that the Ministry, of the Gospel Of “JESUS CHRIST” would ever get all tangled up in Wordly, and Cultrial matters?

    But it is written: And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
    2 Corinthians 11:14,15

    …and of all people; the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, are guilty of not maintaining the “Message, and Its Mission”! They have forgotten the warnings that have been written:
    For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
    Ephesians 6:12.
    …and make no mistake about it; this Spiritual Wickeness have invaded The North American Division, and have come in Disguise, and deceiving the flock, just like Lucifer did in the Kingdom of Heaven! Men! Put in trusted positions, and have allowed Transgender men and Married Lesbian Females, to infiltrate the church. ..and become Leders in the work, and placed as an Elder in the Hollywood Seventh-Day Adventist church!

    …and the Female Pastor That was ordained to preach the Gospel of “JESUS CHRIST” Resigned her position from the church she was installed to lead; and confessed to the entire church that she could no longer preach, and maintain her position as pastor because she was living an alternative life style; because she IS “Gay”!

    If this is not the Evidence of the Holy Spirit being withdrawn from the earth, Readying for the Second Xoming of “JESUS CHRIST”! Then I don’t know what is!

    Folk we cannot serve “GOD” anyway we want to and expect to survive the Second Coming of “JESUS CHRIST”!

    “Unconditional Love” Does Not Make “SIN” Acceptable.
    But Leads The Sinner To The One That Was Sent To Save Him, “JESUS CHRIST”. …by following the Instructions Written:

    If we confess our sins, “HE” is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

    Women Ordination, and Homosexuality; IS NOT COMPATIBLE WITH THE GOSPEL OF “JESUS CHRIST”! LOVE CORRECTS!

    It’s time for all those that are preaching the Unadulterated Gospel of “JESUS CHRIST” to Stop “Compromising” and Stop Going A Long; Just To Get Along!

    Reply
  3. As long as the SDA church considers the issue of male headship vs. women’s ordination only a “church policy” there will be no moral motivation to do anything but chide people to support church policy.

    This also means they can change church policy in a New York minute and the church would support WO.

    The problem is an exercise in futility to correct until the issue becomes a moral issue that is not negotiable. This isn’t likely to happen any time soon. So the problem will never be resolved except by individual decisions.

    How can the church discipline what it can not define?

    Reply
  4. Unfortunately, there are the new interpretative methods, the ones using culture to overlay Biblical principle. Unless and until we get our educational leaders on a sure foundation and quit trying to circumvent the clear words of Scripture, we will continue to wallow in erroneous man made doctrines.

    Reply

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