At the start of the new year, the embattled United Methodist Church came to an agreement about dividing the denomination in order to please its LGBTQ contingent, which is demanding full access to all leadership positions within the religious institution as well as sanctioned same-sex “marriages.”
Signed by 16 different church leaders on both sides of the issue, the agreement allows for same-sex “marriage” ceremonies to be held, and openly LGBTQ clergy to work, at all United Methodist locations. More conservative congregations that object to these two allowances would be free to leave the denomination and take their property with them, according to the agreement.
United Methodists have been at odds with each other for many years over the LGBTQ issue, as “loud and proud” members and clergy want to openly celebrate lifestyles and behaviors that the Bible prohibits, while more traditional Methodists say no way. But this ideological and theological impasse could finally have a resolution in the form of an official split.
If the agreement is officially accepted, United Methodist churches that prefer to stick with the Word of God rather than capitulate to the shifting sands of our spiraling society would be given $25 million to start their own denomination, and associated clergy would be allowed to keep their United Methodist pensions. The LGBTQs, on the other hand, would assume full ownership of the original United Methodist denomination.
In order to take effect, the agreement will have to be approved at the denomination’s next general conference, which takes place in May. Because advocates on all sides of the issue have been actively involved in the negotiation process, Ken Carter, president of the United Methodist Church’s council of bishops, is reportedly optimistic that it will pass.
Last year, the United Methodist Church actually convened a special general conference specifically to address the LGBTQ question – and soon to be the LGBTQP question, as pedophilia joins the “rainbow” – but it ended without a clear resolution. The denomination’s members ultimately voted against allowing same-sex marriage, but this hasn’t stopped the more “progressive” United Methodist congregations from continuing to conduct them anyway, as well as hire LGBTQ clergy to their ranks.
Because there hasn’t been an agreed-upon solution to this irreparable “wheat” and “tares” division within the United Methodist denomination, some of its more Bible-based members have suggested dissolving the denomination entirely. This new agreement hopes to accomplish that in a more amicable way, though the more conservative wing of the denomination will have to pay the bigger price.
“There are simply some convictions and matters of conscience that do not allow people to be in unity with each other,” Carter is quoted as saying during a recent interview, emphasizing that while he doesn’t want the denomination to split, there appears to be no other option.
Nobody likes the idea of division, but as we’re seeing in our nation politically, division exists whether we like it or not. Heck, even Jesus Christ himself stated, as per the gospels, that he didn’t come to bring peace on earth, but rather a sword – a sword analogizing the cutting, or dividing, that his gospel message would accomplish.
It’s unfortunate that a large enough contingent of pro-LGBTQ Methodists has driven the denomination to this point, but it’s not surprising. The fact that a United Methodist location in Durham, North Carolina, recently held a “Drag Me to Church” drag queen performance in its sanctuary suggests that Jesus and his teachings have long been abandoned and replaced with the gospel of LGBTQ within the rotting core of the United Methodist establishment.
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