This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, December 8, 2022:
Two of the four conferences that make up the United Methodist Church (UMC) in texas were held last weekend; one in Lubbock and the other in Houston. When the dust had settled, more than 400 of the 1,300 churches represented in the conferences voted to leave the UMC.
A total of 145 of the 201 churches in the Northwest Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church and 294 churches of the 598 churches in the Central Texas Conference of the UMC voted to “disaffiliate” themselves from the mother UMC church.
The split between conservatives and liberals in the UMC has widened into an unbridgeable canyon in recent years. The mother church, while theoretically still adhering to the UMC Book of Discipline, has increasingly allowed member churches to thumb their noses at it, supporting same-sex marriage, abortion, and ordination of LBGT pastors.
The Book of Discipline spells out the church's doctrine, defining “marriage as the union of one man and one woman” and does not condone the practice of homosexuality, considering it “incompatible with christian teaching.”
This calls to mind the first chapter the Book of Romans, where the Apostle Paul writes:
For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened….
Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another….
Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones.
In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.
But in its continuing effort to be “relevant” to the changing and morally declining culture, the UMC has increasingly allowed violations of its Book of Discipline to be ignored and in some cases applauded.
The exit of those 439 churches is just the beginning of the flood, according to Mark Tooley, head of the Institute on Religion & and Democracy. He puts the exit numbers over recent months from the mother church at more than 1,300 nationwide, adding, “By the end of next year, at least 3,000 and possibly 5,000 churches are expected to exit [the UMC].”
Britney Griner, writing for the Texas Tribune, was spot on as to the primary cause of the flood of Methodist churches leaving the UMC:
As the sexual revolution and other progressive social movements of the 1960s continue to flourish in more liberal parts of the country, the UMC attempted to reconcile its ranks' divergent views on gay rights and other issues.
Back in September, 81 churches in the Central Texas Conference voted themselves out of the UMC, and 54 churches in the North Texas Conference are in the process of exiting the mother church as well.
Many of those churches exiting the UMC are affiliating with the new Global Methodist Church. Formed in May, its position on abortion is clear:
The sacredness of all life compels us to resist the practice of abortion except in the cases of tragic conflicts of life against life when the wellbeing of the mother and the child are at stake.
We do not accept abortion as a means of birth control, or gender selection.
In its zeal to be “relevant” to the sinful and morally declining culture by leaving behind the Bible and adopting that culture's values, the UMC continues to emasculate itself into irrelevancy and oblivion.