The largest mainline Protestant church in America has just announced that it will be splitting over the issue of homosexuality. While this event is widely being reported as a “split,” I believe the title of this article is more accurate: the conservatives in that denomination are retreating, and they are not fighting nearly hard enough. Of course I am not a member of the UMC, and perhaps there is much more going on behind the scenes than I realize, but it is hard to come to any other conclusion.
To put the “split,” in context, we should first remember that the liberals in the UMC were soundly defeated during their last attempt to normalize homosexuality, which occurred during the denomination’s convention in February 2019. The plan adopted by the convention at the time includes disciplinary measures for any UMC clergy who performed homosexual “marriages.” At the time this appeared to be a significant victory for the conservatives in the church
Given that it was the liberals who lost the most recent battle, one would think that the liberals would be the ones breaking away, but not so. According to reports, the liberals get to keep the UMC name while the conservatives have agreed to leave. Worst of all, every congregation will stay in the UMC unless it votes to leave. This makes it much more difficult (and unlikely) for congregations to leave, which is a huge gift to the liberals.
The details of the “split” once again show that today’s conservatives are altogether too soft, and that they are content to go on losing. Let us pray that some in the newly formed Methodist denomination can regain the fighting spirit needed to overcome our enemies.