2016 UMC General Conference

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United Methodist

May 25, 2016

Abortion Changes Signal New Direction for United Methodists

Institute on Religion and Democracy Press Release
May 25, 2016
Contact: Jeff Walton office: 202-682-4131, cell: 202-413-5639, e-mail: jwalton@TheIRD.org

“Evangelical and orthodox United Methodists are not merely holding the line, but steering their global denomination in a more conservative direction.”
-IRD President Mark Tooley

Washington, DC—The second-largest Protestant denomination in the United States has taken firm steps towards steering the 12.1 million-member global denomination away from the path that its mainline Protestant peers have taken in recent years.

Delegates to the United Methodist Church’s May 10-20 General Conference repealed 40-year-old language affirming the Roe v. Wade court decision that struck down state laws restricting abortion, mandated that church agencies disaffiliate from an interfaith coalition that opposes all abortion restrictions, and (for the second conference in a row) did not consider changes to the church’s prohibitions on same-sex marriage and non-celibate gay clergy.

Efforts by liberal activists to divest church finances from companies that do business with Israel were defeated, as delegates instead encouraged the church’s missions agency to withdraw from the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, a group that criticizes the Jewish state as the only barrier to peace in the Middle East. Delegates also defeated proposals to divest from fossil fuels.

IRD President Mark Tooley commented:

“Evangelical and orthodox United Methodists are not merely holding the line, but steering their global denomination in a more conservative direction. At the denomination’s General Conference, liberal forces gave up even trying to remove the church’s prohibitions on same-sex unions or ordination standards.

“A growing Methodist majority made up of U.S. evangelicals and Africans is placing the denomination on a strikingly different trajectory than its mainline Protestant peers.

“Previous liberal-led ‘heavy-hitters’ such as the United Methodist Women’s Division have seen their influence reduced as the church’s membership shifts overseas.

“Legislative proposals that would have advanced sexual liberalism were effectively tabled and orthodox Methodists facilitated a major turnaround on life issues, among other achievements.”

www.TheIRD.org


4 Responses to Abortion Changes Signal New Direction for United Methodists

  1. Wesbury says:

    Did GC16 add to local Church Councils’ responsibility the specific upholding of UM doctrinal standards? I saw that on another site & wanted to confirm with someone. Thank you

  2. MarcoPolo says:

    “…orthodox Methodists facilitated a major turnaround on life issues…”

    Yep, the Methodists have elected to go back to the “Old Daze”.
    A time before their prized American Exceptionalism was the rant of choice, and a time when ‘Choice’ was punished by the Church.

    Incredible regression in cultural autonomy for women, girls, and LGBT people. But if that’s what the current Methodist power structure wants… Good Luck moving through the current century without fading into obscurity.

  3. Nat Alee says:

    The United Methodist Church is headed for a split. I predict the “progressive” group will split and largely disappear in the next decade or two, much like the UCC and Disciples of Christ.

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