Traditional Plan

Good News from United Methodist General Conference

on February 24, 2019

In a key United Methodist General Conference vote setting voting priorities for the next three days, delegates preferred the Traditional Plan backed by global evangelicals over the liberalizing One Church Plan backed by most bishops.

The Traditional Plan, which got nearly 56%, reaffirms current United Methodist teaching on marriage as male and female. One Church Plan, which got nearly 49%, would overturn that teaching and compel local congregations to choose their own definition of marriage.

In one swoop, delegates were asked to vote their preference on dozens of legislative proposals and could vote yes to each one. The vote sets the order by which proposals are considered.

This vote ensures the Traditional Plan will be considered before the One Church Plan and reveals most delegates are not siding with the considerable forces of liberal institutional United Methodism in the USA. Nearly 43% of delegates are from overseas, mostly Africa, and they overwhelmingly supported the Traditional Plan.

Two proposals backed by global evangelicals allowing local congregations to leave the denomination if they dissent from the official teaching on sex also got more votes than the One Church Plan. Potentially liberal congregations could quit United Methodism and take their property under these plans.

The plan receiving most priority votes uncontroversially protects clergy retirement benefits under whatever proposal prevails.

In other good news, Joseph Harris, a senior evangelical clergy leader from Oklahoma, was elected to chair the General Conference during its initial legislative committee session. Legislation must pass in this committee session before the General Conference considers it in final plenary before Tuesday adjournment.

  1. Comment by John and Suzanne on February 24, 2019 at 6:14 pm

    Thank you Jesus for Africa! They need to send Missionaries to our Liberal obsessed country.

  2. Comment by April User on February 24, 2019 at 7:20 pm

    Wow. Missed much of this due to the time difference in Pacific Time and our own worship service. Good news, indeed!

  3. Comment by Stephen C. Weber on February 24, 2019 at 7:28 pm

    I was raised Methodist, with many family members still in that denomination. This will be good if this passed (traditional plan) and the liberal faction parts ways and either joins another group or starts their own. However if they stay in they will continue to whittle away and continue to cause division.

  4. Comment by Paul W. on February 24, 2019 at 7:44 pm

    Watching the proceedings on-line, it seemed a little strange that right after the prioritization votes the Bishop appeared to be ready to immediately announce the results, but then they ended up having a very long delay (that they filled with worship songs) before the results were announced. Was this normal or did there seem to be anything going on behind the scenes?

    Personally, I’m pleased that, so far, the folks running GC are keeping observers and the media far away from the GC floor.

    May God continue to richly bless the efforts of the Renewal and Reform Coalition and the Africa Initiative during these next critical days!

  5. Comment by Marilyn Rozelle on February 24, 2019 at 7:44 pm

    Thank you for this prompt report! I watched a large part of this including the voting but missed the final tally. Rev. Harris is to be commended for his handling of the final portion of the afternoon. This is good news so far.

  6. Comment by Bruce on February 24, 2019 at 8:38 pm

    What was lost in all this is that man cannot take a vote and decide for God what He considers to be a sin. Sexual immorality (far more prominent among heterosexuals) is for eternity…a Sin. We are in Sales, not management.

  7. Comment by Marilyn on February 25, 2019 at 1:41 pm

    So you state that sexual immorality is more prominent among heterosexuals? You are in sales!

  8. Comment by Robert on October 31, 2019 at 3:48 pm

    Simply not true

  9. Comment by Deb on February 24, 2019 at 11:58 pm

    Amen! God never waivers… He is always the True Authority and Is Stll Speaking and In Control.

  10. Comment by Ben Krause on February 25, 2019 at 12:12 am

    All the Bishops for accomodating the ABC people should all be fired.

  11. Comment by Leslie Matz on February 25, 2019 at 2:10 am

    Not sure what the good news was in that article…

  12. Comment by Erin Alford on February 25, 2019 at 12:04 pm

    Leslie, I was wondering the same thing…

  13. Comment by Ned on February 25, 2019 at 7:04 am

    This is wonderful news to United Methodists in North Carolina. We were fearful that our church leadership had already ‘caved’. The Christians in the ranks are speaking out as we follow the teachings of Christ. His words and beliefs have not changed and nothing has changed “your sins are forgiven, go and sin no more”.

  14. Comment by Robert calvert on October 31, 2019 at 3:51 pm

    Wonderful news for me THE church and all CHRIST followers am

  15. Comment by Cynthia Campbell on February 25, 2019 at 8:06 am

    The Southwest Missouri town of Webb City had a wonderful, large, conservative and traditional Methodist church. Several years ago the powers that be removed the beloved pastor and replaced him with a Godless , amoral, black single mom with a chip on her shoulder who removed the American flag from the front of the church and forced the congregation to sing ‘we shall overcome’ in place of the traditional hymns. We protested and just wanted to forcibly remove her, but she caused a divide in the church that destroyed it. Most of us are bbn now southern Baptists. Th e Methodist church I’d purposefully and systematically wiping out its Conservative congregations.

  16. Comment by SBC Reject on February 26, 2019 at 9:12 pm

    I’m from Joplin Webb City area. CUMC wasn’t that big of a church anyways. By the looks of it, it looks like it is still surviving and thriving without you there. Glad you found a close minded denomination that fits your close minded beliefs. Good luck!

  17. Comment by Sojourner Truth on March 10, 2019 at 5:50 pm

    Nothing like a good ad hominem attack, eh?

    This is a typical tactic of Progressives.

  18. Comment by Judy Hile on February 25, 2019 at 8:44 am

    I heard the Bishop from Africa Ave s mo king speech..does anyone know his name or how could hear it ..this is a praise ..

  19. Comment by Susan DeWolfe Burns on February 25, 2019 at 8:52 am

    In my humble and Christ-seeking opinion, the support for the traditional plan is NOT good news at all and may shape whether or not I can remain part of the UMC. I want my friends and family who are LGBTQ+ to know they are loved AS IS and entitled to full participation in the life of the church. If a heterosexual pastor may marry, so should an LGBTQ+ pastor be able to marry. I pray that the One Church Plan or the Simple Plan will prevail. Failing that, I hope that schism DOES occur, and I never thought I would say this. The last great schism was over slavery. Perhaps it is time again. While I know many who come to this site will NOT agree with me, I felt the need to register my dissent. May God open our minds and hearts, giving us the ability to see each other with love.

  20. Comment by Erin Alford on February 25, 2019 at 12:12 pm

    Amen Susan! We love to get legalistic about certain parts of the word yet not so legalistic about other parts, I pray that we can all focus on the overarching message that GOD IS LOVE and cast our nets out to all with the understanding that God created us all and He makes NO mistakes.

  21. Comment by Pete on February 25, 2019 at 8:45 pm

    Love of money. Love of people you are not married to. Love of power. Love of self. These are all love too. Does that mean that good approves of them? Logically the statement “God is love” is a meaningless non sequitur unless you are asserting that God lacks all preferences and is happy with anything and everything. Oh Steve just killed and baked his Mum and now he is eating her. Isn’t that nice. He loves the taste of baked Mum.

  22. Comment by Richie on February 26, 2019 at 1:28 am

    You forgot love of the law, which seems to be the most rampant love of all. The OT law is the first and worst idol a lot of people worship these days, thinking God and the law are the same thing.

    Our biggest problem is we only tend to use one word, love, which has so many different meanings and can be used as the basis for some many slippery slope propositions.

  23. Comment by Rev Reid Walker on March 3, 2019 at 4:54 pm

    Apparently, you missed those portions of NEW Testament that reaffirm manner in which God made creation- ie if Jesus is 2nd Adam then doesn’t that reaffirm the first? OT is affirmed -God created male and female for one another. Love of LAW (not God)is the idol! And for those of you who seem to throw out Paul’s writing on subjects- I’m kinda thinking if Jesus appeared to him – might be in our interest to heed Paul’s teaching -probably why church CANONIZED it in Scripture!

  24. Comment by Tim Ahlen on February 26, 2019 at 8:54 am

    Susan, Pete, and others: The Greek word for love– the kind of love God has for us, and the kind of love we are to have for one another– is “agape.” For God or a human being to show “agape,” he/she does for the loved person what is in the best interests of that person. To accept another person “as they are” is not a loving act. Love rescues, redeems, transforms and regenerates. As the old hymn says, “I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore. . . [but] Love lifted me, love lifted me, when nothing else could help, love lifted me!”

  25. Comment by Linda on February 26, 2019 at 7:15 pm

    What a beautiful explanation.

  26. Comment by A on February 26, 2019 at 9:54 am

    No believer is without sin and all require the blood of Jesus Christ in repentance and His Spirit to make their paths straight daily. Leaders must also participate in this process since they are not sin-free. Acknowledging and allowing any sin to continue without repentance and a behavior change does not fit the Bible’s definition of a church leader.

  27. Comment by Tim Bushong on February 25, 2019 at 1:42 pm

    “I want my friends and family who are LGBTQ+ to know…”

    See, if you really loved them you would warn against continuing in their desires – desires that damn.

  28. Comment by Dot Harder on February 25, 2019 at 2:03 pm

    Amen, Susan DeWolfe Burns

  29. Comment by Richard on February 25, 2019 at 8:15 pm

    But the issue is what does the Bible say about homosexuality and marriage. We should all love our gay friends, but that shouldn’t necessitate that we abandon God’s Word.

  30. Comment by Val on February 25, 2019 at 9:38 pm

    If we believe that God is our Creator and we believe that He has made all things perfect in His plan, then we must also acknowledge that God himself has set apart heterosexual relationships as different than other relationships. Female and male together is the only combination that can be naturally fruitful with children. We also must note that must be intentional on God’s part as He did create other animals who are capable of reproducing by other means. Had He meant for relationships on the LGTBQ spectrum to be equal in every way to heterosexual relationships He would not have “overlooked” that large detail. I fear that our deep need to address and bless everyone’s feelings will send us quite contrary to God’s purposes.

  31. Comment by Robert calvert on October 31, 2019 at 3:55 pm


  32. Comment by Dave D on February 25, 2019 at 9:03 am

    The current United Methodist Church will be destroyed on Tuesday. We should not be joyful at the loss of brothers and sisters we have worshiped together for years. To revel in the removal and exclusion of people was not our way. I am saddened to know the faith I have been a part for years has people that want to destroy it so much when there is a plan on the table that allows the full use of the Wesleyan Quadrilateral.

  33. Comment by betsy on February 25, 2019 at 1:00 pm

    And the same would be true if the One Church Plan passed. We have all been part of a failed experiment of a single faith tradition trying to embrace multiple theologies and understandings about itself. It has now degenerated into factions jockeying for position and control. And I have paid a high price for this botched experiment and I am a white, traditionalist heterosexual. I would love to claim that I am a United Methodist, but as I have learned over the last several years that means absolutely nothing in particular except whatever the next pastor, staff member or other leadership type person wants it to mean. It is no wonder that I spent the bulk of my life in a non-descript gray area unable to find comfort in either God or the world. As John Wesley said, that is a very miserable place to be.

  34. Comment by JWC on February 25, 2019 at 6:23 pm

    Wow! That sure bore witness to my spirit and what my wife and I have experienced in the UMC for the last year. Thanks for sharing. As a dear friend told me once, “It’s not you holding onto Him, it’s Him holding onto you.” Amen.

  35. Comment by Cameron Price on February 25, 2019 at 7:15 pm

    This riff and an abscence of theology and obligatiin has led me to think hard about becomeing Catholic

  36. Comment by Ken Rouaseau on February 26, 2019 at 12:01 am

    In the last days, men shall be given over to a reprobate mind. Good will be bad and bad will be good. God never changes and God will not be mocked. Gird up thine loins. Judgement will come as a thief in the night!

  37. Comment by Richard on February 25, 2019 at 9:42 am

    I’m missing the Good News. It sounds like there’s a deep rift within the denomination. Just because one “side” gets more votes won’t cause the other “side” to agree that’s right, or feel good about it. The debates will continue until we come to a common vision which , at 61 years old now, I don’t expect to occur in my lifetime. I hope that I’m wrong but unless God decides that LGBTQ folk are unimportant and ceases to call them into the ministry, this issue isn’t going anywhere even if the discipline isn’t changed. I don’t know Joe Harris, don’t know the balance of evangelicals and liberals that will chair sessions and don’t know if the chairs tend to use their power to ensure one “side” gets more air time than the others. This whole thing sounds incredibly partisan and not incredibly Christian. I’m starting to have a really deep understanding of why non-denominational churches are seeing so much growth.

  38. Comment by Erin Alford on February 25, 2019 at 12:05 pm

    Amen Richard, you summed that up so well!!!

  39. Comment by Chuck on February 25, 2019 at 1:24 pm

    I will say this, I have been a United Methodist Member since its inception as member, youth minister, pastor, and UM preachers kid. the fact that we are such odds with the teachings of John Wesley is astounding. The fact that we would consider The Bible and God’s word as untrue is abominable! Yes you are right, this is the very reason my brother left the UM pulpit after 18 years and started a non denominational church. When we as Christians start messing with God then we are sure to lose. I happen to know Dr. Joe Harris and he is one of the most respected people I know. He was my parents District Superintendent in Oklahoma and he is handling a very difficult situation right now with as much love and grace as he can.

  40. Comment by Marilyn on February 25, 2019 at 1:37 pm

    Richard, if you are looking for balance, don’t look to the bishops! They have been using their influence to back just one plan above the others. Or haven’t you noticed. The bishops have been incredibly partisan.

  41. Comment by Dan Frederick on February 25, 2019 at 10:08 am

    Frankly having this GC is so wrong when God has settled this question long ago. You must be born again. If recognizing that that must happen within the congregation of the church and the church quit receiving people as members into the church who have not been born again, then maybe this problem of homosexuality will not be such a quandary to the church leaders.

    I’m amazed at the lack of understanding of basic scripture among our leaders. Bishops that give the impression that just anyone can ask God anything without even being part of the family is astounding.

    Keep to scripture, stop the debate about what God has already condemned. Fore God is true and the rest are all liars.

    Love them enough to tell them the truth.

  42. Comment by Martha Pruett on February 25, 2019 at 12:46 pm

    Love them enough to tell them the truth. How important that has become. If God willingly gave up His son and Jesus willing died for we who are sinners then surely we need to be honest enough to want the share God’s directions with all men so all men have the opportunity to have eternal life. The Bible is clear that God loves and wants us to love everyone but the BIble is also clear on how God expects us to live. His word clearly outlines His rules on marriage and sexuality and its time we cared enough about everyone to ensure they hear God’s truth.

  43. Comment by Jim on February 25, 2019 at 5:48 pm

    Amen dan and Martha!!!

  44. Comment by William on February 25, 2019 at 10:46 am

    Good news and we should pray it continues to be good news.
    Jesus accepted all sinners and commanded them to repent. He did not accept the sin nor the culture of sin. Never confuse the individual with the culture. You can embrace and help guide the person without embracing the sin or the culture of the group.

  45. Comment by Steve Zinser on February 25, 2019 at 10:50 am

    Huge New initially. Hope it keeps up.

    The most important issue in my mind is the amicable departure legislation. If churches are given a realistic path to depart the denomination with their property and finance, it will probably ensure that serious negotiations take place in the future.

  46. Comment by Robert Tuttle on February 25, 2019 at 11:13 am

    While all the talk and so forth is fine and dandy, it means nothing. Nothing whatsoever. And whatever “plan” the UMC comes up with, it will mean nothing. For years there have been openly gay clergy in the UMC and the denomination has done nothing about it. UMC clergy have performed same-sex marriages, and the denomination has done nothing about it. Well, nothing other than point to the book of discipline and say, “Nope, we do not allow this.” Then they feel they have done their duty and that’s all that is said. This entire conference is no different than a group of chicken farmers who have allowed foxes to live amongst the chickens, killing them without fear of retribution, while the farmers themselves stand around and argue about whether or not foxes should be allowed to live in the hen house. Unbelievable. Just unbelievable. The UMC has endorsed the abominable sin of homosexuality for years by not doing a thing to stop it and remove it from its clergy. The conference is a sham.

  47. Comment by Steve Zinser on February 25, 2019 at 12:28 pm

    Amicable departure will be very significant if it’s as envisioned by Good News.

  48. Comment by Eric Pone on February 25, 2019 at 12:13 pm

    This really doesn’t end anything but leaves things as is. The accountability measures were all deemed unconstitutional. And the jurisdictions that are more liberal are not going to suddenly appoint conservative Bishops. Nor will progressive conferences leave or suddenly appoint conservative pastors that are not there in the numbers needed to enforce anything. It took over a year for the congregation I belong to receive a conservative pastor! And in the meantime literally all the young people have left the church leaving nothing but old conservative people. All this does is just keep the status quo and continues the decline. The argument will be that the liberal congregations and conferences can just leave. There is no incentive to leave! The conservatives don’t have the support for their accountability initiatives on the Judicial Council and liberals have not used leaving as their end game like the conservative movement have. So I just see us limping along until the fight next year in Minneapolis.

  49. Comment by Lee Grant on February 25, 2019 at 12:47 pm

    Thanks to all who have left comments.
    ‘Traditionalists’ do not ‘hate’ LGBTQ’s as some ‘progressives’ would claim and use as part of their argument.
    To me it really is, love all (straight and LGBT+), as all of us are sinners. We are to love and accept LGBT+ and to follow Scripture that tells us to keep God’s Word. We can love LGBT+ and yet not condone their physical relationship nor sanctify their ‘marriage’, as this bodily union is not accepted by God.
    I will be thankful if the ‘Traditional Plan’ passes, but as others have said, the ‘Progressives’ will not stop within the denomination.
    This will continue to hurt UMC churches (especially small ones) everywhere.
    Praying for God’s will, not my will or the world’s will.

  50. Comment by Carol on February 25, 2019 at 1:07 pm

    three petitions have been voted on. Does anyone know if Petition 1 passed?

  51. Comment by Lee Grant on February 25, 2019 at 1:22 pm

    Yes, we can love all, we should love all. ‘Traditionalists’ and their belief that marriage is the union of one man and one women has been portrayed by many ‘progressives’ as being hateful and ‘unChristian’. This is not this ‘traditionalists’ belief (and yes, I have family who are gay).
    Some will point to the fact that God (the Bible, His Word) does not condone divorce, and now we ‘allow’ it; but we don’t celebrate it, do we. God (the Bible, His Word) does not condone premarital sex, and now we aren’t too ‘bothered’ by it, yet I don’t think we celebrate it. God (the Bible, His Word) does not condone sexual immorality, and ‘marriage’ in the Bible has always been between a man and a woman. By marrying LGBT+, we are not merely condoning and celebrating their sexual physical union, we are sanctifying it. I believe that God, Jesus, and the Bible are clear on this, it is not part of God’s plan for his people.
    Changing the definition of marriage also opens up many different definitions.
    Should we also celebrate and sanctify polygamous marriage? And what of two men and two women (the ‘polyromantics’) who wish to marry? Would it be hateful and ‘unChristian’ not to marry them?
    As to the stated belief that ‘we are all created in God’s image’, ‘that God doesn’t make mistakes’. Well, yes…then I believe there was the Fall…and disease (physical, mental, and spiritual disease) entered the world which is why we are imperfect and sinful, and yet God loves us and will have us love all. Yet God (and Jesus) has told us how He would like us to live, to turn away from our sinful nature.
    My belief in God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the Word in the Bible is what I must abide by and try to live up to. And as long as I remain in the UMC, this is what I must do.

  52. Comment by Jim on February 25, 2019 at 5:53 pm

    Lee- thank you for your very thoughtful words of truth & wisdom.

  53. Comment by Rod on February 25, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    A very appropriate clarification. The “loving” liberals manipulate and misrepresent the Bible believing Christians all the time to suit their agenda. Such misrepresentation is both hateful and slanderous.

  54. Comment by Charles L. Black Jr. on February 25, 2019 at 3:02 pm

    The same spirit that caused Adam and Eve to reject Gods word in the garden is at work in those that are advocating for the UMC to reject God’s word when it comes to homosexuality. As a denomination we are spending over 3 million dollars to find a way forward when it has been available for two thousand years in a book we called the Bible. Look what has happened to other denominations that have believe the lies of that spirit. Are we so stupid to think that we can flaunts God’s word and and reap a different outcome?

  55. Comment by John P Saynt on February 25, 2019 at 5:17 pm

    Do y’all allow divorced and remarried folks to be pastors or part of your church? That’s a sin too. As is eating shellfish. And wearing mixed fibers. And working on Sundays. And laying with unclean women.

    God doesn’t rank the sins. But some humans sure do. I’m not so sure why and under what authority some discriminate against LGBTQ people.

    God didn’t say those folks couldn’t be ministers. That is just a bastardized view of God’s word by humans. Smorgasbord Christians picking and choosing which sins count.

    If you want to stick to the no same sex marriage mantra, you best equally be banning remarriage too, or you are just a hypocritical judgmental blasphemer of the true word of God.

    Jesus wept indeed.

  56. Comment by Rebecca Innerst on February 25, 2019 at 5:39 pm

    If this is good news, I am saddened for future generations and the church of Jesus Christ. And heartbroken that those who are seeking a relationship with Jesus, have been told…go elsewhere.

  57. Comment by William Gee on February 25, 2019 at 5:51 pm

    I am thankful for the UMC of Africa and Asia for keeping the UMC of the US centered and for supporting the Traditional Plan over the One Church Plan (OCP).

    Isn’t the OCP really only a “Tower of Babel” approach to theocracy?

    The assumptions of the OCP seems to be that differences among United Methodists over sexual ethics, the institution of marriage, and ordination standards for clergy are not essential matters for the whole church. Therefore, it is acceptable for annual conferences, local churches, and pastors to hold different opinions about them and still remain in a united church.

    Where exactly does the “unity” come in when a singular voice is fragmented ?

    What you end up with in an OCP world does not look like unity to me. It looks more like a ship with many holes that is destine to sink.

  58. Comment by Marylin Fowler on February 25, 2019 at 9:02 pm

    If the accountability initiatives in the Traditinal Plan have been ruled unconstitutional, the “ Untied Methodist Church “ is right back where it was before this conference and millions of dollars poorer!!!

  59. Comment by Jim on February 25, 2019 at 9:15 pm

    Perhaps the saddest thing in all of this is the reality that the majority of pupits in the UMC North America have abandoned the expository teaching of the Word of God. James 3:1 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. (James 3:1, ESV)

    UMC pastors I urge you to examine your commitment to your charge. Repent before God. Stop with the warm fuzzy talks that tickle the ears and present the scriptures in their entirety- then leave it to the Holy Spirit.

  60. Comment by Robert r calvert on October 31, 2019 at 4:03 pm

    AMEN and thank you Africa forsupporting traditional VALUES MORALS and christianity GO5IS GREAT ALWAYS

  61. Comment by Beth on February 25, 2019 at 10:09 pm

    Heart breaking decision. UMC has just made a determination that 10-15% of the population is not worthy of equality. The delegates are turning their backs on their brothers and sisters in Christ. And possibly their brothers and sisters in blood.

  62. Comment by Martin Sipes on February 25, 2019 at 10:41 pm

    I believe the slogan “Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors: The People of the United Methodist Church” needs to be changed if The Traditional Plan is adopted to the slogan “Closed Hearts, Closed Minds, Closed Doors: The People of the Shrinking Ununited Methodist Church.”

  63. Comment by Rev Reid Walker on March 3, 2019 at 5:03 pm

    Martin- wonderful emotional rant re Closed Hearts etc- but Dude get your facts STRAIGHT (no pun intended-but a good one). THE UMC has been in decline for 30 years largely because we’ve largely given up teaching God’s word and going on emotions like your response. Like today’s UMC mission to make disciples- NEWSFLASH! we’re only disciples if we abide in and OBEY His Word! Perhaps the Unitarian Universalist Church for you- where they don’t believe in anything about everything all the time!

  64. Comment by S. Denyer on February 25, 2019 at 10:49 pm

    If we are to say, in the name of biblical literacy, that pastors cannot be gay, then we also need to reject pastors who wear mixed fabrics (e.g. cotton and wool), eat cheeseburgers, or have a conversation with a woman who may be unclean (i.e. on her period). All are forbidden in the same book that prohibits homosexuality. Are we picking and choosing from the bible just the parts that fit our prejudices?

    If the church is to focus on a single issue, it ought to be something that Jesus addressed time and time again (e.g. compassion for the poor, the foreigner, or the downtrodden). Funny enough, Jesus never once mentions homosexuality. Why then should this be an issue of importance to us, the followers of Jesus?

  65. Comment by Brandon on February 26, 2019 at 12:46 am

    This reply is, unfortunately, a false equivalence on many levels – “cheeseburgers and sexual nihilism are the same thing!” It’s an affront to the teachings of the church for over 2,000 years and any basic systematic theology. Christ didn’t come to anul the law, but to fulfill it and enhance it while also offering grace. But the grace cannot be trampled on. The grace is in that we are offered a way to be reunited with God when we fall asleep in this world – that doesn’t mean we get to live as we wish. Our bodies are to be holy temples, unstained and pure, as is the sacrament of marriage.

    The appeal to “but Jesus never said” is also tired and weak…he never said anything specifically about being a racist, or voting for Trump, or capital punishment, either. Read the whole bible, don’t Thomas Jefferson it.

  66. Comment by Robert r calvert on October 31, 2019 at 4:08 pm


  67. Comment by Richie on February 26, 2019 at 2:25 am

    Last I checked, we are not God and we cannot know his full plan. What we do know is that Jesus gave us one commandment to follow, to love each other as he loved us.

    If a person is called into ministry and is gay. Who am I to question the will of God? Who am I to question the relationship of another person and God? Several passages in bible warn me against such judgments. I simply know that I am called to love that person. That is my part to play.

    Who am I to tell God what is possible and what is not? Who am I to tell someone who they can love and marry and who they cannot? When did I get to be the judge of what is, and is not, love? I do not know if a person has love or lust in their heart. I can only do as Jesus instructed and love everyone as a fellow child of God.

    From my reading of scripture, the last folks who “knew” God’s plan worked really hard to get Jesus crucified and then stoned Stephen. I don’t want to be in that group, so I will stay away from righteous indignation and claiming to know God’s law. I will simply follow the commandment I am given.

    Denominations come and denominations go, but God’s church will prevail. God’s church is based on commandment given by Jesus, the commandment that says “you show your love for God in how you love everyone you encounter”. If the traditional plan shows love for all, then perhaps the Methodist church will survive in a “traditional” form. If the traditional plan runs counter to the commandment given by Jesus, then the church will eventually be replaced by something that more closely resembles what God wants from His children.

  68. Comment by Teressa Blackman on February 26, 2019 at 8:41 am

    I’m a little dismayed that we seem to be so scared to offend people these days. I particularly liked what one gentlemen said yesterday, we need to be concerned about salvation. The bible is very clear about sexuality and it’s stand on it. I have family members on both sides that are gay and I love them dearly but I do not agree with their lifestyle. You can love someone but disagree and I think that’s where we’re getting confused. Jesus loved the person but hated the sin, how can we do any differently?

  69. Comment by Robert r calvert on October 31, 2019 at 4:12 pm

    TOTALLY AGREE, also LGBTQ is not APART of THE policy making body oF THE UMC

  70. Comment by Coleen on February 26, 2019 at 8:41 am

    Did opponents of the traditional plan really affirm that they were never aligned with the faith of the denomination and castigate others as “evil” who affirm historical theology.

  71. Comment by Billy on February 26, 2019 at 4:20 pm

    Maybe we need to send some of our Bishops and pastors to Africa to become reoriented?????

  72. Comment by Michelle Terry on February 26, 2019 at 6:47 pm

    My heart is broken! I’m a third generation Methodist and thought I would be until my dying day. No more. How can you call yourselves Methodists, let alone Christians and rejoice in this travesty. My gay daughter is NOT a sinner and is not sinning by loving her wife. She is far more Christian than those who condemn her.

  73. Comment by John Eaton on March 2, 2019 at 7:05 am

    There is not an * at the end of “Love thy neighbor”.

    * – except them Gays a course.

  74. Comment by Robert calvert on November 23, 2019 at 11:12 am

    That’s simply not true, gays have always be ABLE to United METHODIST church and events just not PASTORS or elders.

  75. Comment by Jim Wolfgang on March 9, 2019 at 9:25 am

    When I was ordained deacon and later elder in the U.M.C. I made a public declaration to God, my annual conference, and the whole church that I both agreed with and would uphold our beliefs as a United Methodist Christian. As I view our accountability problem in the church, the crux of the matter is the CLERGY who have either lied about their commitment to their promise, or do not have the integrity to resign or find a tradition that is compatable with their theology. I was prepared to surrender my orders rather than serve an apostate church that approved the practice of homosexuality a then claim I represented Christ. The church was not wrong in expecting the clergy ot tell the truth when accepting their positions, the wrong is with those who will not honor their vows and covenant with the members of the U.M.C. (both lay and clergy). To put more accountability into the Discipline to remedy this problem will probably require significant constitutional changes concerning chargeable offenses and the rights of the complainant, and the ultimate decision concerning those charges after all appeals lying with the General Conference ( not annual conferences or jurisdictions that refuse to enforce the Discipline). This will likely be a 2020 General Conference issue. Those of the “traditional” view should organize and concentrate your vote for one at a time concentrated election of specific delegates that hold your viewpoint, otherwise you will be weakened by disunity and give the advantage of concentrated voting to the “progressives” (their term-not mine). This voting tactic has been used by “progressives” to have their delegates elected in majority “traditional” annual conferences. Beware- these delegates must be elected at your NEXT annual conference for the 2020 General Conference. I expect the “progressive” to try everything they can to reverse the recent decision- it is essentially their last chance before the more conservative members of the denomination become too numerous. (They only needed 54 votes to reverse the Social Principles).

  76. Comment by Robert r calvert on October 31, 2019 at 4:18 pm

    The debate will not go away BECAUSE of the large size of both conservative and liberal AFRICA WELL ALWAYS BE A KEY PLAYER THANKS BE TO GOD

The work of IRD is made possible by your generous contributions.

Receive expert analysis in your inbox.