2019 UMC General Conference

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United Methodist General Conference

February 26, 2019

United Methodists Reaffirm Biblical Faithfulness

Institute on Religion & Democracy Press Release
Contact: Jeff Walton: 202-413-5639, jwalton@TheIRD.org

St. Louis, MO—United Methodists have upheld their denomination’s rules on sexual ethics, rejecting plans that would permit same-sex marriages and clergy to be sexually active outside of monogamous, heterosexual marriages.

The General Conference of the United Methodist Church, the only body that can speak for the 12.6 million-member Christian denomination, voted Tuesday morning to reject a plan advocated for by the majority of the church’s bishops. Later in the day, delegates gathered in St. Louis adopted a plan advocated by traditionalists which increases accountability measures for clergy and local bodies.

The United Methodist Church is the second-largest Protestant denomination in the United States, but has a global membership of more than 12 million members in the United States, Africa, Europe, and the Philippines.

The denomination’s longstanding official standards are that all people are welcome in its churches, while also teaching that marriage is only between one man and one woman.

United Methodist Action Director and elected General Conference Delegate John Lomperis commented:

“This was a historic turning point for our denomination, and will hopefully help make the United Methodist Church look refreshingly very different from what we have seen in the last several years.”

IRD President Mark Tooley commented:

“This General Conference is further proof that the center of gravity in the United Methodist Church is shifting from the United States and to the vibrant, growing Christian faith of the Global South.

“The United Methodist Church is no longer rooted in a declining liberal U.S. mainline Protestant tradition and is instead reflecting its identity as a global church.”

www.TheIRD.org


28 Responses to United Methodists Reaffirm Biblical Faithfulness

  1. April User says:

    Thank God not only for our African brothers and sister but also those from Russia who stood with 2000 years of Christian understanding of marriage and, thereby, Christian leadership. Lots of work and struggle to be done going forward but the UMC has spoken clearly.

  2. Dale Sigler says:

    I am sending this as a link to the editor of the Winchester Star in Winchester VA. I hope he will publish it to counter the factually incorrect AP story that ran today.

  3. John L Hemphill says:

    Thank God, this is truly good news, the best news I’ve heard in a while.

  4. lancelot lamar says:

    Wonderful. But in this case, God is truly in the details and what happens going forward.

    Without effective accountability rules in place, and an ability to compel those who violate the covenant to leave, we will be where we started. It may be that the 2020 GC will be needed to do this, but it must move aggressively to replace the Judicial Council liberals and pass legislation to enforce accountability on all bishops, annual conferences, general agencies, and seminaries that refuse to abide by the Discipline, its doctrine and teachings.

    Also, new rules for representation must also be passed by the 2020 GC to make it closer to being fair. This would give far more delegates at the 2024 GC to the growing, more evangelical and conservative conferences in the U.S. and Africa, and would greatly reduce representation from the dying, liberal areas of the church.

    GC 2020 needs to do these things aggressively so that by GC 2024 the UMC can truly be turned into a completely evangelical, orthodox church, with all the general agencies and the UMW being purged of their liberal, heterodox elements, and the seminaries reformed, or cut lose to die or stagnate in their host universities.

    Imagine, a strongly pro-life Board of Church and Society! Imagine a General Board of Global Ministries that was truly missionary and not political in spirit! Imagine an evangelical, pro-traditional family UMW! Imagine all the educational money and students flowing to evangelical, orthodox seminaries–Asbury, United–while the other seminaries (Perkins, Emory, Duke, etc.) either reform or wither on the vine, losing their accreditation by the UMC university senate!

    If this moment is seized, all this can happen by 2024 and immediately afterward. But now is the time to put in the full effort to get these things done, with the invaluable help of our African brothers and sisters.

    Indeed, the United Methodist Church is an African church from now on, praise the Lord! By God’s grace they have saved the United Methodist Church! May they send their missionaries, professors, and leaders to the United States to begin the revival we have been waiting for.

    Jerry Kulah for Bishop and President of the Council of Bishops! By 2024!

    • polly says:

      Yes, agreed. The Board of Church and Society, and Global Ministries both need total clean out. I reduced my giving over the yrs. as I was increasingly disturbed over their activities. It was unconscionable for them to use apportionments to push their liberal agenda. If the United Methodists continue to turn a blind eye to these and other agencies, it will be as though nothing has changed.

    • Alice Naegele says:

      Amen, my brother!

  5. Skipper says:

    Praise the Lord! His church has withstood the storm and a new day is upon us. We can’t sit down. We must prepare for the future and defend God’s way of life on sexuality.

    How easy it is for people to reject the God-given lifestyle of the Bible and make up their own. Then they fool themselves just as we see in the Book of Romans. That is so sad. They don’t know what they do or how they damage their own relationship with God by turning the Truth of God into something different. We must love others enough to share the truth with them. And the Truth will make you free! Hallelujah!

  6. Lance says:

    Great news! Can we vote on term limits for American Bishops now?

  7. John Smith says:

    If enforced, this is good news. If enforced as well as the old BOD was enforced then it was a waste of time and money. At least the Bishops’ Plan was rejected.

  8. Pat says:

    I agree with John…..if enforced, this is good news! Where does the enforcement begin?
    Shouldn’t it begin from the top with the Bishops who have not followed our Code of Discipline? They have set an example for those who answer to them to do the same.

    • John Smith says:

      Thank you for your support. I guess the first thing would be for Methodists to start the complaint process, not something publicized by the Elders, Bishops, Districts and Conferences. Having a simple flow chart on the whos and hows of that could be very helpful. How about it IRD?

    • polly says:

      Yes, certainly agreed on that. The devil is in the details.

  9. Gloria Reimherr says:

    Truly an answer to the PRAYERS of many! Now we must remain firmly grounded in God’s word, loving all but defending the word of God. We are to “Trust and Obey” His commands, and His Word is thesame, never changes with the seasons. We must not “water down” the Gospel, we must Not Conform to the secular influences of our times.

    Thank You Lord for hearing our Prayers and a Biig Thank You to our brothers and sisters from the African delegations, you All truly made a difference in these results. You All are a real true witness and example for us to immulate here in America.

    GOD BLESS YOU, God Bless the United Methodist Church, may we remain grounded in the Word of God, without waivering, is my PRAYER. Amen and Amen!

  10. Jere W. Thomas says:

    To God be the glory. We pray that He will uproot from our midst all those who tried to pervert His Word. May He bless all those who fought a good fight to maintain sanity in His church

  11. Dr. Todd says:

    I celebrate that God’s Word has been upheld, but I have one small concern. The name of the adopted plan seems to include the seeds of its own overturning. It is the “Traditional” plan, not the “Scriptural” or the “Orthodox” plan. I only say this concerns me because “tradition” is just a word for a deeply ingrained habit. By saying this was a Scriptural or Orthodox plan, you might have offended those wanting change, but you would have also clearly anchored yourself to unchanging standards. Calling your plan “traditional” doesn’t accomplish this and will leave you open to constant struggle with the heretics asking “have our traditions changed enough yet?” I would love to be wrong, but the history of the past fifty years suggests that any opening left to these folks will be used to the Church’s detriment.

    • John Smith says:

      I’ve been saying similar things. In allowing the Left to cast this as a fight about LGBTQX… rights instead of a fight about the authority of scripture the right has lost much even if it won a vote. Now its just a matter of who can mobilize a majority on a social question. Its obviously not about what God says. Therefore nothing is settled for a period longer than the next vote.

  12. Joseph says:

    It will be interesting to see what happens to the UMC as the one mainline denomination that did not take the step of liberalizing its policy with regards to gay clergy and gay marriage. Methodists who are unhappy with the recent vote could migrate to the UCC, Episcopalians and Presbyterians and those in mainline denominations who disagree with liberalizing policy could migrate to the UMC. It may provide an interesting controlled experiment to answer the question of whether or not liberalizing these policies helps or hurts a Protestant denomination.

    • John Smith says:

      But they so desperately want the cache of “Largest Mainline” (and truthfully a lot on the right seem enamored of it too-look at the stress on unity and growth) as they feel it carries extra weight. I expect the Left/Progressive wing to go to ground, retrench, wait and see. If the new system is enforced, i.e. some are stripped of credentials and membership, they will start to migrate out. If not enforced there will be a new campaign begun to bring the UMC to the light. What the next couple GC’s need to do is rethink the trust clause and examine an updating of trusts, funds and other accounts to prepare for potential splits, portability and local responsibility.

  13. Joe M says:

    The international center has shifted, but in the United States church majorities favor the liberal stance. The situation in untenable, and will create additional pressures in American congregations for years. While I am grateful for the outcome, like much like Trump’s election it is going to make the conflict worse.

    • John Smith says:

      Isn’t conflict the way it is supposed to be?

      “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household.

      If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

      Do not be surprised, brothers,[c] that the world hates you.

  14. Tony Hartt says:

    Thank God……….It’s HIS word after all, that we are following. Now let’s hope the judicial arm is firm enough to enforce these policies.

  15. Louis says:

    GC 2019 awoke the liberal bear for a bigger fight next year. Be sure all Africa’s delegates get VISAS approved well in advance and get those proposed Dicipline changes pre-approved because parliamentary antics will be outrageous.

  16. Larry Russell says:

    Thank God for the decision of the General Conference last week; I pray enforcement of our Book of Discipline will now take place. Had it been done 40+ years ago, we would not have been at this point.

  17. Donald Kneuer says:

    We must adhere to God’s word, not men’s emotions and politics. I think Romans 1:24-27 pretty much domes it up. Without repentance there is no forgiveness . Sin can separate us from the love of God! Thanks be to Christ’s finished work at the cross for our salvation! We must change and walk with him. An act of sin cannot be accepted in church as a leadership role.

  18. Jo Sehorn says:

    I do not know why it took so long. I guess it was in God’s time not mine. It hurts me to think we have to rely on other nations to make the right decision. I remember when we were a Christian nation. Thank got for those that have not forgotten that. To God be the Glory

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