The United Methodist Schism was a Long Time Coming

John Lomperis on May 20, 2023

(The following is excerpted from an op-ed published by the Dallas Morning News.)

So far this month, about 900 church congregations in Alabama, Alaska, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, OregonPennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Washington disaffiliated from the United Methodist Church (UMC). This is just part of a major, slow-motion, increasingly global breakup of America’s second-largest Protestant denomination, in which thousands of congregations across America have already left the UMC or are in the process of doing so.

The Bible rhetorically asks, “Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?” (Amos 3:3). While some disagreement over secondary issues is normal, for decades United Methodism has been plagued by infighting over the most basic questions about our church’s values, purpose, and direction.

Texas has seen an especially large share of conservative as well as moderate congregations scrambling to meet this [2023] deadline. The Fort Worth-based Central Texas Conference is offering a slight extension, by planning a special fall meeting to approve one last round of disaffiliations, as long as these congregations’ leadership teams vote and send letters requesting to begin the disaffiliation process before June 1. If the UMC’s other four annual conferences in Texas do not similarly offer one last disaffiliation opportunity, they will likely face lawsuits, as other denominations and other regions of the UMC have seen. 

(You can read the rest of this article at the Dallas Morning News.)

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