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United Methodists Lift Bans on LGBTQ+ Clergy and Same-Sex Marriages in Historic Vote

The United Methodist Church, one of the oldest denominations in the United States, voted Wednesday to remove its ban on LGBTQ+ clergy and same-sex marriage, a move that came as no surprise to the cultural and Christian community. It was historic considering the church’s influence on the church. .

UMC representatives approved the changes at a general meeting on the morning of May 1 as part of a “consent calendar” that included nearly two dozen bills, according to United Methodist News. It passed 692-51 (93 percent support). The gay pastor law overturned a 1984 ban on “self-proclaimed LGBT activities.” Marriage laws prohibit superintendents from punishing churches or pastors who perform same-sex weddings.

In recent years, conservative churches that refused to adhere to Biblical orthodoxy have fled the denomination, making the outcome all but certain.Many churches are affiliated with Global Methodist Churchis a new denomination founded by conservative Methodists in May last year. Roughly a quarter of UMC churches in the United States have left the denomination.

Other changes are expected this week.

This week’s historic vote overturned decades of orthodox teaching on sexuality and gender. In 1976, the General Assembly added language to the document: “We do not recognize relationships between two people of the same sex as constituting marriage.” In 1984, the General Assembly passed a resolution banning “self-proclaimed homosexuals” from being candidates for the ministry. The 1992 General Assembly voted 710 to 238 to uphold this language, but liberals continued to gain ground. Conservatives narrowly won votes on homosexuality in 2019, but the split was almost 50-50.

Bishop Karen Oliveto, the denomination’s first openly gay and married bishop, praised the vote.

“I’ve loved this church even when I didn’t quite know how to love me back. I loved it because, despite its flaws, it was a vessel of God’s grace,” she told United Methodist News. told. “I still loved this work even when God’s love was suddenly made conditional by harmful language about LGBTQ people and the ways they seek to limit our role in their lives and ministry. .”

However, some say the change will have a negative impact.

said Mark D. Tooley, United Methodist and director of the Institute for Religion and Democracy. washington times That sects are dying out.

“Clergymen who are 55 or in their early 50s can probably live until retirement,” he says. “But if you’re a minister in your 30s or 40s, you’re in a lot of trouble because you’re running out of money, the number of churches that can accept pastors is decreasing, and you can’t afford to hire a full-time pastor. Dramatically. It will be reduced to

Liberals within the denomination “have been waiting for this to happen for decades, with little awareness of what the implications will be,” he added.

“I think it will be a very celebratory general conference.” [is] We’re not fully prepared for what’s going to happen,” Tooley said.

Theologian and author Albert Mohler Jr. said the sect had “abandoned Biblical Christianity.” Mohler is president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.

“The United Methodist Church committed a theological treason yesterday, leaving Biblical Christianity behind in its rush to join the LGBTQ revolution,” Mohler wrote in the paper. world opinion column. “…John Wesley’s Holiness movement, once America’s largest denomination, is now a shadow of its former self, abandoning its Christian faith in favor of a new religion centered around the celebration of LGBTQ sexuality. The powerful movement founded by John Wesley to bring holiness and piety to the Church of England has succumbed to a revolution promoting new sexuality and radical gender ideology – and it has done so willingly. be.”

The United Methodist Church was founded in 1968 by the merger of the Evangelical United Brethren Church and the Methodist Church. It is the second largest non-Catholic denomination in the United States.

Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Robert vt Hoenderdaal

Michael Faust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years.His story is published below baptist press, Christianity Today, christian post, of leaf chronicle, of toronto star And that Knoxville News Sentinel.