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What hath sodomy wrought?

By David W. Virtue, DD
May 4, 2022

On May 1, the Global Methodist Church was launched - a new theologically conservative denomination breaking from the United Methodist Church (UMC) following years of loud debate. Theologically conservative Methodists have left the United Methodist Church never to return. The besetting sin? Sodomy.

After decades of rancorous debate over the ordination and marriage of LGBTQ+ United Methodists, a special session of the United Methodist Church's General Conference and three postponements of a vote to formally split the denomination, the schism finally came "without fanfare, but full of hope, faith, and perseverance," reported the Religion News Service.

That's how the Rev. Keith Boyette, chairman of the Transitional Leadership Council of the Global Methodist Church, described the launch of the new denomination in a statement published days earlier on its website.

The May 1 launch, Boyette told Religion News Service last week, "was very definitely driven by practicality and the fact that the postponement of General Conference moved many people to say they were tired of waiting and tired of the conflict not being addressed and resolved by the United Methodist Church."

Delegates have debated questions about sexuality at every quadrennial meeting of the United Methodist Church General Conference since 1972, when language first was added to the denomination's Book of Discipline, saying that "the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching."

That debate came to a head in 2016, when bishops announced a special session of the General Conference devoted to the topic.

Delegates to the 2019 special session ended up approving something called the Traditional Plan, which strengthened enforcement of language in the denomination's rulebook against the ordination and marriage of LGBTQ members, reports RNS.

Progressive United Methodists pledged to disregard the results of the special session. Conservatives, frustrated by the continuing debate, threatened to leave anyway. Finally, a group representing all different theological viewpoints within the denomination brokered a deal to create a separate "traditionalist" Methodist denomination that would receive $25 million over the next four years.

Delegates to the 2020 General Conference -- which gathers delegates from around the world -- were prepared to vote on that proposal, called the Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace through Separation, when COVID-19 swept the globe, canceling their meeting not once, but three times. Currently, it is set for 2024.

The third postponement earlier this year was the last straw for members of the Global Methodist Church's Transitional Leadership Council, which already was laying the groundwork for a new denomination. The council immediately announced it would launch the new denomination on May 1.

While there are historic differences between what Methodists have done vs Episcopalians especially over property issues, the besetting sin is sodomy. This is a matter of spiritual life and death. In time, progressives (read revisionists) will wither and die.


As living proof, one has only to look at the latest statistics of The Episcopal Church to see the damage homosexuality has wrought following the consecration of V. Gene Robinson, a partnered homosexual and his consecration as Bishop of New Hampshire in 2003. It is not all about Covid. Sex, specifically homosex has done far more damage. Inclusion and diversity have done the opposite, emptying pews and closing parishes.

Robinson's homosexuality laid the groundwork for a split in the Episcopal Church. It resulted in the formation of the Anglican Church in North America. The shock of Robinson's homosexuality resulted in more than 100,000 Episcopalians and 700 priests making their way out the red doors, never to return.

Recent figures reveal a denomination in free fall. Today, average Sunday attendance has dipped below 500,000 for the first time in its history, and the trajectory shows no signs of changing. One diocese, Nthn. Michigan can barely muster 350 Episcopalians on any given Sunday. Does that even qualify as a diocese? There are single parishes biggen than that! St. Martins Episcopal in Houston is eight times larger than this entire diocese -- that's average Sunday attendance.

British theologian Ian Paul noted that there is not a single denomination or national church which, having changed its understanding of marriage, moving away from the consistent teaching of Scripture and affirming same-sex relationships as on a par with male-female marriage, has done anything other than accelerate in its decline.

The United Methodist Church will, over the next five years, feel the pain of those words, but they will have only themselves to blame. God, they will learn, has not changed His mind about the definition of sexual sin. It has been so since Genesis taught that God created humanity - male and female in his image and likeness and closed the sexual matrix, never to open it again.

RNS contributed to this story.


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