In recent times, issues concerning same-sex marriages have been prevalent in many Churches in the United States, the UK, and Europe.
In the United States, United Methodists are the largest contingent in the global Methodist movement. This denomination was formed by a merger of the Evangelical United Brethren Church and the Methodist Church in 1968.
It is the second-largest Protestant church in the U.S. Southern Baptist Convention is the largest so far.
The church has been growing in numbers and popularity since its formation. According to sources; in 2018 it boasted of 6.4 million worshipers and 30,543 congregations in the United States alone. The church’s branches extend to some parts of Africa, Europe, and Asia.
Today, the church is facing a huge challenge about same-sex marriage and other issues rated to homosexuality. This has brought divisions among the congregations.
At least 130 congregations have left the United Methodist Church in a schism over the denominations’ planned acceptance of same-sex marriage and homosexual clergymen.
It is believed that the loss of 130 U.S. churches may be insignificant —compared to the huge number of congregations and worshippers the Church boast of.
The departure of those members comes as a result of issues concerning sexuality and biblical interpretation.
Some prefer going by what the Bible say about marriage and sexuality. Others believe in the other way round relating it to human rights… Similar situation has happened in the Church of Scotland as they have officially approved same-sex marriage. It’s a big question for Christians to answer why this is happening in the big churches.
The Sex Plan Of The United Methodist Church
The United Methodist Church’s General Conference, which is the mother governing body planned to approve a separation plan that would create two denominations: one affirming current bans on gay clergy and same-sex marriage, and one permitting homosexual clergy and marriage.
This plan has gone through some delays because of the pandemic. However, they expect it to be in effect later this year.
The Methodist President of the Institute on Religion and Democracy known as Mark Tooley, delivered a message saying:
“The departures show that the 54-year-old “experiment” that united the two liberal Protestant camps “has failed, and now we’re seeing the consequences.”
He added, “The old denomination is coming apart. And that’s, I think, irreversible.”
The United Methodist Church has it that Churches or congregations departing often have to pay for unfunded pension obligations for clergymen who have retired, as well as repay any loans received from the local conference, which is equivalent to a diocese.