Following is a post I wrote on June 7, 2014, and now it is happening. The split has started and 117 churches in Florida left United Methodist Church and became their own new Global Methodist Church which is far more conservative.
June 7, 2014. Who would have thought it? Of course the seeds are there just waiting to germinate. And germinate they will.
According to the Houston Chronicle (June 1, 2014, Methodist churches face split over gay issues), they are about to split in two.
Whenever conservative Christians – Methodists or any other denomination – get together, women suffer.
Christian conservatism is a three-legged stool 1) gays; 2) women; 3) Bible inerrancy. These fundamentalists do not stand on two legs.
This split is about Bible inerrancy, ordaining gay clergy, and performing same-sex marriages. Gays will neither benefit nor suffer from this division into two Methodists groups, because they already can get married in many states whether the church allows it or not. It will be women who suffer, by a loss of churches willing to accept a woman pastor and by marriage seminars teaching male headship. This conservative (fundamentalist) group will begin with denouncing gays and same-sex marriages, and then you wil find they are rejecting women pastors.
Methodists have within their membership those who believe in male headship and this group will identify with those other denominations that teach against homosexuality and who also deny women equality to preach or pastor.
And then Methodists will be complementarian in their teaching and beliefs. And that is what this group wants. Read what one of their members, Therrell, said:
“Our churches long for the day of being able to unite with like-minded Christians who focus on sharing the Good News of Jesus and help people to be transformed by His salvation,” Therrell said in the WCA-Florida statement on Facebook.
Openly gay pastors are a rarity, even among those who accept gay pastors. However, there are many gay pastors among evangelical fundamental Christians and Catholics. None of these denominations affirm gay pastors, but they are there. Conservative churches know they have gay pastors within their churches, but do not make an issue of it until something happens. Thus, there will continue to be male gay pastors in the split-off Methodist churches. But you can count on it, these split-off churches will not continue to accept female pastors.
I urge all Methodists to take action. Now is not the time to sit and wait.