The United Methodist Church is expected to split in the 2022 General Conference over the issue of sexuality and marriage. Conservatives are laying the foundations for the new Global Methodist Church.
An agreement expected to be approved in the next General Conference of the United Methodist Church will lead to schism in the denomination worldwide.
In August 2022, a majority of Methodists is expected to vote for a separation plan known as “Protocol for Reconciliation and Grace through Separation.” After that, several new groups will emerge to re-configure the Methodist panorama around the world.
One of these new denominations will be formed by theologically conservative Methodists who have defended a traditional interpretation of the Bible on issues of marriage and sexuality.
“The primary mission of the Global Methodist Church will be to make disciples of Jesus Christ who worship passionately, love extravagantly, and witness boldly,” says Keith Boyette, one of 17 theologians who are preparing the path to the new denomination.
The new Methodist group is expected to have large support outside the United States. Philippe Adjobi, a leader in Cote d’Ivoire, says: “I believe the Global Methodist Church will fulfill the expectations and aspirations of local churches throughout Africa. They will appreciate focusing on what is essential: testifying to Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”
The new denomination is also receiving strong support from Eastern Europe, the Philippines, South Korea, and other parts of the world.
The future Global Methodist Church has already published a “Book of Doctrines and Discipline,” which outlines “essential theological confessions and governing structures for a new church’s consideration.”
The new group has launched a website, in which they respond to frequently asked questions.
Western countries vs the rest of the world
In Europe, Methodist churches like those in Norway and the UK, have shown signs of going in a theologically liberal position in terms of human sexuality. In the U.S., over 100 churches have clearly adopted a pro-LGBT stance.
A large majority of non-Western Methodists hold to a traditional biblical view on homosexuality, as it was seen in the last United Methodist Church General Conference in February 2019. Then, a narrow vote helped to keep the traditional Christian definition of marriage.
One of the other groups that will start after the 2022 schism is the Liberation Methodist Connexion, a very theologically progressive group that “intentionally invites the full participation of all who are living out their God-given identities and expressions,” including, among others, all “gender expressions and sexual identities.”
This story originally appeared at Evangelical Focus and is republished here with permission.