The Sad, Necessary Division of the United Methodist Church

Last week, believe it or not, there was a news development of generational importance that had absolutely nothing to do with Donald Trump. The two different factions of the United Methodist Church agreed to divorce. Here’s the New York Times with the basic facts:

A group of leaders of the United Methodist Church, the second-largest Protestant denomination in the United States, announced on Friday a plan that would formally split the church, citing “fundamental differences” over same-sex marriage after years of division.

The plan would sunder a denomination with 13 million members globally — roughly half of them in the United States — and create at least one new “traditionalist Methodist” denomination that would continue to ban same-sex marriage as well as the ordination of gay and lesbian clergy.

The church announced the plan to divide less than a year after a close denominational vote (led by the denomination’s African and other overseas churches) to reject a plan that would have allowed “local congregations, conferences, and clergy to make their own choices about conducting same-sex marriages and ordaining LGBT pastors.”  Instead, it adopted a “Traditional Plan,” which “affirmed the denomination’s teachings against homosexuality.” But the vote hardly ended the internal debate. Delegates from America were largely opposed to the Traditional Plan. 

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