AFRICANS SAVE UMC BUT LIBERALS MAY DESTROY IT [Excerpts]
The leader of a Christian think tank says it appears the window has closed for liberals in the United Methodist Church to change church law in favor of same-sex "marriage."
The current biblical standards regarding marriage between a man and a woman were left in place at the 2016 General Conference. The conference was held in May in Portland, Oregon.
Instead, delegates to the denomination voted to accept the recommendation of the Council of Bishops to delay a debate on homosexuality and let a proposed commission study church regulations.
Mark Tooley, president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, says the issue was punted because liberals don't have the votes anymore to change church law due in part to the growth of the more conservative African delegation.
"The liberals lost on homosexuality issues in committee and certainly would have lost in a plenary vote had that taken place," Tooley advises. "Africans will have even more delegates in four years, and still more in eight years, so I think that the window of opportunity is probably lost."
Tooley notes that more Methodist liberals in recent years have advocated defying church law, acknowledging that they don't have the votes to change it. Such a left-wing effort at the grassroots will lead to the continued decline of the United Methodist Church in the U.S., he predicts.
"The question is, will American liberals stay in the denomination or will they try to create a split-off denomination?" Tooley wonders.
For the first time at the general conference, he says, a number of prominent liberals were openly suggesting a division from the United Methodist Church.
(Bill Bumpas, “Africans save UMC but liberals may destroy it,” OneNewsNow Online, June 8, 2016).