A voting delegate to next year's specially-called General Conference of the United Methodist Church is "cautiously optimistic" about the denomination.
If the church chooses one route, says delegate John Lomperis, there can be some "historic" and "landmark" decisions to set the nation's second-largest Protestant denomination on a path towards biblical faithfulness.
At the St. Louis gathering in February, delegates will address matters of sexual morality and what direction the United Methodist church will go in regards to homosexuality. They will address three possible plans for moving forward. One is called The Traditionalist plan which is supported by Lomperis, the United Methodist director with the Institute on Religion & Democracy.
"There had been a heavy-handed effort by a number of bishops and others to keep that off of the table," Lomperis advises,"and now it is back on the table and has been submitted on equal footing with the others."
He tells OneNewsNow that at least on paper the UMC's standards on sexuality are biblical and that would be maintained, plus it would strengthen accountability. It will give an either/or choice.
"Regardless of your personal beliefs," he asks, "are you willing to uphold the standards of how we've agreed to live together in covenant or not? And if you say 'or not' as either a region or bishop, then there's going to be some processes in place to start reconsidering your relationship to the United Methodist Church."
Although Lomperis feels "cautiously optimistic" there is a conservative majority going into the general conference, he expects there will be efforts to prevent the conservative majority from expressing its will.