Clergyman: Methodists set themselves up for crisis over sexuality

Monday, March 4, 2019
 | 
Steve Jordahl (OneNewsNow.com)

UMC Book of Discipline (2016)The vote last week to reject same-sex "marriage" and homosexual clergy in the United Methodist Church was encouraging to those in the denomination who hold to biblical truth, but the pain resulting from that vote may be just beginning.

Many say the UMC is heading towards a split. By a 53-to-47 percent margin, those gathered in St. Louis voted to maintain biblical standards for both marriage and church leadership, but Tom Lambrecht, president of Good News Magazine, says it was an ugly fight.

"The acrimony and vehemence of the debate at General Conference demonstrated that there is really a situation where we have irreconcilable differences between different parts of the church," he tells OneNewsNow.

Many on the losing side of the vote vowed to continue their fight for LGBT acceptance and affirmation. Lambrecht, a member of the UMC clergy, is convinced that battle will rip the denomination apart.

"Ultimately we will be leading toward a time when we won't be able to be a part of the same church together," he laments.

Only 900 of the roughly 32,000 UMC churches have officially embraced a pro-homosexual theology, although last week's vote could force the hands of others. But the denomination owns the facilities of all UMC churches and is trying hard to avoid the public and legal feud that beset the Episcopal Church USA when it split over the same issue several years ago.

When asked what the United Methodist denomination might have done in the past to avoid its current rift, Lambrecht says:

"There are two things that I think really set us up for this kind of a crisis that we've experienced in our church. One is the failure of the church to teach and promote a biblical understanding of human sexuality. The other is that people were defying and disobeying the rules of the church and there were no consequences."

In his blog titled "What Really Happened in St. Louis (Part 1)," Lambrecht writes that the "clear message" coming from the 2019 General Conference is this: "... We will maintain traditional biblical moral standards on marriage and human sexuality. We will not forsake Scripture as our primary authority .... [and] attempts to force [the UMC] to mimic progressive sexual ethics were not successful."

He concludes the blog with this statement about denomination leadership: "The heavy-handed lobbying tactics of our bishops and general agencies proved to be futile."

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