A commentator on the political witness of America's churches does not see the United Methodist Church's proposed four-way split working out well for the denomination.
In February, by a slight majority, the United Methodist Church voted to affirm the biblical teaching about sexuality. But liberal Methodists have been pushing back against the decision since, and most Methodist leaders on both sides of the issue believe a denominational split is inevitable.
Now a far-left Methodist caucus called UM Forward is proposing that the denomination split into four – traditionalist, moderate, progressive, and liberationist.
Mark Tooley of The Institute on Religion & Democracy says UM Forward is part of the last category.
"It's a liberal United Methodist caucus group that opposes the church's biblical teaching on marriage and sexuality and has been seeking to overturn it," Tooley explains.
UM Forward is focused on social justice and dressing up intersectionality and pro-homosexual stances with religious jargon.
"Those on the left side of the church are going to have a very hard time cohering together after division takes place," Tooley laments.
He thinks a two-way split is more likely, with traditionalists holding to Scripture and progressive or liberal Methodists leaving a biblical sexual ethic behind. Still, he says this "Indianapolis plan," named for the city where it was conceived, will even have a hard time succeeding.
"I doubt that new liberal Methodist Church would stay together very long because there are so many differences -- theological, political, cultural -- among and between the self-identified centrists ... the self-identified progressives, and now the self-identified liberationists," Tooley concludes.