Gay Marriage Debate Continues Splitting United Methodist Church

Rainbow Flag Church

In a debate that is playing out across nearly every major circuit of Christianity, the United Methodist Church is divided over the topic of gay marriage.

There are many proponents of gay rights within the church who believe that the areas of the Bible quoted to restrain homosexuality are not accurate depictions of God’s love. However, there are others that say that the Bible is absolute on the subject of homosexuality and the Church must abide by the scripture.

Annual Pastor And Theologian Meeting Focused on Gay Marriage

One of the annual meetings of pastors from all five major jurisdictions approached the topic of gay marriage within the United Methodist Church. They referred to gay rights as a crisis that is facing the church, one that is in violation of the Book of Discipline which guides the church. This meeting resulted in a great sense of disagreement between those who are traditionalist and those who hold more progressive beliefs.

While the meeting did not create any compromise, it did bring to light the fact that the two divergent groups within the church will not be satisfied by merely tolerating one another. They fear that the group will eventually split into two separate entities: those who support gay marriage and those who do not.

Some Question The Extent Of Division

However, on the scale of a single church, one might never realize that such a high level of division even exists. Though a pastor within the church was defrocked for presiding over a gay marriage, he was quickly reinstated after an outcry from members of his church. As it turns out, more people in the Methodist Church are willing to look past a person’s sexual orientation and focus on whether they are acting in a way that would please God.

More often than not, problems within a congregation that are cause for a general meeting are about topics other than gay marriage. This has led many people in local churches to wonder if gay marriage is even a problem within the larger church.

What Is The Answer?

There are generally two different opinions for this situation. Some people are advocating a schism due to the fact that the reconciliation of differences in beliefs between progressives and traditionalists is highly unlikely. This happened recently to the Presbyterian Church, which has divided over gay marriage and now suffers broken friendships and congregations across the faith.

Others wish to bring the church together, and agree to disagree. This would prevent the schism in the church that many fear, but would remain a constant source of enmity between the individuals in the congregations. It appears that only time will tell if there will, in fact, be a divide, as neither side sees a reason to budge on their beliefs.


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1 comment

  • Kyle Glatz
    12:20 pm

    “They fear that the group will eventually split into two separate entities: those who support gay marriage and those who do not.”

    Eerily familiar of how the Southern Baptists came to exist. Who wants to be on the wrong side of history? The shame of the SBC has been swept under the rug because it’s too uncomfortable to acknowledge how deplorably wrong they were on the issue of slavery and the rights of blacks. Does anyone really think a hundred years from now, history will judge the anti-gay “Christians” any differently?

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