Seth Udinski, FISM News
The United Methodist Church, one of the largest Protestant denominations in the world, is moving towards an inevitable split. On Monday, a large group of conservative-minded Methodists confirmed that they plan break off from the larger UMC to form their own denomination. The churches have decided to act regardless of the outcome of the United Methodist Church’s General Conference, which is set to take place in the summer of 2022, after a two-year delay from COVID-19. It is extremely likely that the UMC will officially vote to split at the 2022 General Conference.
The General Conference last met in early 2019, under incredibly high stakes: voting on the church’s stance of the Biblical doctrine of marriage. The UMC in the United States is widely regarded as a progressive Protestant denomination, with many churches affirming homosexual marriage and even ordaining LGBTQ laity. To the delight and surprise of many faithful Christians, the UMC voted to uphold the Biblical stance of marriage by a slim 53% majority. However, the majority vote came largely from worldwide congregations and not those in the United States. Since the vote, the UMC has been steadily progressing towards division.
Now, over a year before the next General Conference, the conservative faction has decided to break away. They announced their new denomination, named the Global Methodist Church, will be a “new church rooted in Scripture and the historic and life giving teachings of the Christian faith.” If the UMC votes to uphold the “Protocol for Reconciliation and Grace through Separation,” the new denomination will likely wait to launch until the 2022 General Conference. If not, Global Methodist Church leaders believe the launch could take place much sooner.
One thing is clear: the United Methodist Church will never be the same again. Thankfully, many faithful Methodists will still be able to worship in a way that does not contradict the clear teaching and authority of Scripture.