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Should the Methodist church split over LGBTQ rights?

Johnson City Press • Jan 13, 2020 at 6:00 AM

The United Methodist Church, a diverse spiritual home to 12.6 million Christians, appears to be at a crossroads.

Recently, discussions and disagreements among its congregations regarding how the denomination should treat LGBTQ people have pushed leaders to the point of splitting the UMC.

Some point to scripture to justify refusing same-sex marriages and LGBTQ clergy members. Others say the church should be a welcoming place and cite other changes the church has made over time.

In May, Methodist leaders will likely vote on a split, which could trigger decisions from each congregation to either stay with the United Methodist Church and give LGBTQ worshipers the same rights in the church as heterosexual people, or to move to a traditionalist denomination that rejects LGBTQ people.

Millions of people could be affected, including many Christians in our area. Some may have to decide whether to stay with or leave a church they’ve been a part of their entire lives.

It’s an interesting theological question, and one that tests religion’s ability to adapt to changes in culture. Across the world, young people are saying religion is less relevant to their lives than it was to their parents, and many churches are struggling with declining attendance.

We’d like to hear from you, our readers. Should the United Methodist Church split? Is it possible to find reconciliation before the May conference, or is the issue of LGBTQ inclusivity in the church too polarizing to find a middle ground? If you think there is an agreeable compromise, could you tell us about it?

Why do you think this particular issue drove the UMC to split?

Send your correspondence to [email protected]. Letters may be no longer than 300 words and may be edited for length, style or content.

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