Thursday, May 08, 2008

African Methodists Vote to Keep United Methodist Church on 'Straight and Narrow'

Liberal American leadership in UMC seek geographical separation to remove conservative African influence; "What the African culture believes to be sin is not considered sin in the U.S."

-- First article from "Methodists wrap up General Conference" by Allie Martin on OneNewsNow 5/3/2008

Delegates to the General Conference of the United Methodist Church declined to elect a conservative majority to the church's top court, upheld the denomination's affirmation of traditional marriage, and agreed to form a committee that could mean a new hymnal for the denomination.

Delegates elected five new members to the Judicial Council. Of the five, only one is a conservative who supports the denomination's current policy that says homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.

Although 30 percent of United Methodists live in Africa, no African will serve on the Judicial Council. The African Bishops in the UMC are conservative and are also known for their emphasis on evangelism. Delegates also voted to reject same-sex unions, but approved a resolution opposing "homophobia."

United Methodist bishops also led anti-war protests throughout the ten-day meeting.

To read the entire first article, CLICK HERE.

-- Second article from "General Conference 2008 Information and Updates" by Dr. Riley B. Case of Confessing Movement UMC 5/2/08

A majority of the agenda time on Thursday (May 1) was spent considering the proposal for a total restructuring of the church with the creation of “Regional” conferences.

The reason for the proposal has to do with the fact that much of what the General Conference deals with presently applies primarily to the church in the U.S. (almost all of the resolutions for example). Supposedly, matters of importance to the whole denomination would be dealt with by the General Conference while articles of national interest would be dealt with by the Regional Conference.

No one yet can explain how this would work practically. What is known already is that there is a difference of opinion as to whether the Social Principles (and particularly the part dealing with homosexuality) are principles to be applied globally or regionally. Arguments are already being made that homosexuality, for example, is a regional issue. What the African culture believes to be sin is not considered sin in the U.S.

The implications of this are easy to see. It was the [African] delegates whose votes were decisive in the petitions relating to homosexuality. If the [African] votes were removed the U.S. delegates might well vote to change the church’s stance on homosexuality.

To read the entire second article, CLICK HERE.