Global Methodist Church reacts to UMC votes to allow LGBT clergy, same-sex weddings

By The Christian Post |
A procession of United Methodist bishops
A procession of United Methodist bishops leads the opening worship at the 2024 United Methodist General Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina. | Mike DuBose/UM News
The Global Methodist Church has issued an official response to the United Methodist Church's General Conference votes to drop the denomination's decades-old ban on ordaining noncelibate homosexuals and allow the blessing of same-sex weddings.

UMC General Conference delegates voted this week via consent calendar to remove assorted rules from the denomination's Book of Discipline, shifting its stance on multiple LGBT issues.

Launched in 2022 as a conservative alternative to the UMC at a time when many churches were planning to leave the mainline Protestant denomination, the GMC issued a statement Wednesday stating that it "do[es] not have any affiliation with their decisions, nor do we wish to comment or provide commentary on the actions of other religious organizations."

Nevertheless, the nascent Methodist denomination took the opportunity to state that it remains "dedicated" to maintaining a historic understanding of Christianity.

"The Global Methodist Church maintains its steadfast commitment to advancing its mission, which involves proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ and serving its community of more than 4,501 churches and congregational members worldwide," stated the GMC.

"Rooted in the teachings of Jesus Christ and the historic confessions of the Christian faith proclaimed over the past two thousand years, The Global Methodist Church remains dedicated to upholding its denomination's strong foundation."

The GMC was launched in 2022 after the UMC delayed its General Conference, originally scheduled for May 2020, for a third time amid the COVID-19 pandemic. GMC's goal was to provide a new denomination for conservatives seeking to leave the UMC in objection to theologically progressive leaders within the denomination refusing to abide by the denomination's rules on sexuality. 

Although decades of efforts to change the rules prohibiting gay weddings and noncelibate homosexual clergy had failed, many liberals within the UMC refused to enforce or follow the Book of Discipline's ban on ordaining LGBT clergy. 

A 2019 special session of the General Conference approved a temporary measure creating a disaffiliation process for congregations that wanted to leave the UMC. Over 7,500 churches had done so by the end of last year.

On Tuesday, as part of a consent calendar vote, delegates voted 667-54 to remove the Book of Discipline's ban on funding LGBT advocacy groups and mandatory punishments for clergy who blessed same-sex unions.

The following day, delegates approved without debate in a vote of 692 to 51 a consent calendar that included removing a ban on "self-avowed practicing homosexuals" being ordained, a measure that had been in the Book of Discipline since 1984.

Originally published by The Christian Post