Are Methodists Becoming More Conservative?

Here’s an article on how United Methodists are becoming more theologically conservative.  This is in contrast to some of their  mainline brethren: Methodists Behaving Conservatively.

From the article:

 By some measures, the United Methodist Church is becoming more theologically conservative. The denomination’s Book of Discipline affirms that homosexual practice is “incompatible with Christian teaching.” At their 2004 General Conference, United Methodists endorsed “laws in civil society that define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.” It wasn’t close; the motion passed with 70 percent of the vote. The Methodists’ generally pro-choice position on abortion has been revised in a more pro-life direction.

This conservative trend of the UMC contrasts with the liberalizing trend of other American mainline denominations (Presbyterians, Episcopals, etc).  The reason is that Methodists outside the USA have full voting rights in the general convention.  One third of UMC delegates now come from Africa.  African Methodists are  more orthodox than their American counterparts.  Because of this African movement, conservative Americans are also more likely to stick around (in other mainline denominations these sorts of people have already left).

It’s an interesting read, and also encouraging.

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