When I first saw the headline, I hoped it was from The Onion, but it's not.

There's a lot going on in the world right now, but IMHO this matters. I know a lot of folks are not a fan of any organized religion and count myself among that group these days, but as a student and adherent (for the most part) of Wesleyan theology, seeing this headline breaks my heart.

Maybe also because I recall, maybe 15 or so years ago, several members of the small UMC across the street from the little holiness church we attended then came to our services for a few weeks because their newly appointed pastor announced from the pulpit that she (uh-huh) supported so-called homosexual marriage.

That UMC congregation soon got her appointed elsewhere and returned to their own pews. Now, they will have to change the name on their sign, stationery, etc., because this agreement, if approved in May, calls for unrelenting full and true Bible believing and teaching churches to form a new denomination, as if those holding to the Truth of God must be the ones to bear the mark of shame in this.

Here is the full text of the news report:

United Methodist Church agrees to split amid LGBTQ differences

The United Methodist Church has announced that it expects to split following an impasse over the debate on gay marriage and LGBTQ inclusion in the church.

The United Methodist Church Council of Bishops announced a separation agreement on Friday among the church’s diverse factions.The schism divides the third-largest religious denomination in the U.S. The result would be the formation of a new “traditionalist” denomination, which continues to forbid same-sex marriage and prevent LGBTQ people from becoming clergy. What remains of the United Methodist Church would permit them, a first for the denomination.

Rev. Andy Oliver of Allendale UMC in St. Petersburg, Fla. rejected the decision and promised to continue promoting inclusion.
The delegates there saw the worst in a major part of the church, and many people who remained silent in the past have been moved to a place of advocacy and can clearly say this isn't right," said Oliver in February. At the time, he used his church’s sign to apologize for what he views as “harm done by the church.”

The Council of Bishops said the proposed agreement to divide the church was signed on Dec. 17 by representatives from Europe, Africa, the Philippines, and the United States. It still must be finalized. It will be brought before the United Methodist General Conference in May 2020. Under the agreement, the new traditionalist Methodist denomination would receive $25 million from the United Methodist Church over the next four years. Any other denominations formed as a result of the agreement would receive $2 million. There would also be $39 million provided “to ensure there is no disruption in supporting ministries for communities historically marginalized by racism.”

The plan’s writers called it “the best means to resolve our differences, allowing each part of the Church to remain true to its theological understanding while recognizing the dignity, equality, integrity, and respect of every person.”

Link: https://www.kgw.com/…/283-3c7f71fe-44fa-4703-9af9-bee7913c4…