Will Methodists Endorse Same-Sex Marriages?


Mark Tooley predicts, "no":

Nearly 1,000 delegates representing 12 million church members are on hand in Tampa for [the] start of the 11-day 2012 United Methodist General Conference, where homosexuality is the top issue of controversy.

The General Conference, the only body that officially speaks for the denomination, meets every four years to determine the denomination's future direction. Mark Tooley of The Institute on Religion & Democracy (IRD) is there, and he says the potential ordination of actively homosexual clergy and the issue of same-sex "marriage" are major concerns.

"Currently, the church's official stances are biblical and require clergy to be monogamous in traditional marriage, or celibate, if single, and also [prohibit] any celebration of same-sex unions in Methodist churches," he reports. "Obviously, the liberal side of the church very much wants to change that and will be pushing very hard and knows that time is running out for its cause."

One of the reasons for those advocates' concern, he explains, is the growth of the church in Africa.

"The U.S. church, where all the liberals are located, is declining and losing representation, while the Africans, who are very conservative, will probably become a majority within the denomination within ten years or less," Tooley predicts. "So, this year, 2012, may be the last opportunity for the liberal side to win on sexual issues." -- OneNewsNow