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The United Methodist Church Goes Full Woke

Last week the United Methodist Church General Conference gathered for what became a watershed moment: to redefine the Methodist denomination as a progressive, woke, quasi-religious group that embraces sexual immorality, rejects the world's only Jewish state, and champions the killing of the unborn.

In this video from the conference, United Methodists add new lyrics to an old hymn, praising God Diversity and asserting that all paths lead to God:

This conference formalized what has long been happening in the mainstream Protestant world: a forced adoption of progressive politics resulting in a divided, broken church with dwindling attendance and increasing irrelevance to a dying world.

Methodists have now split into two distinct groups: United Methodists (new progressive woke quasi-religion) and Global Methodists (traditional Methodist values). 

Global Methodist minister Chris Ritter documented the changes outlined from the conference:

  • Marriage is redefined from a man and a woman to any two adults of consenting age.
  • Restrictions on LGBT clergy are removed.
  • Same-sex weddings in United Methodist churches are permitted.
  • Non-binary gender categories are embraced.
  • Clergy sexual misconduct no longer includes adultery, sex outside of marriage, or homosexuality.
  • Abortion is now affirmed, with the United Methodist Church declaring solidary with those seeking it.
  • Church funds can be used to promote homosexuality. The conference announced the formation of a new Center for LGBTQ+ United Methodist Heritage, using church funds.
  • Sexual orientation becomes a mandated diversity category on church boards.
  • Removed previous protections for traditional Methodist liberties on these issues.
  • Divestment from Israel. Calls on the US government to end aid to Israel.
  • New resolutions to introduce more intersectional ideology within Methodism.
  • New changes to prevent conservative global Methodist regions from affecting US-based rules. (Likely needed because African Methodists hold to the Bible and oppose these new political directions.)
  • No exit pathways to leave the United Methodist Church. If a local church wants to leave, they will not able to keep their buildings or property.
Nearly everything there is tangential to redefining sexual immorality...except abortion and Israel.

Why is that?

It reveals something unique about Israel, doesn't it? It reveals something about one's spiritual condition if you oppose what Apostle Paul calls the natural branches, and by extension, the world's only Jewish nation. Antisemitism reveals demonic depravity; the United Methodists embracing it is a sure sign there is something rotten in the hearts of its leadership.

As for abortion, we know from early Christian writings such as the Didache that the early Christians considered it a grave sin. This further demonstrates that the United Methodist Church is straying from historical Christianity.

Given the United Methodists General Conference voted against these progressive policies in 2019, how did it turn out so badly now in 2024? Pastor Ritter explains,

In the fallout of a special General Conference in 2019 where the traditional understanding of marriage and human sexuality was upheld, U.S. progressives organized opposition with cooperation from certain U.S. bishops. Progressive slates of delegates were elected to represent several U.S. conferences. Amid this fallout, a high-profile plan, the Separation Protocol, was negotiated to divide the denomination. The General Conference set to approve separation was delayed twice due to COVID-19 and without controversy. A third delay until 2024 was viewed by traditionalists as unnecessary and shrewdly calculated. The Global Methodist Church announced plans to form in May 2022 and traditionalists began to disaffiliate under a provision approved at GC2019 (but only applied to US churches). A quarter of the 30,000 UMC churches in the USA exited. Meanwhile, the UM Commission on the General Conference styled the 2024 meeting a “delayed General Conference 2020.” This allowed the US the same delegate as before the exodus. African delegates, already disenfranchised from their new majority status, suffered further setbacks when a quarter of their delegates were unable to attend due to travel visa issues. All these factors created a ”boomerang effect” from the stated positions of the church in 2019.

It's not at all clear to me if now the United Methodist Church is any different at all from universal unitarians. Or from secular culture, for that matter. It's not clear to me they remain Christian: if Jesus Christ isn't required for salvation, and if Biblical ethics and morality are discarded, can it still be called 'Christian'?

Already the United Methodist Church has seen thousands of churches leave: since 2019, over 7,000 churches have left the United Methodists, with membership in decline between 3-5% each year. More than half of those have joined the Global Methodist Church, comprised of the original non-woke Methodists.

In the last two decades, we've seen other major Protestant denominations taken over by ideologically-motivated members who act in contradiction to the original purpose of the denomination and its founder. When this has happened, these churches slowly die out. Because people don't want churches that are indistinguishable from secular culture and ethics. 

If history is any indication, the United Methodist Church will continue to decline in churches and membership. It has embraced sexual immorality, boasted over the natural branches of the Jewish people, and championed killing the unborn.

Perhaps this can be a lesson for us in the Messianic Jewish movement. We must be on guard against politicizing our faith. But it's more specific than that. When political movements go beyond, or even against, the morality of the Bible, we must fight tooth and nail to hold onto what is good. The ever-changing morality of modern culture is weak and feeble compared to the solid rock foundation of the Word of God.

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