Recent data reveals that over 4,000 congregations have departed from the United Methodist Church (UMC) this year due to disagreements over the denomination’s stance on LGBT issues. This data also indicates that approximately one-fifth of all UMC churches have chosen to leave the denomination since the controversy emerged. The numbers show that 4,172 congregations departed in 2023, which is more than double the number that departed in 2022 (1,518). In total, 6,182 United Methodist congregations have voted to sever ties with the denomination, representing a significant portion of the UMC’s church network. A considerable number of the departing congregations have chosen to affiliate themselves with the Global Methodist Church. The Global Methodist Church’s Book of Doctrines and Discipline articulates a definition of marriage as the union between one man and one woman.
Christian Headlines reports:
More than 4,000 congregations have left the United Methodist Church this year over disagreements about the body’s stance on LGBT issues, according to new data that also shows one-fifth of churches have left the denomination since the controversy started.
The new data, compiled by the United Methodist News Service and recently highlighted by USA Today, shows that 4172 have left this year – more than double the number that left in 2022 (1518).
All total, 6182 United Methodist congregations have voted to leave the denomination, a number that represents one-fifth of all churches in the UMC.
Many of them are joining the Global Methodist Church, which was launched in 2022 by conservative Methodists. A June article on the official Global Methodist Church website said nearly 3,000 churches had joined.
The Global Methodist Church’s Book of Doctrines and Discipline defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
“We believe that human sexuality is a gift of God that is to be affirmed as it is exercised within the legal and spiritual covenant of a loving and monogamous marriage between one man and one woman,” the book says.
On sexuality and gender, the book says, “While affirming a scriptural view of sexuality and gender, we welcome all to experience the redemptive grace of Jesus and are committed to being a safe place of refuge, hospitality, and healing for any who may have experienced brokenness in their sexual lives (Genesis 1:27, Genesis 2:24, 1 Corinthians 6:9-20).”
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