A recent proposal to split the United Methodist Church into two – one side in favor of gay marriage and accepting of gay clergy, the other opposed — is dividing not only the denomination but individual congregations, Professor Scott Thumma told The Hartford Courant.
With 12 million members around the world, Methodists have found themselves at an impasse over the issue. A proposal that still needs approval at an international meeting in May would split the church into a progressive wing that retains the current name and structure, and a “traditionalist” group that would establish a new name and go its own way.
“The last major gathering convinced people that they had irreconcilable differences, and what they thought was just a line really was a much, much larger gap,” Professor Thumma told The Courant. “There was no way that they were going to be able to come to some agreement without some sort of split.”
Professor Thumma said the greatest difficulty may rest with local congregations where some would like to follow the progressive stance and others the traditional one.
“In some sense, while this separation plan lays out a way to move forward, it also ends up leaving the really tough decision within congregations, for them to fight it out themselves.”
Read the full article here: Proposal to split United Methodist Church over gay marriage may hit hardest at local level