Guest / Limited Access /

Despite clear gains for evangelicals this week during the United Methodist global conference in Pittsburgh, some conservative leaders are now calling for the "amicable separation" of the 10-million-member denomination.

"We feel that the time has come to end this cycle of pain and conflict," said Bill Hinson, president of the Confessing Movement, a renewal group representing 675,000 conservative Methodists. "We feel that the gulf is too wide, the differences are irreconcilable—and we cannot bridge these."

Hinson and other leaders of conservative groups are now proposing that the opposing camps go their separate ways. Hinson said, "It would be a new denomination, complete with our Methodist heritage and doctrines. "But they wouldn't want us to have the United Methodist name and we wouldn't want them to have the United Methodist name.

"So rather than having a winner or a loser here—as you would in a split—this is to be an amicable separation, so I'm sure both would continue to carry the best of Wesley's tradition."

Delegate representatives of the General Conference, the top legislative body in global Methodism, which meets every four years, are expected to propose a resolution to appoint a task force that would plan for the division of United Methodist Church. For the resolution to be considered by the Conference, delegates would have to suspend the rules because the resolution is not currently on the agenda. The resolution would then face a vote for approval to go into effect.

Written by Hinson, the anticipated resolution states: "Be it resolved that the General Conference create a special task group to prepare a recommended process by which United Methodism will amicably separate, with the report of the task group to be presented ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Read These NextSee Our Latest
Current IssueCharity Navigator's Overhead Overhaul
Subscriber Access Only
Charity Navigator's Overhead Overhaul
New charity guidelines put ‘support expenses’ in a better light.
RecommendedYoung, Restless, Reformed
Young, Restless, Reformed
Calvinism is making a comeback—and shaking up the church.
TrendingResearch Says: Young People Don't Want Hip Pastors
Research Says: Young People Don't Want Hip Pastors
A study of 250 congregations suggests that youth and young adults want substance rather than style.
Editor's PickThe Precarious Future of Assisted Suicide
The Precarious Future of Assisted Suicide
'Culture of Death' sounds the alarm on pending medical bioethics legislation and other troubling trends.
Christianity Today
United Methodist Conservatives Seek 'Amicable' Split
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

May 2004

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.