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
RecommendedAct Like Men, part 3: Men Treat Women with Respect
Act Like Men, part 3: Men Treat Women with Respect
Men acting like men do not exploit women. Men respect women.
TrendingMark Driscoll Resigns from Mars Hill
Mark Driscoll Resigns from Mars Hill
"I do not want to be the source of anything that might detract from our church’s mission."
Editor's PickThe Softer Face of Calvinism
The Softer Face of Calvinism
Reformed theology is more irenic and diverse than you think, says theologian Oliver Crisp.
Comments
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.