The United Methodist Church (UMC) is a denomination in crisis.
The denomination continues to collapse under the weight of its own failures and the mass exodus of membership from its rolls.
At its heart the problem is that the denomination (like several others) has chosen to stop defending its own foundational beliefs. We all know what happens when the foundation of any building erodes, it eventually collapses under its own weight. The same can be seen happening to the UMC in America.
The denomination is ruled by the set of foundational principles laid out in their “Book of Discipline,” except the national denomination has ignored several of those principles in recent years. In particular the denomination has chosen to shelter pastors who have denied the deity of Christ, denied the incarnation, and denied the Resurrection. (Not to mention the denomination now allows for openly homosexual “pastors” to lead their churches.)
Over the years the UMC has violated their own precepts, beliefs, and rules time and time again.
No organization can survive when they cease to agree on a basic set of principles and truths.
Which is why we see the turmoil currently roiling the UMC and other “mainline” protestant denominations.
The latest example of this comes from the First United Methodist Church of Louisville, Mississippi who recently decided to abandon the national denomination, and would now simply operate as an independent Methodist church called, First Methodist Church of Louisville.
The First United Methodist Church of Louisville decided to leave the denomination Sunday morning during a “membership affirmation,” said the Rev. Mike Childs. The vote was 175-6 with one member abstaining.
Going forward, the church will be known as First Methodist Church of Louisville.
“While our church will no longer be a member of the United Methodist denomination, it will continue to be a Christ-centered church that is faithful to the Scriptures and the theology of (Methodism founder) John Wesley,” Childs said. “It will forever be a Methodist church but not a United Methodist church.”
The Reverend Childs told the Daily Wire that the schism was a “long time coming.” He said that he believes the UMC has failed to respond to major problems within the denomination, one such issue, the election of a lesbian bishop which goes against both Biblical teaching and against the denominations own Book of Discipline.
The Reverend expounded on other issues to the Christian Post:
One of the reasons, Childs says, is because the UMC has not strictly enforced its 2016 Book of Discipline, which states that “self-avowed practicing homosexuals are not to be certified as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve in The United Methodist Church.”
“Homosexuality is just one issue where the [Book of] Discipline has not been enforced,” Childs said, adding that his church views homosexuality as no different than any other sin.
Childs added that another area of contention was that United Methodist entities have lobbied Congress in support of the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood. Childs objected to the fact that a UMC entity would support a group that performs late-term abortions.
“We believe in value and sacredness of both the life of the mother and the child but the United Methodist Church has supported legalized abortion in all cases, which contradicts that,” Childs told CP.
He also expressed disapproval of the fact that the Claremont School of Theology in California, which has UMC roots, established programs to educate Islamic clergy. Childs says that “runs counter to the claims of Christ.”
“Even more importantly, we have had leadership and bishops that rejected basic Christian truth on the resurrection of Jesus Christ or the incarnation,” Childs said. “There are many reasons leading up to this. It is the whole worldview. There are many good things that the United Methodist Church does and we will continue to support those.”
This isn’t the first Mississippi church to abandon the UMC, and it likely won’t be the last:
The Louisville church isn’t the first in Mississippi to leave the United Methodist Church. The Orchard in Tupelo and Getwell Road United Methodist Church in Southaven left last year over the denomination’s “intensifying homosexuality debate,” according to the United Methodist Church.
This will continue to happen, not only to the UMC but also to the other mainline churches, so long as they continue to abandon their foundational principles.
Sadly, there’s been no evidence of repentance from the mainline national denominations, so you can expect this disintegration to continue over the coming months and years.