African Bishops Issue Statement on Future of United Methodist Church



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African Bishops

Looks like we are in for a throwdown next GC. The Africans are figuring out that their votes can swing GC one way or another. By not being willing to sever the connection and unwilling to accommodate same sex marriage we can be assured of an interesting conference. Toss the disaffiliation plans away and force the compliance issue. The progressives will then have to decide where they want to go. And when they leave the general agencies can then be restaffed and restructured. .

Kevin more than 2 years ago

But there's a problem

If the progressives go, and take their support with them, the Global Agencies aren't going to last long enough to restructure. The African Bishops aren't going to have their people supply the funding to keep things going - they are at least somewhat reliant on the funding from the US.

And if the US breaks - no matter how it happens - they are going to be losing in a big way.

I honestly don't think this is a 'force compliance' issue. I think this is a solid negotiation tactic - they know how strong they are (from a vote perspective) - they don't have a majority, but they have such a large bloc that their votes control the outcome.

And since none of the plans have included them in the decision making process, they are putting their foot down. They may not have the numbers to dictate the plan, but they have enough to veto anything that is put up.

JR more than 2 years ago

Stay United

Splitting of the church to appease the will of a small percentage of the congregation makes no sense. Why are so many people acting as if every other person (or more) is homosexual and a great travesty is being committed by continuing to adhere to God's word as written. There is nothing preventing the people who want to split off from doing so on their own, and leave the rest of us alone. Why must those of us who wish to adhere to the "conservative" ways be punished and split off? What comes next? We allow multiple wives and husbands? We could just start removing or adding anything we like...

John T more than 1 year ago

Something’s missing

What is their proposal for the American churches that will not obey the traditional plan? Do they hope to fire thousands of American pastors who do not comply? These are the clergy and the churches that provide most of the support for the general agencies they want preserved.

Nina Cortada Winkler more than 2 years ago

African United Methodists can't have it both ways...

African bishops don't want to be seen as 'second-class citizens' and have Tom Lambrecht & Co. telling their GC delegates how to vote--although that's exactly what happened @ GC 2019 and previously. They insist on 'self-determination' and a United Methodist Church that supports their views on human sexuality--but when they got that @ GC 2019, they failed to reckon with the backlash of most American United Methodists who don't want Africans and a conservative minority calling the shots.

They insist on their own 'self-determination', but they don't and won't like it when Americans insist on their own 'self-determination' rather than being African pawns.

With an emerging African majority in the global UMC, of course they want to call the tune in a global power struggle. That's a form of 'reverse colonialism' when at last they get a taste of power and prestige and hanker for more--particularly when they get to call the American church on its moral lapses into degeneracy.

African bishops who are insisting on an African context for being the church have forgotten that they are bishops of the whole church. When they try to throw their cultural weight around and even threaten to walk out of a Council of Bishops meeting if they don't get their way, they're operating out of political reductionism. That makes them look slightly silly when it's so easy to see behind their posturing. Not a good move for a bishop.

Wayne more than 2 years ago


Your last paragraph just described what all the american bishops and our liberal clergy have been doing since the general conference.

td more than 2 years ago

This changes everything

Without the Africans participating, I doubt any plan of disassociation or disaffiliation will go through. It would take all sides from the US getting together behind one plan. It means the traditional plan passed at GC 2019 will remain in effect and only be strengthend over the years as the Africans and Asians come to dominate the UMC. Probably the only thing they will support Is a version of the Indy plan where the progressives leave and everything reverts to the traditionalists. I hate to say it but we are probably heading to GC2019 Part II. The only hope may not be a resolution that allows individual conferences to leave and a more workable exit plan for individual churches. Somebody needs to talk to the Africans and come up with a more acceptable plan or it will be more chaos.

Scott more than 2 years ago


No, they voted for disaffilitaion plans at the last gc. The american liberals were the ones that voted against them.

td more than 2 years ago

Good for Africa!

Maybe the American church needs to develop humility and start listening to Africa. However, that would challenge the current all American power structure and the hard core progressive mentality that is incapable of accepting respective tolerance and demands everybody must acquiesce to their point of view.

betsy more than 2 years ago

Good for Africa?

The Progressives offered respective tolerance and to acquiesce. It was called the One Church Plan. We hated it, but we voted for it anyway to show respect to our Traditionalist brothers and sisters. But it wasn't enough for them to have the freedom they sought. They also wanted to take our freedom away. And so we are leaving. The African Bishops can have all the freedom to oppress GLBTQ Africans they want, but they won't do it in our name or with our financial support. Over a dozen Reconciling Churches are organizing on the African Continent. That's where our future mission funds are headed. If the African Bishops' goal is to keep the church united, then they have made a terrible (and probably irreversible) mistake.

Tim more than 2 years ago

I saw this coming

It's unfortunate, but since none of the plans actually were including international voices, I totally expected the more Traditionalist international contingent to put up a fight.

The problem is, they are somewhat insulated from the conflict in America. The WCA, IRD et al have done them no favors here.

If they hold the line, the UMC in America will just fragment, and all those General Agency funds will dry up within a decade.

One more comedy of errors to add to the collection....

JR more than 2 years ago


You misunderstand the objection to the one church plan. It changed what the church defined as sinful behavior for everyone; sins don't vary by geography. And certainly a church can not have two contradictory teachings about what a marriage is and can also consider sodomy to be both holy and sinful.

td more than 2 years ago

Sins don't vary by geography?

Of course, that assumes you read the bible as one (and only one) man + one (and only one) woman = marriage, despite evidence to the contrary.

JR more than 2 years ago


What's the biblical evidence that God's will for marriage go beyond "one (and only one) man + one (and only one) woman"?

Wikipedia isn't a reliable source for much of anything. While it does contain truthful information, there's insufficient oversight over who adds what to any given article to give it more than minimal credibility.

John more than 2 years ago

All over the place


Some references:
Exodus 21:10
Deuteronomy 21:15-17

Now, the counterpoint is obviously that this is all OT stuff, and Jesus changed things. I can agree with that, as long as you stop quoting OT stuff with respect to certain other categories of sin. :)

JR more than 2 years ago

Humility from rebuke. Sounds Biblical!

Unfortunately, the UMC is struggling with a timeless problem that is only overcome with prayer, humility and the power of th Holy Spirit. The Bible, God's word, is given to us by the Lord to change our perspective of how we view ourselves and the world. And then we, having seen our sin and our need for a savior, are to turn from our ways to follow Christ. Then as part of the Church, we are to try to win others to The Faith that saves all men from certain destruction. The Church is supposed to influence the culture around it, not as what is happening in the UMC and other Christian denominations, where the culture around it is influencing the Church!
Let God be true, and every man a liar...

Jeffery Bodoh more than 2 years ago


Amen brother

Michele more than 1 year ago