Ask The UMC is providing detailed answers to questions regarding the current state of the denomination via its “Is The United Methodist Church really…?” series. While all of the questions and answers are important, some United Methodists are seeking brief information about key concerns. Discover this information below and choose to take a deeper look at what is most relevant to you and your church.
Explore the entirety of the series
Current events: Is The UMC really…
Splitting at this time?
No. The term “split” applies when there is a negotiated agreement within the denomination to divide assets and resources. No such agreement has been made in The United Methodist Church. The earliest point at which such an agreement could be made would be at the next General Conference to be held in 2024. A more accurate term is “splintering.” What is happening is that some traditionalist leaders have decided to create their own denomination. READ MORE>>
Asking all local churches to vote on whether to remain in The United Methodist Church?
No. No leaders in The United Methodist Church are asking or expecting any United Methodist congregation to take any vote on this question. Congregations may choose to do so. But nothing compels any United Methodist congregation to hold such a vote. READ MORE>>
Ending United Methodist Church memberships of those whose local church disaffiliates?
Yes. When a local church disaffiliates, the Judicial Council has made clear all of its members depart the denomination with it. From the standpoint of The United Methodist Church, it is not possible to be a member in The United Methodist Church and a member in another denomination (or an independent church) at the same time.
If your congregation has voted to disaffiliate, and you wish to remain a member of The United Methodist Church, you will want to find another United Methodist congregation to join before the effective date of disaffiliation set by the annual conference. You may ask your district office for assistance in this process. READ MORE>>
Doctrine and beliefs: Is The UMC really…
About to alter its doctrine to deny the virgin birth, the divinity of Jesus Christ, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, or salvation through Christ alone?
No. All of these positions are bedrock in the doctrinal standards of The United Methodist Church, more specifically in the Articles of Religion and the Confession of Faith. These cannot be altered without a two-thirds vote of the General Conference followed by a three-fourths aggregate approval of all annual conferences of The United Methodist Church worldwide. There is no basis to conclude such majorities can be achieved to alter the Articles and Confession for any reason. READ MORE>>
Intending to change the Bible?
No. The United Methodist Church has no official translation of the Bible and has never sought to alter the Bible at all. United Methodists have always had a variety of views about how to interpret specific passages of Scripture and likely always will. READ MORE>>
Human sexuality: Is The UMC really…
Going to drop all prohibitions related to human sexuality at its next General Conference in 2024?
The 2024 General Conference will consider legislative proposals that would drop several existing prohibitions. The key words are consider and proposal. The General Conference must consider all legislative items it receives. All legislative items before a General Conference are proposals only. They have no force unless a General Conference approves them. READ MORE>>
Ignoring or refusing to implement the Discipline's statements, restrictions, and requirements regarding practicing homosexuals and same sex weddings?
In the majority of conferences, no. In some conferences, it may appear so. In those placing these matters "in abeyance," also no. READ MORE>>
Disaffiliation voting: Is The UMC really…
Requiring that only professing members of the local church, and all professing members of the local church, are eligible to vote on a motion to disaffiliate at a called church conference?
Yes and yes. The Book of Discipline states: “The decision to disaffiliate from The United Methodist Church must be approved by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the professing members of the local church present at the church conference.” READ MORE>>
Requiring that persons be present at the church conference in order to have vote on a motion to disaffiliate?
Yes. As noted in the Book of Discipline citation in the previous answer, there is no provision for proxy votes for persons not at the meeting. Either one is present at the meeting or one does not have vote. READ MORE>>
This story was published on March 29, 2023. The contact is Joe Iovino at United Methodist Communications. Contact him by email.