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If The One Church Plan Passes

Updated: Jan 23, 2019

If The "One Church Plan" Passes





· Restrictive language regarding the practice of same-sex sex is removed from The Book of Discipline and in effect for the whole denomination.

· Same-sex marriages may be blessed by any annual conference, clergy or church who so chooses.

· Those practicing homosexuality may be ordained and appointed to like-minded churches.

· Clergy and churches who do not allow same–sex practice but who remain in the UMC still maintain their vow to ‘be loyal to the United Methodist Church’ (UMC) and, as clergy, accept its doctrine and discipline as now newly conceived. The United Methodist Church per its Book of Discipline would affirm the following:

§ The witness of Scripture calls us to reconsider the teaching of the Church regarding monogamous, homosexual relationships.

§ Marriage is redefined as ‘the covenant of monogamous marriage between two adults’ {Not as previously stated, ‘monogamous, heterosexual marriage’}.

§ Delete and remove from The Book of Discipline ¶ 161. G: ‘The UMC does not condone the practice of homosexuality and considers this practice incompatible with Christian teaching’. The official United Methodist position in The Book of Discipline on homosexual practice will no longer be clear, decisive, and biblical but uncertain and ambiguous.

§ Annual Conference Clergy Sessions rather than General Conference will set standards on human sexuality and may now allow those practicing same-sex sex to be ordained. Rather than having unified standards from General Conference annual conferences will create contradictory standards for clergy.

§ Considers those in monogamous, same-sex relationships to be persons of ‘high standards’.

§ Clergy and churches are permitted to perform and bless same-gender marriages.

· Will incite division and split annual conferences and churches by obliging them to vote one way or the other, ‘pro’ or ‘con’. Some losing the vote will leave.

· Creates social justice issues:

o Traditionalist clergy may be appointed and supervised by superintendents or bishops who are not sympathetic to a traditionalist view, or vice versa.

o There will be suspicion among clergy of whether or not they will be treated fairly and without bias. People may be ‘black-balled’ from conference committees and agencies because they are of the opposing view of the majority in the conference. There will be second-class citizens.

o Creates inequality in appointments:

§ Will all traditionalist pastors who want a traditionalist church be appointed to one?

§ Will all churches wanting a progressive pastor get one in a traditionalist annual conference? In likely cases of an imbalance of like-minded churches and pastors local congregations may be unequally matched but subject to the bishop’s decision.

· Public perception of The United Methodist Church (UMC) will be necessarily confused. A muddled ‘brand’ will not be conducive to evangelism or the promotion of the Church. The public will be confused as to whether or not Methodists accept God’s Word as the final authority for homosexual practice. Are we for or against?

o The authentic homosexual will view Methodism as anti-gay and homophobic because it accepts as blessed those who denounce homosexual practice.

o Those who accept Scripture as God’s final and authoritative Word will view the UMC as untrustworthy, liberal, and errant.

· Methodist ‘connectionalism’ where unity of standards and discipline prevailed will be compromised:

o Unified ministerial standards formerly shared together throughout the whole denomination will give way to various standards in different locales.

o Missional purpose will fracture and bring national disunity and confusion to local congregations.

o Local congregations with different perspectives will be suspicious of one another. Pastoral care with those with whom one disagrees will be ambiguous.

· Will not unite but split the church. A poll taken of national, traditionalist, clergy leaders by a renewal group suggests many will leave the denomination if the One Church Plan (OCP) passes.

· Will have a negative impact on annual conference, denominational and pension finances. Some church members and pastors will leave the denomination causing a negative impact on the financial stability of annual conferences and, in turn, the denomination.


· The One Church Plan rejects the supreme and preeminent authority of Holy Scripture. The One Church Plan says God’s revelation of truth includes with equal commendation both those who interpret Scripture to condone and those who condemn the practice of homosexuality.

o Along with subverting the supreme authority of Scripture, a host of apostolic and classical biblical and doctrinal teachings are brought into question:

§ The nature of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit

§ The nature of being human

§ Total depravity of sin

§ Repentance

§ Nature and Deity of Jesus Christ

§ Necessity of objective, substitutionary atonement

§ Justification by grace through faith

§ Sanctification and obedience to God’s moral law

· Rejects four thousand years of united Jewish and Christian teaching on the creative order and complementarity of marriage between one man and one woman and the unnaturalness of homosexuality.

· No biblical text affirms homosexual practice. Arguments used successfully for the acceptance of homosexual practice can and will be used to support extra-marital sex, ‘threesomes’, bestiality, etc.

· Breaks with the global, ecumenical consensus of many denominations including the largest Christian bodies, the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church.

· Rejects John Wesley’s (Methodism’s chief parent) views on homosexuality and Scriptural authority:

o John Wesley called homosexuality an ‘unnatural lust’ ‘as horrible a dishonor to the body, as their idolatry was to God’.

o He said homosexual behavior is a violation of natural laws which is an offense against God. (See his Explanatory Notes on the Old Testament v. Leviticus 18: 26 and Explanatory Notes on the New Testament, v. Romans 1: 27 which are doctrinal standards for the UMC)

· The One Church Plan is the first step toward the ultimate vision of required inclusion of homosexual practice in the United Methodist Church. Continuing pressure to conform will be applied to remaining traditionalists.

o Retired Professor of Religion at Roanoke College, Lutheran Robert Benne, wrote in the October issue of First Things of his experience with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. In 2009 the ELCA accepted the blessing of gay unions and the ordination of homosexuals. Benne says the promise to honor the ‘bound conscience’ of traditional views on homosexuality has proven false. Once churches become liberal Protestant, there is no going back. Forces unleashed will be pressed onward to unforeseen extremities.

o He warns churches like us: ‘Once orthodoxy is breached on these issues, the process won’t stop there.’ (Robert Benne, ‘ELCA Hits Bottom’, First Things October 2018, no. 286: 13-16)

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