By Jonathon Van Maren
Despite a concerted campaign by LGBT activists and liberal clergy, earlier this week the leaders of the United Methodist Church rejected the so-called “One Church Plan,” which would have permitted individual churches to decide whether or not to permit same-sex “weddings” and LGBT clergy, at their General Conference in St. Louis, Missouri. Delegates from around the world voted down the proposal and voted instead on Tuesday afternoon for the “Traditional Plan”—which would maintain the current rules of the United Methodist Church—by a margin of 438 to 384.
The decision came as a shock to many, as the Council of Bishops had recommended that the General Conference pass the One Church Plan in response to a growing number of vocal gay clergy inside the Methodist fold as well as intense pressure from LGBT members who insisted that Christianity should be conformed to their beliefs rather than the other way around. One delegate, the Rev. Tom Berlin of Virginia, actually stated that to remain committed to the biblical view of sexuality would be to put “a virus into the American church that will make it very sick, and it will be sick quickly.”