Homos*xuality divides UMC (Methodist)

May 4, 2024
METHODIST 1 | Report Focus News

The Zimbabwean branch of the United Methodist Church (UMC) has sparked controversy over its departure from Jesus Christ’s teachings following the parent body’s decision to acknowledge homos*xuality. At the most recent General Conference in the US, delegates unanimously endorsed gay activities within the church, challenging the longstanding belief that such activities were inconsistent with Christian doctrine. Upholding marriage as a sacred bond between two consenting individuals, regardless of gender, the ruling marked a significant departure from tradition.

Expressing concerns, the Zimbabwean delegation voiced fears of Western influence undermining traditional church values, despite others viewing it as a historic milestone. Speaking on behalf of the minority Zimbabwean delegation, Reverend Forbes Matonga criticized the decision as contrary to the Church’s established doctrines and a betrayal of African values.

Opponents argue that the shift exposes the younger generation to secular Western values and risks normalizing behaviors deemed sinful by conventional Christian standards. Congregation member Anesu Kapanga, a former opponent of homos*xuality, lamented the church’s seeming acceptance of what they consider sinful behavior.

Administration assistant Mr. Allen Gurupira addressed the congregation, reaffirming Zimbabwe’s staunch anti-homos*xuality stance. He emphasized that any decisions made at the General Conference would require ratification by local yearly conferences.

The UMC’s decision has ignited debate on social media, with many condemning it as contrary to religious doctrine. Zimbabwe Council of Churches Bishop Ignatius Makumbe stressed the importance of aligning church practices with government laws, which currently define marriage as between a man and a woman. He affirmed the ZCC’s commitment to biblical principles and rejection of homosexuality in all forms.

To address the issue and uphold traditional values, the ZCC announced plans to engage with the UMC leadership in Zimbabwe moving forward.