The Methodist surrender

Published May 23, 2024

WORLD Opinion

Headlines surrounding the United Methodist Church over recent weeks have focused on the denomination’s dramatic changes with regard to homosexuality and gay clergy. For many evangelical Protestants, this is clear evidence of a basic failure to acknowledge the authority of scripture. The basic idea is that once God’s Word no longer holds final authority, traditional sexual codes become hard to justify in an area of rampant moral individualism and eventually fall victim to whatever contemporary social taste dictates.

That narrative contains a lot of truth. But it also fails to see that what happened at the UMC conference was not simply a collapse in sexual morality. That in itself would be bad enough, but it was really only symptomatic of a much deeper theological problem: The UMC has not merely lost sight of what sex is meant to be. It has lost sight of what it means to be human.

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Carl R. Trueman is a fellow in EPPC’s Evangelicals in Civic Life Program, where his work focuses on helping civic leaders and policy makers better understand the deep roots of our current cultural malaise. In addition to his scholarship on the intellectual foundations of expressive individualism and the sexual revolution, Trueman is also interested in the origins, rise, and current use of critical theory by progressives. He serves as a professor at Grove City College.

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