The following resources have been borrowed (with permission) from other discerning congregations. 

Please click on the following buttons to read more about what each church has researched and learned.

  • Rob Renfroe -- The UMC is Dividing and Is Divided

    The United Methodist Church is Divided and Dividing - YouTube

    Bishop Scott Jones -- Will the UMC become more progressive?

    Bishop Scott Jones - Will the UMC become more progressive? - YouTube

    Why would traditionalists leave the denomination rather than those who are progressive and do not like our doctrinal standards?

    Albert Mohler, a Southern Baptist preacher and leader, wrote a helpful blog post on that concern in January 2020 (Monday, January 6, 2020 - He reported that conservatives are always the group that has left their denominations when there is a split in a mainline Protestant denomination (Episcopalians, Lutherans, and Presbyterians). In the context of our denomination, the events during and after the 2019 General Conference establish that any meaningful attempt to bolster and/or enforce traditional doctrinal standards as to clergy will be fiercely resisted by the Council of Bishops both during General Conference and before the Judicial Council. Even if clergy reforms are passed by the General Conference and approved by the Judicial Council, those reforms will likely be ignored by the Council of Bishops, as has been done concerning the clergy-related portions of the Traditional Plan passed in 2019. Given the structure of the United Methodist Church, there is no realistic path to holding disobedient bishops accountable for their failure to enforce existing doctrinal standards.

    Rob Renfroe -- Why It’s Time for Traditionalists to Leave

    Why It's Time for Traditionalists to Leave - YouTube

    Why should we not wait until the 2024 General Conference to see what is voted on and to see if there is new disaffiliation legislation passed to replace the earlier process that will expire at the end of 2023?

    • Waiting until 2024 will guarantee that we pay at least one more year of apportionments and possibly add an additional year of apportionments to that.

    • There is no guarantee that a disaffiliation process will be voted in or that it will be as favorable to churches economically as the current legislation that will expire on December 31, 2023.

    • The 2019 General Conference was chaotic and unproductive. Many of the delegates present for that conference are slated to be delegates in 2024, so we can expect much of the same. Many traditionalist delegates have left the UMC, and so the voting margins should be tighter and the conversations potentially more frustrating for the 2024 General Conference.

    • There is a strong concern that many of our traditionalist church members might leave our church if we wait that long.

    • If there is no replacement disaffiliation process enacted, disaffiliation after 2023 may require that the church to give up all its real property. This has occurred in other Protestant denomination splits. Given the actions of many liberal bishops in other annual conferences, this is a real risk.

    • MS Annual Conference Trustees announced on October 20, 2022, that they had voted to extend the disaffiliation process until the end of 2025 and under the same “fair and equitable” standards of paragraph 2553. They said that the “intent of this plan is to allow churches time to learn the outcome from legislation adopted at the 2024 General Conference.” We are waiting to see how our newly elected bishop, Rev. Sharma Lewis, will react to this vote.

    • As traditionalist congregations continue to disaffiliate, the traditionalist influence in the voting blocs are diminishing.

    Bishop Scott Jones -- Why not wait until the 2024 General Conference has occurred before exiting the denomination?

    Why Not Wait for the 2024 General Conference? - YouTube

    What are some of the benefits of disaffiliation?

    Here are several advantages:

    • We will own our own building and property.

    • We will be able to focus on our mission more fully without distraction.

    • We will have greater input in the selection of our future pastors.

    • There would be a significant reduction in apportionments.

    • Bishops will have less administrative power and will not have life-time appointments.

    If all requirements of the Bishop and the Mississippi Conference are met, all assets will be transferred to our church.

    What if a Crystal Springs UMC member wishes to remain in the United Methodist denomination if our church votes to leave the UMC?

    Members wishing to remain United Methodist may do so and, if they wish, may attend another Methodist Church. Our hope would be, if our church is to disaffiliate, that everyone would go with us because we are a church family and because we would hopefully be going to a denomination with the same doctrines and polity that all of us have joined under when we all joined Crystal Springs UMC.

    The complete link of questions and answers from Madison UMC can be found here:

    Madison Methodist FAQ guide_REV 4_2_26_23.pdf (

  • The pastors at Christ Church Memphis have produced a series of podcasts on the current issues. Links to the podcasts can be found in the “Are We Really Better Together” section of: UMC News — Christ Church Memphis

    Here are the transcripts:

    Is the United Methodist Church Divided? — Christ Church Memphis

    Divided on the Bible — Christ Church Memphis

    Divided on Human Sexuality — Christ Church Memphis

    Divided On Mission — Christ Church Memphis

    Where Do We Go Next? — Christ Church Memphis

    The complete link to questions and answers from Christ Church Memphis can be found here:

  • Key issues from the United Methodist Church:

    What is the current United Methodist stance on homosexuality?

    From the Book of Discipline:

    While affirming that all persons are people of sacred worth and that God’s Grace is available to all, the United Methodist Church (UMC) does not condone the practice of homosexuality and considers it not compatible with Christian teaching (¶161f). Furthermore, we are reminded that the leaders in our congregations be persons of Christian character, discipline, commitment, as well as loyal to the ethical standards of the UMC as set forth in our Social Principles (¶244.3).

    It is obvious that the discussion concerning homosexuality is one of the more divisive issues. It captivates attention and dominates conversations as well as making it difficult to focus on the mission and ministry of the church. As we seek to live together in Christian community, let us always remember that God calls us to be in a faithful ministry with all persons through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    Here are other paragraphs from the Book of Discipline:

    ¶ 4. Article IV. Inclusiveness of the Church

    The United Methodist Church is a part of the church universal, which is one Body in Christ. The United Methodist Church acknowledges that all persons are of sacred worth. All persons without regard to race, color, national origin, status,4 or economic condition, shall be eligible to attend its worship services, participate in its programs, receive the sacraments, upon baptism be admitted as baptized members, and upon taking vows declaring the Christian faith, become professing members in any local church in the connection.5 In The United Methodist Church no conference or other organizational unit of the Church shall be structured so as to exclude any member or any constituent body of the Church because of race, color, national origin, status or economic condition.6

         4. Amended 1992.

         5. Amended 2000.

         6. See Judicial Council Decisions 242, 246, 340, 351, 362, 377, 398, 594, 601, and Decisions 4

              and 5, Interim Judicial Council.

    ¶ 214. Eligibility

    The United Methodist Church is a part of the holy catholic (universal) church, as we confess in the Apostles’ Creed. In the church, Jesus Christ is proclaimed and professed as Lord and Savior. All people may attend its worship services, participate in its programs, receive the sacraments and become members in any local church in the connection (¶ 4). In the case of persons whose disabilities prevent them from reciting the vows, their legal guardian[s], themselves members in full covenant relationship with God and the Church, the community of faith, may recite the appropriate vows on their behalf.

    ¶ 304.3 Qualifications for Ordination

    While persons set apart by the Church for ordained ministry are subject to all the frailties of the human condition and the pressures of society, they are required to maintain the highest standards of holy living in the world. The practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching. Therefore self-avowed practicing homosexuals1 are not to be certified as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve in The United Methodist Church.2

         1. “Self-avowed practicing homosexual” is understood to mean that a person openly

              acknowledges to a bishop, district superintendent, district committee of ordained

              ministry, board of ordained ministry, or clergy session that the person is a practicing

              homosexual. See Judicial Council Decisions 702, 708, 722, 725, 764, 844, 984, 1020

         2. See Judicial Council Decisions 984, 985, 1027, 1028

    Is the UMC changing its position on the virgin birth and the resurrection?

    Here is a helpful answer from the United Methodist official website: “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.”

    Virgin Birth and Divinity of Jesus

    Articles of Religion, Article II:

    “The Son, who is the Word of the Father, the very and eternal God, of one substance with the Father, took man’s nature in the womb of the blessed Virgin.”

    Confession of Faith

    “We believe in Jesus Christ, truly God and truly man, in whom the divine and human natures are perfectly and inseparably united. He is the eternal Word made flesh, the only begotten Son of the Father, born of the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

    Resurrection of Jesus Christ

    Articles of Religion, Article III:

    Christ did truly rise again from the dead, and took again his body, with all things appertaining to the perfection of man’s nature, wherewith he ascended into heaven, and there sitteth until he return to judge all men at the last day.

    Confession of Faith

    “Jesus Christ... was buried, rose from the dead and ascended into heaven to be with the Father, from whence he shall return.” 

    Salvation apart from faith in Jesus Christ

    Articles of Religion, Article IX:

    “We are accounted righteous before God only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, by faith.”

    Confession of Faith

    “We believe we are never accounted righteous before God through our works or merit, but that penitent sinners are justified or accounted righteous before God only by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.”

    What is the UMC position on the interpretation of scripture?

    The United Methodist Church is clear that the Scriptures of the Church are the primary source and criterion for the Christian faith and doctrine. John Wesley held a high view of Scripture as seen in Articles V and VI in the Articles of Religion from the Book of Discipline. As stated above, the Articles of Religion “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.” The membership vows of the United Methodist Church also include a clear statement about Scripture.

    Other issues from the Asbury UMC site:

    Are UMC churches going to have same-sex marriages?

    To answer this question, it is important to understand two important facts. First, the United Methodist Church’s Book of Discipline does not allow pastors or local churches to perform same-sex weddings. Second, a pastor is not forced to perform a wedding that she or he does not wish to perform. We do not know what the future holds, but a recent gathering of large church pastors and General Conference delegates saw the vast majority pledging that churches will not be forced to perform a wedding that they are morally opposed to allowing. The complete link to questions and answers from Asbury UMC can be found here:

    Resources - Asbury United Methodist Church (