Liberia News: UMC REJECTS HOMOSEXUALITY

…Says Church Is Not a Gay Church

By: Perry B. Zordyu

Monrovia-The Resident Bishop of the United Methodist in Liberia has called on opponents of the Church to stop undermining the Church as the it is not a gay Church.

Bishop Samuel J. Quire’s clarification comes in the wake of a protest staged by several members of the United Methodist Church in Liberia demanding the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the Liberia Annual Conference from the Global Conference of the United Methodist Church over its decision to repeal the ban on LGBTQ.

Recently, the Global United Methodist Church voted to repeal its ban on LGBTQ Clergy and granted authority to its ministers to officiate same-sex weddings.

The report has it that during the general conference held in the United States in May of this year, 692 delegates voted in favor of the repeal, with at least 51 delegates voting to keep the ban in place.

The United Methodist Church in Liberia is yet to make an official position on the latest decision from the Global Conference with a report suggesting regionalization. This means that every region will worship in their context that aligns with their culture but will remain with the Methodist Church.

However, those aggrieved Methodists strongly believed that the position of the global conference was an abuse of the Christian doctrine and the traditional values of Methodists in Liberia.

They added that holy matrimony is a sacred institution of divine origin which makes it categorically that homosexuality is sinful and United Methodists in Liberia should not support such.

The aggrieved members, carrying placards, gathered in front of the Stephen Trowen Nagbe United Methodist Church in Sinkor, Monrovia, to voice their discontent.

Protesters accused Bishop Samuel J. Quire, the Resident Bishop of the Methodist Church of Liberia of accepting money to endorse same-sex marriage within the Church. They alleged that Bishop Quire had agreed to a financial incentive to support the practice which they believe contradicts both African cultural values and the Christian faith.

Placards with inscriptions on the banner which were swiftly deleted from one of the Methodist members chatrooms, read, “Special session or no session,” says the banner, which was later removed from the chatroom, adding-no to Biblical contradictions.”

This protest underscores the ongoing struggle within the Church to reconcile differing views on marriage and sexuality. It reflects the broader debate within many religious communities about how to navigate evolving societal norms while maintaining traditional beliefs.

In response, Bishop Samuel J. Quire categorically denied any wrongdoing of accepting money from the Central Conference of the United Methodist Church on same-sex marriage.

Bishop Quire disclosed that during the recent United Methodist Conference in the United States, he was never allowed to speak but asked the protesting members to restore calm and announced that he would convene a special meeting to address the concerns of the aggrieved members.

“Let it be known that the United Methodist Church in Liberia is finally speaking out on the controversial decision reached recently by the United Methodist conference in the United Sates to embrace the homosexual/gay practice in the Church by LGBTQ people. Let me say this that the LAC/UMC rejects the move,” Bishop Samuel Quire told newsmen.

He furthered, “At the meeting in the US early this month, United Methodist General Conference, the Church’s Global Legislative body, voted to overturn every ban on LGBTQ people. The historic changes include a new definition of marriage as a lifelong covenant between “two people of faith,” rather than solely between a man and a woman, and a repeal of its ban on LGBTQ clergy, although Reverend Jerry Kulah, a delegate from Liberia, was quoted as saying, “We do not believe we know better than the Bible.”

The bishop maintained that the Conference also gave a new definition of marriage that it is a lifelong covenant between “two people of faith”, meaning between male and male, female and female or the opposite sex.

But in his first reaction to the US United Methodist Conference decision, Bishop Quire said the United Methodist Church contrary to information that the Church has agreed in principle to same sex marriage, the United Methodist Church in Liberia has not agreed to practice same-sex marriage.

“Whether regionalization is ratified or not, the Liberia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church will not conduct any weddings or ordinations of self-avowed, practicing homosexuals. Today, I am making this statement to set the record straight about what happened at the general conference, what it means for our denomination, the worldwide United Methodist Church, and how the United Methodist Church in Liberia will be operated going forward.”

Bishop Quire furthered, “You have heard a lot of messages being shared on social media about human sexuality and the United Methodist Church in Liberia. Some of these messages are misleading and very derogatory. As a matter of fact, there was a group of young people who came out with placards carrying some of these demeaning messages,” Bishop Quire told Journalists.

The Bishop of the UMC-Liberia Annual Conference said the Church is a strong Church of God administering to sinners who are in need of the saving knowledge and grace of God.

Bishop Quire then asserted, “To all United Methodists in Liberia and our Liberian Public, the United Methodist Church is not a gay Church.”

This situation continues to unfold, highlighting the challenges faced by religious institutions in addressing controversial social issues and maintaining unity among their congregations.

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