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Pharisees, liberals and liars: The UMC’s battle for faith

THE 2024 United Methodist Church (UMC) General Conference convened in Charlotte, North Carolina, was marred by controversy and thereafter resulted in an unfounded direction on the church’s position on human sexuality.

THE 2024 United Methodist Church (UMC) General Conference convened in Charlotte, North Carolina, was marred by controversy and thereafter resulted in an unfounded direction on the church’s position on human sexuality.

It damned the pillars of the church, notably perverting the 2016 book of discipline and disregarding the bible and then moving forward to push for a Trojan horse of so-called “regionalisation”.

Whereas, Zimbabwe’s UMC members are being misinformed and led astray by the leadership as evidenced by the May 9 communiqué. Now, these events bring forth the question of how identity fixation ideology has been invited “sin to leith at the door” and dismantle the church all in the name of liberal values?

The UMC represented togetherness; a union of body, spirit and reason. But that marriage has since been disavowed. Its divorce, the progeny of ideologue and incompetent leaders, however, is not an isolated incident.

From the clear disregard of the book of discipline by the Americans as seen in the appointment of a lesbian bishop Karen Oliveto in 2016, to the underrepresentation of Africans during the conference, and then, an inverted regionalisation shift.

Now, at its aftermath, we have all the symptoms of a dying faith in God’s word, responsible leadership and the church.

While, as expected, many at this point have questions, with the main being, “How did we get here?”, and then, “What should we do about it?” — we cannot go silently into the night.

However, even though the events surrounding the liberalisation of UMC make a cause for action; they also require understanding.

The outcomes’ falsification of the scriptures (Romans 1. 25) through a post-modernist lens, which in essence drives for plurality (as if UMC prays to many subjective Gods), diversification (which has us sacrificing faith in the name of inclusion) and rejection of biblical truth; for a self-serving top-down leadership approach, should be dissected.

A call to action

The general conference outcomes approved same sex marriage, a redefinition of marriage and pronouns, and the suspension of homosexuality investigations; including the three bishops who were under judiciary review.

Additionally, it is reintegrating excommunicated homosexuals and endorsing for church funds to be directed at promoting homosexuality.

What is more, now, a Methodist sexual revolution that disconnects sex from marriage and monogamy, which in spirit embraces adultery, is afoot because of the revised doctrines and theological foundation.

Relatedly, following the general conference, Zimbabwe’s bishop released a communiqué on May 9 — a document that was not only self-contradictory and not based on the Bible, but misinforming, published without due process.

Yet, in typical suppression, there was no room for feedback or questioning of the rhetoric.

The communiqué was more of an opinion and politically appeasing statement than an address to the LGBTQ+2 and the identity fixation problem that has invaded the church.

After all, homosexuality is not aligned with Christian values and its biblical foundation (Romans 1. 26-32; Leviticus 18. 22, 20.13; Deuteronomy 23. 17; II Kings 23. 7; Genesis 19; Isaiah 3. 9, 4. 1).

Throwing away the baby with bath water

The Western world, particularly, America, which champions the general conference outcomes bases its faith on a political and culture war, “Wokeism”, the leftist ideology that is built on the romanticism of victimhood and moral posturing.

The same ideology that seeks to remake the fabric of Christianity can be inferred on recent changes in the Roman Catholic Church.

The gravitas of this issue infests deep into the idea of contextualising God and His word. One only has to read the Revised Social Principles (2024) and the 2020/24 book of discipline to see the moral posturing on human sexuality.

Take this into perspective, this liberalisation allowed no biblical continuity and adopts the butchering of children with gender dysphoria, sterilisation, organ removal to suit sexuality preferences, the break-down of family and sexual immorality in the name of “pride”.

Pride being the flag they pledge allegiance to, pride being the sin of the fallen angel whom we wrestle, pride being the fallacy of the intellect and ideology.

The regionalisation gambit

It is clear that the bible and the book of discipline cannot be contextualised because regionalisation is an untruth paraded as freedom but allows the compromising of the bible and complete upheaval of the church.

Neither can the country-based legal framework that the May 9 communiqué proposes be universally aligned with scriptures since a country’s laws are not explicitly based on the bible regardless of Zimbabwe’s current stance on homosexuality.

The fact of the matter is that regionalisation cannot change the church’s laws, doctrine standards and social principles that define marriage and human sexuality without divorcing the bible.

Also, the LGBTQ+ will not entirely be confined to the Western world just because of regionalisation when we are a globalised and interconnected church.

The general conference has already allowed sin as its fifth pillar, so the question becomes; if we are one body (I Corinthians 12. 18-20), what do we make of the ones who divide and amputates us on the altar of identity politics?


By the end of 2023, we had already been embroiled in this case against the LGBTQ+.

Although it was on a localised level, we soon figured out that the people, ordinary UMC members were misinformed and, by some accounts, coerced into a code of silence: “Thou shalt not speak of homosexuality in the church”.

But this does not divert us from what we stand for (even when they try to pressurise me into silence).

In any case, how could we stop when Christ our Saviour instructed us to teach his will (Matthew 28. 17-20)? So, if we are willing to bear that cross, what will make you stand for what is not right?

Remember, UMC begins with you and your choice to respond accordingly (Proverbs 2).


If the UMC is to be based on the first pillar, the bible, it cannot allow to be sheltered by the General Conference 2024 outcomes.

A call to action should be sounded like the trumpets of Revelations because if the church is not based on God’s word but on the ideologues that seat on their liberal thrones as if they are paragons of morality and virtue, then whom do we pray to — and is this still a church?

  • Kelvin Chitowo and Haggai Muchapondwa are long-time members of UMC. They write here in their personal capacities.

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