WACO, TX (KWTX) – Controversies over same-sex marriage and abortion rights are roiling the United Methodist Church, with some congregations in Texas voting to join the conservative denomination.
Dave Brower, senior pastor of The United Methodist Church of Texas in Waco, said his church will remain with the denomination of The United Methodist Church.
“Methodism is really based on how we live our faith, specifically, how we live our faith with other people, and not just the impact it has on us, but on other people in the world around us,” Brower said.
He said his congregation will not join the 400 other UMC churches in Texas, including about five in Waco, which voted to join the United Methodist Church, which has a more conservative stance on sex and gender.
“The Methodist Church has struggled with these issues, and so has the entire American community for a long time. The debates in our general conference go back years and years,” Brower said.
Officials said disagreements on some topics, such as abortion rights and same-sex marriage, are the reason the churches split.
The current doctrine of the United Methodist Church supports same-sex marriage. However, different views destroy the church.
“We have clergy and parishioners who are committed to following the current language in the doctrine. Then you have churches, clergy and members who are interested in making the language more inclusive,” Brower said.
Brower said his church is welcoming to all people.
“We focus on what it means to truly love and welcome people in the church, and we believe that it is the radical love and radical hospitality of Jesus that makes him so,” Brower said.
Although some of the Brower brothers and sisters are leaving the rule, this should not change their faith and love for God’s word.
“Although it saddens me, at the same time I believe that they are doing what they think is in their best interest. The United Methodist Church is committed to making disciples for Jesus Christ, and that’s what we’re about,” Brower said.
In all, 450 UMC churches in the state disbanded during the recent conferences in Lubbock and Houston.
KWTX reached out to several Waco churches that decided to join the global denomination but did not hear back Tuesday.
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