A serious turf war has erupted in Christendom leading to a division in the Methodist Church over approval of congregants for same-sex marriage.
Whereas the British Methodist at a conference in Birmingham in its Representative Session from 29th June to 4th July 2019 embraced same-sex marriage, their Ghanaian counterparts have opposed the decision.
The Methodist Church which is the UK’s fourth-largest Christian denomination passed by 247 votes to 48, a motion that “consents in principle to the marriage of same-sex couples on Methodist premises… and by Methodist ministers, probationers or members.”
The decision by the British Methodist church was backed by Dignity & Worth, a pro-LGBT group within the Methodist Church.
However, the Ghana Methodist church has strongly kicked against its members engaging in same-sex unions.
Speaking at a press conference, the presiding Bishop, Rt. Rev. Dr Paul Boafo said the Church in Ghana is independent of the British and not bound by the decision taken at a conference in Birmingham.
“I want to state with some emphasis and also do so in no ambiguous terms that the Methodist Church Ghana is an autonomous conference with its own leadership.
“We have been independent of the British Methodist conference since 1961, however, historically, we have maintained the working relationship with the British Conference as the mother church that gave birth to the Methodist church Ghana,” he added.
According to the Ghana Methodist church, African Methodists, especially those with historical links to British Methodism, are very disturbed, with some even confused about this decision of the British Conference to go beyond recognition and acknowledgement, to regularize same-sex, cohabitation and divorce within the Church. Describing decision by the British church as a “sad development for Methodism worldwide,” the presiding Bishop noted, such decisions are often made with the laws of the countries in which the particular churches exist in view.
He emphasised that, in Ghana, a law against ‘unnatural carnal knowledge’ makes sex between two males a criminal offence.
He has since assured the people called Methodists and by extension all other members of the Body of Christ, that the Methodist Church Ghana remains unashamedly, a Church that believes in the authority of the Bible.
He reiterated, “We stand by the Wesleyan teaching on Scriptural Holiness. We believe that “marriage is ordained by God” and as our liturgy on weddings declares, “it is not to be thought of lightly or selfishly but in the fear and love of God.”