I agree with Rick. It is the wrong question. No one wants to see the church split, but many want the church to stay together on their terms. So I say, I don't know, mostly because I don't want the church to stay together under the terms of anyone who is most vocal right now.
I am a firm believer in finding a middle way that does not force churches/clergy to take stands they don't feel called to take in their everyday ministry, yet allows those clergy who feel called to practice ministry in a particular way to do so.
I would rather not see a split but it does seem inevitable. I am concerned with the way our bishops are totally ignoring Methodist disciplines but, even more than that, it saddens me that our leaders are totally disobeying God and trying to redefine the teachings of Jesus.
So I'm disheartened, if not entirely surprised, by the poll results.
No majority. A split plurality. A genuine stuck place if we're to believe this is indicative of what United Methodists think about this on the whole.
But I disagree with Rick. There are choices. There are always choices. And typically there are far more choices than we may have programmed ourselves to recognize as possibilities.
I Agree that hardly any of us want to see the church split, but it seems that quite a few are dedicated to destroying the church., The stance of the church on "Gut" issues has not changed, but the same group has spent the last 40+ years trying to radically alter it.
Not only do we have bishops defying the Discipline, but annual conferences are doing so as well... and now so is the Connectional Table who are charged with leading us into New Visions and Ministry... I Fear that the way they want us to go is not into a new vision of Discipleship but the same old rouyting of putting lipstick on the pig and calling sin beautiful...
I may not agree with every jot and tittle of UNM polity, but when the day comes I cannot abide by its basic principles and policies, I will find another home... to do less is hypocritical.
The issue isn't the split. The issue is being relevant to a microwave society. Tradition is important, but not as important as it is to draw people to Christ. If you can do that through traditional means great. If not then move to what contemperary or progressive idea that works. Keep it biblical and let God lead you. It is more important to be a Christian than to be a Methodist.
Wrong question. Nobody WANTS the UMC to split, but given the fact that we have Bishops openly ignoring the policies of the Church, and protesters disrupting every General Conference, we really have no choice.