Homosexuality will divide Methodists, theologian tells world gathering

Professor Ted Campbell of SMU's Perkins School of Theology is quoted on how the Methodist Church is addressing homosexuality and how that affects the church.

By Gregory Tomlin

HOUSTON (Christian Examiner) – Division among the congregations of the United Methodist Church over homosexuality is now unavoidable, a church elder and professor at Southern Methodist University has claimed before a global gathering of church leaders.

Rev. Ted Campbell, professor of church history at SMU's Perkins School of Theology, said during the church's World Methodist Conference Sept. 1 that "the question at this point is not whether we divide or not."

"That, I fear, is a given now," Campbell said, according to the denomination's official news service. . . 

Campbell addressed the issue at the conference, the news service said, largely through the lens of church history. He said the church should have unity in beliefs that are "essential" and liberty in those that are not.

However, due to the fact that so many Methodists are willing to defy the ban while others are willing to uphold what Scripture teaches, Campbell said they have already suffered a de facto separation.

"So this matter now has the functional status of an 'essential' or 'necessary' teaching alongside the teachings of the ancient church and the Reformation and the Wesleyan movement as something that unites and divides us," Campbell said.

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