A group of evangelicals within the United Methodist Church (UMC) in the US have called for biblical teaching on marriage and human sexuality to be ‘upheld and promoted’.
The newly formed Wesleyan Covenant Association (WCA) supports marriage as exclusively between one man and one woman.
The group’s formation follows shortly after the UMC formed a special commission to offer possible recommendations for changes to church rules on same-sex marriage and gay clergy.
’One man, one woman’
On its website the WCA describes itself as “a coalition of congregations, clergy, and laity from across the church”.
Concerning marriage and sexuality it says: “We believe marriage and sexual intimacy are good gifts from God.
“In keeping with Christian teaching through the ages and throughout the Church universal, we believe that marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive covenant.
“We believe that God intends faithfulness in marriage and celibacy in singleness.”
In Britain, the Methodist Church has recently voted to “revisit” its position on same-sex marriage.
At present, the Methodist Church defines marriage as “a permanent relationship between a man and a woman”.
But a two-year task group has been ordered to assess how a re-examination of theology will take place and is due to report back at the annual conference in 2018.
The UMC is one of the largest denominations in the US with almost seven million members in the country and a further four million members across the world.