“Our views on marriage remain unchanged”: Methodist Church in Singapore responds to vote by America’s United Methodist Church

The Methodist Church in Singapore has emphasised to Salt&Light that it will continue to adhere to its Book of Discipline.

Salt&Light // May 7, 2024, 5:29 pm

jiri-benedikt-rM6xTiVnMew-unsplash 2

The Methodist Church in Singapore has responded to the vote by America's United Methodist Church Conference on May 1 to repeal a 40-year ban on LGBTQ clergy and to allow the performance of same-sex weddings. Photo by Jiri Benedikt on Unsplash.

The Methodist Church in Singapore (MCS) has called its flock to keep the United Methodist Church (UMC) in prayer.

“Our views on marriage remain unchanged from our clarifications previously published in 2021 and 2022,” said a statement released today (May 7) by MCS.

“For example, the MCS Book of Discipline, which includes our revised Social Principles, expressly states that:

  1. “Since the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching, self-avowed practicing homosexuals are not to be accepted as candidates … or approved to serve in the Methodist Church in Singapore.” (¶535)
  2. “We affirm the sanctity of the marriage covenant which is expressed in love, mutual support, personal commitment, and fidelity between a man and a woman.” (¶84.1)

This is MCS’ response to a vote by the United Methodist Church (UMC) on May 1 to repeal a ban on LGBTQ clergy and allow the performance of same-sex weddings, a stance they have upheld for 40 years since 1984.

MCS has been autonomous from the UMC since 1968. MCS has its own Book of Discipline which embodies and preserves its core Methodist beliefs, order and rules as exemplified by John Wesley, the founder of Methodism.

MCS and UMC do not share the same constitution, and the decisions of the UMC have no bearing on MCS.

Wednesday’s vote at the UMC General Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina, signalled a shift towards the governing body’s constitutional stand on same sex inclusion. Observers believe more changes are to come.

In a 692-51 vote, church leaders at the conference passed several rules without debate, including:

  • Amending its social principles to redefine marriage;
  • Removing adultery and abortion from its list of chargeable offences for clergy;
  • Mandating that people of various sexual orientations are to be included in governing bodies.

The conference also voted to divest from Israel ties, approving a petition to lobby the US government to end military aid to Israel.

In the United States, they join other mainline Protestant denominations, such as Presbyterians, Episcopalians and Lutherans, which have changed their stance on sexuality. This comes amid long-term declines in membership and influence, according to news agency AP.

MCS declares in its statement: “Our moral stance … upholds a vision that exemplifies the fittingness, goodness, and beauty of Christian morality in promoting true human flourishing.

“This Christian morality cannot simply be theorised. It must be lived.”


About the author


Salt&Light is an independent, non-profit Christian news and devotional website with a passion for kingdom unity, and a vision of inspiring faith to arise in the marketplace.