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UMCN bishop vows to quit over homosexual ordination

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The bishop in charge of United Methodist Church Nigeria (UMCN), JohnWesley Yohanna, has vowed to leave the church if homosexuals are given ordination licence to enable them preside over the affairs of the church.

Making his position known to newsmen yesterday in Jalingo, Taraba State, Bishop Yohanna said: “The practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teachings. It is no longer news that our church is plagued, for decades, by debates globally on whether or not to allow homosexual practice and ordination in the structure of our church.”

According to him, such plans, which the church has been battling since 1972, will not see the light of day as far as he remains the bishop of the church.

He was peeved that some members of the church had being working tirelessly to change the language of some sections of the church’s Book of Discipline (BOD), which frowned upon homosexual marriages in the church.

“I would be in ministry with everybody, including gays, lesbians and homosexuals based on paragraph 161. F (2012 BOD) and paragraph 161.G (2016 BOD), which implores the church and families not to reject or condemn lesbians and gay members and friends, but should not allow them to ascend the mantle of leadership in the church,” he stated.

The bishop maintained that he would not be part of a UMC that would change the language of the BOD to accommodate gay marriage and ordination. Affirming that the issue of homosexuality is not the problem of America but one that affects the entire humanity, Yohanna said: “Our conservative Christian identity will take precedence above the name UMC.”

While calling on his members to remain calm and not deterred from holding tight to the scriptures, he added: “As a bishop, I stand strongly in opposition to this plan.” The position of the church on the foregoing, The Guardian learnt, would be made known in its General Conference slated for 2022.

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