The Rev. Forbes Matonga, a pastor at the Nyadire Mission in Zimbabwe, discusses possible implications that decisions made at the special 2019 General Conference could have for The United Methodist Church in Africa.
Matonga spoke with UM News as part of "Seeing a Way Forward," a video series featuring different perspectives of church leaders on the work of the Commission on a Way Forward.
Way Forward discussions feel misleading to Africans
The Rev. Forbes Matonga feels the original discussion on The United Methodist Church's stance on homosexuality has now morphed into a broader discussion of unity.
Traditional Plan is the only "legal" option for African delegates
As same-sex marriage is illegal in almost every African country, says the Rev. Forbes Matonga, the Traditional Plan submitted to the special 2019 General Conference is the only culturally acceptable option for African United Methodists to support.
"Africans will leave The UMC" if homosexuality stance changes
As The United Methodist Church looks to debate its stance and teaching on homosexuality at the upcoming 2019 General Conference, the Rev. Forbes Matonga says voting in opposition to African culture will cause them to leave the denomination.
"Supporting Traditional Plan doesn't mean supporting schism."
The Rev. Forbes Matonga disagrees with the sentiment that one cannot want to uphold The United Methodist Church's current teaching on homosexuality without wishing for the church to remain united.
"This is not a war."
Leading into the 2019 General Conference, the Rev. Forbes Matonga encourages a gracious discussion of differences.
Way Forward Commission didn't consider Africa
The Rev. Forbes Matonga says the Way Forward Commission's work didn't do enough to include the views of the more than 4 million African United Methodists.
"We need to be gracious to each other."
Regardless of the outcome of the 2019 General Conference, the Rev. Forbes Matonga hopes United Methodists on both sides treat one another with grace.
This is the seventeenth in a series of video interviews by United Methodist News Service. View all interviews.