The Rev. Frank Schaefer, a Methodist minister, was stripped of his clerical credentials on Thursday for violating church law by presiding at his son’s same-sex wedding. The punishment, imposed by the United Methodist Church in Pennsylvania, was requested by the church prosecutor to deter other ministers from blessing same-sex marriages.
Good for them! Hopefully that sets an example for others to obey the Bible and the Methodist Book of Discipline.
But far from intimidating others, the trial and defrocking of Mr. Schaefer have galvanized a wave of Methodist ministers to step forward to disobey church prohibitions against marrying and ordaining openly gay people.
Members of the United Methodist Church, the nation’s third-largest Christian denomination, have been battling bitterly over homosexuality for four decades. The church now faces an increasingly determined uprising by clergy members and laypeople who have refused to cede, even after losing the most recent votes, at the Methodist convention last year, on proposals to change church teaching.
Yeah, the men of Sodom were pretty stubborn too. They groped for the door even when God blinded them. Genesis 19:11 And they struck with blindness the men who were at the entrance of the house, both small and great, so that they wore themselves out groping for the door. Sound familiar?
“After 40 years of playing nice and attempting a legislative solution, we will not wait any longer,” said Matt Berryman, a former Methodist pastor who said he turned in his credentials because he is gay. He now serves as the executive director of the Reconciling Ministries Network, a Methodist gay rights group.
Maybe they should just leave altogether! They obviously have a different religion.
. . .
Church conservatives, however, say they have the momentum. About a half-dozen more ministers are facing church trials, and the defrocking of Mr. Schaefer proves to them that church juries have the courage of their convictions. In addition, they say the church is losing members in its liberal-leaning regions and growing in conservative regions.
Yep. And growing in Africa, much to the chagrin of the Leftists in the U.S.
John Lomperis, the United Methodist director at the Institute on Religion and Democracy, a conservative religious think tank, said the same-sex weddings performed by Methodist clergy were “publicity stunts” that were backfiring.
. . .
Mr. Schaefer is hardly the first Methodist minister to be defrocked for disobeying church teachings on homosexuality. Jimmy Creech was stripped of his credentials in 1999 for performing a same-sex ceremony. Irene Elizabeth Stroud, a lesbian living with her partner, was defrocked in 2005.
Stroud was another fraud, like Schaefer, who entered the clergy under false pretenses.
Mr. Schaefer said at a news conference on Thursday after his defrocking, “Here we are 10 years later, and they are doing the same thing.”
Yes! The same thing! Because the word of God doesn’t change!
He added, “The church needs to recognize that things have changed and times are changing and people are changing.”
Again, the real church recognizes that the word of God doesn’t change.
Mr. Schaefer has four children, three of whom are gay.
Whoa! That might explain things. Parents can’t control everything, but lots of them turn pro-gay after their kids come out. It is almost as if they are rationalizing their bad parenting. Three out of four is pretty bad!
. . .
The church’s Book of Discipline, which contains its law and doctrine, forbids same-sex marriage and the ordination of gay people, and says that homosexuality is “incompatible with Christian teaching.” Efforts to amend the Book of Discipline have been defeated by increasingly wide margins at the church’s quadrennial conferences as delegates representing the church’s growing branch in Africa have bolstered the votes of conservative Methodists in the United States.
. . .
He said he would not consider leaving the Methodist Church for a denomination that has changed its teaching on homosexuality.
“It’s not that easy when a church is your spiritual home,” he said. “All my children have been baptized in the United Methodist Church. I don’t know how to be a minister out of the United Methodist Church.”
He doesn’t know how to be a real minister anywhere.
He said his lawyers had already filed an appeal with a judicial body akin to a church appellate court.
Those watching the trial were stunned when Bishop Peggy Johnson, who leads nearly 900 United Methodist churches in Pennsylvania and who is Mr. Schaefer’s superior, posted a note on her blog this week, saying that she believed the prohibitions on gay ordination and marriage in the Book of Discipline were “discriminatory.”
The prohibitions, Bishop Johnson continued, taken together with the church’s message of inclusion, “has led to confusion by many from the outside of the church wondering how we can talk out of two sides of our mouth.”
This “Bishop” should be fired as well, for disobeying the Bible and the Methodist Book of Discipline and for not understanding basic logic. There should be no confusion at all. Christianity is completely inclusive in the sense that everyone, regardless of age, past sins, race, ethnicity, gender, etc., is completely welcome if they repent and believe in Jesus. But it is exclusive in the sense that it excludes those who continue to shake their fists at God — people like Schaefer and Johnson. That isn’t talking out of both sides of your mouth, that is common sense.