Comments about ‘Expert: Pennsylvania pastor deserves rebuke for gay wedding’

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Published: Tuesday, Nov. 19 2013 11:42 a.m. MST

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Contrariusester
mid-state, TN

"Boger acknowledged that his mother — the church's choir director for more than 40 years — and Schaefer had a falling out in the months leading up to the complaint. "

It's sad that a petty personal dispute led to the problems for this pastor. OTOH, it's not an altogether bad thing for these church trials to receive publicity. It's good to keep these issues in the public eye, much as cases of civil disobedience did in the 50s and 60s.

I'm also proud of our local Methodist pastor, Melvin Talbert, formerly the Bishop for Northern California. He has also performed at least one gay marriage.

Talbert has said: "Weddings are going on all the time, all across the church, but it's privately done, and bishops are just looking the other way, and it's time for someone to say, 'Let's deal with the elephant in the room.' "

He also said: "I declare to you that the derogatory language and restrictive laws in the Book of Discipline are immoral and unjust and no longer deserve our loyalty and obedience."

More than 1000 Methodist ministers have signed on to Talbert's call to action.

ChristoperB
Salt Lake, UT

I congratulate the church for what they're doing.

Keep up the good work!

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

Shouldn't the congregation be more concerned that the Pastor was so willing to go against church doctrine? If they keep him, then they are saying that they too do not believe in the doctrines that their church is teaching. The minister knew that what he was doing was wrong and that he could lose his job.

Imagine if he had robbed a bank and used the money for a food drive. Would you still have the same compassion for somebody who broke with church doctrine but did it with good intentions?

J. S.
Houston, TX

In 19th century, Methodist church split because northern churches were anti-slavery but the southern churches were pro-slavery. Fortunately, they came to consensus on slavery and re-united in 20th century. I don't know if history will repeat itself on this issue too.

Contrariusester
mid-state, TN

@RedShirt --

"Shouldn't the congregation be more concerned that the Pastor was so willing to go against church doctrine?"

You're missing a couple of important facts here.

First, as pointed out in the revised article, the minister told his superiors that he was going to perform this service before it occurred. He gave them advance notice -- yet nobody saw fit to bring it up for nearly SIX YEARS after the fact. Obviously, the Church hierarchy wasn't all that upset about it.

Second, as I pointed out in my first post, many other Methodist ministers have also performed gay wedding ceremonies. In fact, they have been doing so for years. This isn't some unique incident by some fringe extremist pastor.

Third, as I also pointed out, more than 1000 Methodist ministers have signed on to Bishop Talbert's call to action. Many many Methodists SUPPORT gay marriage.

There is already a huge rift in the Methodist community. Yup, this guy is guilty of civil disobedience -- but that's not always a bad thing.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

contrariwhatever,

it was not a personnel dispute with a choir director that got him in trouble, it was breaking the church's discipline.

whethere YOU agee with those teachings is beside the point, the church has the right and obligation to its members to defend its teachings and doctrines against those who profess to represent the church but openly flaunt its rules.

suppose the president of of the united states would openly and knowingly lie... oh wait, you WOULD still support him.

Owl
Salt Lake City, UT

The legacy of protesting is fundamental to Protestantism. If a pastor doesn't like the doctrines of this employer, he should start his own church.

Ranch
Here, UT

RedShirt says:

"The minister knew that what he was doing was wrong ..."

Sorry, but he knew what he was doing was against the church's rules, but that doesn't make it "wrong". He also knew that it was the RIGHT thing to do; treat others kindly, the way he would like to be treated (not to mention that it was also the right thing to do for his family).

Contrariusester
mid-state, TN

@lost in DC --

"it was not a personnel dispute with a choir director that got him in trouble, it was breaking the church's discipline."

Read that article again.

First, the pastor TOLD the church what he was going to do -- and no consequences were forthcoming. Second, the church did not raise any objections for nearly SIX YEARS after the fact. Third, the pastor ONLY got into trouble after the son of a disgruntled church employee complained -- again, SIX YEARS after the fact.

The church was obviously happy to let the transgression lie. The employee's son was not.

"the church has the right and obligation to its members to defend its teachings and doctrines against those who profess to represent the church but openly flaunt its rules."

Jesus was a dissident. Following the rules is not always the right thing to do.

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

To "Ranch" actually it does. If your employer has a rule that says you can only wear company logo shirts, but on a particular day you know that you will be getting dirty at work so you wear a non-logo shirt so that you don't get your work shirt dirty. You have broken the rules, that makes it a wrong. Yes you did the right thing, but did not act in accordance with the rules. Breaking the rules is wrong, it doesn't matter if you agree with the rules or not.

Are you sure it was the right thing to do for his family? Just so that he can make one child feel accepted, he has now possibly lost his job. Being a minister who lost his job going against his church's doctrine will make it hard to get a new parish. What can he do to earn money? How much suffering will his family go through now so that one child can feel accepted?

Why couldn' his son have told his father to stay within the church rules?

Contrariusester
mid-state, TN

@Redshirt --

"Breaking the rules is wrong, it doesn't matter if you agree with the rules or not."

Oddly enough, that's the same argument that was used by many Nazi war criminals at the Nuremberg trials. "But I was only following orders!"

Sometimes breaking the rules is the RIGHT thing to do.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

And once upon a time,
about 100 years agao,
in a land not too far from this very spot...

another group of unothodox married folks ran into this same sort of problem...

RanchHand
Huntsville, UT

@RedShirt:

"Why couldn' his son have told his father to stay within the church rules?"

Why couldn't the church realize that family love is more important than stupid rules that can hurt family members? Perhaps the father also wants to perform the marriages of his other 3 children (including the 2 gay ones). If his church removes him from his post he can always get licensed to perform marriages through the state; he doesn't need a church that would rather practice bigotry in order to love his family enough to do the right thing; even if it means he loses his job.

donn
layton, UT

RE: Contrariusester, Sometimes breaking the rules is the RIGHT thing to do.

WRONG,
(Jesus)You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your Father and Mother(not Significant Other..’” Mark 10:19.

Honor your Father and Mother”[not significant others],which is the first commandment with a promise. God distinguishes father and mother from all other persons on earth, chooses them and sets them next to Himself, occupying the highest place in our lives next to God..

A Scientist
Provo, UT

So here is a case that reveals the hypocrisy of the tightly righties. On the one hand, in the name of religious freedom, they insist that nurses should not have to perform procedures with which they disagree for religious reasons. And they insist that fast food companies should not have to provide medical benefits to employees if the owners have religious objections to the law. But now when an individual pastor has deeply held religious beliefs, he is not likewise allowed to exercise his religious freedom by going against a church's policies and dogma?

Sounds like a double standard to me!

RanchHand
Huntsville, UT

@donn;

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. (i.e., break the rules if those rules are wrong and hurtful).

Rosa Parks broke the rules.
Jesus himself broke the rules.
The US military says you are to obey your commanders, however, if they give you orders that are illegal, you are allowed to "break the rules" and not follow those orders.

Coontrariusester
mid-state, TN

@donn --

"WRONG"

Wow. If breaking the rules is never the right thing to do, then Jesus must have been an awfully bad man. He broke a LOT of them himself, after all.

"(Jesus)You know the commandments"

Sorry, sharonna -- oops, I mean donn -- but there is no commandment that says "thou shalt not commit civil disobedience".

"Honor your Father and Mother”[not significant others]"

"Significant others" are spouses, donn -- not parents.

"God distinguishes father and mother from all other persons on earth, chooses them and sets them next to Himself, occupying the highest place in our lives next to God."

What has that got to do with the subject of civil disobedience?

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

To "RanchHand" and "Coontrariusester" actually Jesus did not break the rules. Remember, the only way that Jesus could be convicted of a crime was to falsify charges against him. It was actually his accusers that broke the rules.

Do you actually understand the Bible?

brokenclay
Chandler, AZ

Scientist, in the former cases you have outside compulsion from government over religion, while in the latter case you have an issue internal to a church to which one is voluntarily aligned. Is the difference between the two really that opaque?

"But Peter and the apostles answered, 'We must obey God rather than men.'" (Acts 5:29)

While it is true that God's edicts trump the rules of men, it is also true that the Bible is very clear on the issue of homosexual marriage. Jesus himself positively taught that marriage was between one man and one woman. Paul is explicitly clear on the matter (Rom 1:26-27; 1 Cor 6:9; 1 Timothy 1:10). This pastor can argue that the UMC's rules are wrong, but he can't do it on the basis of the Bible.

The UMC currently has about 34,000 congregations, presumably each with more than one pastor on average, so I'm not sure why 1000 pastors signing a document is that significant. It's also more unclear why numbers would legitimatize a cause.

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

To "Coontrariusester" you are getting rules and tradition mixed up.

Avoiding touching a leper was a tradition, not a rule.

As Jesus explains in the Bible, and the Priests and Scribes agreed, the work he did on the Sabbath was righteous and acceptable.

Jesus forgiving sins was actually in accordance with prophecy and scripture. See Exodus 34: 6-7. Since Jesus is the Jehova from the OT, he is not doing anything wrong.

Paul didn't get away from by martyrdom of Stephen.

Washing hands after eating with Gentiles was a tradition, not a rule. See Mark 7:8

He didn't "throw out" all of the rules. One of the rules was that when Jesus came, he would end the old rules and give new rules.

Nice try. Next time, read the scriptures.

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