Easy enough to just fire him.I applaud this church for their great
Schaefer is a courageous man, acting in a long and honored tradition of civil
disobedience. Heck, the very word "Protestant" originated with brave men
and women who protested against the policies of their church.And no,
Chris, the Methodist church can't "just fire" him. He doesn't
have to work for a church to be a licensed minister. They would have to -- and
they have the authority to -- pull his credentials (defrock him), however.I applaud Schaefer for forcing more discussion of this issue. The United
Methodist Church members are already split over the issue of gay marriage --
this, along with the ongoing support of people like Bishop Talbert, may help to
push the congregation over the edge.
I defend the right of the Methodist Church to impose its system of church
discipline. As for the minister who is making a courageous stand on grounds of
conscience, I don't need to defend him so much as I wish to commend him.
"The Methodist church accepts gay and lesbian members but rejects the
practice of homosexuality as 'incompatible with Christian
teaching.'"This is simple enough to understand. The United
Methodist Church loves the sinner but not the sin. Many Christian churches are
adopting the same stance. It really isn't that big of a deal - except for
those who can't - or won't - recognize the difference between the sin
and the sinner. In other words, follow the old adage of "don't throw
the baby our with the bathwater."
Contrarius tries to make a distinction between "firing" a minister and
"defrocking" him. I don't see how that distinction is meaningful.
If his credentials are revoked and he's no longer recognized by the United
Methodist Church as one of its ministers, then I don't see why we should
try to say he hasn't been "fired."
Good for the Church for sticking to their principles. There are plenty of
Churches that the minister could go to if he wants to be able to perform
same-sex marriages. And although I completely disagree with the minister, good
for him for standing up for what he believes in. He is wrong, but his heart is
probably in the right place. Also I agree with the idea that we (Christians in
general) should hate the sin but not the sinner. We are all sinners in our own
way. Don't hate someone because they sin differently then you.
@Don Bugg --"Contrarius tries to make a distinction between
"firing" a minister and "defrocking" him. I don't see how
that distinction is meaningful."There's a huge distinction.
Schaefer can continue to officiate at weddings whether or not he is receiving a
salary from a church. But he can't officiate at weddings if his credentials
are revoked.It's much easier to fire a minister from a church
than it is to revoke his credentials. The only way to revoke a minister's
credentials in the UMC is a conviction in their church court. In Schaefer's
case, of course, he's already been convicted -- so the church now has the
authority to defrock him. OTOH, I am betting that even if they do
defrock him one of the denominations that already performs gay weddings -- like
Evangelical Lutheran, Unitarian, Metropolitan Community Church, Episcopalian,
and so on -- would take him in.
To "Contrarius" this is nothing like an act of civil disobedience. This
is more like the kids at the swimming pool that run along the deck. They are
not doing anything couragous, they are just breaking rules.He did
nothing couragous. In fact he probably did the least coragous thing possible.
Rather than living up to the standards of his faith, he caved. If he was to be
couragous, he would have politely declined to perform the marriage and would
have attended the wedding as any other parent would have.Think about
the damage he has now caused within his congregation. If I was a member of his
congregation I would be questioning everything that was taught by this man.
What else did he teach and believe in that was not in accordance with the
@Contrarius"And no, Chris, the Methodist church can't "just
fire" him. "They're paid (not extravagantly, but still
paid nonetheless) clergy, firing is an option.
@Redshirt1701"In fact he probably did the least coragous thing
possible. "The least courageous thing possible would be to lie
about his own beliefs on the matter.
@Redshirt1701 --"this is nothing like an act of civil
disobedience."Of course it is."He did nothing
couragous."Of course he did. He put his livelihood and
reputation in peril for the sake of his children and his convictions."Think about the damage he has now caused within his congregation.
"Forcing a congregation to think is not damage. Christians
should be able to think for themselves rather than swallowing dogma
wholesale.@atl134 --"They're paid (not
extravagantly, but still paid nonetheless) clergy, firing is an option."I didn't state that well. As I explained further in my previous
post -- they could fire him, but that wouldn't stop him from performing gay
marriages. The only thing that will stop him from officiating at weddings is to
revoke his credentials.
To "Contrarius" if it is a matter of civil disobedience, then tell us
what laws did he break? Since the definition of "civil disobedience" is
"refusal to obey governmental demands or commands especially as a nonviolent
and usually collective means of forcing concessions from the government."
What laws or government demands did he refuse to violate?The fact is
that he was obeying the law when he performed the marriage, since the state that
he lives it permits gay marriage.
Christopher BOgden, UT"Easy enough to just fire him.I applaud this church for their great work."...I suppose when
folks who feel that way spoke to Jesus, He told them "To heck with the guy,
for not refusing his son his most important and heartfelt request."Then, are we to think that Jesus said "Bless the person who waited six
years and used a personal grievance as an excuse to condemn the
minister."The Jesus I was raised to believe in would praise the
minister and call the people who complained sinners.
@Redshirt1701 --"then tell us what laws did he break? "He broke the laws of his church, of course -- for which he has already
been tried and convicted in their ecclesiastical court. Only the final
sentencing has yet to be determined.If you'd rather call his
act "ecclesiastical disobedience" instead, that's fine by me -- but
it's all part of the same tradition of peaceful protest and failure to
To the critics: If this had been a Bishop in the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter Day Saints the following probably would happen:He would be
released as Bishop within months or even weeks after the event. Reason is
because he did something against the doctrine of the LDS Church. Failure to say
he was wrong in doing it could result in excommunication and loss of all temple
blessings.Do you still find that courageous? He just put his own
personal feelings and the way of the world above the teachings of Jesus Christ
and the Father.He worried more about what man could do to him than
what the Father would do to him. Just as David who took Basheba as his wife
without approval from God, he also had the true husband murdered. He let his
own lusts destroy him. If you say it isn't the same then put it bluntly,
sexual sin is one of the grievous sins around and is just below murder. Sexual
sins includes premarital sex, adultery, and any homosexual act. We are in the
last days before the second coming of the Lord. All of this was prophesized
@bj-hpAmen!It is more courageous to stand against what
is currently popular than to embrace it.
@bj-hp --"He just put his own personal feelings and the way of
the world above the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Father."Who are you to claim that you know what God actually wants?The
Mormon church believes in continuous revelation. For all you know, there may be
a revelation tomorrow saying that gay marriage is just fine and dandy.
That's not likely, of course -- but the point is that, given continuous
revelation, the "word of God" as received by humans can ALWAYS change.
"sexual sin is one of the grievous sins around and is just below
murder"So you should be worrying about stoning adulterers,
including divorcees -- which are much more common than married homosexuals,
which are mentioned more frequently in the Bible than homosexuality, and which
break up more families with children than homosexuals ever will.Even
by your own principles, gay marriage DECREASES sexual sin. It encourages
monogamy and commitment instead of promiscuity. How is that a bad thing?
To "Contrariuser" again, you are wrong. Gay marriage would add to their
sins. God has declared that marriage is between a man and a woman. So, first
it is a sin for gays to marry, second, gay sexual relationships are also a
sin.As for the word of God changing, that is not possible. If the
revelations of God can change, then God is not consistent. If that is true,
then how do we know what is required to enter Heaven? Thinking like that is
typically used by people to justify their straying from doctrine.
@RedShirtCalTech --"Gay marriage would add to their
sins."There is no commandment saying "Thou shalt not marry
someone of your own gender.""God has declared that marriage
is between a man and a woman. ""God", in the form of the
Biblical interpretation of him, also declared that all adulterers should be
stoned -- and that included divorcees who remarried.Are you ready to
pick up your rocks?"gay sexual relationships are also a
sin."Adultery is also a sin. Where are your rocks?Monogamy is still going to be less sinful than promiscuity. There's just
no way around that one."As for the word of God changing, that is
not possible."Read my words again, Red. I very clearly said **as
received by humans **."If the revelations of God can change,
then God is not consistent. "Joseph Smith himself said: "God
said, 'Thou shalt not kill' at another time He said, 'Thou shalt
utterly destroy.' This is the principle on which the government of heaven
is conducted - by revelation adapted to the circumstances in which the children
of the kingdom are placed."Would you like to accuse Joseph Smith
of straying from doctrine?
This is how the advancement of Human Rights and Freedom from Ignorance and
Repression works; you stand up to Bigotry. We know in our hearts that he did
the Moral Thing. Bigotry, no matter how grounded in "tradition" or
"doctrine" is always wrong.
To "Contrariusiests" I doubt you will understand this, but here goes.In the Bible, Genesis 2:24 states: "Therefore a man leaves his
father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one
flesh."In Matthew 19:4-5, Jesus reaffirms this: "He
answered, Have you not read that he who made them from the beginning made them
male and female, and said, For this reason a man shall leave his father and
mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one?"Since sin is going against God, and God and Jesus have said that men are to
marry women, marriage that is involves 2 people of the same gender is against
what God has declared.If that isn't enough for you, assuming
you believe in the LDS church, the Proclamation on the Family also states that
marriage is between a man and a woman. To go against that is also sin in the
eyes of the LDS church. You should note that more than just the LDS church
believes that marriage is between man and woman.Everything else you
cite is disproved if you understand the Law of Moses as a preparation for the
laws Jesus taught.
@RedShirtCalTech -- "Therefore a man leaves his father and his
mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh."Yup.And since there weren't any reproductive technologies
back then, and little in the way of adoption, that was a sensible thing to say
at the time.But, of course, time and circumstance change.Joseph Smith said: "This is the principle on which the government of
heaven is conducted - by revelation adapted to the circumstances in which the
children of the kingdom are placed."Joseph F. Smith said:
"What is revelation but the uncovering of new truths, by him who is the
fountain of all truth?"The 9th Article of Faith states: "We
believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe
that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the
Kingdom of God."The very nature of continuing revelation means
that NEW truths can be revealed at any time, to meet the changing circumstances
of the world.For all you know, the next revelation may state that
gay marriage is just fine and dandy. It isn't likely, but the nature of
continuing revelation makes it quite possible.
To "Contrariusiests" ok, lets look at some modern revelation, since you
want to go that route. From the Proclamation on the Family we read
"marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family
is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His
children....We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of
procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as
husband and wife."So, we have now established that Marriage is
between a man and a woman, and that sexual relationships are only to be between
legally and lawfully married hetersexual people.Now we have
established the law of God.In D&C 20:12 "Thereby showing
that he is the same God yesterday, today, and forever. Amen." So, if it God
does not change, and he stated from the beginning, before the law of Moses, to
Moses, and again to Joseph Smith, then to most all modern prophets.That means that it has been and always be a sin for two people of the same
gender to be married. Or do you know something that God doesn't?
@RedShirtCalTech --"... "marriage between a man and a woman
is ordained of God..."Nobody is threatening marriage between a
man and a woman, Red. LGBT people only make up about 5% of the
population. The legalization of gay marriage will do absolutely NOTHING to
damage those "ordained of God" straight marriages."God
has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only
between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife."And
this one is violated by every infertile couple who ever make use of surrogacy or
in vitro fertilization. Shall we condemn every infertile couple everywhere,
then?"and that sexual relationships are only to be between
legally and lawfully married hetersexual people."Nope.
"Powers of procreation" are not the same thing as "sexual
relations". Gay couples can not procreate within the couple -- they
don't HAVE "powers of procreation"."In D&C
20:12 "Thereby showing that he is the same God yesterday, today, and
forever. Amen." "Yup. He is the same God. But, according to
Mormon doctrine, he reveals NEW truths through continuing revelation.Joseph F. Smith said: "What is revelation but the uncovering of new
truths, by him who is the fountain of all truth?"