Seven years after officiating at the wedding of his gay son, the Rev. Frank Schaefer has been reinstated as a clergyman once and for all in the United Methodist Church. Photo by Kathy Gilbert/United Methodist News Service

Methodist pastor found guilty of officiating at gay son's wedding

A United Methodist jury Monday night found the Rev. Frank Schaefer guilty of violating church law for officiating at the 2007 wedding of his son and another man.  Photo by Kathy Gilbert/United Methodist News Service

A United Methodist jury Monday night found the Rev. Frank Schaefer guilty of violating church law for officiating at the 2007 wedding of his son and another man. Photo by Kathy Gilbert/United Methodist News Service

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(RNS) A United Methodist jury Monday night found the Rev. Frank Schaefer guilty of violating church law for officiating at the 2007 wedding of his son and another man.

The jury will consider his punishment on Tuesday, which could include the loss of his clergy credentials.

The verdict came about 7:15 p.m., nearly 12 hours after the jury selection began at a United Methodist retreat center in Spring City, Pa. A jury of 13 pastors and two alternates heard testimony.

Schaefer was found guilty of two charges: performing a same-sex wedding and disobeying church law. The United Methodist Church considers homosexuality “incompatible with Christian teachings.”

The pastor of Zion United Methodist Church in Lebanon, Pa., Schafer has said that the church’s Book of Discipline also calls for equality and compassion in ministering to all people.

"Maybe I compromised my ritual purity," Schaefer testified at the trial.  "It is what Jesus called me to do for the sake of love."

The charges against Schaefer are among at least four open cases involving United Methodist clergy facing disciplinary action for defying church law on gay marriage and homosexuality. On Nov. 9, 36 United Methodist clergy and nine clergy from other traditions presided at a same-sex ceremony in Philadelphia to show support for Schaefer.

On Friday, the denomination’s Council of Bishops recommended charges be filed against retired Bishop Melvin Talbert for presiding at the Oct. 26 wedding of two men.

READ: Methodist bishops asked to charge one of their own for performing gay wedding

“Sadly, the UMC continues to place legalism over love, the (Book of) Discipline over Jesus,” tweeted Methodists in New Directions, the New York Conference’s affiliate of Reconciling Ministries Network.

Schaefer is not the first Methodist minister to be found guilty of breaking church law for officiating at same-sex weddings.  Jimmy Creech, a former ordained elder in Nebraska lost his clergy credentials in 1999  after a church trial found him guilty of presiding at gay weddings.

That same year, the Rev. Greg Dell of Chicago was also found guilty of officiating at a same-sex wedding and suspended for a year.

More recently, the Rev. Amy DeLong, a lesbian clergywoman in Wisconsin, was found guilty of officiating at the union of a lesbian couple in 2011, and suspended for a month.

"I'm not surprised by the guilty verdict," said Creech, who lives in Raleigh, N.C. "It was a foregone conclusion. The penalty will be much more interesting. I'm hoping the clergy on the jury will act with compassion and reason. If they are punitive to Frank, it will be a sign that LGBT members are not welcome in the church."


Video courtesy NBC Philadelphia


  1. Outrageous. Huge steps backwards for the church. Props to Schaefer for following his heart and what HE knows is right in the eyes of a true loving God. Shame on the church for not taking this opportunity to open their doors to all!

  2. I have lived the life of the Christian community in its resistance to race, gender and now sexual orientation. Said to be the moral leader of so-called secular society, its actions demonstrate just the opposite. Fifty years from now the church will be wallowing in pride welcoming gays having followed the moral leadership of the secular communities. But paraphrasing the lines attributed to Niemoller, there will be no one left o stand up for the church.

  3. We welcome some real discussion by Walker and Long regarding their stand on the redefinition of marriage. Would it actually get beyond the proclamation that this is what they want? Somehow I doubt it.

  4. This is not an issue of the church redefining marriage at this time. This pastor violated his church’s teachings and should, of course, be found guilty. Being ordained a pastor means embodying all beliefs. If his beliefs are not in line then he should not resume his duty representing an institution that stands opposed.

    It is also quite the jump to say that, “If they are punitive to Frank, it will be a sign that LGBT members are not welcome in the church.” Meanwhile it was just stated that a lesbian clergywoman is present in the church, representing an attitude contrary to “unwelcoming.”

  5. Moral leadership of the secular communities?

    How do you respond to such ignorance? Wow.

  6. Looks like we’ve got some cowards in SE Pennsylvania, or perhaps there are some others pulling their strings (from Wilmore?). In any case, with a respected bishop now “guilty” of the same charge, not to mention dozens of yhe church’s most distinguished clergy in more progressive conferences, it’s only a matter of time before the UMC either reforms or splits apart. Fighting the Civil War all over again.

  7. The easy part (determination of guilt) is finished. Now comes the hard part–the penalty. There is no middle ground; no escape hatch. Schaefer has already refused the option of simply agreeing not to repeat his gay marriage mess. He has already declared war on the Bible and the Book of Discipline.

    So if all Schaefer gets is a slap on the wrist, such as a worthless “reprimand” or an equally worthless “one month suspension”, then the Methodists will have waved the white flag and surrendered. If that happens, they will get more Schaefers and more gay mess, not less. And much more decline, of course.

    So if the Methodists don’t want that fate, they must take a stand NOW. Simply ask Schaefer one last time, if he would agree not to do any more gay marriage mess, period. If he says Yes, then give him permanent probation. If he says No, then permanently defrock him on the spot. It’s time to clean HOUSE !

  8. Oh, and by the way, go ahead and defrock Talbert and those 36 other alleged clergy too. Scrub that whole kit ‘n’ caboodle !

  9. Could it be that these “holy” men are starting to see that the book in which they base their beliefs is not beholden to laws set up by man to control its interpretation, but rather it is up to each person to take away their own unique message?
    That the message they get is one of acceptance to all and not exclusion based on actions that are considered sin. Does it not say all people sin according to this book? Born into sin? Didn’t the lord of those who believe not say “He who is without sin cast the first stone”?
    Or, is this just the first rip in the veil of “faith” that has been shading their eyes from the real truth, and we are witness to the beginning of what may be a very public personal transformation? Or even a transformation of an entire organization? Only time will tell.

  10. False Christians are interesting to watch. Always following their hearts. The Bible clearly says that the heart is treacherous and desperate. No one wondering what God’s thinking is. What is acceptable to Him.

  11. You are anti-Christian trash, Frank. That’s the truth.

  12. You know, it is not about this life, it’s all about eternal life. Is it “love” to let someone perish into the fires of hell for all eternity? Satan has decieved us into focusing only on this life, and that hell doesn’t exist. That is his biggest lie and unforetunately, many believe in this. He wants us to focus on the sexual pleasures of this life, and then for us to “blindly” fall into hell for eternity. In a sense, we need to “trade-in” this short life for an “eternal life” in Heaven. In the meantime, Satan wants us to be obsessed with sexual pleasures. Love is not about a feeling or letting someone do what they want despite eternal consequences. Jesus showed us what “love” truly is by His Passion and Death on the Cross; that is love personified. Any other use for the word “love” is incorrect. Love is helping people get to Heaven. That is what Jesus did for us. It is not an act of “love” to encourage people of the same sex to engage in sexual sin, which will lead them directly into hell. Intercourse is designed for reproduction. Use the sex organs that God has given you for the way that they were designed to be used. All of us have to remain chaste and that includes people with same sex attraction. Don’t let Satan trick you into sexual sin that will cause you to burn in the fires of hell forever. Jesus talked about hell quite often because it the most terrible outcome and because He truly loves us.

  13. Methodists really should know better than simply to argue from Scripture. The Wesleys drew upon Scripture, tradition, reason and experience in making arguments about moral issues.

    Yes, the Bible fairly clearly condemns homosexuality, but then, the Bible also fairly clearly upholds slavery (see the household code in Ephesians, as well as the laws concerning slavery in the Pentateuch). Until the 17th century, tradition also upheld slavery as a flawed but legitimate institution (see what Augustine and Aquinas have to say about it). The Quakers used experience (the horrors of the slave trade as practiced in the West) and reason (arguing that the practice of slavery is incompatible with the Biblical love command) to argue against Scripture and tradition. And their reasoning prevailed.

    So we should be engaging in a similar process today to discuss the issue of gay marriage. Simply arguing from Scripture or tradition isn’t enough. If it were, we’d still have slavery today.

  14. Walker how can you say this? God’s love has nothing to do with a sinful union. Homosexuality is an abomination in the sight of God. Both the Old and New Testament says this. Shame on this pastor who thought he knew better than his peers and hierarchy. Whether he agrees with the teachings or not, it is against Methodist teaching. If this “pastor” didn’t like the rules, he is free to seek a denomination that accept homosexual unions. It was a stunt that he was doing to bring his view of Christianity to the world. Jesus love the sinner but despises the sin.

  15. Please do some more study on biblical slavery and what it was and how its quite different than what we consider slavery, racially based.

    I really wish people would do the research needed before spouting off in ignorance.,

  16. Hey Frank you should look up the word ignorance. Last I check it mean a lack of knowledge. What this guy did was stupidity. He is all about himself and not his denomination. He had his own interest and thumbed his nose at the Methodist. Whatever happened to tolerance and acceptance from you liberal? What about freedom of religion. If you don’t like it, I am sorry.

  17. Mike, you are confusing the slavery of the South to slavery under Paul. A slave was more a domestic worker who had rights. He was paid and lived under the house of his master and was accepted as a member of the family. Not so with the Southern slave.

  18. This is so heartbreaking. I was a guest preacher for Rev. Shaefer when he pastored Avon UMC only about 5 miles from his current church location. He was new to the pulpit (and relatively new to the ministry). He came into the Methodist conference via his Bible college preparation in the Assemblies of God. He was always progressive (as far as that first church was concerned) with music, youth, sermon topics, etc. But I didn’t realize how ‘progressive’ he had ultimately become. What we see happening in the church is a clear unfolding of Isaiah 5:20, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” The church is succumbing wholesale to the mores of society; giving a culture which knows the least about God incredible power to shape the doctrine and theology of an institution which should most reflect the the holiness of God. Clergy are drinking the politically correct Kool-Aid in order to be culturally relevant because even they are uncertain anymore as to the nature of divine Truth. Not that Truth is easy. In fact, God’s Truth is rarely easy and it will always stand in contrast with the prevailing culture. But that’s no excuse for theological diminution; we’re not here to please society but to be pleasing to God…according to what He wants and not according to what we desire. Instead, we’re often judged (and I’m speaking of the clergy here) the same way God judged the priests of the Old Testament in Ezekiel 22:26, “Her priests do violence to my Law and profane my holy things; they do not distinguish between the holy and the common; they teach that there is no difference between the unclean and the clean;…so that I am profaned among them.” The remedy? It takes bravery, but it’s found in Ezekiel 44:23, “They are to teach my people the difference between the holy and the common and show them how to distinguish between the unclean and the clean.” We can’t do that if we allow society to dictate what God wants. It takes a brave pastor to stand before his congregation and declare “Thus saith the Lord.” It stings, but it only stings those who walk in spiritual rebellion. For those who reconcile their lives to the claims of Scripture and the Passion of Christ, it’s eternal life.

  19. Totally agree. That “pastor” should be defrocked, removed from the denomination and excommunicated.

    The Church was stronger and more vital when women, Negroes, Mexicans and homosexuals knew where their place was — and they knew to stay there.

    We need a new American church, dedicated to conservative, American beliefs and ideals, which stands firm to the conservative truth of God’s Holy and Infallible Word and doesn’t sway with the winds of “political correctness”.

  20. I was speaking about Eugene suggesting that moral leadership can come form the secular community.

    I think the Methodist Church did the right thing and they should expel anyone who goes against clear biblical teaching.

  21. All God-fearing, Bible-believing, conservative churches should break any and all connections with liberal, secularist churches who defile the inerrant, infallible and CONSERVATIVE Word of God; declare the “ministers” and the congregants of those “denominations” apostate, and have nothing to do with them as instructed by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 5:9-13:

    ” I wrote to you in my letter to have no company with sexual sinners; yet not at all meaning with the sexual sinners of this world, or with the covetous and extortioners, or with idolaters; for then you would have to leave the world. But as it is, I wrote to you not to associate with anyone who is called a brother who is a sexual sinner, or covetous, or an idolater, or a slanderer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner. Don’t even eat with such a person. For what have I to do with also judging those who are outside? Don’t you judge those who are within? But those who are outside, God judges. ‘Put away the wicked man from among yourselves.'”

  22. And that includes ALL homosexuals and homosexual sympathizers!

    Romans 1:32 “Who, knowing the ordinance of God, that THOSE WHO PRACTICE SUCH THINGS ARE WORTHY OF DEATH, not only do the same, but also approve of those who practice them.”

  23. Merrill we have to be careful. They deserve our sympathy and mercy. They are being deceived.

  24. What has happened to “Reverend” Shaefer is exactly as Paul described what would happen with homosexuals and homosexual sympathizers in Romans 1:22-32:

    “PROFESSING THEMSELVES TO BE WISE, THEY BECAME FOOLS, and traded the glory of the incorruptible God for the likeness of an image of corruptible man, and of birds, and four-footed animals, and creeping things. THEREFORE, GOD GAVE THEM UP IN THE LUSTS OF THEIR HEARTS TO UNCLEANNESS, that their bodies should be dishonored among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

    For this reason, GOD GAVE THEM UP TO VILE PASSIONS. For their women changed the natural function into that which is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural function of the woman, burned in their lust toward one another, men doing what is inappropriate with men, and receiving in themselves the due penalty of their error. Even as they refused to have God in their knowledge, GOD GAVE THEM UP TO A REPROBATE MIND, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, malice; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil habits, secret slanderers, backbiters, hateful to God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the ordinance of God, that THOSE WHO PRACTICE SUCH THINGS ARE WORTHY OF DEATH, not only do the same, BUT ALSO APPROVE OF THOSE WHO PRACTICE THEM.


  25. Homosexuals and lesbians SHOULD NOT BE WELCOMED IN THE CHURCH unless they make a firm and deliberate commitment to repent of their licentiousness, their fornication and their SIN.

    Why won’t Christians call out what it is that homosexuals and lesbians truly are: they are SINNERS, and they are committing SEXUAL SIN.

    The Apostle Paul is VERY clear about what is to be done with SEXUAL SINNERS:

    1 Corinthians 5
    I wrote to you in my letter to HAVE NO COMPANY WITH SEXUAL SINNERS; yet not at all meaning with the sexual sinners of this world, or with the covetous and extortioners, or with idolaters; for then you would have to leave the world. But as it is, I wrote to you NOT TO ASSOCIATE WITH ANYONE WHO IS CALLED A CHRISTIAN WHO IS A SEXUAL SINNER, or covetous, or an idolater, or a slanderer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner. DON’T EVEN EAT WITH SUCH A PERSON. For what have I to do with also judging those who are outside? Don’t you judge those who are within? But those who are outside, God judges. ‘PUT AWAY THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOURSELVES.”

    The most loving thing we can do is to set these SEXUAL SINNERS AND THEIR SUPPORTERS OUTSIDE THE CHURCH AND BOLT THE DOORS.

  26. You sound like another liberal secularist to me.

    Appease the homosexuals. Give them anything they want. Destroy the infallible and inerrant Word of God, and worship at the Baal altar of “political correctness”.

    We’ve all seen what happened to the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Episcopal Church, the United Church of Christ and the Quakers. Do YOU want PRACTICING, UNREPENTANT SODOMITES in YOUR church the way these denominations have in their “churches”?

  27. Thanks so much for bringing this conversation back down to earth. I totally agree with you.

  28. Or, maybe it’s the devil’s work which is causing Christianity to focus on a relatively insignificant issue like gay marriage rather than on loving our neighbor… the number one commandmant. What heppened to caring for the ill, hungry, downtrodden, and forgotten in our society? That’s what Jesus cared about. That’s what Christianity should be talking about. Not this.

  29. All of you are trying to judge a person .and god is the only one who judges all of us in the end .so why do yall bicker and rant look at your selves and say I am without sin. I belive not or none of us is without sin .
    Enough said .

  30. No Merrill I am not but you sound like a racist, sexist and complete unChristlike individual. Its people like you that make those that are indeed trying to stand up to biblical values and truths have a much harder time getting Gods truth across. Grow up!

  31. You’re acting like there’s something “wrong” with Biblical slavery?

    I suppose you’re telling us YOU know better than the Bible — or God?

    It is NOT our duty to condemn that which God has ordained — and that includes the doctrine of Biblical slavery!

    When we Christians have finally wrested control of the government from the secularists and the apostates and set up Biblical government based on God’s Holy, Infallible and Inerrant Law, we *will* have Biblical slavery because that is exactly what God has ordained; and furthermore, anybody who is not FOR us is AGAINST us!

  32. Wow, thanks to Frank and Cpatt for pointing out how different slavery was before the African slave trade came along! I’m sure slaves of ancient times were just tickled pink to be the property of other men and women.

    So, Bible-believing Christians, let’s write our congressmen and senators and ask them to institute Bible-believing slavery in this “nation under God.” I for one would love to own my help instead of having to pay their salaries! It would save us a lot on taxes as well if we didn’t have to educate such people beyond the basics.

    By the way, do y’all believe the earth is only about 6000 years old too?

  33. I hope that was tongue in cheek cuz if not, you’re really off base and I feel sorry for you.

  34. You’d do good to take a much broader picture at the issue of ‘sin’; in and outside of the church. I’d start with a universal picture of yours and my sin in Romans 3:23 and then I’d move over to the Gospel (not the first for books of the NT) the purpose and truth Jesus brought to us in Romans 5:8 “while we were YET sinners, Christs died for us”.

    Then I’d move to Luke where Jesus goes into the house of a tax collector, a sinner, and In Acts where Peter does the same thing.

    You see, the issue you have is that you are applying Paul’s rules for the Church (note the capital C)–the church universal with the fact that this pastor is actually part of the Church

  35. Jesus cared about saving souls from hell, not about making them comfortable in their sin. Christians don’t hate gays, they truly love them more than those who encourage their sexual sins. Gay marriage is not an insignificant matter if it will lead a person to burn in hell for all eternity. Jesus was trying to get us to focus on Heaven, not the sinful, and temporary pleasures of this life. He wants us to enjoy being in Heaven with Him forever. We have to forget ourselves, pick up our crosses and follow Him. That means forgetting about chasing after sinful pleasures. So many people are totally pre-occupied with chasing after sexual pleasures. This is not our home, Heaven is our home and the Church wants everyone to enjoy eternal life in Heaven. The Church truly loves everyone, and despite being persecuted for trying to save everyone’s soul, she continues on with her mission. They spat on the Lord and they are spitting on Christians, today, and this will go on, probably getting much worse as time gets closer to the Second Coming of Jesus. We must decide today what path we will take: the wide road of sinful sexual pleasures that leads straight to hell, or the narrow road of self sacrifice and persecutions that leads to eternal life?

  36. Mike thanks for exposing your ignorance. I love it when people do it themselves and I don’t have to do it for them. Well done!

  37. But if the issue is “insignificant”, why did Jesus take the time to save, cleanse, and free the ancient Corinthian homosexuals (and others) from their various sin habits in 1 Cor. 6:9-11? Why did He “care about” demonstrating that He is capable of cleansing, healing, saving, and delivering people from the bondage of homosexuality?

    I believe the issue is very significant. Honestly, it’s not “loving thy neighbor” when you publicly tell your neighbor (via word or deed) that gay marriage is okay with Christ, as Schaefer, and Talbert, and 36 other wrong-way drivers have done.

  38. Merrill Hooney: There’s so much you’ve said that is hideously hateful and far-right radical Christian. If Jesus came today, I don’t think you’d recognize him, or be one of his followers. He’d be too accepting of differences, and sinners. When theocracy comes, I’m sure you, and others like you, will feel competent to interpret the Bible for the rest of us and to enforce what you believe the Bible means.

    The Bible cannot be the inerrant word of God. Many different types of books (creation myths, histories, laws, prophesies, poetry, apocalypses, gospels, letters, etc.) accumulated over a long period of time from oral traditions and belief systems of different cultures before either the Old Testament or New Testament was written down. There were any number of other “sacred” books used by believers that didn’t make it into the “canon” (read the Dead Sea Scrolls, Nag Hammadi Library, etc.) None of the people writing New Testament books lived in the time of, or knew, Jesus. No copies of books written in the 1st or 2nd centuries CE survived. Many of the books were anonymously or pseudonymously written. The books were copied over and over by scribes who often changed and/or commented on the text. As church dogma developed and solidified, the books were changed to prevent heretical interpretations. There have been many different translations of the Bible over the centuries, and they differ in word definitions as well as being written in numerous languages. You’re probably using the King James version translated in the early 1700s.

    Don’t be so adamant and puritannical about knowing precisely what God and Jesus require. You may be the one who is wrong.

  39. Jesus never said anything to the Corinthians. That was Paul. Jesus never mentions homosexuality. Although he does say that divorce is a sin.

  40. Bless you for writing this, Kristin. The UMC is wasting time on discriminating against homosexuals, while the poor stay poor, the hungry stay hungry and the sick get sicker. You are exactly right. Love God, love your neighbor. This more than anything else is what it means to be a Christian.

  41. Losing clergy credentials? Credibility to be too lazy to work for a living, conning/scamming and blowing smoke up the gullible till they can’t see? Yeah, I guess u could see that as a loss.

  42. The Church helps the poor, feeds the hungry, and helps the sick. Love God and neighbor is right. Loving God means helping Him to save souls and loving neighbor means helping them get to Heaven. Encouraging people to engage in sinful, sexual sins is “not” loving our neighbor or loving God, but just the opposite. The UMC loves the sinner, hates the sin.

  43. “Homosexuality is an abomination in the sight of God.”

    According to the Bible, so is wearing mixed fibers, eating pork and shellfish, usury, and women cutting their hair or wearing pants. Also abominations in the sight of God are marital congress when the woman is menstruating or too soon after childbirth.

    Do you follow all the strictures in Leviticus? Do you follow all the teachings of Paul in the New Testament? Probably not. Most don’t. Do you support the right of the divorced to remarry? If you do, you are supporting a “sinful union.” If not, at least you’re consistent, even though you are claiming a right for yourself that belongs only to God. It is not up to you to judge if a union is sinful.

  44. Having read through all the above posts regarding Rev. Schaefer, I find not a single one taking on the central issue in the debate: What constitutes marriage?
    Does history and a survey of virtually all cultures throughout the world not tell us that marriage is considered the foundation of society? Has marriage not always been predicated on a union of people of the oposite gender? Why? How else are the human race and society to be perpetuated?
    Does this mean that the church has no place for gays? I think not. How gays can be accommodated is the question, but the church must somehow be willing to address the spiritual needs of gay people, and the state must somehow acknowledge that gay unions somehow must be acknowledged and protected.

    In all the above, including what is found on other pages in this website, I have yet to find a gay justification of marriage itself that does not boil down to the weakest of all metaphysical/moral arguments: We want it.

    Clamoring in the activist gay community is justified to the extent that there has been bigotry directed against gays. Gay bigotry, like every other sort of bigotry, should cease. Failure to accept the notion that there’s such a thing as gay “marriage,” however, is not bigotry. No one in support of gay “marriage” thus far has even attempted to argue that it is. As I said, the substance of the argument is “We want it!” That is not a defense of anything.

  45. It does not affect u or me in any way. So it is none of our business. It’s really a non issue, unless of course u r Bill O’Reilly.

  46. I’ve heard the “Jesus never mentioned homosexuality” talking point before, so I always respond with what Jesus said about Sodom in Matt. 11:23-24. Jesus was not neutral when it came to homosexuality.

    But 1 Cor. 6:9-11 points out what Jesus DID for the Corinthians, not what He said. There’s no refutation against it, no pro-gay escape hatches.

  47. Duane, I agree, much of what has been said is dodging several points.

    I also agree that marriage was the foundation of society in all cultures throughout the world, and for good reason, as it was necessary then, for the very reasons you give. But just because something used to be necessary then, is not a valid argument it is still now.

    I also agree that historically marriage always has been predicated on a union of people of the opposite gender, although I suspect that all societies throughout history had homosexuals within them as well.

    However societies have been evolving, and changing throughout history, and now it appears, based on survey results that I’ve read, our society is ready to accept marriage between same sex people.

    It is now an equality issue, not just a “we want it” issue for them. Society no longer needs marriage to be what it once was. The human race doesn’t seem to be having a problem perpetuating itself, as we are more now than ever and humans are having children outside of marriage as well.

    We also don’t need it for stabilization. Currently divorce rates among opposite sex couples are more than ever, and unions between opposite sex couples without marriage are commonplace, and our society still thrives, albeit not without issues, as it has been with all societies.

    If marriage were necessary for perpetuation, and stabilization then we should demand that those opposite sex couple who wish to marry should only be allowed to if they do so for life, and choose to have children for human perpetuation. But this would not be a free society, one worth living in.

    Gays seek equality in our society, and why shouldn’t they? Does not everyone have the right to equality? This is much more than “we just want it”, this is “we deserve it”.

    If I were gay, as a anti-theist, I would not concern myself with seeking acceptance from organizations whose belief system is one that excludes me, or any human for that matter. However I think since our society is so religious, it is naturally the next step in societal acceptance for many gays to want their unions recognized by religion.

  48. If Schaeffer believes the UMC is wrong in its position on same sex marriage, then he should have resigned his post before proceeding to act in a way that violates UMC teaching and policy. Instead he chose to act in his capacity as an agent of the church in a way the UMC expressly prohibits. That is not courageous; it is dishonest.

    The UMC is a voluntary society, so there is no reason why he could not have demonstrated some integrity and quit the church due to his disagreements and then acted for himself alone when he did what he did. There are certainly plenty of denominations he could have joined that are in favor of what he wanted to do.

    This is the way liberals in the churches operate. They denigrate historic doctrine in favor of “living the Jesus way” or some similar slogan. Then they turn around and lie when they vow to believe and uphold the teachings of their churches at ordination. Would Jesus lie to get ordained? Would he act on behalf of a group of people in way that would horrify them? So much for deeds before creeds…

  49. According to the churches, any person is in sin if they have relations outside of marriage. Where does this leave the gay person then? A gay person is in sin if they have sex outside of marriage too, but then a gay person is condemned by most of the churches and refused to be married as well. So again I ask, where does this leave the gay person ? its a catch 22. The gay person is damned if he does, and damned if he doesn’t. According to the churches, a gay person can never have a partner, must remain alone, celibate and by themselves for the remainder of their life because they were born with a gay sexual orientation. LIsten to how ridiculous that is…..use your heads people. Apply those conditions to your life and I bet anyone of you straight Christians would not agree or want that for yourself if you were gay. Its not what God would want for his children….He doesn’t want us to be alone and for your information, anyone who tells you being gay is a “choice” is flat out a lie. It is not a choice one makes, if it was a choice, then what day did you wake up and make the decision that you were going to be straight ??? This father and minister did nothing wrong in the eyes of love.

  50. Well you need to do more study about Levitical law and its purposes. Homosexual behavior is sinful. Always was and always will be.

  51. Jesse, I do belivieve I agree with some of what you wrote. I think gay people should be able to be married in the eyes of the law, but in the eyes of whatever religion is another matter. If any religious leader has given a vow, which I will have to assume they thought at the time was not in conflict with their beliefs, but then fail to act according to that vow within the organization in which they gave it, is simply dishonest. He should have resigned from that organization as he had a change in values, which no longer were in line with that of the organization.
    Frank, you are one of the smartest people I don’t know, thankfully.

  52. None of that following your convictions and conscience crap for you. Its all about deferring to arbitrary authority figures speaking on God’s behalf. =)

  53. Earold, I think the issue centers on traditional marriage continuing to be the foundation of society. There’s evidence to suggest that our country, for example, is coming apart at the seams, a slow but steady process. I do not suggest that the decline in marital stability is the only cause of this. It is an important cause, however, in the minds of many.

    Some of us are not willing to “take chances” in this regard because the destruction of a civilization is a rather final act.

    I fail to see how marriage can be an “equality” issue any more than it is an issue for anyone wanting to play in the NBA. We are not all equal in every respect. If I can’t shoot hoops, then I can’t shoot hoops. If I will not marry (to the opposite sex), then I will not marry. There are other measures for the equality of individuals, all centered on the nature of each of us as a human being.

    How is gays wanting religious recognition of their unions any different from, say, a mass murderer unappologetic for his deeds, wanting acceptance by a creed? Please don’t think I”m equating gay unions with mass murderers, but the desire for acceptance is still the same. And unwarranted.

    I see no reason why religious bodies cannot find some way to accept the fact that some people live in same-sex unions and that these same people can receive some levels of support from the religious community under the “live and let live” principle, perhaps. I must admit, however, that this is a difficulty for many creeds, given Scriptural prohibitions.

  54. Gbu Merrill. I am enjoying reading ur texts and others. I cant agree more with you. Why?, cause ur are using the Bible word of God. Thats all we need is the word of God.

  55. You need to read your bible before you post anything about anyone.I am puertorican and last time i read the bible Jesus Christ died for all of us. You need to repent for that dumb comment you just made.

  56. God created man and still does to my knowledge, so if a person is gay then God made them that way. God created all types of people so should we hate everyone that isn’t in your mind normal? You who put down gays and all others that are different are the really ignorant ones, because you haven’t learned yet that God’s love covers everyone, and only he can judge not you, because you are not the creator.

  57. When one church I’ve visited discussed leaving its denomination as that denomination became tolerant of ordaining homosexual persons, one parishioner asked, “How much do we have to hate to be Christian?” I’d ask many people who wrote these comments the same thing. How many people must I hate to be Christian? If I hadn’t been raised in the church, the meanness in some of these comments would make me run as fast as I could away from it. Those of you who posted loving comments, thank you.

  58. Telling someone that it’s o.k. and not detrimental to their life to be a homosexual is harmful because homosexuality is a sin and sin hurts people and that’s why God hates sin. Jesus came to set people free from sin. Jesus came that He might destroy the works of the Devil. True love tells people the truth. The people that tell homosexuals the truth about that lifestyle being a sin and that Jesus came to set them free from homosexualikty , are the people that really love them.

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