Methodist pastor who officiated at same-sex wedding has been defrocked

The Rev. Frank Schaefer of Lebanon had already been suspended when he met with church officials to determine whether he would continue as a pastor.

Schaefer had been told to resign from the clergy by Thursday if he could not follow the denomination’s Book of Discipline. But Schaefer has said the book discriminates against gay people and vowed this week that he would not voluntarily surrender his credentials.

Church spokesman John Coleman said that officials decided to defrock him.

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Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Methodist, Other Churches, Sexuality Debate (Other denominations and faiths), Theology

4 comments on “Methodist pastor who officiated at same-sex wedding has been defrocked

  1. TomRightmyer says:

    The UMC e-mail feed reports that he has been removed from the ministry of the United Methodist Church. On one hand I grieve whenever anyone called and ordained in any Christian church is no longer able to minister. The harvest needs all the laborers God calls. On the other hand I commend the United Methodist Church for its fidelity to its stated discipline. God grant similar fidelity to all churches.

  2. Sarah says:

    RE: “On one hand I grieve whenever anyone called and ordained in any Christian church is no longer able to minister.”

    Oh, he’ll “minister” in TEC or someplace similar.

  3. New Reformation Advocate says:

    I agree with both #1 and 2, but especially with Sarah. Like Fr. Alberto Cutie in Miami, Frank Shaeffer is actually apt to benefit professionally from his 15 minutes of fame, going from a small Methodist church to a potentially bigger and more influential pulpit in one of the so-called “mainline” deonominations that has capitulated to the powerful cultural currents that dominate American public life, i.e., the strong currents flowing in the direction of theological relativism and moral antinomianism.

    Shaeffer is already showing that he intends to milk this publicity for all its worth, as a self-appointed spokeman for the LGBT cause. But the vocal support that Shaeffer is getting from many leaders in the UMC also shows that the problem isn’t going away and that hundreds or even thousands of UMC clergy need to be disciplined similarly. Will the denominational leadership have the guts for that?

    For example, there’s the far more famous case of Thomas Ogletree, former dean of my seminary, Yale Div. School, who also conducted a same sex wedding for his SSA-afflicted son. I hope that Ogletree is likewise defrocked, without hesitation or qualms. We’ll see.

    David Handy+

  4. New Reformation Advocate says:

    P.S. Elves, please correct the typo in the headline.

    P.S.S. I used the phrase, “so-called ‘mainline’ donominations'” above because it’s now obsolete, though still in common use. The proud major Protestant groups that formerly dominated the American religious market are withering away rapidly and in danger of ending up fulfilling the sardonic jibe of some conservatives that those liberal denominations are now the “sideline” churches. For example, TEC is now dwarfed by the Assemblies of God, and the PCUSA is likewise dwarfed by the LC-MS. So which denominations are part of the mainline now, and which are the wannabe’s or has-beens?

    Just look at what’s happened to the once powerful NCC. It used to employ hundreds of fulltime staff at swanky headquarters on Riverside Drive in Manhattan. Now it’s down to about a dozen staffers at a small office in DC. The new location is fitting, however, as the National Council of Churches long ago morphed into being merely a religious lobby for every “progressive” cause that came along. The NCC is now just a sort of chaplaincy for the left wing of the Democratic Party. Which is what TEC has basically become too.

    David Handy+