Earlier this week, I wrote about a disturbing situation where a United Methodist Church official, Pastor Frank Schaefer was tried, by the church for performing a marriage ceremony. A same-sex marriage ceremony. And one of the two participants was Schaefer's own son. You can find it here.
The fabric of families is a fragile one. There are so many issues that can strain relationships, children, parents, grandparents. So when you think of the challenges the Schaefer family had to endure coming to terms of acceptance over gay sexuality for three of Pastor Shaefer's four sons, they all deserve kudos. That's a hurdle of love and understanding if I've ever heard one.
Then, as a sign of his admiration for his father and the church, Tim Schaefer wanted his father to have the honor of performing the service and administering the sacred vows. He wanted to celebrate with his family, his church and his God. The marriage of two Methodists who wanted to live within the law, not in sin. They were guilty of nothing more than wanting to show their devotion of love to one another, sanctified under the eyes of their God.
What was disturbing is that Rev. Frank has been tried, found guilty and now faces some very stringent punishment. Defrocking is still within the future. An ultimatum has been given. Is it just? You be the judge. Hear it for yourself from Rev. Frank Schaefer on yesterday's News Nation on MSNBC.
The United Methodist Church says it welcomes LGBT members. Isn't it time that they put their faith where their mouth is? Stop punishing men and women of belief who wish to give sanctity to marriage and keep it faith-filled. Though LGBT sexuality isn't a choice, religion is. The Methodist Church should truly mean what they profess by acceptance, and make that both on and off the pulpit. Let those pastors who believe in ordaining same-sex marriage have their wish. Those who don't needn't be forced into performing those services. But don't leave the flock to wander unwanted. They'll just find a pasture somewhere else. True believers have faith and acceptance in their hearts. That's what Jesus would say, or so I'm told.