Apostate Pastor Who Officiated Son’s Same-Sex ‘Marriage’ Reinstated

RNS-METHODIST-GAYSIn a reversal, an apostate Pennsylvania pastor who was defrocked last year for violating United Methodist law after he officiated at his son’s so-called same-sex wedding has been reinstated.

Frank Schaefer learned Tuesday (June 24) his ministerial credentials will be restored after the United Methodist’s Northeastern Jurisdictional Committee on Appeals voted 8-1 in his favor.

The committee, which held a hearing June 20 near Baltimore, found that “errors of Church law” had been used in imposing the penalty against Schaefer.

“I was wrongfully punished for standing with those who are discriminated against,” Schaefer said in a statement. “Today’s decision is a sign that the church is starting to listen.”

Schaefer said he and his family will move to California as early as next week to accept an invitation to be a part of the United Methodist’s California-Pacific Conference.

That conference recently passed a resolution calling for an end to trials in cases of clergy violating policy connected with so-called “gay rights”.

“I will not refuse ministry to anyone,” he said. “I will never be silent again. I will always speak for my LGBTQ brothers and sisters.”

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The decision to reinstate Schaefer comes as the world’s 12 million United Methodists appear headed toward a split over the denomination’s rules on prohibiting homosexual behavior.

“The events over the last nine months make the division in our church much more clear,” said Tom Lambrecht, vice president and general manager of Good News, a conservative group within the United Methodist Church. “I have not seen a realistic option that will allow us to live together in one church.”

More than 80 pastors recently signed a statement saying the United Methodists have irreconcilable differences on the issue of homosexuality and a split is imminent. More than 2,500 United Methodist leaders have signed “A Way Forward,” a proposal calling for local decisions on openly homosexual clergy and so-called “same-sex marriage”.

Several other United Methodist clergy, including a retired bishop, are awaiting news of formal church complaints or trials for defying Methodist policy banning homosexuality. A group of 10 retired clergy said earlier this month they would preside at “same-sex marriages”.

Schaefer, formerly pastor of Zion United Methodist Church in Iona, was found guilty of violating the church’s Book of Discipline in a November 2013 trial. A church jury suspended him for 30 days, during which he was told to decide whether he could comply with church law. If he could not, the jury said he was to surrender his clergy credentials.

The United Methodist Church’s Book of Discipline calls the practice of homosexuality “incompatible with Christian teaching” and bars clergy from performing the so-called same-sex unions.

But the appeals committee ruled that the penalty was beyond those outlined in church law. It also said the penalty “could not be predicated on a future possibility.”

The committee also ruled that the Eastern Pennsylvania Annual Conference must compensate Schaefer for all lost salary and benefits from the date he lost his credentials, Dec. 19, 2013.

The committee’s decision could be appealed to the Judicial Council, the church’s highest court.

RNS / Christian News Network contributed to this report.

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  • The Methodists are so clueless.

  • rejz

    We are always thinking about the right of homosexual but we didn’t think about their soul we know this that its not right its a clear violation against God according to the BIBLE yet we are conforming with them. We love them that’s why we need to speak the truth and stand for it.We are an ambassador for Christ live like one.

    God bless 🙂

  • Servant

    This ignoring God’s Word on homosexuality will continue until Jesus returns to clean up this corrupted planet, and, BTW, long before the United Methodist group was invented God’s “policy” was already in place, written in the Holy Bible. Homosexuality is an abomination thereby making it abnormal.

    Christians, pray for the lost.


  • Abundant Blessings to You

    But the appeals committee ruled that the penalty was beyond those outlined in church law. It also said the penalty “could not be predicated on a future possibility.”

    It isn’t a mere “possibility”; Schaefer clearly stated he has NO INTENTION of following church doctrine.

  • Michael

    Sad but not surprising. We are living in the last days and should continue to pray for the lost and deliver the Good News, that includes loving the gay community.

    We should always remember we were once lost as well and deserving of God’s judgment but for the grace and mercy of Jesus.

    Pray, study Gods Word daily, and be salt and light to everyone we come into contact with. Our actions should always be a reflection of Jesus, pointing the way to salvation.