On the subject of the Methodist pastor put on trial and convicted of violating his church's book of disciplines:
The church's sole witness was Jon Boger, a member of Schaefer's congregation, who filed a complaint against the pastor less than a month before the six-year statute of limitations was set to expire.Jon Boger strikes me as a man who could benefit from several things, not the least of which having that log that somehow made its way from his eye to his ass surgically removed, but also from the Articles of Religion of Episcopal church:
He said he felt betrayed when he learned earlier this year that Schaefer, who had baptized his children and buried his grandparents, had presided over a same-sex wedding.
"When pastors take the law of the church in their own hand ... it undermines their own credibility as a leader and also undermines the integrity of the church as a whole," Boger said.(Source)
XXVI. Of the Unworthiness of the Ministers, which hinders not the effect of the Sacraments.In other words, your priest (or pastor) being a big ole sinner with gay kids he performed a wedding for almost six years ago doesn't have any effect on your childrens' baptisms or your grandparents burial. He could be worshipping Satan in his basement and it wouldn't have any effect: The baptisms stick. If he were doing the latter I would actually agree with Jon Boger, but as it stands, I think he's being a drama queen and needs a swift kick in the pants.
Although in the visible Church the evil be ever mingled with the good, and sometimes the evil have chief authority in the Ministration of the Word and Sacraments, yet forasmuch as they do not the same in their own name, but in Christ's, and do minister by his commission and authority, we may use their Ministry, both in hearing the Word of God, and in receiving the Sacraments. Neither is the effect of Christ's ordinance taken away by their wickedness, nor the grace of God's gifts diminished from such as by faith, and rightly, do receive the Sacraments ministered unto them; which be effectual, because of Christ's institution and promise, although they be ministered by evil men.
Nevertheless, it appertaineth to the discipline of the Church, that inquiry be made of evil Ministers, and that they be accused by those that have knowledge of their offences; and finally, being found guilty, by just judgment be deposed.
I don't think that last bit, about evil ministers, applies in this case. I certainly don't think this guy is the first to do this and be put on trial for it. I hope he's the last. I think he made the right choice for his family. I don't know what it's going to do to his relationship with his bishop or his church, and I pray his relationship with Christ doesn't suffer. I get it. They have a problem. They got a guy who was caught stepping out of line and breaking the rules. The question becomes whether the problem is the rule itself or the guy breaking them.
I think you guys know my answer. Too bad the Methodists and the Anglicans broke up all those years ago, maybe they'd have showed him that document in the back of the prayer book and told him to grow up.