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FrankSchaefer87 karma

I was theologically liberal and accepted LGBTs, but it was still difficult to realize that one of my children was gay. My son's coming out transformed me from being tolerant to being a supporter of the LGBT community. It had become personal for me and my family!

FrankSchaefer65 karma

No, and I feel offended =)

FrankSchaefer33 karma

  1. When I took that vow, the Discipline didn't contain a ban on gay marriage (and the ban on gay union services was only in the "social principles" and not the law part of the church); so the church law evolved one way, I evolved in the opposite direction. I saw the church's doctrine being kidnapped by our "UMC tea party" - the "Good News Movement." I don't believe our current church doctrine is a true representation of who we are as United Methodists

  2. Unfortunately, the issue became very divisive in my former church as you are correct in pointing out that the area is conservative socially and politically. I am positively surprised though, how much support I did get from many folks from my former congregation as well as the community of Lebanon. Things are changing here too, thank God!

  3. The church leaders never charged me, it was one of my parishioners. The whole thing was rooted in a personal disagreement between me and a few conservative parishioners (whose goal it became to get me dismissed as a pastor)

  4. see number 1 above for some of the answer. The homophobic language was introduced first into the Book of Discipline in 1972. Homosexual marriage was not on the horizon then, but at least, there was no prohibition or homophobic language.

FrankSchaefer29 karma

Good question; I remember feeling happy for Tim and his husband as well as the husbands family (mostly RCatholics who were so happy that a minister performed the wedding--even though it wasn't a RC priest). I didn't necessarily feel emancipated, I still carried some apprehension about possible consequences I might face from the church leadership at that point.

FrankSchaefer28 karma

Yes, I do! He did not chose it; in fact, he fought it, but he wasn't happy until he himself accepted who he is--a gay man, created in the image of God!