Right now I’m not talking about issue of obedience that we study as part of church history. I’m talking about obedience now, in the twenty-first century, as the obedience button is being pushed over acceptance of gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender/queer persons. While my denomination, UCC, has officially welcomed all of God’s children, others are speaking out a little less boldly, and some individuals, lay and clergy alike, are defying their denomination and acting from conscious to marry (and welcome) couples from the GLBTQ community.
One such individual is Rev. Frank Schaefer who yesterday was found guilty by a United Methodist jury in Pennsylvania of performing a same-sex wedding six years ago for his son Tim, and of “disobedience to the order and discipline of the United Methodist Church.” Within thirty days Schaefer has been told he must decide if he can uphold the Book of Discipline in order to retain his “ministerial credentials”.
I mention this, not to get involved in church politics, but as a way to gain some clarity about obedience to God. I have to believe that Schaefer acted out of obedience to a God of love, to Jesus who preached love, and to the Holy Spirit who entered his heart with love. Whatever I’m pondering, I have to look into my own heart to see what is right for me, to discern what I want to be obedient to. My sense of right and wrong isn’t always clear cut, which is why I walk the beach praying for answers, hoping to hear God leading me to my obedient answer.
My source of information: The United Methodist Reporter: An Independent source of news and commentary on the life of the United Methodist Church http://unitedmethodistreporter.com/2013/11/19/schaefer-jury-30-day-suspension-possible-surrender/