Monday, December 06, 2004

The trial of Rev. Irene Elizabeth Stroud

I have to admit I'm not the least bit surprised that Beth Stroud’s trial went the way it did. After the acquittal of Karen Dammann last March, the ultra-conservatives in the Southeast Jurisdiction, with the help of the really scary IRD, managed to tighten the "loophole" that allowed for Dammann's acquittal at the 2004 General Conference. Personally, I think the discrepancy in the way the church treats pastors who violate the Social Principles on the homosexuality issue vs. other issues, like war, is more than just a loophole, but then I'm not a member of the IRD.

Anyway, back to Beth Stroud. Whenever the church loses a good pastor, which everyone involved with this case clearly proclaimed Stroud to be, the church loses. Whenever we block someone from their call from God, we all lose. People just don't deserve to be treated like this. I think this response From the Methodist Federation of Social Action about the church choosing legalism states it pretty well.

Legalism. "Values." I keep thinking of Matthew 23: 24: "You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel!"


At 2:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is very sad indeed. I hope that she will go and become a pastor for another church. And that the heads of the Methodist church will realise their own foolishness before it is too late.


At 7:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This made me really sad. It clearly devestated her. I have never understood how churches could exclude anyone with a calling. I don't think being gay is a sin. I think the overriding thing in God's word is love. And gays love just as anyone else.

But even if the church considered homosexuality as being a sin, then that sin would be personal between that person and God. Who said that those leading the church had to be perfect beings? I've seen many church leaders do worse than love someone of the same sex.

I guess I'm a little sensitized to this because I know Gene Robinson, the gay Episcopal bishop. He's an amazing man and I'd hate to see his good works discounted in any way.

At 10:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gene Robinson is amazing alright. A man can abandon his wife and children for another man and a religious institution makes him bishop. Yep. Pretty amazing.

Mike B.

At 12:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love Matthew 23: 24:
"You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel!"

The following is attributed to an early Methodist, John Wesley

“I am not afraid that the people called Methodists should ever cease to exist either in Europe or America. But I am afraid lest they should only exist as a dead sect, having the form of religion without the power. And this undoubtedly will be the case unless they hold fast both the doctrine, spirit, and discipline with which they first set out.”

Some people have different definitions of what is a Gnat. Humm?


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