Today I saw a newspaper account of several Methodist preachers who are thumbing their noses at the official position of their church.Â Â They are not allowed to conduct marriages for gay couples.Â Many are doing it anyway.Â Many others have pledged to do it if asked.
There are consequences for these pastors.Â Â Some have stood trial in the Church’s court system.Â There is one going on right now.Â Others have conducted these marriages and nothing seems to happen.
I suppose one possibility isÂ the Church’s court system gets so overloaded it cannot deal with theÂ rebels.Â IÂ don’t know what would happen then.
One thing is clear fromÂ what these preachers are doing and from the risks the other demoninations were willing to take when they allowed gay marriage.Â Â There is a large group of Christian church officals who think the theology behind anti gay marriage is so flawed they simply are unable to tolerate it.Â It would be an interesting turn about if the liberal wing of the Methodist church walked away like the conservatives wings of the other Protestant demoninations have done.
The only period I’m aware of that mirrors this one was the civil rights era.Â Churches, and church members, had dramatic differences they were not able to reconcil.Â One would guess that most of the segregationist members look back at their stand then and see they were mistaken.
The rebel Methodist preachers will be seen as heros to Methodists at some point in the future.Â Time isÂ the friend ofÂ gayÂ marriage.