Minister is ousted for marrying same-sex partners

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by davidpace, Jun 17, 2003.

  1. davidpace

    davidpace
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    This minister actually believes that he is right. What a shame! On top of this, the man received 45 votes in his favor.


    FORT MITCHELL, Kentucky (AP) -- A Presbyterian minister who was ousted from his post after he continued to marry same-sex couples says he feels obligated to continue fighting to change church policy.

    Members of the presbytery, a cluster of Presbyterian churches in the Cincinnati region, voted 119-45 on Monday to remove the Rev. Stephen Van Kuiken from his ministry at Mount Auburn Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati and from membership in the Presbyterian Church (USA).

    The council was asked to decide whether Van Kuiken had renounced the constitution and governance of the Presbyterian Church (USA) by refusing to abide by a church court order.

    Van Kuiken said the church is discriminating against homosexuals by forbidding gay marriages and he feels an obligation to continue pressing for same-sex marriages.

    He said his fight was "worth it despite getting beat up and despite the pain and the struggle and the hardship."

    "I am grieving right now. And part of this grieving is over the forced separation from my congregation," said Van Kuiken, 44, a minister for 19 years. "I love them, and my heart will always be with them."

    The highest Presbyterian court ruled in 2000 that ministers may bless same-sex unions, but cannot marry the couples. The denomination follows the biblical interpretation generally held by major Christian denominations that marriage can be a covenant only between a man and a woman.

    Opponents of the policy hoped to make changes last month at the national Presbyterian convention, but the church ended the convention without reconsidering the ban.

    "He was only enforcing the policy of our church. This action is really a defrocking of our church," said a tearful Jennifer McKettrick, one of about 500 people to attend the three-hour meeting.

    Van Kuiken married McKettrick, 37, and her partner at Mount Auburn.

    "I am deeply saddened and I cannot imagine staying in a Presbyterian church that doesn't want me," she said.

    The special meeting was held even as Van Kuiken pursues an appeal of a church court's April directive forbidding him from marrying same-sex couples.

    The Cincinnati Presbytery court gave him the mildest form of punishment: a public rebuke that directs him to only marry men to women. At that time, he could have been suspended or removed from the ministry.

    The court acquitted Van Kuiken of a companion charge that he ordained as deacons and elders gays who did not adhere to a church rule of chastity for unmarried lay ministers. The court said local congregations and their ruling boards select lay people for ordination and it would not convict Van Kuiken of something not under his authority.
     
  2. Haruo

    Haruo
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    Would've been 46 if I'd been voting.

    Haruo

    [ June 20, 2003, 11:13 PM: Message edited by: Haruo ]
     
  3. Jailminister

    Jailminister
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    Haruo, Try Jesus.
     
  4. Major B

    Major B
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    Now, fellers, don't get personal...

    Heck, down here, you'd get voted out of the association if you had a woman deacon or accepted other than Baptist baptism (it's in our associational bylaws).

    From Western Kentucky, the land time forgot (but WWF and NASCAR found)...

    Be nice, ya'll!
     
  5. Dan Todd

    Dan Todd
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    Quote from the AP:
    Seems to me - that it's a very small step from blessing same-sex unions - to marrying same-sex couples.

    While I absolutely disagree with what the Presby "preacher" was doing - if he would have waited just a short time - the tide would probably turn in his favor.

    The story of the camel and the tent seems to be the way this one will end up!! :eek:
     
  6. Artimaeus

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    The man would have been out of my church for even considering a neutral opinion on blessing the union.
     
  7. Word Traveler

    Word Traveler
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    Hi guys, The Presbytarian high court was wrong to condone such unions, and the minister was wrong to tie such knots! A-B-O-M-I-N-A-T-I-O-N! IMHO, and according to my Bible! Adam and Eve! Not Adam and Steve! Now stepping down from my soapbox . . . [​IMG] In Christ, WT
     
  8. Major B

    Major B
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    Now dog-gone-it, WT, there you go waffling again! Tell us what you REALLY think! [​IMG]
     
  9. MaryKay

    MaryKay
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    What a mess.I am ashamed that any Christian would even consider such a thing as same sex marriages.

    I am still reeling from the gay couple in Lexington that had a surrogate deliver a child for them. It turned out not be be a single birth which would have been bad enough but she delivered Quads!!! Now they are sooo happy they want to do it again!

    Oh Lord, help us! MK
     
  10. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946
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    How can you declare the whole counsel of God?... What do you do with those passages that condemn homosexuality?... Just pass it by like it doesn't exist?... Some people are going to accept even though it is wrong and justify their position but you can't change what the Bible says... Unless you publish you own abominated version. It brings a new and different perverted interpretation on scripture of Jesus and the twelve Apostles and how close they really were... I feel that is where the homosexuals are really headed in changing the Bible to suit their perverted abominable beliefs :eek: ... Brother Glen
     
  11. chargrove

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    I am a little surprised that PCUSA would actually condemn him for that. They are theological liberals by and large. For a real treat, check out this article that recounts some of their finest female members' actions from a decade ago at the "Reimagining God" conference. It will really make you wonder what's going on....

    http://www.watchman.org/reltop/reimagin.htm
     
  12. Haruo

    Haruo
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    There's an idea! Thanks, Jailminister, I think I will! :rolleyes: (No offense, but your response makes it sound like Jesus was a brand name for a more effective headache remedy or something. I'm a Christian; I am in a committed relationship with Jesus already, just [I presume] like you. I have little doubt that the minister in question is taking the stand he is taking because of, not in spite of, his commitment to Jesus and his gospel.)

    Haruo
     
  13. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp
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    The Presbyterian church as been ordaining people who don't believe in Christ or the Bible to be ministers since the early 1900s; so it is not suprising that a man who doesn't believe in common decency thinks he ought to have a seat at the Presbyterian table.

    Mark Osgatharp
     

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