Churchly Quality Control VI: Methodists defrock lesbian.
Yes, it’s true. A mainline denomination actually defrocked a non-conservative for violating the orthopraxy of the church.
The vote of the United Methodist church court was close. But still this surprises me. I’ve seen mainline churches use every excuse in the book not to enforce their own rules against liberals. So I expected more of the same. But I’m glad to be wrong. Kudos to the Methodists.
And, yes, the Episcopal Church USA is getting more isolated by the day.
Any church that cares about orthodoxy and orthopraxy has to be willing and able to defrock errant unrepentant ministers. Frankly, I won’t join a church that wouldn’t.
The history of the mainline denominations show a little leaven takes over the whole loaf. You can point to times churches were unwilling to defrock even blatant heretics (And I’m unaware of any blatant heresy on the part of the defrocked Ms. Stroud.), and you’ll find that the apostasy of those churches accelerated soon afterwards. In the Episcopal Church, this is certainly the case with the tepid discipline exercised toward heretic Bishops James Pike and John Spong.
Churches must be willing to defrock. It’s a matter of not only defending the Faith; it’s a matter of self-defense as well.