Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Reverend Joe Hoffman Takes a Stand

Via BlueNC:

"An Asheville pastor says he will no longer perform civil marriages for the state because North Carolina denies homosexual couples the right to legally marry.

The Rev. Joe Hoffman, pastor of First Congregational United Church of Christ, announced his decision in a Sunday morning sermon."

From the sermon he delivered:

"One of my responsibilities and privileges as a pastor is to work with couples who want to be married. I counsel with them. We plan a religious service. And I officiate at that service. I love this part of my job. And I hope to be doing weddings for the rest of my life with those couples that I think are in a just, loving, and mutual relationship. I will continue to do weddings for heterosexual couples, and for gay and lesbian couples. It is the role of the church to bless and support loving and just relationships.

But I have decided that I can no longer, I will no longer, legalize marriages for heterosexual couples. By that I mean I will no longer sign the document from the state of North Carolina that makes a religious wedding also a legal ceremony. When I sign that piece of paper, I participate in the perpetuation of a system of injustice and oppression. I sign over about 1100 rights and privileges that are written into law to those who are heterosexual. This is discrimination, this is injustice, and I cannot knowingly participate in this as an agent of the state any longer. My job is to be your pastor. To offer pastoral care to all of us. To advocate for the rights of all of us. To make sure as best I can that the practices of the church are not discriminatory and oppressive.

We are a church of God’s creative diversity. We are not a heterosexual congregation. We are a church of many people and many family configurations. James Nelson has written that most Biblical scholars today agree that there are at least 40 different kinds of families named in the Bible. Not just one – not a man and woman, or a man and a woman and a child, but 40 different kinds. We are a church that includes many of these different family configurations. And I thank God for that. And I want to offer blessing for that."

Read the Whole Thing.


Jim Jenkins said...

Good on ya, Rev. Joe!

havrepastor said...

That is the sickest, and one of the most perverse renderings of the BIBLE I have ever seen. I guess GOD made a mistake at Sodom?? Probably NOT!! Junk like this makes me sick. But remember....Gal 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
Gal 6:8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.