My support of same-sex marriage and why I’m no longer a pastor

This past week I voluntarily submitted my pastor credentials because I affirm same-sex marriage. I have spent years studying this matter on my own and in community. I have prayed about it on my own and with others who were also seeking God’s guidance. I made this decision as part of my desire to lead my life based on biblical principles and the living Jesus Christ I follow. I won’t go into the reasons why I affirm same-sex marriage in this post. I’ll save that for future posts—coming soon enough.

I sensed the call to ministry since my teenage years, so when, after thirty years, I became a credentialed pastor in 2008 it was a great day for me. I loved being a pastor. I feel confident in my calling. When I was ordained in 2012 it was a day of joy and celebration I’ll always treasure.

As much as I loved being a pastor, and wish I could officially remain one, especially given that my son recently became engaged and I looked forward to officiating at his wedding, the time came for me to submit my credentials because my position conflicts with my denomination’s interpretation. This was an extremely difficult decision, one I would’ve preferred not having to make. However, for reasons of integrity, my own and my denomination’s credentialing process, it was the right decision.

I respect my denomination’s approach to its interpretation on same-sex marriage and the way they respond with love and respect towards the LGBT community. I wish all churches who believe same-sex marriage is not biblical held that position in the same loving and caring way it’s striving to.

I pray that one day my denomination will enter into a time of discernment about their understanding of same-sex marriage and that I can once again be a credentialed pastor. In the meantime, I will continue to be an active participant in my church’s life. I love my denomination’s commitment to Jesus and their desire to extend his message of love and peace around the world.

I recognize that same sex-marriage is a sensitive and polarizing issue. I wish to extend grace to all those that are still processing it and to those who land at a different place on this than I do. I pray that all of us who follow Jesus can extend grace to all as we move forward living out Jesus’ message of love and peace.

10 thoughts on “My support of same-sex marriage and why I’m no longer a pastor

  1. Timothy McPherson says:

    Thanks for your courage! I, too, was an ordained minister in my denomination and wished to support a change within my denomination to make it more of an affirming church. Unfortunately, I decided to stay and was terminated with cause in part because of my stance. I wasn’t prepared for that. Perhaps your way would have been better. I don’t know.

    • sauthier says:

      Thanks for sharing a part of your journey. It’s unfortunate that you were terminated. Who knows if another way would have been better. One never knows how these things will play themselves out.

  2. Pingback: | Changing the lens: A commentary on biases in the church’s same-sex marriage debate

  3. Jeremiah says:

    Wow. Challenging indeed.
    I was writing something longer, but scrapped it because I just wanted to acknowledge as a fellow pastor, father and follower of Jesus how hard I know this has to be for you. I’m asking similar questions and facing similar choices myself. This post was very challenging.
    I pray that things will work out for you in regards to performing your son’s wedding.

    • sauthier says:

      Thanks for your kinds words. I’m always encouraged by people’s support. I pray that as you wrestle with similar choices that you’re at peace with wherever you land. If things were to work out for my son’s wedding that would be a true blessing. Either way, I’m at peace.

  4. Manon says:

    Thank you for sharing this Steve,I admire you for standing behind what you believe it, it must have been very difficult to submit your pastor credentials.
    Keep praying and working for God, because I know he still has great plans for you within your community.

    Love you

    • sauthier says:

      Thanks. It was a very tough decision. I continue to be open to doing work in God’s kingdom. I have plenty on my plate with several areas where I volunteer.

  5. sauthier says:

    Thank you for taking the time to leave such kind words. I’m glad the post helped you. I hope it can do the same for others.

  6. Pingback: Changing the lens: A commentary on biases in the church’s same-sex marriage debate -

  7. Pingback: Where do we turn? Some thoughts about what God has to say about homosexuality -

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *