Last weekend, the General Synod of the Reformed Church in America disciplined Norman J. Kansfield, the former president of New Brunswick Theological Seminary, for officiating at his daughter's same-sex wedding. According to a statement by the RCA, pastors and elders brought charges against Kansfield saying "his action was contrary to RCA beliefs, contradicted his ordination vows, and violated his promises made when installed into the office of professor of theology."
The New York Times says, "The delegates also voted to suspend Dr. Kansfield, 65, from the ministry until he changes his views to fall in line with church doctrine, and to strip him of his standing as a professor of theology in the church.
"By a roughly three-to-one majority, the jurors in the rare ecclesiastical trial voted that by officiating at the wedding, Dr. Kansfield had violated his vows as a minister and ignored the teachings of his church," writes The Times.
Kansfield was ousted from his position at the seminary in early February after word spread that he had officiated at his daughter's wedding at Jonathan Edwards's former church in Northampton, weeks after Massachusetts legalized same-sex marriage. The board of trustees then decided not to renew his contract. At the time, board member and spokesman Larry Williams told The New Jersey Star-Ledger, "We decided that the president had put the seminary in an awkward position by performing that ceremony without giving us the benefit of offering sufficient counsel," he said. "It could have hurt the school if it divided people in our student body, if it divided our faculty, if it divided other people who support us."
Despite its decisive action last weekend, the RCA is not likely finished dealing with the ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 65+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more