- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 13, 2014

A 96-year-old Mennonite pastor in Pennsylvania was stripped of his credentials after officiating his gay son’s wedding.

In a letter published in The Mennonite this month, Chester Wenger said his “conscience is clear” in his decision to marry his son and his partner earlier this year.

“I know persons will accuse me for my transgression, but my act of love was done on behalf of the church I love,” Mr. Wenger said.

The Lancaster Mennonite Conference, in an email to the Lancaster Online, said the decision to strip the retired minister of his credentials stemmed from the fact that “pastors holding credentials in a conference of Mennonite Church USA may not perform a same-sex covenant.”

Mr. Wenger said in his letter that he and his wife were hurt when their son was excommunicated about 35 years ago, and since then had healed and studied Scripture with other parents of gay children.



“We know that while many of us hear different things from the Scriptures, God’s deepest desire, as made known in Jesus Christ, is ‘to seek and to save that which was lost,’” he said. “We believe this is an opportune moment for the church to boldly proclaim a pastoral, grace-filled readiness to include both homosexuals and heterosexuals within the blessing of a marriage covenant designed to be wholesome and God-honoring.”


SEE ALSO: Muslims’ faith is stronger than Christians’, school worksheet claims


ENERGIZER EVANGELIZER

A Florida pastor claims he has set a new record for the longest speech ever given.

During a fundraiser this month at the Cross Church in Mount Dora, Florida, pastor Zach Zehnder spoke for 53 hours and 18 minutes, according to Huffington Post.

Mr. Zehnder’s preaching ran from 7 a.m. Nov. 7 through 7:32 a.m. Nov. 9. He was allowed a five-minute break every hour, and could not stop talking for more than 30 seconds.

He told Huffington Post that he divided the speech into 50 parts and covered the entire Bible. He used notes and a PowerPoint presentation, though he was not allowed to have an actual copy of the Bible with him during his talk.

“A normal pastor will preach about 30 minutes on a Sunday,” Mr. Zehnder said. “I covered almost two years worth of material.”

The longest speech currently stands at 48 hours and 31 minutes. A records committee spokesman told Huffington Post it had received Mr. Zehnder’s application for a record.

MARITAL WOES

Was Jesus a married man?

The question has been asked and debated at length, but on Wednesday documentarian Simcha Jacobovici said an ancient text proves the Son of God was no bachelor.

The Associated Press reported that during the London launch of the book “The Lost Gospel” he co-authored, Mr. Jacobovici said a manuscript in the British Library shows that Mary Magdalene was “not just Mrs. Jesus. She’s a co-deity, a co-Redeemer.”

This isn’t the first time Mr. Jacobovici has suggested a scandalous biblical story, the AP reported. He’s also the co-author of “The Jesus Family Tomb,” which suggested the remains of Jesus and potential family members were found in a cave in Jerusalem.

HOLY HOTTIE 2

Jesus is back — for 12 more TV episodes.

Producer Mark Burnett and his wife, actress Roma Downey, have revealed some of the cast members for their latest faith-based project “A.D.,” including Jesus Christ.

Argentinian actor Juan Pablo di Pace will step into the sandals of the Bible’s most famous son, taking over for Portuguese actor Diogo Morgado, who portrayed Jesus in the movie “Son of God” earlier this year. The movie also was produced by Mr. Burnett and Ms. Downey.

If you’re curious about Mr. de Pace, you can see him in TNT’s reboot of “Dallas.”

People magazine reports the TV miniseries picks up the story after Jesus‘ crucifixion. It is scheduled to premier Easter Sunday on NBC.

Meredith Somers covers religion for The Washington Times.

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