TO INSANITY AND BEYOND! (The U.M.C.)

As an adult, I absolutely loved the movie Toy Story. And some will want to flog me with a wet noodle for saying this–but Buzz Lightyear is my favorite character. Even though that was nearly 25 years ago, I still love to watch that movie. Now I am seeing why I am drawn to Buzz Lightyear. It was his catchphrase: To Infinity And Beyond! But seriously, how can one go beyond infinity since infinity has no end?

And for the last few weeks, I have taken his catchphrase and replaced one word–and it is a word that describes my beloved United Methodist Church; and thus the title of today’s edition: To Insanity And Beyond! How does one go beyond insane? Clinicians in the world of behavioral science have pretty much agreed upon their definition of “Insanity”! But there is a better definition that is easily understood and on which there can be no disagreement. Well. . .unless you are insane. OK, here it is:

Insanity is doing the same things over and over and over–and expecting different results.

I am hearing, and I’m being told by my fellow United Methodists, that we are at a critical crossroads in our Tribe. I laugh to myself when I hear the word “crossroads”. The United Methodist church is at a crossroads, and the Democrats and Republicans want to be nice to each other. HAH! This may hurt the feelings of some of my fellow United Methodists, but. . .oh well! Toughen up, buttercup.

To say we are at a crossroads in the United Methodist Church declares that we have four options: go straight, turn right, turn left, or go back the way we came. This has been the situation going on for 5 decades, and the United Methodist Church continues to be in a serious state of decline every year. And what should have been decided this year has been postponed until 2021–the affect of COVID-19.

A group in my own Conference has started a movement called Stay UMC (click here for their website). Centrists and Progressive sincerely believe that we can stay UMC and maintain a diverse view of the authority and reliability of the Bible. Friends, this has been attempted now through 5 decades and we continue to be in a state of decline. It is insane to continue this way.

The image of where the United Methodist Church is at is not a crossroads, but we are at the T-Intersection!

At a T-Intersection you can’t go straight. The road has ended. Now you must choose a different direction. And because it will be a different direction, it means that we will no longer together be United Methodists. Truth is, it’s insane to think over the past 5 decades that we have even been in the same area code of United. We are fragmented and broken and the time has come for a kind and civil farewell to each other.

Make your choice because the road that the United Methodist Church has been traveling has come to a T-Intersection. It is insane to think that doing what we’ve been doing is going to produce a different outcome. If you believe that, then I refer you to my statement after paragraph 2. My fellow United Methodists, this madness must stop! I join the growing crowd who is giving up this game of Kicking The Can down the road. I know that this moment is not a Crossroads moment. Make a choice. Either we can trust The Bible or we can’t trust The Bible. Really, one cannot go beyond insanity.

MY ENDORSEMENTS FOR THE 2020 ELECTIONS

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That’s right–I’m issuing my first ever list of endorsements for the 2020 election cycle. Crazy year, right? I know some are thinking right now, “Wait, you can’t do that by the IRS rules! That’s not the role of the preacher!” Maybe our spiritual mess is because pastors and preachers are more concerned about what others say they should or shouldn’t do. But today I’m feeling like, “What the heck! Throw caution to the wind!”

I am confident in what I am about to say because I have discovered the wisdom of separating “religion” from “politics”. It’s really easy to separate the two for me because I don’t have a “religion”. I have a relationship with God. And I have uncovered the wisdom that comes from above that doesn’t want us to be a Christian nation, but to be a nation of Christians. To be a nation of Christians one doesn’t need politics–though many of my fellow evangelicals seem to think we do. Well. . .we don’t need politics.

Separating my politics from my faith has led me to this “endorsements” blog. I just heard someone thinking, “Wait a minute preacher! Don’t you want elected officials to be Christian?” That would be nice, for sure–but it would be even better if citizens of the U.S. were first and foremost citizens of The Kingdom of God. Oops, it seems I am taking a journey to justify my own views. So enough of the “why”!

Here is my list of endorsements! (Drum roll, please!) I endorse for every office from local to state to federal the following:

The candidate the supports, upholds, and defends the U.S. Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic!

That’s it! I choose to not listen to the mudslinging ads or any of the mainstream media’s explanations of who I need to vote for. I look at the person and their platform in light of the above statement. Sometimes that means I have to choose the lesser of two evils. This is not a preferred choice for me–and we wouldn’t have to if voters educated themselves, more ordinary and honest citizen run for office, if voters would start thinking for themselves, and if voters would not think they are throwing away their vote by voting for good and honest people.

From the perspective of a citizen of the greatest country in the world, I encourage you to vote for the candidate that upholds, maintains, defends and supports the U.S. Constitution. This election cycle it may require us to vote for the lesser of two evils. It’s too late to change the slate of candidates. AND it’s not too soon to prepare for the next election cycle. Don’t vote your religion–vote for the document that has blessed us with this nation of liberties and freedoms.