JUST THROW IT AWAY AND FORGET ABOUT IT!

For my fellow United Methodists, I don’t have to tell you we are nothing but The Denominational version of the Titanic. If you are a United Methodist and don’t know what I’m talking about, “SHAME ON YOU! GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF THE SAND!” Why? Because this problem isn’t going away. And we cannot remain true to our Wesleyan heritage as long as This Problem exists. They (meaning Progressives, or as I prefer to call them, ‘ProAgressives’) want–nay DESIRE–nay again–they are DETERMINED to throw out the Bible and our Orthodox faith like yesterday’s trash. They “know” more than what The Bible clearly says–and for more than the Saints who sought and fought to preserve the Orthodox Faith. In case you may not be familiar with the word Orthodox (because it is a big word like mahogany), perhaps these synonyms will help you understand it better.

from http://www.thesaurus.com

Three of them in particular fit the bill to understand what I mean by the Orthodox Faith: authoritative, buttoned down, and by the numbers! But. . . there are those in this Tribe I have been a part of for over 66 years who are convinced (or should I say deceived) that the tried and proven truth about sexual ethic of the Bible is. . .well. . .just plain wrong. Jesus was all about the love, they claim. And they claim that only 2 genders, male and female, are way too restrictive for people to really be who they are. So, they’ve added 72 additional gender designations. Forget the science, forget the biology, and forget Genesis chapter 2. And forget how our stance on sexuality has been unchanged since 1972. It states that all people stand equally in need of God’s grace. However, the practice of homosexuality is incompatable with Christian teachings–i.e.–the orthodox faith. Homosexuality is not any worse than any other sin–but it is outside God’s design and thus it is a sin–along with that long litany of stuff that puts all of us outside of God’s Desgin.

And now to this past week–and it shows how far my beloved Tribe has wandered. According to our approved procedures and rules, no self avowed practicing homosexual can be licensed, commissioned, nor ordained. To assure fidelity to the Bible and our procedures, we have this group called The Board Of Ordained Ministry. Some call it the BOOM or BOM for short. In the most recent session of the Florida Annual Conference, their BOOM recommended 16 candidates to be commissioned on the path to full ordination. Of the 16, two admitted that they were self-avowed practicing homosexuals–clearly in violation of The Bible and our rules. However, the Florida BOOM approved them. But they still needed 3/4 of the ordained clergy to give final approval. And the stuff hit the fire.

What Bishop Ken Carter and the Florida BOOM did was to put all 16 candidates in a single vote. As a group, vote up or down. Now, in fairness, I do not know that the other 14 candidates met the requirements. However, we do know that 2 did not! And the resulting firestorm has been aimed at the 27.3% who voted against the 16 because Bishop Carter would not allow them to vote on the candidates one by one. 27.3% voted according to their ordination vows and the Bible, and now they are the villians. So, the 27.3% who acted in the same spirit as Joshua and Caleb (see the story of the 10 spies) are treated with great disdain and anger.

And a fellow blogger joins in the disdain and anger, Rev. Jim Harnish. You can read his blog here. Jim asserts that the orthodox faith is invalid because, well because we are such more enlightened. And during the eventual commissioning and ordaining service, Bishop Ken Carter apologized to that group with these words:

“I grieve the harm you have experienced.
I am committed to the support of your callings …

I would have gladly commissioned each of you, and gladly appointed each of you …

Bishop Ken Carter

So, Bishop Carter would have gladly thrown away both the Bible and our Discipline. Whether that’s what he meant or not, this is exactly what he was saying and doing. And to my fellow Brother Jim I say that simply because you have changed your views about The Bible and our Discipline, a Discipline you promised you would faithfully follow when you were ordained, doesn’t mean you are right. I am grieved that you would allow culture to define your faith rather than allow God’s Word to Transform the culture. And thus, we see the 21st Century version of the Titanic raising her bow in preparation for sinking. I am not angry–I am sad–and I am disappointed that there are those who will abandon John Wesley’s passion to be people of “homo unius libri.” (a people of One Book!)

To candid, reasonable men, I am not afraid to lay open what have been the inmost thoughts of my heart. I have thought, I am a creature of a day, passing through life as an arrow through the air. I am a spirit come from God, and returning to God: just hovering over the great gulf; till, a few moments hence, I am no more seen; I drop into an unchangeable eternity! I want to know one thing the way to heaven; how to land safe on that happy shore. God Himself has condescended to teach the way; for this very end He came from heaven. He hath written it down in a book. O give me that book! At any price, give me the book of God! I have it: here is knowledge enough for me. Let me be “homo unius libri.”

John Wesley (June 17, 1706-March 2, 1791)

Footnote: Though I am saddened, maligned by others, accused of quitting and giving up–I am still praying and hopeful that this blight and disorder–this cancerous lie–can be put in it’s rightful place. Back to hell where it came from and where it belongs! Furthermore, I am confident that the Wesleyan desire for renewal and revival is not dead on this earth. The signs are everywhere. And if our leadership in the UMC doesn’t have a change of heart–it will happen with another people–NOT in the UMC!

An Open Letter To The Alabama Department Of Corrections and To Colbert County D.A. Bryce Graham, Jr.

To the aforementioned individuals,

First I want to say something to the Alabama Department of Corrections. On your website you have the wrong Mission, Vision, and Values Statement. To be factual, I took this screenshot so as not to miss or misquote a single word of your Statements:

You state that your Vision is “impacting lives for a safer Alabama”. Well, on the afternoon of 1 October 2021, that proved to be a bald-faced lie. In 2016 you released Brian Martin for allegedly “good behavior”–though records show he got into a fight with another inmate seriously injuring him, failing to obey a guard, and not one but TWO drug possessions. All this in LESS THAN 3 YEARS of incarceration. In 2013 Mr. Martin shot and killed his father. And you have the audacity to excuse your failings on Alabama’s Good Behavior law? YOU made him a Class I offender. (If anyone wants to know more about Alabama’s Good Behavior Law CLICK HERE) Did you even look at your Vision Statement? Do you even understand it?

And because of your ineptitude, on that horrendous afternoon, two people are dead, including Sheffield Police Department Sgt. Nick Risner. Mr. Martin also shot at other police officers, injuring one, and another was missed by inches. And now a family is without a husband and a father; a community is without the service and dedication of one of it’s officers; and another family deals with their loved one being dumped out of a moving vehicle like a piece of trash. Alabama Department of Corrections, do you think all this makes for a “safer Alabama”?

And to add insult to injury, your ALLEGED VALUES statement includes ACCOUNTABILITY! Obviously there is NO ACCOUNTABILITY within your department. If there was, then the Warden, any others who could have but failed to stop this pathetic early release, and the head of the Alabama Department of Corrections need to be criminally charged (and hopefully convicted) of being accessories before the fact. YOU bear responsibility for the deaths and trauma in the Shoals Area. You have NO MISSION, NO VISION, AND ABSOLUTELY NO VALUES when it comes to a safer Alabama.

And now, on to you, Mr. Bryce Graham, Jr. Here’s a screenshot from your website:

You declare that you want to see justice done in each and every case. Well, your decisions prove that’s just not the case. In 2013, when Mr. Martin was on trial for shooting and killing his father, you pled him down to manslaughter and a sentence of only 10 years. Was justice really served in that case? Surely, Mr. Graham, Jr., you are aware of Alabama’s Good Time Law. You must have known (at least should have known) that Mr. Martin could have been released after serving only one-third of his sentence.

Mr. Graham, Jr.–you share with the Alabama Department of Corrections responsibility for the tragic events on 1 October 2021. What were you thinking when you agreed to the plea deal? The only answer I can reach is that you were more concerned about your conviction rate than justice for Mr. Martin’s victim. And now the victims of Mr. Martin have multiplied. How does that make you feel, Mr. Graham, Jr.? And now, for there to be any sense of justice, Mr. Graham, Jr. you should finish the last 7 years of Mr. Martin’s sentence. Who knows, maybe the Alabama Department of Corrections (‘corrections’, what a joke!) will classify you as a Class I prisoner and let you go free before your 7 year sentence is serve.

Before you ever reach another “plea deal”, remember 1 October 2021. Maybe, I said Maybe, you will think long and hard–and rise up to the challenge of seeking justice for the victims of criminals.