Milking the Cow to the Very Last Drop!
What To Do When You Lose Your Preacher Credentials!
On the farm it was the practice to milk the cows twice a day. The cow was milked until there was evidence that the milk had been removed and no more was available until a few hours had passed. In most cases a cow was considered "milked" even though there were still a few drops remaining in the cow. To those of us who grew up on a farm many years ago there were terms we used in reference to the cow and her biological system where milk was produced and stored. The storage area was referred to as the cow's "bag" and the projections at the bottom of the bag by which milk was removed were called the cow's "udders" or sometimes also called "teats."
As mentioned, there were at least some drops of milk left in the "bag" until the next milking time took place -- about 8 to 10 hours later in the day. Good to the last drop may be great for advertising a certain brand of coffee, but usually it isn't applied to the process of milking dairy cows!
There are church happenings which sometimes take on the appearance of an over zealous farmer determined to milk his hapless cows to the very last drop! And so it is with the past trial and a heap of fall-out from that trial which involved United Methodist lesbian pastor, Beth Stroud, of Germantown UMC in Philadelphia PA.
Beth was found guilty of violating the UMC Book of Discipline due to living in a lesbian relationship with her lover, Chris Paige. Beth had made known publicly that she and her lover were in a "committed" partnership. This happened in her "come out" sermon in which she declared how the situation was in her life. The guilty verdict at the trial resulted in her ministerial credentials being revoked.
Beth and lover, Chris, are zealously "milking the cow" on this and will continue to do so until the very last drop is extracted!
First, they have overwhelming support from the senior pastor and the congregation of Germantown UMC. Many "testimonials" were publicly released which praised Beth to heights which reached even higher than heaven itself! The folks at Germantown UMC have made it unmistakably clear that they intend to keep Beth and her lover around no matter what, and that includes the penalty in which Beth's ministerial credentials were revoked -- they will hire her as a "lay" employee. Seems to be a kind of "attitude" here which says, "If the United Methodist Church doesn't like it, then it can go and _______________!" You fill in the blank with some appropriate directive!
Second, support has been expressed by many groups and individuals, including some United Methodist Church leaders. As might be expected, those groups that are aggressively pushing the sodomite/lesbian agenda in society at large as well as within the church sounded off with a lot of rhetoric in support of Beth. Some of these groups are:
- Church Within a Church Movement
- Methodist Federation for Social Action
- Metropolitan Community Churches
- On Fire
- Parents Reconciling Network
- Reconciling Ministries Network
Third, favorable publicity has been quite widespread. The "spin" on this in most cases presents the UMC as the "bad guy" due to unfair and unjust "legalistic" rules and regulations.
Beth, on the other hand, is the "victim" as tons of information flowing through many outlets tell us that she has been "called by God" and was a most "effective pastor" in doing her work. She has been "condemned" because of her honesty in making known her lesbian orientation (her own testimony is that God "created" her as a lesbian) and living in a "committed" sexual relationship with another woman!
So we have moved into the "poor Beth" phase as Germantown UMC makes an adjustment. That shift has involved making her a paid staff member in which she now functions as a member of the laity in the Germantown Church. Dare we also assume that she and lover, Chris, will occupy the parsonage which had been provided in her status as an associate pastor, and that all utilities and major appliances are furnished by the congregation? Or will she be asked to vacate the parsonage and provide her own housing arrangement and personally pay all expenses related to the same? If you are a betting person, and you want to place a bet on this one, then to insure a win, it is best to bet on the former and not the latter possibility!
The big difference now is that she can practice her lesbian lifestyle without objection. The United Methodist Church Book of Discipline does make provision for dealing with lay members and ultimately remove them from membership (and holding official positions) if they are guilty of practices that are unethical, immoral, dishonest and/or criminal! It is highly unlikely that Beth will ever be called on the carpet for practicing her lesbian way of life with lover, Chris Paige -- rather she will be considered a member of the United Methodist Church in "good standing!"
Fourth, the web site information will be constantly updated and subscribers on the mail list will be kept abreast as to the latest happenings in Beth's ongoing adventure. You can see for yourself how this is working by going to the web site which Chris Paige has set up and continually updates. The address is Beth Stroud Information -- if you decide to check it out, use return feature on your browser to come back here.
Fifth, Beth really got a positive "shot-in-the-arm" with the presentation of "The Congregation" on PBS on December 29th. The highly favorable publicity she and her lover will receive (and Germantown UMC) from this is worth a lot of big bucks in terms of value. PBS is bound to repeat this thing a number of times -- it's sort of like the old game of politics -- it will help win over the persons who still hold to the fact that sodomy and lesbianism are morally wrong according to God's revelation on issues of human sexuality. Information on the program can be found at The Congregation Movie -- again, use return feature on browser to return here.
Sixth, Beth Stroud has publicly announced her intention to appeal the trial court decision. She is notifying Bishop Marcus Matthews of the Philadelphia Area of the United Methodist Church and Bishop Joseph Yeakel, the retired bishop who presided over her trial concerning the appeal. Her explanation for this decision was, "I feel there were some questions the church needs to wrestle with that we were not able to wrestle with at the trial."
What all this translates into is the fact that the sodomite/lesbian cartel, in addition to Beth and Chris, will also milk such incidents as the Stroud "trial" and its fall-out to the very last drop -- after all, there is the United Methodist Church General Conference of 2008 for which much preparation must be made, much strategy to be plotted, and a very high profile to be maintained until it takes place!
The goal has not changed one iota -- and that is to force universal acceptance of the sodomite and lesbian lifestyles throughout the entire nation. This includes legal marriage in eyes of state and church, adoption of children and recognition of being legitimate families as is case with heterosexual couples at present time, and all the rights, benefits, and privileges now granted to married heterosexual couples. In church matters it will mean acceptance of sodomites and lesbians as ordained clergy and serving churches as pastors!
A final note -- forget about publicly objecting to sodomy and lesbianism, UNLESS you are willing to pay a very high price! It will not just be the experience of being labeled as homophobic, unchristian, unloving, prejudiced and bigoted, legalistic, a Bible-thumper, and whatever other negatives the sodomite/lesbian cartel may hang on you, but the time may come when it will be "law" to keep your mouth shut when it comes to the matter of speaking out against these abominations. It will not be just a matter of "hate crimes" but also "hate speech" in which one can be charged for criminal behavior against a sodomite or a lesbian simply by language used. It's already happening in some other countries!
Meanwhile, the cow continues to be milked to the very last drop!
It is time for You to act, O LORD, for they have regarded Your law as void. Therefore I love Your commandments more than gold, yes, than fine gold! Therefore all Your precepts concerning all things I consider to be right; I hate every false way…. I see the treacherous, and am disgusted, because they do not keep Your word. Psalm 119:126-128, 158 NKJV
December 30, 2004
by Clayton D. Harriger
Retired Elder in Full Connection
Western PA Annual Conference, The United Methodist Church
Presently pastor of
Gipsy Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
For further reference on the sodomite/lesbian controversy see:[NOTE: Use return feature on your browser to come back here]
- What's This? Lesbianism Is OK for United Methodist Church Laity BUT Not for the Pastors!
- Were Jesus and His Cousin, John, Pharisee-phobic?
- OK - If We Accept the One, Why Not the Others?
- What About Those GLBT "brothers and sisters?"
- About This Dialog Thing..!
- Lesson in Compromise!
- Doing Dialog! A Primer on How It Works!
- Confessions of a Homophobic Person!
- Acts of Heroism, High Profile Positions, and Family Relationships Don't Justify Abominable Immorality!
- Lot Had a Choice, But We Don't!
- If the United Methodist Church Goes Pro-Sodomy, What Then?
- They Won't Drive Me Out, and If I Go Down, I'll Go Down Fighting to the Last Breath! OR The Alamo Revisited!
- No, Bishop Chamberlain -- Jesus Has Never Conducted a Trial and Never Will!
- Dealing from a Stacked Deck -- As Taught by Dammann Trial Participants!
- Death Knell for The United Methodist Church? OR Chew and Enjoy While You Can!!
- Let's Split the United Methodist Church! OK?
- A "Marriage" Proposal of Another Kind Conceived in Hell!
- "But doctor, I feel good and people say I look great!
- Table Talk!
- Trashing Sacred Gifts -- 21st Century Style!
- Mr. President, We Need to Get Our Own House in Order First!
- Jesus Meets the "Committee!"
- Open Letter to Mel White and Others of Soulforce, Inc.!
- What Can I Do?
T O P
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