Response to a W. PA Conference BOOM Member
Response to a W. PA Conference BOOM Member
(BOOM = Board of Ordained Ministry)

Some time ago CR received a very irate letter from a member of the Western Pennsylvania Conference Board of Ordained Ministry. Three main points were made by the letter writer. One was an extremely indignant objection to the display of photos of aborted children in certain areas of Circuit Rider's Range. A second was intended to corner CR (being the adamant anti-abortionist he is) as to what he has done to help women and children. The third point was an expression of regret that the writer had not been on BOOM when CR (alias C. D. Harriger) was in the process of getting his education and going through the stages of being ordained a deacon and then an elder in full connection in the former Methodist Church. For obvious reasons, the identity of the BOOM member is kept anonymous and the place where that person is serving in ministry is not revealed.
Dear XXXX:

Sorry I caused you such distress, and I hope your health was not adversely affected by all the stress and strain you experienced due to exposure to a certain area of my web site.

I do hope you will grant me a measure of latitude to respond and pose questions as you have taken with me.

Your reaction to the graphic images is understandable and certainly reflects the prevailing sentiment in our culture to suppress anything that brings us face to face with the horrible reality of the violence systematically committed against the unborn in numbers that are beyond the ability of the human mind to comprehend.

You ask the question about whether God "approves" the use of those photographs. Perhaps the weightier question has to do with His approval of the excessive violence (gun violence in particular), vulgarity and immorality as portrayed constantly under the guise of "entertainment" by the TV and movie industries! Have you confronted the executive officers of the same with a question about this as you did to me? You see, only an idiot would deny that such graphic portrayal with the advantage of "special effects" in which we see slow motion splattering of blood, guts, and brains as bullets rip apart sections of human anatomy doesn't have a "conditioning" effect upon the young of our society. They watch this cess pool quality stuff constantly. It helps to program them to respond violently upon even the slightest provocation. And in spite of the evidence of this, we are saddled with leaders and influential persons who naively believe that guns are the problem!

"Gun control" advocates were particularly singled out in the page you viewed because of a glaring inconsistency on their part. They expend time, energy, and money pressing their agenda on gun control (read that to mean in many cases the total ban of private ownership of firearms) and attempt to cite statistics that speak of violence related to guns, but never a little peep about the violence committed against the unborn! You would agree, would you not, that destroying an unborn child is a violent act?

Rosie O. is a prime example of the inconsistency in this issue. She advocates a total ban on private ownership of firearms -- she is on record as saying so -- and yet has no objection to her bodyguard carrying a weapon, if his application is approved! But even worse, she draws a fat 7 figure salary from a network that feeds the public a daily diet of the stuff mentioned above, which frequently features gun violence! And she seems to have no objection to that! And again, how often has she protested the violence leveled against a million unborn children taking place in a year's time?

The United Methodist Church position on abortion basically sanctions abortion on demand. Yes, I am familiar with the statement and the attempt to justify it by saying we do not approve of it as a means of birth control, etc. Tell me, XXXX, how many women have told you that they are using abortion as a means of birth control -- even the ones that have had 2 or 3 abortions? No, their "out" is the fact that all they have to say is that the pregnancy will bring a lot of distress, hardship, pain, etc. and they have the green light!

As for your question about what I have done to help women and children, I will not detail everything here, but will cite one example. In my active ministry our churches supported an organization that assisted young unmarried females who were pregnant and under pressure to abort their babies. They were assisted financially, with counseling, training in caring for a new born, and in furthering their education. Part of the reward for us in support of this work was hearing the testimonies of these young women who chose to bear their babies rather than destroy them, to gain higher education, obtain employment, and live independently on the income they were earning rather than go the welfare route. Now maybe that will not satisfy your standards, but then, as you should be aware, you are not in a position to give the final word on that.

Finally, in reference to your position on BOOM and expressed regret at not being an "interviewer" when I came through the "process" as you call it -- let's get a bit of perspective on this. I started the "process," XXXX, at a time when you were barely out of training pants and your mother was teaching you how to use a toothbrush and to be sure to wash behind your ears!

In those days there was quite a bit more humility among the members of BOOM rather than the arrogance that is so characteristic of that bunch now wherein the attitude is more of making sure we maintain the "caste system" for the clergy, get everyone placed in the proper "pigeon hole," that each one knows his/her proper place in the "pecking order," and above all else, keep everyone reminded that we elders of BOOM have the keys to the gate and WE determine who gets in or who is shut out! Isn't it interesting that in a denomination that stresses equality, inclusiveness, diversity and all that kind of stuff that we have this "skeleton in the closet" that very few are willing to be honest about? We really slap a number in the face by telling them in no uncertain words, "You aren't up to our level (or could it be, down to our level) and you can't vote on certain matters?" Yes, yes -- I know -- it's our "tradition" as many are fond to call it! The best Friend I have did make some interesting comments about traditions and how they can really screw up the works, hindering more than enhancing the Kingdom of God!

But perhaps not all is lost here. You cannot chastise those who were BOOM members at the time I came in, since most, if not all, of them are dead now, unless you want to take the issue up with them when you cross over to the other side! However, maybe you can file a complaint against me and we can have a trial and if it goes the way you want it to, my credentials can be taken from me. A word of caution on this, XXXX -- you would only have a limited amount of time to enjoy such a "victory" and your prestigious position as a member of BOOM, that being the duration of your time here in this earthly life! After that, your position with BOOM will be terminated!

Although, I sometimes wonder whether someone will come up with the idea of trying to carry this BOOM thing over into eternity, or at least set up some kind of an AD HOC Committee which will do a thorough check of God's heaven and make sure He is "politically correct" in all things and that His administration is meeting with the requirements of the United Methodist BOD by guaranteeing that all levels are "inclusive!" This is so important lest negative publicity is released revealing God to be One Who has deprived a certain group of representation in His administration!

Anyway, thanks for writing and expressing your concerns. In the slightly more than 2 years that the web site has been in existence there have been over 10,000 hits with quite a bit of correspondence coming in. The ratio has consistently run about 25 or 30 to 1 -- that is, for each negative (usually a "I hate your guts!" type) response, there have been 25 to 30 positives that say in so many words that they agree, they appreciate it, that I need to keep it up, etc. Interestingly, most of those negatives come from pastors, although there have been a number also that have made positive responses, including those in the W. Pa. Conference!

May God's best be your daily portion in your ministry there at XXXXXXXX XXXXXX as you represent the One Who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Still contending (Jude 3 & 4)

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Clayton D. Harriger