Yes indeedy, folks --
sometimes truth is stranger than fiction,
especially in church happenings around the USA!
The People Called Methodist
"I am not afraid that the people called Methodists should ever cease to exist either in Europe or America. But I am afraid lest they should only exist as a dead sect, having the form of religion without the power. And this undoubtedly will be the case unless they hold fast both the doctrine, spirit, and discipline with which they first set out." -- John Wesley
The earth is also defiled under its inhabitants, because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.
--- Isaiah 24:5 (NKJV)
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.
--- Psalm 119:126-128 (NKJV)
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.
--- 2 Timothy 4:3,4 (NKJV)
Behind the Scenes Peek #2 Index
CR just got so much stuff that it was necessary to add what is now known as Peek #2! We start this area off with the UMC's most notorious layman, Mr. Jimmy Creech. He used to be a pastor as most of you know. Details are given below concerning his change of "status." Of course, there are lots of other happenings given below that indicate beyond doubt that the UMC is in very deep "do-do" at this stage! So, go take a peek, and be assured that in this area you will not be arrested as a "peeping tom!" The intent here is to inform people of a number of things going on that they will not hear about through the mainstream religious media!
As you may have heard, Jimmy Creech went through "Round #2" with charges filed and a trial conducted on 99/11/17 due to his participation in a "union" ceremony for 2 men last April. As might be expected, Jimmy had some things to say in a press release. Part of his statement is as follows:
"This is an unfortunate decision. It is not in the best interest of The United Methodist for this trial to take place. The trial will be an act of violence against lesbian, bisexual and gay persons, and a betrayal of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and all who participate in it will be complicit. It also will be a waste of resources (money, time, energy and personnel) that should be used otherwise in positive, helpful ministries to people in need in the world.
The celebration of love and commitment between two people is a profound and particular embodiment of the gospel of Jesus Christ. If I am found guilty by a trial court, then The Order and Discipline of The United Methodist Church is in conflict with this gospel. It is arrogance on the part of the church to elevate some people's relationship with God, while denigrating that of others, on the basis of innate sexuality. This arrogance is evil, comparable to racism."
Well now, there are some things that are certainly open to debate on this. Just what kind of "gospel" is it with which the O & D of the UMC is in conflict? Could Jimmy's "gospel" be that to which Paul referred as he warned that there would be some coming on the scene proclaiming "another Jesus,"and possessing "another spirit," with a message of "another gospel," etc. in 2 Corinthians 11:4? And the legitimate question could be raised as to who is really guilty of "arrogance" in this thing!
If you feel your stomach can take it, you can read the WHOLE thing at Jimmy's Press Release And for a kind of running "history" of this thing which really got rolling with Jimmy's "ceremony" for a couple females in Omaha, Nebraska you can go to The UMC's Creech Caper and follow up with a bird's eye view of the history of the Same Gender Coupling Crusade in the UMC in recent months at UMC's Version of the Energizer Bunny!
Jimmy's trial was held November 17th at Trinity UMC in Grand Island, Nebraska with retired Bishop William B. Grove presiding. Mark it down -- this was just a few days after the big SOROL IV event in Foundry UMC in Washington DC -- guess who was the BIG man of the hour at SOROL IV -- our "hero" -- the one who will certainly exploit the news media, secular and religious, in his ongoing same gender coupling crusade -- the one who has gone where no other UMC preacher has ever gone before with a second trial under his belt!!!!
Still another Jimmy was the perfect one to "rally the troops" at SOROL IV and then on to bigger things days later! Lots & lots of preparation was made -- see Support for Jimmy Creech and read Statement by Jimmy Creech. Hey, this thing could be a bigger blast than Democratic & Republican Conventions!
This was entered at 8:52 PM, Tuesday, November 16, 1999 -- a hot off the press news release by United Methodist News Service (they sure got on this one faster than usual) -- with a lot of publicity splashing over everywhere -- Jimmy Creech will have the renewal vows for Jim and Larry, plus any other same gender couplers that want to participate this evening in the ball room of the Holiday Inn Midtown Hotel at Grand Island, Nebraska -- a kind of "launch pad" for his trial just a few hours away -- for more details, go to Jimmy and his couple, Jim & Larry -- still skeptical that we're in a war??????
Creech was convicted on 99/11/17 and will lose his ministerial credentials! For more details go to:
As mentioned elsewhere, this was a win-win situation for Jimmy -- no way he could lose -- now comes favorable publicity for the "martyred" one -- probably a book written -- speaking engagements galore -- and lots of money to be pocketed in the process! And best of all, the same gender coupling crowd will have cannon style ammunition as they wade into the arena at UMC's General Conference next May at Cleveland OH with which to mow down the opposition!
"Send to all those in captivity, saying, 'Thus says the LORD concerning Shemaiah the Nehelamite: "Because Shemaiah has prophesied to you, and I have not sent him, and he has caused you to trust in a lie," 'therefore thus says the LORD: "Behold, I will punish Shemaiah the Nehelamite and his family: he shall not have anyone to dwell among this people, nor shall he see the good that I will do for My people," says the LORD, "because he has taught rebellion against the LORD."' "
--- Jeremiah 29:31,32 (NKJV)
In a church, identified as "middle class," in some conference west of the Mississippi River the pastor attended what was termed the "name name" class which was made up of all females. He observed that four tables are around the room at the points of the compass. Class members prayed to Sophia, the Great White Buffalo Woman, a Greek goddess, and Asherah whom class members explained is the wife of YHWH! They prayed to Mother Earth and talked about the womb within us. The pastor's reaction to this different type of prayer meeting to which he had been newly introduced -- just one word -- "horrible!"
Uh, uh -- don't jump to conclusions -- this was not the Cal-Nev Conference! While that conference has a lot going for it which has put it on the map of notoriety, this little prayer group is not one of them. But who knows, maybe Sophia is not a complete stranger in California & Nevada either -- anyone heard her name mentioned in those parts?
Want to see how the face of traditional marriage is changing in the UMC? You have to look at my "picture album" I have collected featuring some "couples" that harvested big publicity in the UMC the past few months -- go to Happy "Couples"??????
In a conference east of the Mississippi River at a mission school the following affirmation of faith was recited. Get ready to soar to new heights, brothers and sisters :-)
AFFIRMATION OF FAITH
We believe in God, Maker, Redeemer and Sustainer of Life, without beginning or end, whose life-giving love was let loose on the first Easter Sunday and whose life-giving love we share and proclaim here today.
We believe in God who gave up the divine life and submitted to the darkness and terror of the grave; and who enters with us unto every darkness and terror we shall ever face.
We believe in God who raised Christ from the death of the grave to glorious new life; and who raises our lives from sin and despair to newness and hope again.
We believe in God who met the grief-stricken Mary in the garden and called her into hope by the uttering of her name; and who meets us in our grief and gives us courage to hope again by tenderly calling our name.
We believe in God who sent Mary out from the garden to be the witness and apostle of the resurrection; and who commissions us, like Mary, to be bearers of hope and good news in our world.
We believe in God, Maker, Redeemer and Sustainer of Life, without beginning or end, whose life-giving love we share and proclaim today to all men and women, wherever and whoever they are,loved, blessed and called by God, without beginning or end.
Anyone get the disturbing thought that the holy Trinity is getting a bit short changed in this one? Ah, by the way, what version of the Bible shows us that Mary was an "apostle?"
Somewhere in this great country of the USA in a certain annual conference of the UMC a communion service had the following components. You'll have to guess whether it was east or west of the Mississippi R!
God be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to God.
Let us give our thanks to God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.
It is right and a good and joyful thing that we should give thanks to you, Creative God. From the beginning you made the world and gave life to all its creatures; you formed people in your image to live for you and for each other. And when we turned away from you and forgot whose we were, you did not forget that we are yours. And so with all your people on earth and all the company of heaven, we praise your name and join your unending hymn.
Holy, Holy, Holy One, God of Love and Life. Heaven and earth are full of your Glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed are those who come in God's name. Hosanna in the highest.
Holy are you and blessed is the child of your womb who came to dwell among us as your anointed one sent to show how much you love us and to bring us back to you. Through your incarnate love, the despairing received hope, the sick were healed, the rejected were befriended, and the estranged were reconciled. But the world did not accept your love. On the night of betrayal, your anointed child had supper with friends, gave thanks to you for bread to share, and said to them: "Take this, all of you, and eat it. This is God's love in the form of bread. Each time you do this, remember whose you are." And then your child took the cup and gave thanks to you for wine to share, and gave it to each of the friends saying: "This cup is the new promise God has made with you. Each time you share in this cup, remember God's love for you." And so, as we remember these gifts from you, we offer ourselves in praise and thanksgiving as a holy and living sacrifice in keeping with your offering for us, as we proclaim the mystery of faith.
Your anointed one knew death. Your incarnate word is living. The child of your womb will come again bringing peace and justice to the earth.
We ask your blessing on us, gathered here, and on these gifts of bread and wine. May they be for us an incarnation of your gracious love that we may be in the world as a continuing incarnation of your love. Through your Creative Power, revealed in your Incarnate Word, continued by your Holy Spirit, all praise and glory is yours, Loving God, now and forever. Amen.
*THE LORD'S PRAYER
United by our baptism, through God's Holy Spirit, in God's universal Church, let us pray as God's children:
Our Mother, who art within us, many are your names. Your wisdom come, your will be done, unfolding from the depths of us. Each day you give us all that we need. You remind us of our limits, and we let go. You support us in our power, and we act with courage. For you are the dwelling place within us, the empowerment around us, and the celebration among us. As it was in the beginning, so shall it be now. Amen. (Name Name Name)
THE BREAKING OF THE BREAD AND SHARING THE CUP
THE 23RD PSALM
adapted by (Name Name)
The Lord is my Shepherd,
I have all I need.
She makes me lie down in green meadows,
beside the still water She will lead.
She restores my soul;
She rights my wrongs.
She leads me in a path of good things,
and fills my heart with songs.
Even though I walk through a dark and dreary land,
there is nothing that can shake me;
She has said She won't forsake me,
I'm in Her hand.
She sets a table before me
in the presence of my foes.
She anoints my head with oil,
and my cup overflows.
Surely, surely goodness and kindness will follow me
all the days of my life.
And I will live in Her house forever,
Forever and ever.
Glory be to our Mother and Daughter,
and to the Holy of Holies.
As it was in the beginning,
is now and ever shall be,
World without end, Amen.
Well, there you have it, folks. One person was known to have inquired as to who the "Holy of Holies" is that is addressed in this new twist to the familiar 23rd. I know my mother once had a crocheted doily on our dining room table that could have held that label, "holy of holies!"
One agency in the United Methodist Church that is particularly talented at stoking the fires of wrath of grassroots laity and at least a minority of pastors is the Board of Church & Society -- it works this way -- apply common sense coupled with God's revealed standards of ethics and morality through His holy Word to any given situation -- then take the opposite position and you will come up with the Board of Church & Society position much of the time! Case in point -- this bunch has released a statement indicating that they cannot support the Boy Scouts of America due to the Scouts' discrimination practices against gays! Read the revolting details in Board opposes Boy Scouts' anti-gay policy!
Even annual conference Boards of Church & Society get into the act! A committee of the N. Illinois Conference Board of Church & Society has found out that the Historic Methodist Campground in Des Plains, Illinois is guilty of some heinous criminal acts! And just what is the camp doing that earns it a place in history along the likes of Stalin, Hitler, Mao et al? Why it has discriminated against homosexuals by refusing to rent out cottages to them. Details at Campground Investigated. Do you see a potential here for other interesting things down the road -- a same gender coupling couple comes to a pastor wanting to be "married" -- the pastor on solid Biblical grounds refuses to do the ceremony -- aha, charges of "discrimination" brought against the pastor! Or a Christian couple holding to God's plainly revealed moral standards for male and female refuse to rent an apartment to same gender couplers -- here we go again -- charges of "discrimination" filed! Keep the faith, folks -- one of these days God will settle this thing once and for all, and there will be no "discrimination" charges filed on that occasion!
Given the present and very alarming trends taking place in the United Methodist Church (and other mainlines as well), what might future news events convey by way of information? Well, let's crawl into Alvin's vehicle (it has a time travel mode) and move into the future a few years and see!
Comments or reactions anyone? Don't worry -- as mentioned at other locations, feel free to unload, if you so desire -- some have already done so, and now I'm picking a few pellets out of my hide! Honestly, it only hurts a little bit when I laugh! Just click on Penelope, our letter eating toad, who is charge of our mail room -- she's been promoted and given a pay raise for doing such a good job! In fact she is now in the salary range of UMC district superintendents, and that's a goodly chunk of change :^) It appears, however, that she aspires to get into the salary range of a bishop!
Hang on folks -- there will be more stuff to peek at in the days ahead, so drop back from time to time. In the meantime, there needs to be a heap of praying done about these things! Ah, you are praying, are you not?
By the way, this is not an area in which you pray for God to "bless" -- this is a problem that calls for radical surgery -- as when a surgeon cuts out a deadly tumor! For a shake up experience on this go to Negative Praying!
Never forget -- the basic issue comes down to the following as spelled out by a man who "drew the line" centuries ago on a problem that has been with us ever since Adam and Eve were kicked out of Eden:
Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people."
--- 2 Corinthians 6:14-16 (NKJV)
But these, like natural brute beasts made to be caught and destroyed, speak evil of the things they do not understand, and will utterly perish in their own corruption, and will receive the wages of unrighteousness, as those who count it pleasure to carouse in the daytime. They are spots and blemishes, carousing in their own deceptions while they feast with you, having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin, beguiling unstable souls. They have a heart trained in covetous practices, and are accursed children. They have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; but he was rebuked for his iniquity: a dumb donkey speaking with a man's voice restrained the madness of the prophet. These are wells without water, clouds carried by a tempest, to whom the gloom of darkness is reserved forever. For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through licentiousness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage. For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: "A dog returns to his own vomit," and, "a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.".
--- 2 Peter 2:12-22 (NKJV)
Moving around here and there on Circuit Rider's Range
Moving around here and there on Circuit Rider's Range
Copyright 1999, 2000 Clayton D. Harriger