Things I Think

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28 Responses

  1. Reuben says:

    I can in no way disagree with your theological position on LGBTQ. God did his things in response to sexual behaviors that are not authorized, and that is absolutely irrefutable. I don’t take kindly to people in the “spiritual, not religious” crowds, or “Jesus only” crowds who try to defend such utter nonsense. They have zero concept of the “word of god”, and probably get their theology from Rachael Held Evans. God destroyed nations in response to this, wiping out untold numbers for being in the same city as homosexuals. The New Testament never changes the rules. I 100% disagree with god on this topic, that goes without saying, but there is much more respect to be had for people who stick to the biblical guns over people who just kinda make up christianity as they go along.

  2. Em says:

    I think (yep, sometines i do that) that we miss the point on the LGB etc thing… Are people being honest when they say, I want my feelings/preferences respected? ” I think they are, but the point is – IMNSHO – that these twisted appetites, like the canary in the canary in the coal mine, are a sign of societal decay. Decay over a much broader spectrum… I except those folk who have the misfortune to be born with a genetic abnormality – they are, however, a small minority.
    We must ask the question, what is wrong with us that we are creating an atmosphere that nurtures such mix up…. Or so it seems to me

  3. Babylon's Dread says:

    My moniker was taken from the archetype in the book of revelation that speaks of the devaluation and debasing of the human soul through seduction of all kinds. The Babylonian whore who rides the beast devours the human race …”4 The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her sexual immorality. 5 And on her forehead was written a name of mystery: “Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes and of earth’s abominations.” 6 And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. Re 17:4–6.

    The name is intended to suggest her demise: Babylon the great is fallen. The seductions are more than sexual sensuality but they are not less.

    The co-opting of the church to endorse eery human weakness as blessing to be celebrated and included is the very definition of post-christian culture.

    Yes I have decided and I will die on this hill.

    Un-affirming Dread

  4. Those who’ve lived in San Jose longer than I have (27 years, minus 3 years in Gresham, OR) told me that this is the longest they’ve seen snow on Mt. Hamilton, the observatory at 4K ft overlooking the silicon valley.

    As for the gay issues… I’m no one to judge, and I don’t outside of the church, but we’re only to judge those inside of the church. If they don’t like that, then they are free to start their own churches, which of course has been happening.

  5. Em says:

    A wise man observed that we don’t evangelize one on one by listing the sins of the lost soul… Instead we acquaint them with the One who lived them, all of us, enough to die for their redemption…

  6. Eric says:

    The Uniting Church in Australia has been divided on sexuality issues for many years. Last I heard, they might be reorganising presbyteries along theological lines rather than just geographical. Churches will choose which presbytery they’re in and the fight can subside for a bit. The liberal / evangelical spectrum has been around as long as the Uniting Church.

    In the Anglican Church it’s more complicated because there are evangelical, traditional and liberal elements (and it’s a spectrum rather than distinct parties). The evangelicals (here at least) have been growing this century.

  7. Eric says:

    Other ecclesial news from this island is that the media is allowed to announce what happened in December – the nation’s top Catholic leader found guilty of child abuse.

    Pell was never popular with the secular world. He was an easy figure to dislike. But this is painful news for those in the pews who looked up to him. He was Archbishop in our two largest cities before serving in the Vatican. It will hurt a lot. Last year the archbishop here got a custodial sentence for turning a blind eye to abuse (and got released on appeal). This time the top man was an abuser himself.

  8. I wonder why this was allowed to go I for so long, but even I secular culture, it only started to be talked about only 40 years ago. 40 years, and this sin just seems like it’s being exposed… and still the least of these are still being victimized.

  9. Em says:

    I suspect it goes back much further than we know… my aunt married a man who was raised in the Catholic church in Texas in the 1920s. When this first began to be reported he told my aunt that he and other little boys experienced such abuse from a priest. He was very devout, a loyal, old fashioned Roman Catholic and only blamed the priest, not his church and never mentioned it to anyone else as far as i know…. My late husband’s uncle, to please his mother, was a noviate. But he was honest enough to realize the vow of celibacy wasn’t one he could enter into comfortably and left. He and his wife were good people, raising an outstanding passel of good Roman Catholics. It’s too bad these abusers didn’t have the backbone to say, “i can’t do this. I can’t be a good priest.” Or maybe some of them liked the cover the vocation gave them for their evil proclivities . .. like the bad actors among the Protestant clergy?
    I don’t think our teachers and pastors are able to arouse in us a reverential appreciation/fear of a holy God today. As bad, or maybe worse, is an attitude that labels fellow Believers that we just don’t like as the wolves we’re warned of?

  10. Jean says:

    I have been following the UMC special general conference fairly closely because I have a son who is a church worker at a UMC church and I used to be UM. Here is the attitude of some of the academic elite with regard to those in favor of the Traditional Plan: (1) You are primitive as a human being; and (2) you are unenlightened as a theologian.

  11. filbertz says:

    your #10 also provides a PS for #1-7. I steadfastly refuse to complain about all the rain and snow after two hellish summers of fire and smoke.

    good words from the Dread-ster too.

  12. Duane Arnold says:


    Having experienced this in my denomination, it is a “no win” argument. If you oppose, you’re not a loving person. If you point to the tradition, you don’t understand the development of doctrine (Newman would turn over in his grave). If you say, “Yes, there are gay people by nature, but they should not engage in consensual sex…” you are a homophobic bigot, denying others what you have as a straight man or woman. And… as for the African and South Asian Anglicans and Methodists who oppose this agenda… well, they are simple and ill-educated (said, of course, without a tinge colonial racism…)

    In forty plus years of ministry, I’ve watched this issue destroy denomination after denomination. I’m afraid the UMC will just be the latest casualty…

  13. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    One side of the UMC will not be a casualty.

  14. pstrmike says:

    This thing goes beyond the UMC. There are times that we can compromise or agree to disagree and remain in unity. There are times when we must hold fast to our convictions, and amicably divide. I’m not going to go into details here, but for me, I am choosing the latter.

  15. Michael says:

    I try to stay open to theological correction.
    If anything, I’m too in love with nuance.
    I just don’t see the theological justification for full inclusion no matter how hard I try to contort the narrative…

  16. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I don’t know why folks fret over splits. The only reason for unification is you believe the same thing. In the case of the UMC they no longer do.
    I remember when St James in Newport Beach broke with the Episcopal church over the same issue and aligned with the Anglicans through the ACNA – their homosexual bishop repossessed their land and building and kicked them out.

  17. Michael says:

    “their homosexual bishop repossessed their land and building and kicked them out.”

    Which is why people fret about splits…it’s devastating on many levels…

  18. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    They went down the street into a different facility – free from the bondage of the evil created by their previous diocese (or whatever they call it.)
    The story of St Peter’s in Tallahassee FL is even a greater story as the left in unison to a new location, an abandoned Church of Christ that a member secured for the first 3 yrs as the church planned to build a new facility.
    Great stories of groups removing themselves from the leaven that has entered the lump.

  19. Jean says:

    The Traditional Plan, as amended, passed the UMC Special General Conference this afternoon.

  20. Duane Arnold says:

    In the end… nobody is winning as the people in the pew dwindle and we enter (for the UMC) decades of property and endowment disputes. Maybe I was wrong – the lawyers will win.

  21. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Duane, so is the better road to keep the status quo and commune with rebellious, unrepentant heretics for the sake of property and endowments? There is a golden calf if I ever saw one.

  22. Duane Arnold says:

    We have not seen the end. At the annual conference in 2020, the largest voting block will be from overseas with very different (not just traditional) objectives. How the increasingly displaced North American block deals with this will be revelatory… As they say, “watch this space…”

  23. Michael says:

    I’m bone tired of the conflict…yet…I have more in common theologically with the gay affirming Methodist than the Trump affirming evangelical.
    Both are engaging in heresy to me.
    For me, I have to strip all things down to the liturgy and the common cup or walk away completely.

  24. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael, even by your own choice of words you divide with half of those who call themselves Christians.
    You make it sound as if there is a shared liturgy outside of your own, and I have no idea what a common cup is when half disagree what the purpose of the cup is let alone what to put in the cup.

  25. Michael says:


    I don’t divide…I mourn while I recognize all the differences that now afflict us.
    In my tradition we commune any baptized believer…we can debate after the Eucharist service.
    I have no intention of breaking that tradition…

  26. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Don’t say you don’t divide – you just did with Trump supporting evangelicals.
    As to you openness about communing with all baptized believers, you divide with the unbaptized – which would include most Quakers and the Salvation Army amongst others.
    I don’t mean to be petty, but even you divide – we all do.

  27. Michael says:


    There’s a difference between wrestling with issues and dividing.
    I don’t commune or fence the table based on politics.
    However, it’s beyond my comprehension that homosexuality is considered more grievous than separating families and warehousing children.

    I would probably commune Quakers and Salvation Army folks if they so desired to partake of Christ…

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