Category: BREAKING NEWS
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The @RMNNetwork is Wrong, #ShaeferTrial #MinistryonTrial #TheCommunion @TheIRD @ConfessingMovement

This post represents one of the only posts I will make in the coming weeks. However, I thought this topic was important enough to warrant a special comment.

 

My friends of all stripes,

 

In response to the trial and sentencing of Rev. Frank Shaefer, #ShaeferTrial & #MinistryonTrial, I must say that the consternation over his de facto defrocking is inappropriate.

 

While Rev. Shaefer did this for different reasons, his actions constitute civil disobedience. Civil disobedience is a form of protest where the one who is disobedient is willing to accept the consequences of their actions, whether or not they believe the consequences are just.

 

One is civilly disobedient in order to bring attention to injustice of bigotry, in hopes that the injustice will be remedied. You do not do this in order to avoid consequences.

 

While I initially disagreed with the sentence, I think it is the most grace-filled, and henceforth, Wesleyan. He has the opportunity to remain a pastor. However, his point will not be served by rolling over and capitulating.

 

I do realize that, as merely an ally, I don't necessarily have a dog in this fight. However, as a global church that has existed in many forms for centuries, we must remember that it's not all about us and our trials.

 

The gospel cannot be forsaken for politics. When we do that, we lose hope and the reason we are all here in the first place. Don't get me wrong. Other parachurch organizations, like The Institute on Religion & Democracy and The Confessing Movement within the UMC, do this, as well. In many ways, they are the most virulent offenders. That does not mean we have to beat them to the bottom.

 

I do not wish to hurt any of my good friends on either side. However, I think – every once in a while – we need to be shown a bit of tough love.

 

Questions Answered: @utsdoc Talks @UnitedSeminary & @CopelandNetwork

My last post on the nature of the relationship between United Theological Seminary and Kenneth Copeland Ministries garnered a quick response from Dr. David Watson, Academic Dean at UTS. Here are a list of the facts I recounted in my blog: *UTS began it's academic partnership with KCM in 2010. *UTS hosted Kenneth Copeland to

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Questions Answered: @utsdoc Talks @UnitedSeminary & @CopelandNetwork

My last post on the nature of the relationship between United Theological Seminary and Kenneth Copeland Ministries garnered a quick response from Dr. David Watson, Academic Dean at UTS. Here are a list of the facts I recounted in my blog: *UTS began it's academic partnership with KCM in 2010. *UTS hosted Kenneth Copeland to

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Idolatry! Little Boy’s Hideous Prayer to Barack Obama! (VIDEO)

Now that I have your attention, let me ask you a question:

Why did you click on this link?

If you are a Christian and clicked this link because you wanted further confirmation of the evil or destructive person you believe the President of the United States to be, than let me do some iron-sharpening for you.

First, here's the video in question:

The first time I was made aware of this was a Facebook post featuring a story from The Christian Post, an online, Christian news source. They recently published a story featuring an interview with myself and Joel.

Well, on Sunday, this little boy's mother posted this video under the title “Prayer for President Barack Obama.”

Dijya catch that? “For,” not “to.”

This boy's mother posted a video for herself, her family and her social media circles. Presumably, she posted it because she thought it was sweet that her son would think to pray for the President of the United States.

However, this little boy said a prayer and addressed it to the wrong person.

So, Christian America – mostly white, Christian America – has a collective freak-out. Forgetting that they've probably laughed at a YouTube video of a little white child botching a prayer, but in a cute way. Because this is a prayer for – not to – this POTUS, then it's the “America needs to repent because this child proves all the worst things I've created in my mind are true” meltdown.

This video will be everywhere soon. Rush Limbaugh will play it on an endless loop and remember his United Methodist roots, only so long as he can deride the president. Sean Hannity will devote an entire television segment to it. FOX News will feature it every hour for the next two news cycles.

All because a mother thought a video of her son praying was cute enough to post to YouTube.

Christian. Yes, you. Please do your soul a favor and not lose your mind over this.

Who knows who might take your next YouTube video out of context?

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The Pope Okay With The Gays?

A papal quote, made during a press conference on the way to Rome from Brazil

 

The Pope has made an early habit of saying pithy things that instantly get everyone's attention.

Today, he said, “If someone is gay, who searches for the Lord and has goodwill, who am I to judge?”

In no way is he changing church teaching on the practice of Homosexuality, but he is bringing the church in line with the stated position of the United Methodist Church – which is that the church is to be in ministry with and to the LBGT community.

I can't be sure which came first, but the UMC has favored this stance for a while – and I'm just now learning that this is a catholic teaching, as well. So, I'm gonna give the nod to the UMC.

Call me a “homer.”

Anyway, thought this could use a once over on the blog.

 

David Barton – @DavidBartonWB – Hoisted By His Own Petard

According to Wikipedia, a petard (peh-tard) is a French bomb meant to deal fatal damage upon one's enemy. Once in a while, a petardier would fail to detonate a petard far enough away from himself – and would, thereby, be hoisted in the air by the explosion. David Barton failed to get his petard far

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United Knows What You Think of Them – @unitedseminary

I wish this wasn't the topic for my first post in a while, but here it goes.

I also haven't posted about United Theological Seminary for a while, but I can't help this one.

I haven't ever heard an official from United speak about Kenneth Copeland (I speak about him here) and their recent turn towards conservatism – until this morning.

I overheard a conversation held in the common area of UTS this morning. I can't recall the entire conversation, but here are the highlights.

*During his D.Min visit last year, Kenneth Copeland helped raise $20,000 for the school.

*This official didn't see why Copeland's son-in-law shouldn't have been brought onto the board of the school. (Dr. Swisher is a UTS grad and works for Kenneth Copeland Ministries)

*This official was unconcerned with the view that everyone thinks UTS is taking a turn towards conservatism.

I share this with you because it is the first time I've heard a UTS official speak candidly about things like Copeland and the school's institutional changes over the last few years.

Admittedly, I do not know in what context these comments were being made, but I heard them – and decided to report them to you.

So, there's that.

 

Election of Francis I Means Rome Wants Reform – But What Kind?

  Early indications are that Pope Francis I is someone who appeals to a wide audience.  That’s not to say he’s a moderate, just that he can appeal to that broad middle ground. The National Catholic Reporter put together biographies of the candidates for Pope – in the days running up to the conclave.  The

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John Lomperis Gives Me A Lesson In Snark

This morning, I posted my thoughts and feelings about The Institute on Religion & Democracy and how they have yet to issue a response to the Sandy Hook massacre. A bit later, the IRD posted a story that recounted how the Washington National Cathedral responded to the shooting. Shortly after that, @theIRD tweeted me a

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BREAKING NEWS: UMC Call to Action Leader – No Longer Recommend 15-Member Board Reorganization Strategy

According to UNMS reporter Heather Hahn: Jay Brim — who led the drafting of the Call to Action/Connectional Table legislation to consolidate nine general agencies under a 15-member board — just told a briefing of central conference delegates that he and other Call to Action leaders would no longer be pushing a board of only

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