Methodists Decide to Believe the Bible

Recently the United Methodist Church held a denomination meeting in St. Louis and the outcome for Christians was almost as momentous as the lifting of the siege of Vienna in 1683. The threat to Christendom at Vienna was external. An Islamic army of Ottoman Turks was knocking on the door to Central Europe until the attack was broken by Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I.

For the Methodists, the threat was internal. A coalition of alphabet–apostates thought they were on the cusp of overturning thousands of years of instruction regarding homosexuality. The goal was to have the United Methodist Church endorse homosexual marriage and practicing homosexual pastors.

Delegates voted on three options. The ‘Simple Plan’ was essentially let it all hang out. Any language in the Methodist Book of Discipline that reflected the Bible’s clear instruction on homosexuality (the Washington Post reporter called it “exclusionary language”) was to be removed and let the good times roll!

The “One Church Plan” was endorsed by craven Methodist denominational ‘leadership’ and a grab–bag of therapeutic Christians who place feelings ahead of theology. This hypocritical approach let church leaders continue to ignore congregations violating the Book of Discipline. As long as the money keeps flowing into HQ, the ‘leadership’ was fine with these hotbeds of heresy.

The last option was the ‘Traditional Plan.’ That choice would return the Methodists to faithfully following Jesus and Scripture as regards homosexuality.

It looked as bad for the Methodists as it did for the Viennese.

In a supreme irony, the alphabet soup alternate lifestyle advocates used a message to persuade delegates that was biblically based. They asked the same question that the serpent used in the Garden of Eden, namely “Did God really say that?”

The Methodist delegates answered, “yes.”

There are a number of ways the media could report on this surprising development. One would to follow the headline of this column: “In an upset, the United Methodist Church Decides to Believe the Bible.” That covers the element of surprise and the Methodist’s return to their foundational belief regarding homosexuality.

Or the reporter could have focused on demographics and how African churches provided the votes to carry the Traditional Plan and what this means for the direction of the denomination in the future.

Instead the Washington Post choose ‘Christian bullies pick on innocent homosexuals.’ Only one person was interviewed who wasn’t part of the alphabet army and he was asked about statistics. Other interviewees were ‘victims of intolerance.’

That’s false because Christians aren’t singling out the consonant crusaders with ‘hate’ and rejection. How can one explain the vote to the irreligious chroniclers of ‘what’s happen’n’ now at the WoePost?

How about this? WoePost owner Jeff Bezos decides to go to church. He has three options, two of which would meet with disapproval.

If lover boy shows up at the sanctuary with his adulterous squeeze instead of his wife, he’s not going to be welcome. If Bezos shows up with the squeeze and his wife, he’s not going to be welcome. But if Jeff appears with only his wife, the congregation will assume they’re working on the marriage and accept them both.

Christian churches don’t encourage anyone who demonstrates an open rebellion against God while in the pew.

This entire effort on the part of the alternate–lifestyle, alternate–Bible cabal was entirely political and not religious. As Kermit Rainman explains, “…homosexual activists and their allies know that the Judeo-Christian sexual ethic found in the Bible is the last bastion of defense holding back the widespread embrace of homosexuality throughout the culture. They understand that if Bible-believing Christians and Jews can be convinced that homosexual behavior is no longer sinful in God’s eyes, then the battle to fully implement their political and social goals will be won.”

Rewriting the Bible is a project of the left and it is purely secular and wholly selfish. St. Louis Heretics were easy to spot with their rainbow bandanas, Black Lives Matter t–shirts, “Justice for All” buttons, feminist slogans and their raised fists when the vote didn’t go their way.

Fortunately, Methodist delegates voted to return to following Christ and stop following the culture.

How Dare Catholic Hospitals Protect the Unborn!

FiveThirtyEight.com is an Opposition Media website that assures us of its superiority and authority: “FiveThirtyEight uses statistical analysis — hard numbers — to tell compelling stories about elections, politics, sports, science, economics and culture.”

What that glowing description leaves out is that FiveThirtyEight reporters also use bias and selective ‘facts’ to color how they report their “hard numbers.”

Rick McKee The Augusta Chronicle, GA

And speaking of firmness, the website appears to have a bone of contention with Catholic hospitals in the US.

Even we low–information Trump voters know there is an “opioid crisis” in rural America. It’s so bad that even normally disdained rural whites are getting sympathetic news coverage. Simultaneously, there’s another rural crisis that affects everyone in the boondocks, druggies and deplorables alike. As drugs move in, hospitals are moving out. For–profit hospitals leave because low incomes and low population density make it difficult to justify operating a hospital in the hinterlands.

When small town hospitals close it leaves residents without healthcare options. Below is a sampling of relevant headlines:

A Hospital Crisis Is Killing Rural Communities. This State Is ‘Ground Zero.’

Hospital Closings Likely to Increase

Nearly 700 rural hospitals at risk of closing

After that one would think any organization keeping rural hospitals open would be the beneficiary of praise and congratulated for their compassion for rural Americans. But not so fast. That thinking might get one fired at FiveThirtyEight.

Anna Maria Barry–Jester and Amelia Thomson–DeVeaux (beware of reporters bearing hyphens) examined one organization that still operates rural hospitals and found it wanting, and even worse, religious. “In a growing number of communities around the country, especially in rural areas, patients and physicians have access to just one hospital. And in more and more places, that hospital is Catholic.”

Now I can understand if the hospital was operated by Mormons it might be tough to get a cup of coffee in the cafeteria, but what could be wrong with Catholics? After all, the word ‘hospital’ comes to us from the Knights Hospitaller, an order dating back to the Crusades.

The danger is evidently intrinsic to being a Catholic. “What happens when you need or want a standard medical service, but the hospital won’t provide it?”

A hospital that won’t provide “standard medical service”? That does sound ominous.

I know Catholic doctrine considers homosexual practice a sin, but that shouldn’t rule out a colonoscopy. Passing out drunk is frowned upon, too, but I don’t think anesthesia is banned. Suicide is certainly a no–no, but I’ve never read of a Catholic hospital forcing those who attempt self–murder to visit a Satanist for treatment.

So what are these “standard medical services”?

The “hard numbers” reporters explain, “…abortion, birth control, vasectomies, tubal ligations, some types of end–of–life care, emergency contraception and procedures related to gender transition can all be off-limits if your local hospital happens to be Catholic.”

Translation: If you want an abortion, assisted suicide or to have your body vandalized so you can claim to be a woman (or man) when you’re not, a Catholic hospital is not a good place to go for an estimate.

The other “standard” procedures relate to birth control and even those in the grip of the strongest passion can pop into Walmart for stopgap measures, until they make their way to the big city.

As Becket Adams, who found the story, pointed out, “Remember, this is an article is about Catholic hospitals servicing poor and isolated rural areas where other medical organizations don’t or can’t operate.”

One would think the left would be celebrating Catholic’s commitment to the rural poor isolated by the closure of evil profit–making hospitals. Instead the hyphen twins twist facts to make Catholic hospitals look malign.

In Cook County, not a rural area, the Pope’s practitioners are made to appear sinister because Medicaid patients were enrolled “in a plan where Catholic hospitals made up a bigger share of in-network facilities with labor and delivery departments than the share they accounted for in Cook County as a whole.”

What they don’t tell readers is why. That’s because Catholic hospitals will accept any Medicaid patients, while many for–profit hospitals won’t accept the same patients because the reimbursement rates are very low and the checks come very slow. Catholic hospitals are ‘over represented’ because the for–profit hospitals wanted out.

Instead of the praise Catholic hospitals deserve for continuing to serve the poor and isolated, these religious institutions are pilloried in the media because Catholics refuse to provide an altar for the left’s sacrament of abortion and its celebration of sexual license and dysfunction.

In spite of the FiveThirtyEight criticism, I imagine that even rural atheists are glad they have a hospital, in spite of the fact it’s run by Catholics.

Too Many Battles, Not Enough Bible

Obama makes a brief appearance in 'The Bible' to warn of the sequester.

Obama makes a brief appearance in ‘The Bible’ to warn of the sequester.

Any television show that simultaneously confounds the pagans and the heretics can’t be all bad. But there’s a basic flaw in the History Channel’s The Bible that makes it hard for the cultural Christian or the spiritual seeker to absorb the message.

This is not to say the program isn’t popular. In fact, it’s wildly popular, but I fear we are preaching to the choir. The opening episode of The Bible attracted 13.1 million viewers, the largest cable audience of the year, and topped both editions of “American Idol” the same week.

Episode two had 10.8 million viewers, more than any other program in the same time period and it finished 11th overall for the week. The third episode gained viewers, inching up to 10.9 million, and was number nine for the week.

This is even more startling when you recall, as Daniel Wattenberg of the Washington Times pointed out, that The Bible “lacked the ready–made, large scale promotional platform and popular lead–in that can drive strong ratings for a new show on a major broadcast network…” It also lacked the nudity, bad language, obscene cartoon characters and titillation that excites the prurient interest of many cable TV viewers — although it does contain some off­–screen fornication, adultery and murder.

On the other hand The Bible had thousands of mentions in church bulletins and word of mouth to help build the audience. (The program is proving to be a Godsend for youth ministries across America.)

So what’s not to like?

As the program is structured it appeals to Christians who know the Bible or think they know it, yet it answers no questions and puts nothing in perspective for the curious viewer who wants to learn more about the Good Book. In fact, the program runs a very real risk of alienating those viewers.

It is very easy for them to ask: Why does a supposedly loving God command King Saul to kill everyone? Why are the Israelites attacking Canaanites who have done them no wrong and were there first? Why did it take 40 years to get from Egypt to the Promised Land? Why didn’t Moses get to enter the Promised Land? What did the Sodomites do that was so bad? (No pun intended.) If David is such a sinner, why does God love him and not other sinners He had killed? What did a child like Ishmael do to deserve banishment? Why did God toy with Abraham and Isaac?

And those are just the questions from the first two episodes! After about the third killing spree Buddhism starts to look pretty good, to say nothing of Unitarianism.

The Bible is ten hours long but even that length means much is truncated and condensed. (Why couldn’t The Hobbit have dispensed with some of the padding and been only Hobbit I and Hobbit II, giving the excess to The Bible?) The series cries out for a narration to bridge the gap and provide continuity and explanation.

Even better, each episode should be followed by a 15–minute scholarly discussion among experts to put the events into an overall context. I don’t mean the secular culture’s favorite Bible experts: Bart Ehrman, the agnostic professor of religion, and Karen Armstrong, the failed nun who is liable to believe most anything. This duo would chuckle and explain how these blood–thirsty folk tales are a product of their time, with little relevance to today’s enlightened society. If God were commissioning a bible nowadays, the content and teaching would be much different.

No, the overview portion would feature solid, believing scholars who can explain and put the Bible into context. They could observe Genesis concerns the long fall of man and how God intervenes to save the righteous few. Once He sets the Israelites apart from the rest of man, God’s intent is for them to be a pure and holy race: literally the chosen people. He knows man is weak and He does not want the Israelites to be contaminated by the fallen tribes in Canaan, who are sinners that practice child sacrifice; fallen beyond the hope of redemption.

The Israelites spend 40 years in the wilderness because they did not believe God and rejected His command to take the Promised Land. God waited until that generation died out and only the two good spies — Joshua and Caleb — remained. Moses did not enter the Promised Land because he disobeyed God in front of the Israelites.

David was a sinner and a serial sinner at that, but he recognized his sins and begged God for forgiveness. Even at that he paid a price for his transgressions. Ishmael was banished because he was the product of a sin originating with Sarah and was not part of God’s plan for Abraham, but even at that God heard Abraham’s plea and Ishmael fathered a great nation. But it was a nation that contended with the Israelites.

And God tested Abraham’s trust to prove he was worthy to be the founder of the chosen people.

But none of this is evident from just watching The Bible.

The producers could even have had young people ask the questions of the experts in a roundtable setting. It would not be any more unrealistic than an Obama town meeting or episode of Real Housewives of DC and might bring some of the searching to Christ.

No doubt the DVD will have something like this in the ‘extras’ portion. Unfortunately, that will be too late. Only the sold buy the DVD, the browsers have already moved on.