(For other reflections on the sanctity of life refer to the home page for the series Everybody Wants to Kill Somebody)
My wife and I raised eight girls through their teenage years. I impressed upon more than one young man that Christianity is not an altogether non-violent religion. There are occasions where we are permitted—even expected—to use reasonable and proportionate force when necessary to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and anyone else in our vicinity who is threatened by a strong and unjust power. Continue reading “Killing in Self-defense: It’s a given—except when it isn’t”
A lot of very bad advice is being offered to preacher’s on how to address forgiveness this Sunday. Of all days, this is a problem on World Communion Sunday. I offer this old sermon for what it’s worth. Continue reading “Seventy-Seven and Counting”
Because this resolution from 2017 was referenced by someone in a recent social media post, I find it helpful to re-post it here as a Word.doc where others may access the original annotated version. It was a longshot then and has little hope now, but it may be interesting to compare what was considered outrageous just over two years ago to what is now being proposed for 2020.
Resolution on Realignment Annotated
I offer some reflections below. Continue reading “Revisiting a Resolution on Disaffiliation and Realignment”
In this video Bishop Achrestos summarizes UM doctrine as ze answers questions for the 2019 graduating class of a major United Methodist seminary.
For answers on Christology, Doctrine, and the future of the UMC simply replay the clip.
This link is to the entire document, Everybody wants to Kill Somebody: An Epistle to Killers Everybody wants to Kill (1)
Introduction: Thou Shalt Not Kill
Of all the commandments of God could there be any that are easier to keep than, thou shalt not kill. Is it really asking too much of us to not kill each other? When I first entered parish ministry this was a precept of faith that required only a little attention either in sermons or pastoral care. Most parishioners would live their entire life without having to choose whether to kill someone. That was an issue for which the military chaplain was equipped. They deal with the restoration of the soul for those who suffer the horrific consequences resulting from the lawful taking of human life, but it was not a matter of daily concern for the parish pastor back home. Today, Western Culture has greatly extended the lawful right to take a human life to the individual and for an increasing variety of purposes. Every parishioner will have to answer the question, “Will I participate in the killing of another?” They will be confronted with this question frequently throughout their life. Continue reading “Everybody Wants to Kill Somebody: Part 1, Abortion”
This link is to the entire document. Everybody Wants to Kill Somebody: An Epistle for Killers Everybody wants to Kill (1)
Suicide: There is a reason we have a word called “theodicy.” Continue reading “Everybody Wants to Kill Somebody: Part 2, Suicide”
This link is to the entire document, Everybody Wants to Kill Somebody: An Epistle for Killers Everybody wants to Kill (1)
Capital Punishment: Does God desire the death of a sinner?
We have already mentioned that in the case of abortion and suicide (as well as martyrdom and heroic death) that any taking of a human life is displeasing to God, breaks Shalom, is contrary to a life of holiness, and is harmful to one’s soul. Yet, the same God who has commanded, “Thou shalt not kill,” has also given his clear consent to the taking of human life for certain grievous crimes. Proponents for the death penalty do us no good service when they deny the first. Advocates for the sanctity of human life do us no good service when they deny the second. Too often we try to resolve the issue in our favor by playing with the overly nuanced definition of terms thereby, using many words, we complicate and confuse the issue rather than clarify it. Another tactic, which the Christian ought to shun, is to reach for an obscure and difficult to understand passage and then, rather than admit that we don’t understand it, impose a meaning upon it which the Holy Spirit never intended. Continue reading “Everybody Wants to Kill Somebody: Part 3 Capital Pumishment”