(How sad it is that the state of the UMC is such that any satire must be clearly labeled as such. This is satire. It is more tragic satire than comic. It is akin to the irony of, “I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.” However, I can imagine any number of U.S. bishops who could deliver this message as written and with a straight face. So, I reiterate: This is satire. Bishop Achrestos offered us assurance and calm following the 2019 General Conference. While the bishop is fictional, all events, quotes, and actions he describes are actual. One may take issue with their characterization or their significance but not the reality.} Continue reading “Bishop Achrestos Addresses the South Carolina Annual Conference”
The Blood of Christ. We have forgotten how to speak of it. The debate in theological circles has moved from which theory of atonement best describes the work of Christ on the cross to a debate as to whether there is any atonement at all. Contemporary Christian music avoids the blood. Mainline hymnals edit it out. I have heard a district clergy meeting sing out, “What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the love of Jesus.”
This fourth of seven Lenten devotionals by the late Dr. Carl Hoefler does not answer the “how” but the more important “why” the blood of Christ is needed in our life.
Keith Sweat, 25 March 2019.
The Third Word
Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, “Woman, behold thy son!” Then saith he to the disciple, “Behold thy mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home. (John 19:25-27)
(If this is your first reading in this series then please see the fair use statement and tribute to Dr. Hoefler here. )
THE FAMILY OF THE FORGIVEN
When we stand before the cross and truly catch a vision of its meaning, we discover not only something new about our relationship to God and to ourselves, but we also discover something new about our relationship to others. Continue reading “Dr. Carl Hoefler on The Family of the Forgiven”
1 assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something;
2 a charge or duty imposed in faith or confidence or as a condition of some relationship.
In years past the church has borrowed from management practices of the corporate world. Too often, we have imported much of what is amoral of that world along with it. I offer two lessons in morality that I learned in secular business. Continue reading “Lessons in Morality for the UMC, From Corporate America”
A much better sermon on the thief on the cross by Dr. Carl Hoefler can be found here. This is a greatly abbreviated version of an evangelical sermon of my own which addresses common misapplications of lessons from the thief. It may be criticized as belonging to another century. The critic is right. It’s from the first century. Continue reading “You Are Able: Are You Willing?”
Please note the fair use statement and tribute to Dr. Hoefler in the previous introduction.
Personal reflections on this passage can be found here.
The Second Word
One of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him saying, “If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.” But the other answering rebuked him. saying, “Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.” And he said unto Jesus, “Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.” And Jesus said unto him, “Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:39-43) Continue reading “Dr Carl Hoefler on The Glorious Guilt”
The concept of covenant in the UMC has degraded to the concept of contract law. Instead of putting things in writing so we can remember what we agreed to (because we want to keep our word) we tend to treat any agreement as a contract where we can find loopholes. Our instruments of governance Continue reading “UMC Apportionments: A Moral Dilemma”