Everybody Wants to Kill Somebody: An Epistle for Killers

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Many of us have repeatedly asserted that human sexuality is a poor proxy for the real division in the UMC. It is the pluralism that leaves us incapable of speaking with one mind or with any integrity on any matter. As a result,  people needlessly suffer. Continue reading “Everybody Wants to Kill Somebody: An Epistle for Killers”

Bishop Achrestos Addresses the South Carolina Annual Conference

(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”

Dr. Carl Hoefler: Bought Back By Blood

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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.

Continue reading “Dr. Carl Hoefler: Bought Back By Blood”

Dr. Carl Hoefler on The Family of the Forgiven



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. )


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”

Lessons in Morality for the UMC, From Corporate America

Trust, noun,
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”

Dr Carl Hoefler on The Glorious Guilt

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”

Dr Carl Hoefler on the Miracle of Forgiveness

There are saints of the Church whose life and words have healed many wounded souls and guided multitudes safely to heaven’s shore. Perhaps in the world to come they are the equivalent of Medal of Honor winners in spiritual warfare or Nobel Prize recipients for eternal peacemaking. Too often, however, in this world their good name and inspirational words are interred with their bones. This ought not be the case — especially for Rev. Hoefler.

Continue reading “Dr Carl Hoefler on the Miracle of Forgiveness”