Follow the (Con)Science

Follow the (Con)Science

I want a principle within
of watchful, godly fear,
a sensibility of sin,
a pain to feel it near.
I want the first approach to feel
of pride or wrong desire,
to catch the wandering of my will,
and quench the kindling fire.

From thee that I no more may stray,
no more thy goodness grieve,
grant me the filial awe, I pray,
the tender conscience give.
Quick as the apple of an eye,
O God, my conscience make;
awake my soul when sin is nigh,
and keep it still awake.

Original Title: A Tender Conscience Author: Charles Wesley (1749)

Continue reading “Follow the (Con)Science”

A Brief Defense of Authentic Bishops

Think its a good idea to run a church without bishops? That’s what United Methodists are doing now.

The transitional Book of Doctrine and Discipline for the Global Methodist Church retains the office of bishop, albeit in a form dissimilar to what United Methodists have known. Keeping the office in any form is a genuine concern for many, and for good cause. I understand how two generations of United Methodist clergy who have known only corrupt and incompetent bishops would want to be rid of the office altogether.

Continue reading “A Brief Defense of Authentic Bishops”

IF THEY DO THESE THINGS IN A GREEN TREE: Worship Resource for Good Friday

As a pastor I know that we can sometimes become too familiar with a passage of Scripture or the observance of a Holy Day. We can fall into the error of over analyzing or the converse error of assuming the congregation already knows this stuff and they require no analysis. It is helpful to hear how others have treated a subject. I make this offering of meditations on the seven last words of Christ not with expectation that others will duplicate it, but that others will build on it and make it better.

Continue reading “IF THEY DO THESE THINGS IN A GREEN TREE: Worship Resource for Good Friday”

The Protocol and Waiting For Godot {Or, Back To Plan A}

Photo by Sora Shimazaki on

Update: On 22 March the Council of Bishops rescinded their call for a 2021 General Conference. I expected they would have challenged the 2022 GC. At least one of the two was going away. In my informed opinion, and consistent with the ongoing conduct of the Council of Bishops, it is still just as likely that 2022 will be canceled. The Commission which set the date included caveats that might postpone it, and there are possible Disciplinary challenges as to whether the Commission has the authority to set an off-year date or if that is the sole jurisdiction of the Council of Bishops.

Continue reading “The Protocol and Waiting For Godot {Or, Back To Plan A}”

At Noon on Friday, Dr Carl Hoefler

This 1983 publication is back in print…and for only $7.95. A few years ago I published excerpts from the book after being unable to get any reply from the last known publisher. Since the book is now available (and at a ridiculously low price) I have removed those posts. Here is how I introduced At Noon on Friday at that time.

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 “At Noon on Friday, Dr Carl Hoefler”

For Twitter People Only

(Update: Since the post, I have returned my Twitter account to unprotected status.)

The purpose of this post is to respond to Twitter inquiries or complaints by referencing this link in my Twitter replies. The ability to insert a link is preferable to the tedious redundancy of long threads. Consistent with my method of rule making it does not require how you must think, speak, and act. It explains how I hope to think, speak, and act…when I am at my best.

Continue reading “For Twitter People Only”

Words and the Worldly part 2

On how Christians ought not allow their words to be controlled by any Worldly Power, and how every Christian ought to be multilingual—fluent in both the language of the World and the language of the Church.

Whatever crisis we awaken to this morning…war, pandemic, climate change, economic collapse, or whatever the world may bring…if we look about to our neighbors in this modern world for answers then we are looking to people who are in the throes of the same enigma as we are. Ask me how to respond to the pandemic and I will offer you whatever words of direction I can, but understand that I am standing in the same fog as you. Such is always the case when we look to modern writers to find solutions to modern problems.

Continue reading “Words and the Worldly part 2”