Wednesday, March 11, 2009

March 11, 2009

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)


Larry Trent (Director of the Illinois State Police): "The first bullet hit the very top of the Bible and exploded the top of the Bible into what many in the congregation thought was confetti. In fact, some thought it was some type of skit or some type of program at the time."

Report: "The gunman continued shooting at the pastor before his gun jammed. Pastor Winters was shot three times. One bullet went through the pastor's heart and he died in the church."

Jesus: "Jerusalem, Jerusalem! The city who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her. How often I wanted to gather your children, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, yet you were not willing! See, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will never see Me again until you say, 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!'"



Jeffrey Hawkins (Executive Director of the Christian Security Network): "This most recent violent incident against a Christian church in a small town in downstate Illinois is another reminder that these incidents are not going to stop and can occur anywhere, at any time."

Report: "Prosecutors say the 27 year old man facing murder charges in the shooting of a southern Illinois pastor walked into the church with enough ammunition to kill 30 people. He walked up the center aisle of First Baptist Church in Maryville during the 8:15 a.m. service and shot the Rev. Fred Winters through the heart."

Jesus: "You will be hated by everyone because of My name."



Marisol Bello (reporter for USA Today): "Terry Sedlacek was never the same after a tick bite...Experts are divided over whether Lyme disease can cause mental illness...Sedlacek's lawyer, Ron Slemer, said the gunman's mental and physical condition have been deteriorating...The shooting created a buzz on the Internet among Lyme disease sufferers and called attention to the need for research to understand how the illness ravages the central nervous system."

Report: "The police are still looking for a motive for the shooting...The suspect had marked the day of the attack as a 'day of death' or 'death day' in a personal planning book...He left an index card marked 'Last Day Will' at his home."

Jesus: "You must watch! I have told you everything in advance."


Harry pointed a finger in my face when I was 25, just ordained, and just installed as pastor of Parkesburg, Pennsylvania's First Presbyterian Church: "I don't care what your Book of Order says or what session says or what you say..."

He was mad at the session (parochial name for a church board) for saying he couldn't do something without its approval and transferred his anger to me.

"They" always shoot the messengers.



Ohio Pastor: "The brazen murder of the pastor in Illinois does not surprise many pastors. Most pastors are used to being stabbed in the back and heart repeatedly by congregants who still believe in altar sacrifices and who have yet to understand the love of Jesus. Most pastors understand the suffering servant imagery of Isaiah from personal experience. Surprisingly, yet thankfully, many pastors still embody the love of Jesus as expressed in John 10:17-18, 13:15-16, and 15:12-13."


Florida Pastor: "I don't know why anyone would be surprised by this tragic killing. Please, let's be honest. Fomenting scorn, hatred and fear of Christians is the only permitted and sanctioned bigotry in the USA. I am never surprised when someone exorcises their personal demons by excoriating, attacking, and even killing believers. Of course, thus it has always been...By the way, in your last KD, you talked about the woman who called to tell you to take down campaign signs from your own yard. I would have hung up on her as soon as she said it was none of your business who she was...The gall of some people..."


Choir Director in New Jersey: "My heart sank when I heard a pastor in Illinois was shot. Thank God it wasn't my pastor. The kids tried to reassure me: 'Leslie would have called you.' I think you should buy that chrome pony now just in case..."


Franklin Graham (Billy's son who wrote The Name which every believer should read): "At a time when the world is experiencing so much suffering, an event like this underscores our need to place our trust and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ."


Too bad too many churches don't get it.

If it weren't so true, I'd really find Ray's musical metaphor really funny:


In a related story representative of the increasing dysfunctions in mainline denominations, several letters crossed my desk in the last 72 hours; and there's no need to name names because the, uh, blanks can be filled in by multiple suspects.


You can/will fill in the blanks.

First letter:

Who is ___?

Second letter:

He is a moderate which means he acquiesces to the apostates.
That's not necessarily a criticism. That's a documented reality
of moderates in our franchise who are, uh, "moderately"
committed to...

Third letter:

I assume ___'s leadership prefers to "walk away" because
ordinations, properties, and assets have now been placed
at enormous risk. ___ will be spending most of his time
in civil and ecclesiastical litigation now with little time
left over for pastoral ministry.

Fourth letter:

While you're trying to absolve your pastor's role in the
church's desire to be dismissed from the PCUSA to
the EPC, anyone related to our polity and ethos knows
he's at the core of instigation. Pastors set the tone
for parochial/ecumenical relationships. Everybody
knows that. If they don't, they have no business
pretending to "shepherd" in the first place. Shepherds
don't follow sheep. If they do, they're not shepherds!

Fifth letter:

It's a slam dunk for ___ and everyone's happily on
the same page; and presbytery's evangelicals will
rally around 'em because ___ has been so
forthcoming with 'em and presbytery's jingoists,
moderates, and apostates are eager to just hand
over the keys, assets, and properties; and then
build a campfire for all of us to gather around
and sing, "Blest be the tie that binds..."

Sixth letter:

I can't tell you how relieved I am to hear ___
is now totally with the folks for dismissal. I'll
bet that was an incredible conversion for
somebody with over a half century's worth
of dedication to remaining faithfully and
mentoring folks to the same. He probably
makes you think there's hope for me; though
I've said and written ad nauseum that I'm
remaining faithfully and I've witnessed and
written about my call to that for 30+ years.

Seventh letter:

Not to mention Jesus, but can you imagine,
or reimagine if you prefer, how he must feel
about all of this? Oh, yeah! Jesus just lived
and died and rose and reigns to break up the
body. Praise Him for His example of running
away from the beast to a safe monastic
experience! Praise Him for teaching us to
leave the sheep when the wolf's at the door!
He must be so proud of the glee and back-
slapping self-righteousness and all-around
good fun of division. One of His favorite
things must be how evangelicals have
learned to imitate jingoists, moderates,
and apostates in their sneaking around,
secret meetings, secret ballots, and
all of those other dark strategies so
illustrative of, uh, John 3:19-21. Yep!
evangelicals are just like 'em in making
His body into just one ole big ecclesiastical
game of Monopoly.

Everybody likes to shoot at His heart.


An old man who stopped dreaming long ago urged, "Do it now. I know later comes sooner."



Blessings and Love!

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