Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Mercy Papers - 3

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)

@#$%


@#$%


@#$%

Reclaim the Bow

Discovering Original Mercy

COPYRIGHT RESERVED, 2017


The Mercy Papers (3)

      The Church’s mission is to change the world for Christ’s sake.

            Paul: “Don’t copy the behaviors and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.  Then you will know what God wants you to do; and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect His will really is.”

            Worldly religionists reimagine reality: “People created God in their own image.  People patterned God after themselves.”

            Wordly believers follow Jesus by the book with enthusiasm and without equivocation.

            With Jesus as Master and the Bible as manual, the Church prays God’s “will be done here on earth, just as it is in heaven.”

            Kung: “…[The Church’s agenda is]…to discover what is permanent…originally meant, before it was covered with the dust and debris of two thousand years…This is not another gospel, but the same ancient gospel rediscovered for today!”

            Worldly religionists reverse the order of sovereignty: “I know that’s what Jesus and the Bible say, but we think…”

            Wordly believers follow Jesus by the book with enthusiasm and without equivocation.

            While there are instances of correspondence, worldly religionists and Wordly believers disagree irreconcilably on the existential within the context of the eternal.

            Worldly religionists wink at eternity in favor of egocentrically existential satisfactions occasionally coincidental to Jesus by the book.

            Wordly believers favor the eternal over the existential; praying/practicing satisfactions increasingly conforming to Jesus by the book.

            Worldly religionists elevate ego over revelation; prompting/promoting inherited, imagined, and learned behaviors.

            Wordly believers subordinate ego to revelation best expressed/enfleshed in Jesus and explained in the Bible; transforming inherited, imagined, and learned behaviors by attending to rather than contending with over 2K years of Biblical, confessional, constitutional, historical, traditional, and common sense Christianity.

            Worldly religionists embrace and enable the naturally inherited, imagined, and learned behaviors.

            Wordly believers overcome natural behaviors by supernatural regeneration; feeling/being born again from above by grace through intimacy with Jesus.

            Worldly/natural behaviors are irregular, inverted, irascible, and irreconcilable.

            It is natural to divide and destroy by class, color, gender, religion, politics, and other idolatrous human inventions

            Wordly/supernatural behaviors love through grace and mercy.

            It is supernatural to unite, esteem, and extend agape, forgiveness, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, fidelity, gentleness, humility, and self-control without discrimination, segregation, or degradation.

            Worldly religionists bow at the altar of naturally inherited, imagined, and learned behaviors: being “born this way” becomes normative.

            Wordly believers bow only before God and pray/seek/labor to overcome naturally pejorative behaviors insulting God’s holiness and injuring God’s children by supernatural deliverance available to anyone through increased intimacy with Jesus by the book as guided by the Holy Spirit.

            While the worldly will rationalize natural behaviors insulting God’s holiness and injuring His children, the Wordly know they must first transform themselves by conforming to Jesus by the book before changing the world for Christ’s sake.

            If we really want to get along, the natural must be abandoned in favor of the supernatural.

            “Something by Someone more divine” is the only antidote to “It’s only human/natural.”

            It’s only human/natural to hate, hit, and hurt.

            Love through grace and mercy isn’t natural.

            It’s divine.

            Simply, the world won’t change for the better to everyone’s benefit without the Word.

            “Being born this way” is not the answer to the meanness, madness, misery, and miscreance of the world because natural birth embraces and enables the meanness, madness, misery, and miscreance.

            “Being born again and from above” is the supernatural solution to natural ailments.

            As the Word salts, shines, and leavenates, the world turns righteously.


Evolutionary Updates


               TMP (3) contributors are B&B.

               Please consider immediate financial assistance to commence the movement’s initiatives as noted in TMP (1).  Send seed money by check to The Grove (4210 Countryside Estates, Poplar Grove Illinois 61065) or First Presbyterian Church (221 N. Main Street, Belvidere, Illinois 61008) and write “Reclaim the Bow” in the memo.  You will be glad you did as we join hands to discover original mercy and Reclaim the Bow!

               We encourage you to forward, duplicate, and disseminate TMPs.


@#$%

Blessings and Love!

@#$%

Shatter the sound of silence!

Wake up!  Look up!  Stand up!  Speak up!  Act up for Jesus!

Salt!  Shine!  Leavenate!

@#$%


@#$%



Thursday, August 3, 2017

The Mercy Papers - 2


Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)

@#$%



@#$%


@#$%

Reclaim the Bow

Discovering Original Mercy

Copyright Reserved, 2017

    The Mercy Papers (2)

            English is a notoriously imprecise language. Contentions leading to disharmony causing divisions are often provoked when people who may agree substantially, tangentially, minimally, rarely, or not at all cannot or will not communicate semantically.

            An initiative of this movement is to provide opportunities for mature discussions undeterred, detoured, or destroyed by semantics governed by biases that cannot or will not listen patiently as a path to conciliation if not reconciliation.

            Convinced reconciliation is possible through Jesus as focus and filter, we defer immediate as well as eternal judgments to Him alone as Lord and Savior; or as a saint once said, “You love ‘em and let God judge ‘em!”

            With extreme civil, ecclesiastical, political, and socioeconomic partisanship challenging reconciliation, this movement understands conciliation as penultimate to reconciling opportunities through soul-Savior Jesus as Lord of behaviors supernaturally enabling reconciled communities overcoming natural dysfunctions and segregations by class, color, gender, religion, politics, and other idolatries.

            Simply, mercy is a guiding principle of this movement.

            Mercy is complementary to God’s grace-filled love for us and our grace-filled love for others as evidence of loving God.

            Without laboring Biblical languages, the complementary words grace and mercy are intrinsically and irrevocably woven into the fabric of the distinctive agape love ethic of Christianity as personified in Jesus and prescribed in Holy Scripture.

            Agape love is praying and laboring for the highest good for everyone regardless of who, what, where, when, or why without needing or expecting response, regard, or reward.

            God expects such love from people who claim to love Him: “Love others as much as I love you…When you are loving others, you are loving Me.”

            Grace is God’s extended and unmerited favor to/for us; providing what we don’t deserve while not inflicting what we deserve.

            Mercy is God’s withheld judgment for insults to His holiness; colloquially, it means He and His “cut slack…cut a break…” Contextually, it means, noting this is a pret’ near perfect example of the challenge of semantics, God errs on the side of gospel over law.  God is our lover not kin to Pharisees.  God and Godly people are kind not cruel.

            Noting our love for God is expressed in our love for others, mercy is when we withhold judgments that proscribe grace-filled love.

            Original mercy is discovered when lavish love is disseminated not discriminated and identifications become irrelevant to the inclusive intentions of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

            Original mercy is extended to all without conditions or qualifications.

            Mercy is more about Whom than whom: “God said it!  We believe it!  That settles it!”

            The parable of the Good Samaritan is illustrative.

            A lawyer asks Jesus how he can become righteous and confident about his life after life.

            Jesus repeats the great commandment to love God and love others to love God: “Love God totally and love your neighbor as much as you love yourself.”

            Simply, love God and be kind to one another.

            Love God by being kind to one another.

            The parable is provoked when Jesus is asked, “Who is my neighbor?  Who is included in this lavish love?”

            Unpacking the principle of inclusive love through grace and mercy, Jesus tells the story about a man who is mugged and left for dead.  While religious people who don’t walk the talk pass by the man while pursuing their missions not from God, a “good” Samaritan – unexpected hero because of religious profiling and mixed ethnicity – sacrifices time and resources without discrimination to help the man recover and receives recognition from God for proving love for God by loving like God: “He showed mercy…Go and do likewise.”

            Summarily, love through grace and mercy is normative, regular, and even habitual not optional or rare for people who have received Jesus into their heads, hearts, and guts as Lord and Savior.

            As David sang about God through the behaviors of the Godly, “His mercy endures forever!”

            Bob Andrews recorded a conversation parallel to the parable echoing the non-negotiable, compulsory, conciliatory-leading-to-reconciling love/grace/mercy ethic of following Jesus by the book:

                        1st Man: “God forgives you.”
                        2nd Man: “I don’t believe in God.”
                        1st Man: “Well, then, I forgive you, as a friend.  As someone who loves
                                    you, I forgive you.  I believe in you.”

            Many years ago as a cross was being given to me, the presenter said, “Jesus is counting on you!”

            Discovering original mercy includes knowing Jesus is counting on us to love like Him.

Evolutionary Updates


               TMP (2) contributors are B&B.

               Immediate financial assistance is necessary to begin the movement’s initiatives.  We are especially compelled to produce merchandise that will attract inquiry.  If you are being nudged by the Holy Spirit to help fuel this movement, please send a check to The Grove (4210 Countryside Estates, Poplar Grove, Illinois 61065) or First Presbyterian Church (221 N. Main Street, Belvidere, Illinois 61008) and write “Reclaim the Bow” in the memo.  You will be glad you did as we join hands in discovering original mercy.


               Please forward, duplicate, and disseminate TMPs.

@#$%

Blessings and Love!

@#$%

Shatter the sound of silence!

Wake up!  Look up!  Stand up!  Speak up!  Act up for Jesus!

Salt!  Shine!  Leavenate!

@#$%


@#$% 



Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Overcoming Fainting Faith

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)

@#$%



@#$%


@#$%

Scratching the Surface

of

Rejuvenating Faith

(A Brief and Incomplete Guide to Overcoming Fainting Faith)

A son’s friend with fainting faith wrote to him, “Does your dad know of any books that would help me with struggling faith?…I am just struggling to believe…I want something…”

When life’s challenges, disappointments, and sorrows along with the meanness, madness, misery, and miscreance of life in the modern world start piling up, it’s not uncommon for faith to faint.

Surely, the best method to rejuvenate faith is the one that works for you; so the encouragement below, in no particular order, is a smorgasbord of options for anyone counseling someone with fainting faith or anyone, as my son’s friend confessed, struggling to believe.

Testimony – What has a personal relationship with Jesus as Lord and Savior done for you?  Recall to rejuvenate!  The only gospel that some people will ever hear or see is the gospel according to you!  The best testimonies follow an outline like this: “Before I knew Jesus as Lord and Savior, I was…Jesus became a part of my life when…Now that Jesus is a part of my life, I am…If I could leave you with one thing, it would be…”

1 Peter 5:6-11 – Read the following sentences aloud and say your name when a ___ appears: “If ___ will humble her/himself under the mighty hand of God, in His good time, He will lift ___ up.  Let Him have all ___’s worries and cares, for He is always thinking about ___ and watching everything that concerns ___.  Trust the Lord; and remember that other Christians all around the world are going through these sufferings too.  After ___ has suffered a little while, our God, who is full of kindness through Christ will give ___ His eternal glory.  He personally will come and pick ___ up, and set ___ firmly in place, and make ___ stronger than ever.  To Him be all power over all things, forever and ever.  Amen!”

Invitation Prayer – For the first time or again, pray, “Lord, I invite you into my heart as Lord and Savior.  I am sorry for how I have hurt You and hurt others which is the same as hurting You.  I need Your love, mercy, and forgiveness.  I welcome You into my heart.  I thank You for being in my heart now and forever.  I ask You to help me to be Yours from now on in all things at all times in all places with all people for Christ’s sake; as I pray in His name.  Amen!”

Bible – Read it!  It is God’s personal love letter to you/us/everyone!  Find one that you like to read!  There are many translations; and the best one is the one that works for you!  Start with John and Psalms!  Then let the Holy Spirit direct you and enlighten you and rejuvenate you!

Read the Red Letters – Find a Bible with the words of Jesus in red and read them over and over and over until you feel Him in your heart and can say with Paul, “It is no longer I who live; but it is Jesus living in/through/for me!”

Worship – God inhabits the praises of His people!  God honors those who honor Him! 
Those are promises from God in the Bible for you/us/everyone.  The message, music, and entire liturgy may stink in the service; but God still works supernatural miracles of strong calm sanity along happiness and wholeness and joy and safety and eternal security in/through/for people who show up to worship Him.  It/He happens most in worship!

Holy Communion – Often!  Jesus did not say, “Do this in remembrance of Me quarterly…or monthly…or when it’s convenient.”  What happens during the sacrament?
Dr. Macleod always answered, “We get Christ better!” Read the previous paragraph on worship again!  Worship services faithful to Jesus by the book always include the sacrament.

Fellowship and Mission – Garbage in!  Garbage out!  Hang out with Christians!  Our Lord expects us to love the hell out of those who do not know Him; but never to become like them!  Show everyone love and mercy; but never become like people whose beliefs and behaviors insult His holiness and hurt others!  Serve!  You will get closer to Jesus by serving others for Jesus; for He said, “As you do it to/for them, you do it to/for Me!”

Back to the Book – Stop wasting so much time reading books about the Bible.  Read the Bible!  Spend more time reading the book from God than books about the book from God.
There are only so many hours in every day for reading.  Why spend more time in secondary sources when God’s primary source is available to you?

As a struggling ballplayer, I asked my coach, “How can I get better?”

He said, “Practice!  Practice!  Practice!”

Get it?


If you do and do, you will get Him!

@#$%

Blessings and Love!

@#$%


Shatter the sound of silence!

Wake up!  Look up!  Stand up!  Speak up!  Act up for Jesus!

Salt!  Shine!  Leavenate!

@#$%


@#$%







Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Mercy Papers - 1

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)

@#$%



@#$%


@#$%

Reclaim the Bow

Discovering Original Mercy

COPYRIGHT RESERVED, 2017


The Mercy Papers (1)

      Profoundly compelled by our Lord’s great commandment, great commission, and high priestly prayer, a vision for incarnating the merciful message of the rainbow coalesced on July 13, 2017.

            With roots in the hearts of those entrusted to launch this missional movement, it will confound anyone who has misappropriated the rainbow’s symbolic encouragement of God’s covenantal assurances of existential and eternal mercy as it attracts inquiry to the invitational, welcoming, including, and unconditionally loving incarnations of women and men who follow Jesus by the book as guided by the Holy Spirit.

            Expecting the efficacious evolution of the movement, it begins with preliminary principles:

            - Reclaiming the bow’s symbolism, the movement highlights its original intent between God, Noah, and everyone to provide a perpetual reminder of God’s mercy whenever we see it in the sky. 

- God’s mercy is not restricted to declared disciples of Jesus but rather extended to everyone regardless of culture or religion through declared disciples of Jesus.

            - The distinctive social ethic enfleshed in Jesus and expected of those who claim Him as Lord and Savior is agape; praying and laboring for the highest good for everyone regardless of who, what, where, when, or why without needing or expecting response, regard, or reward.

- Loving everyone is among the best evidences of loving God.  Jesus explained, “When you love others, you are loving Me.”  He provides the model: “Love others as much as I love you.”  The sacrificially selfless, gracious, forgiving, and redemptive love of Jesus is this movement’s model.
           
            The movement’s imminent initiatives include:

            - Videos and mercy papers to encourage, enable, and equip discovering original mercy; emphasizing intimacy with God as the supernatural solution to natural challenges.

            - Supporting gays with health issues.

            - “Standing in the gap” with women and gays victimized by Sharia Law.

- Provide opportunities for mature discussions on difficult subjects with the common goal of maintaining mutual respect within confessional integrity.

- Produce merchandise with the bow to attract inquiry and generate self-sustaining financial fuel for the movement.

- Model Someone better for ideological extremes bent to hate, hit, and hurt.

Overwhelmed by God’s lavishly limitless and romantic love, this movement is good news for people chained to class, color, gender, religious, political, and other idolatrous human inventions plagued and polluted by prejudices alien to righteousness as exemplified in Jesus and explained in Holy Scripture.

We beg God’s knowledge, wisdom, and strength to be a redemptive voice amid the meanness, madness, misery, and miscreance of life in the modern world.

            We will always be eager to confess and repent error as instructed by Jesus, Holy Scripture, and common sense.

            Essentially, this movement echoes the Pauline understanding of God’s ultimate passion for humanity: “God wants everyone to be saved.”

Evolutionary Updates


               TMP (1) contributors are B&B.

               Immediate financial assistance is necessary to begin the movement’s initiatives as noted.  If you are nudged then compelled by the Holy Spirit to plant some seed $, please send a check to The Grove (4210 Countryside Estates, Poplar Grove, Illinois 61065) or First Presbyterian Church (221 N. Main Street, Belvidere, Illinois 61008) and write “Reclaim the Bow” in the memo.  You will be glad you did as we join hands with Him to Reclaim the Bow!


               We encourage you to forward, duplicate, and disseminate TMPs.

@#$%

Blessings and Love!

@#$%

Shatter the sound of silence!

Wake up!  Look up!  Stand up!  Speak up!  Act up for Jesus!

Salt!  Shine!  Leavenate!

@#$%



@#$%


Monday, July 24, 2017

Reclaim the Bow (We Need Your Help Now!)

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)

@#$%



@#$%


@#$%


    The symbol has been hijacked by left, right, up and down and all around.

    It's been used in ways to promote ideology pretending theology.

    With the roots of this movement always in the hearts of those entrusted with launching it, it will confound those who have misappropriated the symbol and attract inquiry leading to reconciliations heretofore sabotaged by eisegetes injecting their extremely navel-gazing bigotries into a simply saving covenant of mercy.

    As you will read below, we need your help to get going.

    Our pledge is we will never seek the favor of anyone but God.

    This pledge will infuriate the left, right, up and down and all around while infusing the faithful with a fresh boldness tempered by strong calm sanity to bring original mercy back to a world and religions/churches/mosques/synagogues so desperate for...God...and those praying and laboring to love...like God in Jesus by the book.

   Reclaim the Bow

"Discovering Original Mercy"

(copyright pending, 2017)

@#$%

    For over a decade of increasing intimacy with Him and each other, Brian and Bob have known He brought them together for a reason/purpose/mission to honor Jesus by the book as guided by the Holy Spirit.

    Church planter Brian is the lead pastor of The Grove in Poplar Grove, Illinois.

    Iconoclastic mainline denominational credential-holder Bob is undershepherd of Belvidere, Illinois' First Presbyterian Church primarily known as "Our Family of Faith on the Corner of Lincoln and Main."

    Profoundly compelled by our Lord's great commandment, great commission, and high priestly prayer, a vision for incarnating the merciful message of the rainbow has been forming in their spirits and coalesced on July 13, 2017 between 3:00 - 6:00 p.m.

    Anyone familiar with the rainbow's symbolic and covenantal assurances will take the hint; yet the message in the movement is staggering, seismic, salty, enlightening, leavenating, and ultimately saving.

    Stay tuned!

@#$%

    The preceding paragraphs are the first hint of what's to come through Reclaim the Rainbow (Discovering Original Mercy).

    Though tempted to, uh, disclose some of the plans to show His mercy that will stun left, right, up and down and all around by the movement's radical and uncompromising devotion to the agape love of God so elegantly and romantically symbolized in the bow, exemplified in Jesus, and explained in Holy Scripture, let's just say, for now, those who have used the bow in the past from left, right, up and down and all around to promote their idiosyncratic ideologies only coincidentally related to the merciful message of Biblical Christianity will be shaken to salvific inquiry if not enthusiasm in the next several months.

    Really, while those familiar with the symbol may have some guesses, it's waaaaaaay beyond whatever you're thinking in a Colossians 3:1-4 kinda way.

@#$%

    Brian, who is much better at this than moi, says we need seed money to get the ball rolling.

    He's referring to domains, webs, social networking, legal stuff, material investments, promos, and, uh, I don't know.

    He estimates start-up costs of around 10-15K with expectations of quick self-and-expanding support.

    So if you're feeling nudged by the Holy Spirit right now to plant some seed $, you can send a check to The Grove (4210 Countryside Estates, Poplar Grove, Illinois 61065) or First Presbyterian Church (221 N. Main Street, Belvidere, Illinois 61008) and write "Reclaim the Bow" in the memo.

    You will be glad you did as we joins hands with Him to Reclaim the Bow!

@#$%


Blessings and Love!

@#$%


@#$%




Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Eugene H. Peterson. Another Fallen Hero? Not So Fast!

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)

@#$%



@#$%

;

@#$%

Eugene H. Peterson

Another Fallen Hero?  Not So Fast!

@#$%

While I’m just scratching the surface of my relationship with Jesus,
I’m scratching; and compelled to move increasingly away from
the egocentric, sociocentric, congregationally and
denominationally distracting and discouraging
to bridge-builders and alliances
focused on and filtered through
Jesus by the book.

I must join hands with them for Him to

Reclaim the Bow

In our quest for

Discovering Original Mercy!


@#$%

Did you miss the course on original sin?

Then why are you so surprised when
everyone but Jesus falls, fails, and
proves to be sooooooo human?

@#$%

Jesus came to save us from our sins
not applaud our idolatries.

@#$%

Until you become a Psalm 62 kinda believer,
you will never find peace in community.

@#$%

Disclaimer

Preceding quotes from RRK not EHP

@#$%

          Whenever the Yankees lose, I get calls, texts, and e-mails from people who expect me to be devastated.

          Whenever the Presbyterian Church (USA) does something stupid – not an infrequent occurrence – I’m on the receiving end of smug, sarcastic, and demeaning commentary by self-congratulatory amigos that have left for islands of theological, ideological, and socioeconomic homogeneity.

          Because my politics are not nearly as neat and important as praying and trying to follow Jesus by the book, mindless drones that identify themselves as Democrats and Republicans and think I’m not one of ‘em will let me know when Republicans make Pharisees blush and Democrats prove they have no identifiable faith or morality.

          I can’t count the number of times that folks have felt obligated to tell me about somebody who just died in an iron pony accident; especially if she/he was helmetless.

          It’s sick.

          It reminds me of a big reason why Jesus was crucified.

          Too many people like bad news more than good news.

          So my world wasn’t rocked when I read the headlines about Eugene sent to me by righties who know I like him but know he leans left and lefties who know I like him and know I bow to Jesus by the book and others who know he has played a really big part in my life and evolving relationship with Jesus since October 2011:

“Eugene Peterson’s New Message”

Message Bible Creator Eugene Peterson
Changes Mind on Homosexuality;
Would Perform a Same-Sex
Marriage If Asked”

“Eugene Peterson on Changing His Mind
About Same-Sex Issues and Marriage”

“Lifeway Prepared to Stop Selling the Message
Over Eugene Peterson’s LGBT Comments”

“Eugene Peterson’s Theological Sigh”

          I can’t bring myself to print the furiously celebratory and condemning headlines, bylines, texts, and tweets that would make even President Trump wince.

@#$%

          Because I didn’t miss the course on original sin and still hold credentials in one of those mainline denominations increasingly notorious for thumbing their noses at over 2K years for Biblical, confessional, constitutional, historical, traditional, and common sense Christianity, I don’t expect anyone, especially me, to be pure and perfect in every way when compared to Jesus by the book.

          Besides, when I spent one of the most significant weeks of my life with Jan and Eugene along with a few brothers back in October 2011, I spotted an autographed picture of President Obama on their refrigerator.

          Now that the dust is settling a bit, I’m glad I didn’t knee-jerk and lament another fallen hero.

          While Eugene is not as guiltless as his idolaters pretend, he’s not as off the wall as those who’ve been looking for a way to get back at him for making the Bible more accessible suggest.

          When I made a fool of myself and asked if he used The Message during his devotions, he smiled so disarmingly and humbly and revealed, “I use my Hebrew and Greek texts.”

          I remembered my absurd moment before jumping on the bandwagon of those who are so quick to celebrate and condemn; for it’s hard for me to imagine a man of such primary source and reverence for Holy Scripture could ever fit neatly into the idiosyncrasies, eisegesis, and hysteria of the extremes ruining so many churches.

@#$%

          He got into this mess when a reporter for RNS asked, “If you were pastoring today and a gay couple in your church who were Christians of good faith asked you to perform their same-sex wedding ceremony, is that something you would do?”

          Peterson: “Yes.”

          The left celebrated.

          The right condemned.

          Those re-imagining, re-inventing, eisegeting, and putting words into God’s mouth to contradict the clarity of revelation in Jesus by the book had found a hero.

          Those still believing in Jesus by the book prepared their barbecue pits for another book-burning to lament another fallen hero to join Achtemeier, Barnes, Campolo, Rogers, et.al.

          But in less than 24 hours, Peterson recanted: “To clarify, I affirm a Biblical view of marriage: one man to one woman.  I affirm a Biblical view of everything.”

          The right celebrated.

          The left condemned.

          Peterson went on to confuse his lionizers and demonizers: “I presume I was asked this question because of my former career as a pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA), which recently affirmed homosexuality and began allowing its clergy to perform same-sex weddings.  Having retired from the pastorate more than 25 years ago, I acknowledged to the reporter that I haven’t had a lot of experience with it…I’ve never performed a same-sex wedding.  I’ve never been asked and, frankly, I hope I never am asked.”

          Just before or after his yes to the RNS reporter’s interrogative, he admitted, “I wouldn’t have said this 20 years ago, but now I know a lot of people who are gay and lesbian and they seem to have as good a spiritual life as I do.  I think that kind of debate about lesbians and gays might be over.  People who disapprove of it, they’ll probably just go to another church.  So we’re in a transition and I think it’s a transition for the best, for the good.  I don’t think it’s something that you can parade, but it’s not a right or wrong thing as far as I’m concerned.”

          The right cringed.

          The left saw an opening.

          My guess is the phone is ringing in Lakeside, Montana.

          Then the man who has been used by God to bring me closer to Him, His, and the world in a John 3 kinda way said what I consider to be consistent with the Eugene that I know as a man of primary source with a reverence for Holy Scripture not distracted, plagued, or polluted by left or right but guided by the Holy Spirit: “When put on the spot by this particular interviewer, I said yes in the moment.  But on further reflection and prayer, I would like to retract that.  That’s not something I would do out of respect to the congregation, the larger church body, and the historic Biblical Christian view and teaching on marriage. That said, I would still love such a couple as their pastor.  They’d be welcome at my table, along with everybody else.”

@#$%

          Thank you, Eugene.

          Thank You, God, for keeping Eugene in my life as a catalyst for getting closer to You.

          Thank You, God, for using Eugene to open the Bible to people who can’t relate to Elizabethan English and other truncated tongues.

          Thank You, God, for Eugene who reminds us that You invite, welcome, include, and agape: “Come to Me, all of you, everyone, anyone, and I will take care of you.”

@#$%

          You can read more about how God continues to use Eugene in the lives of people like me in the May 1, 2016 edition of www.koppdisclosure.com.

          Yet, for now, maybe a word from his wife Jan during our time together sums up the problem with the celebrating, condemning, lionizing, demonizing, and other dolts who’ve missed the first few of the big ten, Psalms like the 62nd, Beatitudes, and countless parallel textual revelations on the dangers of idolatry and blessings of increasing intimacy with Jesus by the book: “Some people are like farts in the elevator.  It takes just one.  Everyone suffers.  Nobody escapes.”


          Behind every good man is…

@#$%

Blessings and Love!

@#$%


@#$%