When Christians Get It Wrong

The Great Falling Away

Lubber OpinionLubber Opinion

The views and opinions expressed by this lubber do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of the crew. Reader discretion be advised. – Staff


A pastor wrote: “A young man was turned off by the way many Christians approached modern science. The man noted: ‘The whole question of creationism versus evolution and scientific theory is always something that bothered me. You know that people will tell you God created all of this ten thousand years ago in the blink of an eye. There are a lot of things in the Bible that were written two thousand years ago; and how can we honestly interpret what those men were saying in modern terminology? When people tell me creationism is in the Bible, that is just a statement to me of how exceedingly ignorant someone is.'”

John’s comment got me ter thinking ’bout all the folks who think like John—who discount Skipper’s Code of Conduct and the words and acts of his son on account of it seems beyond the realm of thar imagination. And them thoughts got this old pirate ter wondering how a conversation with this feller might go if the pair stumbled upon one another on the road ter Emmaus.

Young chap: “When people tell me creationism is in the Bible, that is just a statement to me of how exceedingly ignorant someone is. I don’t like to blatantly label people as idiots, but I think of them as less intellectually active.”

“My child, you are not alone in your judgment of the Father’s words,” the Son might say. “The purpose and message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing. But to those who seek to be saved from their sins and the corruption of this world, the cross is the power of God (1 Corinthians 1:18). Perhaps it helps to know that from God’s perspective the wisdom of this world is foolishness (1 Corinthians 3:19). As the prophet Isaiah writes, ‘The wisdom of the wise will perish. The intelligence of the intelligent will vanish. I will destroy the wisdom of the wise. The intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate (Isaiah 29:14).’ Where is the wise person? (1 Corinthians 1:18-20)  Is it you, my child? Are you wise in your own eyes? (Isaiah 5:21)”

“Okay, look. All I’m asking is to know what’s the purpose of it all. I want to know if there is a God who really does know me, love me. I want to know if I will continue to live after my physical body dies. Do you know?”

“I do, but even if I told you would you believe? Skeptics like you are always slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken. Some claim they would believe if someone came back from the dead and verified accounts of heaven, but would they? They have Moses and the Prophets but still don’t believe. (Luke 16:29-31) Did not the Messiah have to suffer the things man calls foolishness in order to enter his glory? If you walk with me, I will begin with Moses—not the man, but his writings—and all the Prophets and explain to you what was said of the Messiah in all the Scriptures (Luke 24: 25-27).”

As the pair trekked along that dusty road the Son would begin ter reveal himself through Skipper’s words.

“At the beginning the Creator made them male and female (Matthew 19:4).

“The Father created Adam in his own image. In the image of himself he created Adam and Eve (Genesis 1:27). He created Eve from Adam and Eve was created for Adam. (1 Corinthians 11:8-11) Nevertheless, in the Lord the man is dependent on the woman and the woman is dependent on the man. For as woman came from man, so also man now comes from woman. Because everything comes from God (1 Corinthians 11:11-12) Adam named his wife Eve, the mother of all the living persons (Genesis 3:20).”

“But before Adam and Eve there was the Word. The Word was with God. The Word was God. Through the Word all things were made (John 1:1-3). Things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities, all things have been created through the Word and created for the Word. (Colossians 1:16)”

“Now let me ask you, my child. Are you pleased with the condition of the planet? Are you grieved over the way people treat their neighbor? If so, know this: Adam, the first man, had dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth. God blessed Adam and Eve and said to them, ‘Be fruitful. Reproduce your kind. Replenish the earth. Guard and keep all things under control.'”

“But when Adam rebelled against God (Genesis 3:6), Creation was subjected to futility. Not by its own choice, but by the will of one man, Adam (Romans 8:20). Therefore the ground is cursed (Genesis 3:17). The planet is under a curse. All of creation groans under the weight of this curse (Romans 8:22).”

“But here is the good news. While it is true that sin and death entered the world through one man, Adam, the Father made a way to restore men to himself and restore Creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). All authority in heaven and on earth was given to the Father’s son, the Word (Matthew 28:18). In return, the Son gives authority to overcome all the power of the enemy (Luke 10:19). If you are in the Son and the Son is in you, the Word of Creation gives you authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness (Matthew 10:1). John, you can change the world through the power of the Son. You can move mountains! (Mark 11:23) God gave man dominion over the earth. He has not revoked that authority. We are entrusted to care for the earth and all that is in it.

“If that’s the case, then why does God allow evil in the world?”

“God does not allow it. God forbids evil. God did not allow Adam and Eve to eat from the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but they disobeyed and did so anyway. He warned them they would die and they did. (Genesis 2:17) My question to you, John, is why do you allow evil in the world when it’s within your power to stop it? (John 4:11) (John 14:12-14).

“No response? In that case let’s talk about death, decay, and destruction. These things come to all men because of Adam’s sin. (Romans 5:12) But the sin of Adam served as a pattern of the one who would come to take away the sin of the world (Romans 5:14). Can we agree there is a natural body? And if there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body?”

“Well sure, we all have a body, but I’m not sure about this business of soul and spirit.”

“The first man Adam became a living being. The last Adam, a life-giving spirit. (1 Corinthians 15:45) The spiritual did not come first, but the natural. And after the natural came the spiritual. The first man, Adam, was of the dust of the earth. The second man, the Christ, is from heaven. As the seed of the earthly man is sown in corruption, so man’s offspring also sows corruption (Galatians 6:8). As the seed of the heavenly man is sown in righteousness, so his offspring also sows righteousness. Just as each person bears the image of the earthly man, so those born of the spirit bear the image of the heavenly man. (1 Corinthians 15:46-49) Does this makes sense, John?”

“A little, some.”

“Do you realize that before the beginning of all things, at the creation of all things, the Father’s son participated in Creation and even now desires to restore you to the glory for which you were designed and destined?  Since Creation God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen. Therefore men are without excuse (Romans 1:20). For although men know of God, they neither glorify him as God nor gave thanks to him. You say those who believe in the Father’s words are ignorant.  But God says the thinking those who refuse to glorify God as the Creator of all things are fools whose hearts have become darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they are deceived (Romans 1:21-22).

“I see we have reached your destination and I must go on.  But John, listen carefully. My father is not the author of ignorance and confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33). My Father gives good gifts: peace, joy, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control and all wisdom and knowledge. Confusion and doubt is the work of the god of this age. The enemy blinds the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of Truth, the Christ, the light of the world. (2 Corinthians 4:4).”

“How would someone find this light, this truth?”

“I am he. And I am revealed to men through the words of my father.  Will you walk with me into the light? Will you continue on with me and let your heart burn as I open my words to you? If so, let us begin at the start of all things for I tell you truly in the beginning God created…'”

Slicing and Dicing with Jesus

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Do not make the mistake of thinking the Son come ter bring peace on earth. A good many like ter teach and preach that the Son wants all ter live in peace, and he does. A good many like ter teach and preach that the Son wants all in his Body ter live in peace and unity, and he does.

But the Son also warned he would be a divisive figure—that his words and commands whar designed ter sort out those who be with him and those who be agin him.

“I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. I have come to turn

  • a son against his father
  • a daughter against her mother
  • a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law

A man’s enemies will be members of his own household. ” – Jesus (Luke 12:53)

The Son reminds us that long ago it whar prophesied that his coming would be the undoing of peace among families, even church families.

For a son dishonors his father, a daughter rises up against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law— a man’s enemies are the members of his own household. (Micah 7:6)

The Son comes not simply ter take away peace, but ter start a ruckus.

“I have come to bring fire on the earth and I wish it were already kindled!” – Jesus (Luke 12:49)

“Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me. Anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” – Jesus (Matthew 10:37-38)

What string of words in Skip’s Code of Conduct doth ya find offensive? What passage of Skip’s doth ya refuse ter read and believe? Those words of Skip that trips ya up be a trap set by the devil, ya may lay ter that.

What acts of the Son doth ya find offensive? Be it fergiving yer enemies? Praying fer ’em who hate ya? Selling yer possessions ter care fer the poor? Showing mercy ter ’em who repent and ask fer a second and third chance? Offering grace ter ’em who squandered the last loan ya give ’em? Getting baptized in the same manner the Son whar baptized? Withholding the blood of the Son and his body in communion from the unrepentant?

Think on this a wee little bit: anyone who refuses ter go with the Son ter tha cross is not worthy of him. He calls us ter cast off all, including folks, in order ter obey him, serve him, honor him. 

The Son created all things (Colossians 1:16) (John 1:3). Heaven and earth, male and female, all God’s law, commandments, promises, and prophecies… ever’ thing good and righteous whar created through the Son.

The Son created all things fer himself  (Colossians 1:16). All creation whar made fer the Son. He is the king of kings and lord of lords. Though the prince of the power of the air, the devil, ‘as dominion over the earth fer a short while longer, the Son ‘as already defeated that old snake (Revelation 1:18). The devil’s time be coming ter a close, but befer the Son casts him inter the abyss, that lying rascal seeks ter take as many deceived souls with him as possible.

A split be comin’ and the Son desires the separating and sorting ter commence (Luke 12:51). Question be, will we go with the Son or the devil? Will we fall ter the temptation of doubting Skipper’s words, the Son’s authorship and authority? Will we worship the devil in order ter gain friendship with the world?

Or will we love him with all our body, mind, heart, strength, and soul?

Those in Christ ‘ill Continue Ter Gather and Worship and Praise His Holy Name

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I feel deep affinity for Jesus and still seek to follow him. However, with great surprise and deep sadness, I am considering the once unthinkable possibility of becoming post-church. The mainline church engages in constant ecclesiastical civil warfare over same-sex marriage and gay clergy, carving up its already small and rapidly declining segment of the religious pie into even smaller pieces, completely disregarding Jesus’s command to unite in love. – Martin Thielen

Sad ter say, these days Martin’s comment reflects the heart of many. Same thing happened when the Son first walked this earth. A large crowd of folks who once followed him at first ceased gathering with his disciples when the Son’s words became hard ter bear, hear, embrace.

“The Spirit gives life. The flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life. Yet there are some of you who do not believe.”

For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him.

He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them.” From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. (John 6:63-66)

“Unity” be a word bandied about by folks seeking ter keep believers bound in fellowship with unbelievers. “Love” be a word bandied about as if “love in the flesh” be sufficient fer fellowship with Skipper and his believers. Only the Apostle Saul Paul, speaking through Skip’s Holy Spirit of Truth, says:

  • Believers, do not be yoked together with unbelievers.
  • What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?
  • What fellowship can light have with darkness?
  • What do righteousness and wickedness have in common?
  • What harmony is there between Christ and the devil?
  • What agreement is there between the temple of God and the idols of men?
  • Come out from them and separate.
  • Do not touch any unclean thing.
  • Out of reverence for God purify yourself from everything that contaminates:
    • Your body
    • Your spirit
    • Your holiness in Christ
  • Believers vs Unbelievers
  • Light vs Darkness
  • Righteousness vs Wickedness
  • Christ vs the devil
  • Temple of God vs idols of men

It be perfectly fine—and Skipper’s declaration—fer us ter separate from them who be living in darkness, wickedness, squalor, worshipping idols, and doing works of the devil. Heaven ferbid that we unite with the realm of the devil.

Near ’bout ever’ feller and lass has a definition of love. Some say love be allowing folks ter do whatever they wish—that love be allowing folks ter be jest as they be and accept all as they be. But Skipper’s definition of love be one of transformation from our sinful self inter the glorious identify he intended fer us ter enjoy from the beginning of time: the identity he envisioned fer us while we still be in our mum’s belly.

“A new command I give you,” said the Son. “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35)

A disciple be a feller or lass who seeks ter behave just as thar teacher. Unity, cohesion, and one goal, glorifying the master teacher, marks the students of a rabbi. Discipleship makes disciple. Skip says those who hate their children, ‘ill let their young-ins be any old way they want ter be.

Whoever spares the rod hates their children. (Proverbs 13:24)

Love be an act of training, teaching, correcting, rebuking, and guiding, so children (and pupils) become strong in body, mind, heart, and spirit.

The one who loves a child is careful to discipline (discipleship) them. (Proverbs 13:24)

Unity in love is discipleship in Jesus. It involves rebuking gently, in private if possible. It involves sharing Skip’s words on the matter, not our opinions. It involves sharing examples from Skip’s Word of how Jesus loved, led, taught, and transformed his disciples.

No discipline (discipleship) seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. (Hebrews 12:11)

Parents, bring your children up in the discipline (discipleship) and instruction of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4)

“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline (discipleship) of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” (Hebrews 12:5-11)

Do not withhold discipline (discipleship) from a child. If you strike him with a rod, he will not die. If you strike him with the rod, you will save his soul from Sheol. (Proverbs 23:13-15)

Whoever loves discipline (discipleship) loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid. (Proverbs 12:1)

Live and let live, love and let love be the way of the devil, fer such behavior leads not ter love fer Skip and others, but ter self-worship and self-love. The Great Split occurring among broad path, wide gate, mainline churches simply be the pruning process the Son speaks of in the book of Loving John.

My Father cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit. (John 15:2)

Be it mainline or backroads, any church whose members are not in Christ and Christ in ’em will fail and fall away.

The evangelical church demonizes the LBGTQ community. – Martin Thielen

The Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization, defines Evangelical Christianity as a “worldwide trans-denominational movement within Protestant Christianity that maintains the belief that the essence of the Gospel consists of the doctrine of salvation by grace alone, solely through faith in Jesus’ atonement. Evangelicals believe in the centrality of the conversion or “born again” experience in receiving salvation, in the authority of the Bible as God’s revelation to humanity, and in spreading the Christian message.

Ter make a blanket statement that them who be saved by the grace of the Son, believe in him, and born anew in his Spirit also be filled with demons… be near ’bout what the Pharisees accused the Son of when they said, “By Beelzebul, the prince of demons, he is driving out demons.” (Luke 11:15) Back then the Pharisees accused the Son of casting out demons by the power of the devil. Now some religious folks charge his disciples be sending demons inter folks.

Such talk should not come from the mouth of them who belong ter the Son.

Rid yourselves of anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language. (Colossians 3:8)

Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. (James 4:11)

He who spreads slander is a fool. (Proverbs 10:18)

For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.” (Mark 7:21-23)

These so-called evangelicals—those who believe in Jesus and his message, words and actions—be accused of sending forth demons ter terrorize those held in bondage by sin. Thar be no need ter list all the ways Skipper’s words speak ter our issues with sexual lust and sin. It simply be enough to list a few ways the demons of sexual sin keep some bound with passions of the flesh. Acts 15:20, Mark 10:6-9, Mark 7:20-23, 1 Timothy 1:8-11, Romans 1:27-28, 1 Corinthians 6:15-16.

The evangelical church fosters Christian nationalism, participates in partisan politics, and fights endless culture wars over things like mask wearing, vaccines mandates, critical race theory, the second amendment, and transgender bathroom laws. – Martin Thielen

These so-called evangelicals—those who believe in the saving blood of Jesus alone—be accused of participating in politics, respecting the second amendment, the first amendment, all amendments that support liberty and justice fer ALL.

These so-called evangelicals—those who believe in water baptism and baptism inter Skipper’s Holy Spirit of Truth—be accused of protecting the rights of parents ter ‘ave their children trained in the way of the Lord.

These so-called evangelicals—those who believe in the inspired and living words of Skipper—be accused protecting their daughters, wives, and other female family members from sharing showers and bathrooms with fellers.

Our country is currently struggling with massive challenges including climate crisis, a pandemic, poverty, hunger, racism, injustice, polarization, and serious threats to democracy. In response, what is the church doing? – Martin Thielen

Ever’ generation faces its own pearls. Some fought wars, others famine, depressions, plagues. All creation lives under the curse of sin.

A curse consumes the earth. Its people must bear their guilt. (Isaiah 24:6)

Cursed is the ground because of you (man). (Genesis 3:17)

The Church, his Body of believers, kin and should do all ter be like Jesus the Son ter the world. And what did the Son command us ter do?

Love all — “Love your enemies. Pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44)

Repent — From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” (Matthew 4:17)

Believe in Jesus — “Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves.” (John 14:11)

Follow Jesus — “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.” (Matthew 16:24-25)

Make disciples of Jesus (not our own opinions of who Jesus is) — “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

Pray always — “Pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen.” (Luke 21:36)

Love with the love of Jesus — “Love one another.” (John 13:34-35)

If we do these things, we ‘ill find our light and momentary troubles be temporary and of little consequence compared ter Skipper’s eternal glory. (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)

If ya be a believer in the Son, ‘ave his Holy Spirit of Truth in ya, pray fer those who seek ter isolate themselves from the body. Pray that the Son ‘ill call ’em inter a Body of believers who worship him, not some movement, some organization, or some denomination. From age ter age and fer all time those in Christ the Son ‘ill continue ter gather and worship and praise his holy name, of this ya kin be sure.



Our Role as Leaders and Teachers

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Build bridges of reconciliation when possible. When not, build rafts.

The Author of all Scripture

“When the Lord finished speaking to Moses on Mount Sinai, he gave Moses the two tablets of the covenant law, the tablets of stone inscribed by the finger of God.” (Deuteronomy 9:10)

But when Moses come off tha mountain and seen tha people partying and worshiping ah golden calf, he pitched a fit, tossed down tha tablets, and broke ’em. Back up tha mountain Moses trekked.

Tha Lord said ter Moses:

“Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones, and I will write on them the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke. (Exodus 34:1) 

So Moses chiseled out two stone tablets like tha first ones and hiked back up Mount Sinai early in tha morning, as Skipper commanded. He carried tha two stone tablets in his hands. Then Skipper came down in tha cloud and stood thar and proclaimed his name, tha Lord. He passed in front of Moses, proclaiming … (Exodus 34:1-5) . . . well lots of things. Thar be a long section where Skipper recites commands ter Moses. Then … Skipper said ter Moses:

Write down these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel.” (Exodus 34:27-28)

Moses was thar with tha Lord 40 days and 40 nights without eating bread or drinking water. And he wrote on tha tablets tha words of tha covenant—the Ten Commandments. (Exodus 34:27-28)

Afterward all tha Israelites came near him, and he gave ’em all tha commands tha Lord give him on Mount Sinai. (Exodus 34:32)

Given that Moses spent 40 days with Skipper on tha mountain, we might assume that Skip also shared tha tale of Adam and how sin come inter tha world, tha account of Noah and his family, and other earlier events.

Think on this a wee little bit: If Moses did not write tha first 5 books of Skipper’s Code of Conduct, then Moses be guilty of ascribing ter tha Holy Spirit of Truth an act which be false. If this be tha case, then Moses be guilty of tha unpardonable sin that leads to eternal death.

“Anyone who speaks against (lies about) the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.” (Matthew 12:31-32)

And yet ah good many years later we find Moses on tha Mount of Transfiguration speaking with tha Son. From this we kin conclude that tha soul of Moses whar not damned, but in fact be at peace with Skip and tha Son. This would seem ter affirm tha authenticity of Moses as Skip’s scribe.

It appears Skip also delegated part of tha dictation of his Law ter his angels, for we read:

“Now you have betrayed and murdered him (Christ) – you who have received the law that was given through angels but have not obeyed it.” (Acts 7:53)

“We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. For since the message spoken through angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation?” (Hebrews 2:1-3)

From thar earliest days, Skip’s people accepted that tha first 5 books of tha Hebrew Bible, which in Hebrew: תּוֹרָה‎, means “Instruction”, “Teaching” or “Law” whar written by Moses under tha instruction of Skip and his Spirit.

According ter  Saul Paul and Peter, tha words of Skipper be:

“God breathed” and inspired. “Fer all Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3:16)

“Prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:21)

“Who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. (1 Corinthians 2:11–16)

This be why each believer MUST have Skip’s Holy Spirit of Truth in ’em so as ter discern his will and words.

Tha Son affirmed Skip’s words when he said:

“Truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. (Matthew 5:18)


“Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods”’? (John 10:34)

“The ‘gods’ (men) know nothing, they understand nothing. They walk about in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken. “I said, ‘You are “gods”; you are all sons of the Most High.’ But you will die like mere mortals; you will fall like every other ruler.” (Psalm 82:5-7)

“If he (the writer of Psalms) called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be set aside— what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? (John 10:34-36)

“You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” (John 5:36) “Do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set. If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?” (John 5:45)

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” (John 1:1-3)

“For in him (Christ) all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.” (Colossians 1:16)

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” (Matthew 24:35-36)

“Truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” (Matthew 5:18)

Moses testified ter tha authenticity of Skipper’s words.
Tha Son testified ter tha authenticity of Skipper’s words.
Tha Holy Spirit testifies ter tha authenticity of Skipper’s words.

Skip’s Law kin not save us, could never save us. We be saved ONLY through tha blood of tha Son. But tha law of Skipper does reveal his character, standards fer holiness, and our need fer him. Without Skip’s Law we would not have known our need fer a savior. (Galatians 3:19-26)

If Skip breathes life inter his words and thar be mistakes in his writings, then Skip makes mistakes.
If Skip makes mistakes, then he not be perfect.
If Skip is not perfect then his Son lied when he said:

“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)

If Skip’s Code of Conduct be simply a book of words cobbled together by mere men, then tha Son be a liar, not the perfect atonement fer our sin, could not and did not save us, and thar be no God, heaven, or hell.

Words matter. Skipper’s words matter most of all.

The Cost of Deceptive Doctrine

Deception poses ah greater risk ter believers in Christ than it does ter tha lost.

If we be in Christ, then we be shepherds. Our words and actions carry great weight. So as well, our errors in judgment.

“Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” (James 3:1)

“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” (Matthew 18:6)

“Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come. It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble.” (Luke 17:1-2)

“Let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.” (Romans 14:13)

“Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. For if someone with a weak conscience sees you, with all your knowledge, eating in an idol’s temple, won’t that person be emboldened to eat what is sacrificed to idols? So this weak brother or sister, for whom Christ diedis destroyed by your knowledgeWhen you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.” (1 Corinthians 8:9-13)

Thar be no need ter go in ter all tha warnings ’bout false teachers. It be enough ter say that tha Son and others warned that our teaching needs ter be pure, rooted in tha Son, Skipper’s words and that we are ter avoid flimsy instruction, sowing sorry seed, and denying tha Son and his words.

Flimsy Instruction

If anyone teaches and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, they are conceited and understand nothing. They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain. (1 Timothy 6:3)

Teaching based on anything other than Skip’s Holy teaching always leads ter division.

Rotten Fruit

By their fruit you will recognize them. (Matthew 7:16)

Has thar ever been ah sin that, when in full bloom, produced ah good harvest?

Has adultery, fornication, and divorce produced better families, societies, and stronger crew in tha pews?
If we condone theft does it lead ter less lawlessness?
If we condone lying and cheating does it produce honesty and trust?
If we affirm injustice, bigotry, and intolerance, does it produce compassion and kindness?

We reap what we sow. Sow sorry seed and we ‘ill reap corruption and rotten fruit.

 Denying Christ and His Words

“Whoever listens to you listens to me; whoever rejects you rejects me; but whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me.” (Luke 10:16)

If Christ made all things and we deny the words of Christ, then we deny Christ. Christ is the Word of God. His words are part of the very essence of who he is.

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” (John 1:14)

Our Role as Shepherds, Mentors, Guides, Leaders, Teachers, Preachers

We be called ter affirm tha worth of every individual without affirming sin. This be tha core message of Romans 3:23 and John 3:16.

Because . . . 

“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) “God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

In tha Son and in Truth we be called ter reach out ter and affirm them who be marginalized by society.

“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them.” (Matthew 19:14)

The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) (John 4:9)

Jesus was indignant. He reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed. (Mark 1:41–42)

Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. (Luke 10:33, 37)

God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (all!). (Romans 5:8)

In our zeal ter help and love others and hold up Christ as our savior, let us avoid turning sin in ter an entitlement and right. We never be entitled ter sin, not ever.

When we die ter Christ, we give up all our rights. He alone be right, just, and true. He alone ‘ill see ter it we get justice and ah fair shake.

All be flawed. All be born steeped in sin and heaped upon with all manner of imperfections, perversions, and wicked thinking.

Tha Son came not ter affirm our sin. He also came not ter judge us based on how we be wired, made, configured. Rather, tha Son came ’cause he took pity on us. He seen how broken we be. He loves us. Love us so much, that he died to set us free from sin.

Tha devil seeks ter bind us in sin. Tha Son seeks ter break tha chains of sin.

Thar be ah very fine line between an inclination ter sin and the act of sin.

As leaders and teachers, let us be wise in how we guide, fer Skipper will judge ever thought of tha heart and act of tha hands.

“Woe unto them who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness.” (Isaiah 5:20)

The decisions we make ter day ‘ill impact tha souls of ’em we may never meet.

As leaders and teachers we need ter be skilled in discerning tha difference between sin and sinners — between affirming people as they are without tha Son while also calling ’em ter holiness in tha Son.

It be ah familiar saying, but still true: Skip loves tha sinner and hates sin. Tha Son loves us as we are, but praise be ter him, he never leaves us as we are. He loves us ter much ter allow us ter remain in bondage ter sin.

Build bridges of reconciliation when possible.

When not, build rafts, so that when those living in darkness reach tah end of themselves and be desperate fer help, they find ah welcoming face eager ter take ’em in and lead ’em ter tha Son.

Salt Life

UMC Split


Lubber OpinionLubber Opinion

The views and opinions expressed by this lubber do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of the crew. Reader discretion be advised. – Staff


Jesus says, “Salt is good. Have salt in yourselves (Mark 9:50). You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot (Matthew 5:13).”

When individuals join the United Methodist Church, among other vows, they agree:

To renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness, reject the evil powers of the world, and repent of their sin; To accept the freedom and power God gives them to resist evil, injustice, and oppression; To receive and profess the Christian faith as contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments.

For years United Methodists have affirmed the primacy of Scripture. The 2016 UMC Discipline, states:

United Methodists share with other Christians the conviction that Scripture is the primary source and criterion for Christian doctrine. Through Scripture the living Christ meets us in the experience of redeeming grace. We are convinced that Jesus Christ is the living Word of God in our midst whom we trust in life and death.The biblical authors, illumined by the Holy Spirit, bear witness that in Christ the world is reconciled to God. The Bible bears authentic testimony to God’s self-disclosure in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ as well as in God’s work of creation.

Currently the United Methodists Church maintains that homosexual activity is immoral, bars gays and lesbians from serving as clergy, and opposes same sex marriage.

The United Methodist Church does not condone the practice of homosexuality and considers this practice incompatible with Christian teaching. We affirm that God’s grace is available to all. We will seek to live together in Christian community, welcoming, forgiving, and loving one another, as Christ has loved and accepted us. We implore families and churches not to reject or condemn lesbian and gay members and friends. We commit ourselves to be in ministry for and with all persons.

While persons set apart by the Church for ordained ministry are subject to all the frailties of the human condition and the pressures of society, they are required to maintain the highest standards of holy living in the world. The practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching. Therefore self-avowed practicing homosexuals are not to be certified as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve in The United Methodist Church.

To ensure that no annual conference board, agency, committee, commission, or council shall give United Methodist funds to any gay caucus or group, or otherwise use such funds to promote the acceptance of homosexuality or violate the expressed commitment of The UMC “not to reject or condemn lesbian and gay members and friends” (¶ 161G). The council shall have the right to stop such expenditures.

We affirm the sanctity of the marriage covenant that is expressed in love, mutual support, personal commitment, and shared fidelity between a man and a woman. We believe that God’s blessing rests upon such marriage, whether or not there are children of the union. We reject social norms that assume different standards for women than for men in marriage. We support laws in civil society that define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

What are the moral attitudes and worship practices of UMC members?

38.4% believe there are clear and absolute moral standards for what is right and wrong.
60.1% think homosexuality should be accepted by society.
17.9% “strongly favor” allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally.
9.7% think more women in the workforce is a change for the worse.
67.6% think that having children without getting married is a change for the worse.
6.5% believe that abortion should be illegal in all cases.
98.3% believe in God or a universal spirit,
83.6% believe in Heaven.
61% believe in Hell.
69.1% believe the Bible is the word of God.
37.1%  look to “religious teachings and beliefs” when it comes to questions of right and wrong.
37.4% believe churches and other religious organizations focus too much on rules.
82.5% think many religions can lead to eternal life.
61.9% pray at least once a day.
42.9% meditate at least once a week.
46% attend religious services at least once a week.
38.7% read scripture outside of religious services at least once a week.
25.1% participate in prayer groups, Scripture study groups or religious education programs at least once a week.
15.8% share their faith with “non-believers or people from other religious backgrounds” at least once a week.

Over the past year or so, many have suggested that those who believe the Bible to be God’s living word and the supreme moral authority, to leave the United Methodist Church and form a new denomination.

But consider how much Jesus enjoyed being with sinners and how much sinners enjoyed being with Jesus. If you have Jesus in you, sinners should like being with you!

If you are a UMC member who:

  • Believe the Bible is the word of God and the absolute moral authority for what is right and wrong
  • Believe all individuals deserve life more than we deserve our rights
  • Believe Heaven is real and without Christ we are destined for Hell
  • Believe that only a relationship with Christ and his righteousness can save us from our sins and lead to eternal life
  • Believe the “salt” of Christ can preserve the Bride of Christ

could it be that Jesus is calling you to be the “salt” that helps preserve the UMC?

Only One Thing Is Needed. Will We Choose What Is Best?

UMC Split


Lubber OpinionLubber Opinion

The views and opinions expressed by this lubber do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of the crew. Reader discretion be advised. – Staff


“Few things are needed—indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better [time with me]. This will not be taken from her.” (Luke 10:42)

Only one thing is needed to fill the pews, bring people to their knees, cause hands to be raised, and voices to sing with praise. Will we choose what is best?

Recently I participated in a survey from our UMC church that asked, “Why do you attend Worship?” I concluded my remarks by commenting on how every church runs the risk of devolving into the Church in Ephesus.

“I know your deeds,” Jesus says. “Your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.

When we love Jesus we cannot help but love others for we are filled with His Spirit and His Spirit is love. But when we love others before Jesus, we will end up loving neither others or Jesus.

Worship is a date with our Groom—or should be. Strangers can always tell when a couple is in love. They hold hands, compliment one another, discard distractions and fix their attention on the other. When we are in the early stages of love we will travel long distances to be with the one we love.

If church attendance is down, enthusiasm lacking, fall in love with Jesus, again—or for the first time—and your church will need to rent or build a larger venue to hold all who wish to celebrate the union of Christ with His Bride.

As churches and denominations consider reimagining what church means in this post-COVID culture, I suggest we focus less on what we want from worship and more on what Christ wants from us. With that in mind, I invite you to pray this modified prayer from Daniel.

“O, Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with all who love him and obey his commands, we at (YOUR CHURCH) have sinned and done wrong. We have turned away from your commands and laws. We are covered with shame because we have sinned against you. We are scattered because of our unfaithfulness to you. All have transgressed your law and turned away, refusing to obey you.

“All this distancing, our displacement, has come upon us, yet we have not sought your favor by turning from our sins and giving attention to your truth. You, O Lord, are righteous in everything you do, yet we have not obeyed you. O Lord, in keeping with all your righteous acts, turn away your anger and your wrath.

“Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servants. For your sake, O Lord, look with favor on your empty sanctuary. Give ear, O God, and hear. Open your eyes and see the despair and desolation of your people who bear the name of Christ. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. O Lord, listen! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, hear and act! For your sake, O my God, do not delay because your people bear your Name.” (Daniel 9:4-19)

If any of this resonates with your spirit, if you love Christ and wish to see (YOUR CHURCH) reflect his love and light into a world of darkness, I invite you to pray that all who call (YOUR CHURCH) home, will fall in love with Jesus again. When we align our will with His, mountains move, as do the hearts of others.

UMC Split On Hold . . . Maybe Forever

UMC Split

Lubber OpinionLubber Opinion

UMC Split On Hold . . . Maybe Forever: The views and opinions expressed by this lubber do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of the crew. Reader discretion be advised. – Staff

According to Juicyecumenism.com, at the 2021 WCA Global Legislative Assembly on Friday, April 30:

“A Virginia delegate proposed amending a resolution supporting the formation of the Global Methodist Church for orthodox United Methodists by adding the following language:

‘This assembly expresses its hope that if the scheduled General Conference of August 29-September 6, 2022 is postponed, then upon the announcement of postponement, the Wesleyan Covenant Association will work with others or independently legally to form as soon as possible the Global Methodist Church or another new denomination and begin immediate operations.’

“In the discussion that followed, delegates readily understood this as effectively saying that by 2022, we intended to split off from the rest of the UMC, with or without the Protocol. This proposal was overwhelmingly rejected.”

The 2021 WCA Global Legislative Assembly did pass:

“An amendment from a Missouri delegate to add the following sentence to a resolution endorsing the Protocol: “Finally if the General Conference does not happen or otherwise fails to implement the Protocol in 2022 the assembly encourages the Global Methodist Church to move forward without the Protocol.”

The passing of this amendment, its language, and the rejection of any departure before the 2022 General Conference may leave the future of a UMC split in doubt. If the General Conference is delayed in 2022—and who knows what the future holds for global travel or other international crisis—membership attrition throughout the United Methodist denomination may be such that a split becomes irrelevant.

Prior to 2000, church membership in America remained steady. Over the last twenty years, however, there has been a twenty percent drop in church membership—and this was pre-COVID. With the increased acrimony dividing our nation and congregations, to think the United Methodist Church can continue to delay a divorce without losing much, if not all its equity, could be wishful thinking.

U.S. Church Membership Falls Below Majority for First Time UMC Split

The good news remains that God knew about COVID before we knew. He knew the UMC was headed for a divorce before those in power attempted to act. God knows all.

Once, a long time ago, God said:

“Go, marry a promiscuous woman and have children with her, for like an adulterous wife this land is guilty of unfaithfulness to the Lord.” (Hosea 1:2)

Just as Gomer was unfaithful to Hosea and had to be redeemed, so we are redeemed by God through the death of his Son. In times past God has taken the initiative to restore a people to himself. It may very well be that God is asking those who affirm his words, power to transform lives, and authority over all creation—including marriage—to remain faithful to him in this broken relationship we call the United Methodist Church.