When Christians Get It Wrong

UMC Split

When Christians Get It Wrong

In the second chapter of Adam Hamilton’s book When Christians Get It Wrong, Hamilton writes:

“John was also turned off by the way many Christians approached modern science. John 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 John might go if the pair stumbled upon one another on the road ter Emmaus.

John: “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.”

“John, you are not alone in your judgment of the Father’s words,” the Sun 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) John, Is it you? 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? But yes, 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 Sun 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, John. 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

UMC Split

Slicing and Dicing with Jesus

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

But the Sun 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 Sun 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 Sun 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 Sun 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 Sun whar baptized? Withholding the blood of the Sun and his body in communion from the unrepentant?

Think on this a wee little bit: anyone who refuses ter go with the Sun 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 Sun 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 Sun.

The Sun created all things fer himself  (Colossians 1:16). All creation whar made fer the Sun. 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 Sun ‘as already defeated that old snake (Revelation 1:18). The devil’s time be coming ter a close, but befer the Sun 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 Sun desires the separating and sorting ter commence (Luke 12:51). Question be, will we go with the Sun or the devil? Will we fall ter the temptation of doubting Skipper’s words, the Sun’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

UMC Split

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 Sun first walked this earth. A large crowd of folks who once followed him at first ceased gathering with his disciples when the Sun’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 Sun. “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 Sun 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 Sun, believe in him, and born anew in his Spirit also be filled with demons… be near ’bout what the Pharisees accused the Sun 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 Sun.

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 Sun ter the world. And what did the Sun 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 Sun, ‘ave his Holy Spirit of Truth in ya, pray fer those who seek ter isolate themselves from the body. Pray that the Sun ‘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 Sun ‘ill continue ter gather and worship and praise his holy name, of this ya kin be sure.