Bill Mefford, the #Pro-Life #UMC, and Grace

English: Lakeville United Methodist Church, th...
English: Lakeville United Methodist Church, the oldest UMC in New England (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The other day, the civil rights director at the Global Board on Church and Society did something stupid. This is not beyond ordinary for the GBCS, as they, as routine as Monday is to the first day of the week, do stupid things. He went to the March for Life rally, wrote a sign, too a picture, and posted in twitter. The usual sources picked up on it and went bananas.  What is not usually noted is that Bill issued an apology. Since his blog is by access only now, and his twitter account deleted, I have decided to repost it via Google cache:

It seems my picture of me holding a sign that said “I March for Sandwiches” has been taken entirely out of context and has caused quite a stir among some in the Twitter and social media world. I tend to hate general apologies – when people say they are sorry for “whatever they may have done that offended people.” I don’t think those are very sincere.

I also want to say that when I was at the event holding my sign I received nothing but laughter and cheers. Making folks laugh was my sole intent – it really was! It was afterward when this started making the rounds on social media that the hurt and anger began to rise. I understand why people are angry.

So, I am deeply sorry for the hurt and anger that this has caused people since the event. I honestly love to make people laugh and think, and the hurt and anger that people are feeling is not something I enjoy. At all.

I hope you will accept this if you are one of those who are offended. I would prefer to talk face to face, or to message somehow. I honestly believe that is how true reconciliation happens and I am more interested in that than in general apologies which might or might not be sincere. So, please reach out to me if you prefer that too. Maybe we can all be strengthened through this.

If you only want to hammer me, go ahead. Hey, it’s only Twitter.

I am committed to making a better world. And a funnier world. And that is why I post this now.

In a comment on this post, Bill writes,

Context matters so I will explain, I saw the march and was, as usual, impressed with the turnout and the good nature of the crowd. I then saw pro-choice marchers and marching and there was an instant change of the mood when they came into contact. In that context of anger between the two sides that I wanted to be funny. I actually talked to folks in the crowd and there was genuine laughter between me and the crowd while I was there. The anger and hurt have come later and for that I am truly sorry. I hope that helps.

Likewise, Bill Mefford’s boss, issued an apology.

This hasn’t stopped anyone from demanding Bill’s head, consequences, or even firing. Further, you now have Red State, that great bastion of right wing intellectual virtue, wading in, declaring the the UMC is pro-abortion.

I reached out to Bill during this fiasco yesterday to tell him he is in my prayers. Don’t get me wrong, I think the entire thing was stupid on his part. But, I also think we should take him at this word, that this was a poorly judged attempt at humor. Further, has asked forgiveness, said he was sorry, and acknowledged the hurt he has caused. As a Christian who proclaims that the man who said that we must forgive 70*7 is the same man who said, without anyone asking him to, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” is the same man Bill and I both declare is Lord.

If someone asks forgiveness, then give it to them.

Before one actually assumes The United Methodist Church is “pro-abortion” you need to read two statements. The first one is by Stephen Fife. The other one is the official stance of the UMC. Not only does the UMC reject late term abortions, but:

We recognize tragic conflicts of life with life that may justify abortion, and in such cases we support the legal option of abortion under proper medical procedures by certified medical providers. We support parental, guardian, or other responsible adult notification and consent before abortions can be performed on girls who have not yet reached the age of legal adulthood. We cannot affirm abortion as an acceptable means of birth control, and we unconditionally reject it as a means of gender selection or eugenics.

See also here.

If you browse the right wing sources, you will see all manner of diatribes against the pro-abortion UMC. Yet, our governing documents does not support this. What they want is an anti-abortion stance, even if the life of the mother is at stake. What they fail to realize is that virulent anti-abortionism among Protestants is something relatively new.

We need to be better than we are. Human dignity, I believe, begins at conception but does not end at sin or stupidity. What Bill did was stupid, but he apologized. Ask yourselves: if you were stupid, but asked forgiveness, wouldn’t you want it?

The Red State blogger who is attempting to lie about Bill and the UMC has since blocked several of us on Twitter. As such, I’m including a picture of the tweet mentioned above:

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the Liturgy… lex orandi, lex credendi

Saint John on Patmos
Saint John on Patmos (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Liturgy is at the same time the Kingdom of Heaven and our dwelling place, “a new Heaven and a new earth”, the point of convergence where all things find true meaning.

The Liturgy not only teaches us to broaden our horizon and our vision, to speak the language of love and communion, but also to learn how to live in love for one another, notwithstanding our differences and even our divisions.

The whole world is included in this great embrace, the communion of saints and all God’s cre­ation. The entire universe becomes “Cosmic Liturgy”, to cite the teaching of St Maximus the Confessor. Such a Liturgy can never become old or antiquated. – Patriarch Bartholomew, 2006 (when Pope Benedict visited him).

For all time’s sake: John Piper’s latest tweet stupidity

He pulled it down, but you know what… he’s still the south end of a northbound horse.

John Piper Rape Tweet

Since he took the tweet down, I decided to leave the tweet before and after to show where it was.

What to say about Christian #nihilism?

This article, written by a member of the World Reformed Fellowship (I am a member) serves a full plate of food for thought  about, perhaps, an explanation for the “clash of civilizations”.

Read the article here

Exploring the NA28 in @AccordanceBible

NA28 on Accordance

Behold, the NA28 is in the Original Languages package from Accordance Bible software!

As many of you know, the NA28 is the latest in the line for a critical edition of the Greek New Testament and is often used by scholars in deciding such things as textual variants and “what the original text” looked like.

Because I am working with Galatians and its original intent, I try to spend time in the Greek, rather than the usual translations. It reminds me that a translation is itself not the text, but simply a succinct commentary on the original text. However, as I am not a Greek scholar, I still need help from time to time in reading the Greek text. Accordance provides a real easy way to do this.

As I have noted before, my Mac runs Accordance like a dream. Indeed, Accordance beats nearly every program I have in operation speed, agility, and resource management. Those are big words for “It fits like a glove” with Mac. When I am reading GrGalatians, the words pop up immediately, without any lag time. Immediately below are pictures from my Macbook, followed by pictures from the iPad.

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I hope my NA28 and behold, Matthew.
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NA28, Galatians
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NA28, Galatians… with the Greek highlighted. Notice the bottom with the definition.

Admittedly, I have used Accordance more on iPad than I have in real life (i.e., my Macbook). I almost prefer it, actually.

One of the things I wish to highlight here is the learning curve. I almost refuse to read the directions because I want to see what it is like to dive in. It took me all of 2 minutes to figure how to install the NA28 on my iPad. Go to library, installed purchases, select the new module, hit the arrow and you are done. Because the app is stripped down, the learning curve is small. I don’t mean stripped down as in useless, but stripped down as in minimalism so as to make room for more usefulness.

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NA28, Galatians – iPad
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Say, what is that word? Let me highlight it in the NA28
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Wait.. I can search it by different means… from WITHIN the Accordance Bible software app?
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I can search… I can search for it my Lemma in the Accordance Bible software app.

In all honesty, the NA28 (or other Greek modules, I assume) in the Accordance Bible app is my favorite way to read it.

Back the desktop version, for a minute. The original language features includes speaking, parsing, a word chart, and a diagram. Screenshots are below:

diagram
NA28, Accordance “Galatians 3.10, diagram”
parsing
NA28, Accordance “Galatians 3.10, parsing”
speaking
NA28, Accordance “Galatians 3.10, speaking.” Admittedly, the voice is not as smooth as Siri, but if you are looking for a way to pronounce a word, it will suffice.
Word chart
NA28, Accordance “Galatians 3.10, word chart”

 

Overall, reading the Original Languages are easy in Accordance and should benefit students and scholars of these marvelous tongues.



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