Is the CUP half full, half empty or still broken?

broken_chaliceIn all of the discussion of the various proposals for the UMC at the upcoming General Conference, I find myself drawn back to one in particular. No doubt there are some who will write this off as me just being my normal conservative self, but that is not actually the case. Let me explain. When I began blogging here with Joel some time ago, I was very hopeful for some sort of compromise, though I confess I did not know how it would look or what form it might take, but I at least thought it possible that we could come to some agreement and arrangement that allowed all of us to operate under the banner of United Methodist Church in good conscience. I even had a few ideas about some things that might work, though I have no clue if they would be legal within the frame work of the church or not. Then the process started breaking down, or at least I started paying more attention to it and saw it breaking down. The vows of ordination were violated without consequences and often with reward in the form of praise and the 15 minutes of fame that comes with it. When pastors were disciplined for breaking their vows, the punishments were negated by those groups that agreed with them. Finally the call came for open disobedience to the Book of Discipline. The thing that holds us together as a denomination (The Book of Discipline) was being ignored and circumvented and we began to act more like we were in the time of the Judges having no king and doing whatever was right in our own eyes, instead of recognizing that we have a King and doing what is right in the eyes of His church.
The rhetoric heated up and any hope of compromise slipped away as the voice considered to be the largest and loudest for “full inclusion” announced that there would be no real compromise, only stepping stones to full inclusion. Then there was the Conectional Table talks that were supposed to help, but were instead hijacked by a group who thinks shattering communion chalices is a good idea resulting in a proposal to change the BoD without the promised discussion from both sides of the issue. The accusations began to fly toward anyone who was not willing to tow the party line so to speak. If you do not support full inclusion you are homophobic, you are complicit in murder because the blood of every LGBTQ teenager is on your hands, are bigoted, possessed of   a hard heart, a pharisee, and many more unkind and untrue things culminating recently with the accusation by Matt Berryman, executive director of Reconciling Ministries Network, that if you do not agree with their causes then you are not indeed worshiping God, but rather are in solidarity with pharaoh’s brick builders, the golden calf and Baal and not with the God who comes near in Jesus. That is not a call for inclusion by the way, it is bullying at best, and the type of spiritual abuse that the group claims is done to others at worst. If you agree with me then you can follow Jesus, if not you can follow Baal. I have little desire to go into what could be involved in worshiping Baal, but suffice it to say it is not pretty. Yep, if you believe that the act of sex between two people of the same gender is a sin, then you worship pagan nature deities and have broken the first two commandments.

That rather (probably to) long introduction is how I got to where I am. I include it so that there is some explanation of how I got here and why. It is, for some reason, important for me that it not be thought I started here as I did not. I got here based on what I encountered. So, on to the CUP plan. You can find the plan here.

The first proposal involves the just resolution process. In a nut shell, it requires that the one who has brought the complaint be satisfied that there has been a resolution that was indeed just. Some are concerned that this could be used to force clergy trials and potential punitive measures, and that is true, it could be. It could also be a powerful tool of reconciliation as it was originally intended. In many cases the process as we have it has been used not for justice, or even resolution, but as a way to circumvent the spirit of what the BoD prescribes as it’s process by using the letter of it. Is there some potential for abuse? I imagine so, there always is, but I choose to think that it is much more likely the Spirit will move when the accused and the accuser are both consulted and brought together for resolution rather than the current system we have now that does not require that. After all, a relationship between two people can not properly be restored by only one of them.

The second proposal again refers to the just resolution process. In a nutshell, it requires that the process requires an apology for any wrong doing and a commitment to change the behavior. That really should not be a sticking point. Isn’t that the point of the Christian walk to begin with? I can not see any problems with “I am sorry, I will not do it again.”

The third proposal starts getting a bit more complicated all in all. The purpose is to increase the accountability of our Bishops. This seems a necessary step as there has been at least one instance where a bishop went into the jurisdiction of another bishop after being repeatedly asked not to, for the sole purpose of performing a same sex marriage. Apart from that sort of thing showing a basic lack of respect for ones peers, it also demonstrates that the process we have in place now failed mightily as a deterrent to such action and failed also to properly handle it after the fact. This hopefully clears up that process and holds our Bishops to a higher standard than they are currently held to. I am of the opinion that a large part of our problem is that our Bishops are able to violate their vows without penalties, then why not the pastors as well? There must be more accountability for our Bishops. If the leadership does not follow the processes we have, then the rest of the church will not either.

The fourth proposal is where the real sticking points for most begin I imagine. The proposal is that the penalty, should a trial find the clergy member guilty, be 1 year of credential forfeiture for a first offense and complete removal for a second offense. Let’s be honest and state the obvious, this is harsh and I would not say otherwise. What we do know is that 1 month is not long enough as RMN has already effectively negated the penalty by paying for that in one case and suggesting they would in other cases. This is specific to the issue of same sex marriage. The reasoning is that this is the issue of the day and the one that is causing discord. To be perfectly honest, I would like to see it expanded quite frankly to include all cases of sexual immorality and all cases of teaching doctrine contrary to what is laid out as our unchangeable standards of doctrine, but that is just me. Why so harsh though? Well the first rational is as a deterrent. Yes, I know, deterrents don’t always work, but they sometimes do. Another reason is that it is not a secret that in certain jurisdictions that pastors can perform same sex marriages (which are again against the teachings of the church and the BoD and in violation of their vows) without penalty or with little penalty. We have seen cases of 1 day suspensions for example which are ineffective. The hope is that this will act as discipline, that is to say that the church is trying to bring one of it’s pastors back into the teachings of her. Should that hope not be realized then the church, in the interests of protecting what she believes to be the truth, must remove those who are preaching and modeling actions and beliefs contrary to that. This is becoming a larger and larger problem within the church in general as we see pastors denying the bodily resurrection, denying the trinity, etc., but that is another blog.

The fifth proposal allows for those who can not live within the BoD to leave. Some have suggested this is an attempt to purge the progressives, others have said it is a way for large conservative churches to leave. I suggest it is exactly what it says, namely an act of grace by the church that allows those who can not follow out BoD to leave, property intact, to continue ministry consistent with their conscience. This does not in anyway prevent a church from staying or force a church to leave, but it does require that a church teach those things consistent with the BoD. It does not prevent efforts to change the BoD, just asks that, if you remain, you not be just the opposition, but the loyal opposition. Suggestions otherwise I think are more rhetoric than reality. Should the large conservative churches however choose to leave, then so be it. We are a people of faith and we will move forward in ministry anyway. Should the entire Western Jurisdiction decide to go it alone, so be it. We are a people of faith and will move forward in ministry anyway. What we are not is a people who should desire to hold others captive.

The sixth proposal protects the pensions of those who have served the UMC should they withdraw. This should be something that is easily agreed to as it is only right that the benefits of one who has served be protected and granted them. A worker is worth their wage and all that good stuff.

There still may be hope for some sort of compromise on the LGBTQ conflict that has gone on longer than I have been alive. I don’t know, and in truth I can not see it from here, but the thing that obstructs my vision is that there can be no good faith for the future when there is no good faith in the present. If we do not follow what has been decided by the church now, why should we have any confidence that we will follow it in the future, especially when the voices that claim to represent the full inclusion groups have stated that no compromise is possible. I can not see a future compromise from here because I can not see present obedience and loyalty to what the church has determined now.

Another concern is not, as some will undoubtedly claim, the slippery slope, but rather what is properly called a precedent. IF the pattern established is that should we not like what is in the BoD all we need to do is ignore it, break vows, and shatter chalices then the future unity of the church is already lost. Contrary to the belief of some the problem is not that there is opposition, the problem is that it is not loyal opposition. The problem is not that some seek change, the problem is the manner in which it is sought. I have often thought that the root issue is not any one particular thing, but is in reality a question of authority. The authority of the church to set it’s standard, the authority of the church to protect it’s doctrine, the authority of scripture and where it’s place is properly, etc. We can start to work through those issues of authority by recognizing the authority of the church and her doctrines. Until that happens, all of the other discussions, no matter how fun or tedious, no matter how rewarding or frustrating, can not help the future of the church. After all, if the authority is not respected and enforced when we disagree, then what right do we have to expect it enforced when we do agree with it? In 2004 the communion chalice was shattered both literally and figuratively. That thing which holds the blood of Christ that should bind us together lays in pieces on the floor. I support the CUP plan because it is my belief that it is the glue that allows that chalice to be repaired so that once again the blood of Christ may fill it and bind us together.

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7 Replies to “Is the CUP half full, half empty or still broken?”

  1. II was born into the Community of Believers in the First Presbyterian Church at LaGrange, GA. I became a Methodist soon after my wife and I graduated from LaGrange College, a UM-Affiliate school. One major aspect attracted me to the Methodist fellowship: The church’s social action policy. This policy was particularly important to me after I became the father of two highly intelligent daughters. I see the unnecessary LGBTQ controversy in the light of the UM social policy for justice. Yes, I am a financially supportive member of the Reconciling Ministry. Even so, the RM does not speak authoritatively for the UM as a whole.

    I am reasonably confident that the Book of Discipline was developed in keeping with the Wesleyan Quadrilateral. The BoD, however, does not constitute a sacred scripture.

    ‘In keeping with the WQ, the BoD has been modified several times in the past. Importantly, I do not believe revelation–transmission of truth from God to humans through the aegis of the Holy Spirit–ended with the Book of Revelation. Most of us are aware of the sound theological and scientific arguments that cast doubt on the validity of the Biblical injunctions against homosexuality, which I consider a facet of God’s continuing revelation.

    I grew up in the south (born in 1938). I well remember the same type of arguments against full equality for our black brothers and sisters as we see today for LGBTQ brothers and sisters. Similarly for women.

    So, the LGBTQ controversy is contentious and threatens dissolution of our fellowship, belieing the concept of “United.” I think the BofD should be changed to afford full fellowship and communion for our LGBTQ brothers and sisters. If the UM splits over this issue, so be it. I do not, however, agree that congregations that wish to leave the fellowship should be allowed to take their property with them, although I can live with the idea. I can also live with the idea of a temporary solution: For a transitional period, let’s have local option: Each congregation, by an annual vote, can decide for or against local inclusion/exclusion of LGBTQs into full fellowship. Which congregations will then thrive? Laissez les bons temps router!

    If the BoD is changed and disruption occurs, I am confident that a more inclusive and vibrant United Methodist Church will arise.

    1. First, the BoD predated any mention of the Quadralateral. It started in the 1870s I believe and has been modified every four years as needed. Just a historical note.
      I confess that I do not understand what in the social justice policies of the UMC has to do with same sex marriage, save for the church saying that because they believe that sex between two people of the same gender is a sin therefore they can not support it. That is held in tension with equal rights under law for all. Who the church decides to marry and ordain is not a matter of ‘rights’ but a matter of the ‘rites’ of the church. Those have never been available to anyone who walks up but rather are entrusted to the church to perform as it sees fit.
      No, the BoD does not constitute sacred scripture, but it does include the basic doctrines of the church which is our understanding of scripture. It is the understanding of the UMC that sex between two people of the same gender is a sin, and that understanding is indeed based in scripture. Yes, there are differing interpretations of scripture and I would not say otherwise, but this is how the UMC understands the scriptures in this regard.
      “I think the BoD should be changed to afford full fellowship and communion for our LGBTQ brothers and sisters.” That is already guaranteed by the BoD and the policies of the UMC. What is not allowed is marriage and ordination, and those things are not open to everyone in general anyway. The church (universal) has always decided whom it will marry and ordain. Anyone upon their profession of faith may become a member in good standing in the UMC and be afforded all of the same privileges and responsibilities as I have for example. Nowhere in scripture will you find a guarantee of marriage for Christians nor will you find a guarantee of ordination for Christians.
      The idea of a local option is interesting and has been proposed by some in differing forms. The basic problem with that is then you have congregation A saying that sex between two people of the same gender is a sin and congregation B that says it is not. That is not how the structure of the UMC is set up. Only the General Conference may speak for the church. It brings about other problems, such as how do you handle ordination then as pastors are assigned to churches by the Bishop, not chosen by a local congregation. That would also mean each annual conference would need to wrestle with the issue of ordination. Is it right to force a pastor who is married to a member of the same sex on a congregation that believes that to be sinful? It ends up creating more problems than it solves I think.
      It does pain me that you financially support RMN however given the vitriol that comes from their executive director toward those who hold a different interpretation of scripture. For your piece of mind, I assure you that I do not sorship Baal or the golden calf as he has suggested.

      1. I do not support Matt Berryman’s latest provocations: I think the Reconciling Ministry is bigger than him. I would urge you to consider how, over the centuries, Methodists have altered the BofD based upon changing views of Holy Scripture, e.g., slavery, civil rights, role of women in the church and society.

        I feel as if you are seeking stability in a changing world. Now, some aspects of our faith must remain constant as society changes. In my opinion, LGBTQ issues do not meet that qualification. From my perspective, the following must remain constant, all else if open for discussion: (1) God, known to our Hebrew foreparents as Yahweh, created all that exists, seen and unseen; (2) God loves us and his creation; (3) If we live, we live to God, if we die, we die to God; so, if we live or if we die, we are God’s; (4) No circumstances exist under which we can be separated from the love of God in Jesus Christ. What more certainty do we need?

        I am aware that the concept of the Quadrilateral was not enunciated by John W; however, he used its principles in his discussions/teachings on spiritual matters. I’m too tired to look up the name of the professor at Southern Methodist University that proposed the Quadrilateral as used by JW.

        I do think the idea of local option has difficulties and I consider it only as a transition.

        I do not believe the BofD is the “final” word on how we should live in the faith but is only a guide, more suitable for administrative matters. Better to live in accordance of how we think (in terms of the Quadrilateral?) Jesus would have us live.

        Finally for tonight re LGBTQ issues and my position that LGBTQ persons should be included in ALL aspects in our fellowship: If this inclusion is not of God, it will fail; if it is of God, we do not want to be against God.

        1. Thanks for taking the time to read. First, Berryman has been pretty consistent in his insults, they have just gotten more bold. I will believe that RMN is bigger than him when they actually do something to stop him from saying the things he does. Then again they still list themselves as an affiliate of Love Prevails and they think that smashing communion chalices is ok and disrupting and hijacking meetings fo the church is a good thing…but I digress.
          Let me state that I have absolute zero problem with those who are working to change the BoD. We have a process for doing so and I trust the Holy Spirit to move within that process to bring about the will of God. RMN and others do not however advocate working within that process and do not trust the General Conferences of the church. One has to wonder if it is actually faith and trust if it is only when you agree with it, but again, I digress.
          Whatever you or I may think about the BoD, clergy and Bishops have taken a vow to uphold it. The position of the church on homoexual behavior has not changed since the merger in 1958 at the very least, though the language has changed to clarify and meet the challenges of those who tried to use the letter of the BoD to get around the spirit of it. It is interesting to note that those same people (or at the very least people supporting the same cause) now complain that others want to apply the letter of the law. Again, one has to wonder how good a person’s word is if they make a vow take an oath, only to break it as they see fit. That is what the CUP plan actually attempts to address. It does not, in anyway alter the churches stance on anything, but it does change the enforcement process of the BoD toward those who break it in the cases of pastors and bishops. The way that our church government is set up is such that only the GC can speak for the entire church and that pastors/bishops, etc take a voluntary vow to uphold the BoD. Like any agreement, when there is a violation of it, there is a consequence. We teach our young children this after all, why should we not hold adults to the same standard? My step son agrees to clean his room. He understands that if he does not, there is a consequence that is consistent and enforced. He does not desire the consequence so by and large he cleans his room. In pretty much any system, this is how rules are treated. There are those who have circumvented the rules and hidden behind the policies of the church in order to break her rules without consequence. That is not good for anyone. Like any organization, those involved agree to a certain base line behavior while representing that organization. The CUP plan seeks to do the same for the church.
          I noticed in your comments you spoke a great deal about LGBTQ individuals and the church but little about the plan itself. I will briefly try to address your thoughts however. I have little concern for stability in a shifting world, so your spidy sense was off there 😉 I do care deeply about the church however and believe that we submit to her as the authority on matters of faith when we are at odds with others. I believe this because I trust the process of the church and trust in her guidance. If we don’t why are we here after all? As for those things that must remain out of bounds, I differ to the creeds, as they reflect the basic tenets of Christian faith. I am a faith once and for all delivered type, not a progressive revelation type. God has not changed his mind this week after all. That is not to say that the church has always been correct, as it has not, nor would I claim it to have been so. You mentioned women and their role in the church and how we have changed on that. You are correct, we have, but scripture has not. We can look back at the scriptures and see a narrative that begins in the OT and extends into the NT where women are given leadership roles in the church. We can also look to our heritage and Wesley himself who ordained at least one woman to preach. With slavery we see the same sort of narrative from the OT where proper treatment, including provisions for freedom, to the NT where Paul makes a plea for the freedom of an escaped slave. We have the rather specific words of Christ about setting the captives free even which I believe was not just a metaphor. We have the example of the early church which did not oppose slavery as it should have, but regularly took up collections to free slaves, etc. We can look back and see a consistent narrative moving toward freedom for us all. To be perfectly honest, from a Biblical perspective, what passed for slavery here could not possibly justified based on treatment alone. The Methodist church did split over slavery, and rightly so, so while yes, each side sincerely believed it was correct, the church did not get it wrong, a part of the church did. That aside, because the church was wrong about A does not mean the church is wrong about B. If we applied that logic across the board, we could all do anything that we wanted and it would be ok. There is also no narrative in the Bible that leads to anything resembling an endorsement as two people of the same gender engaging in sex as being acceptable. It simply is not present. In the absence of that, what we are left with is the narrative of male/female(s) interaction as what is acceptable, and by the time we get to the NT, we are given the words of Jesus, supported by Wesley’s notes, which endorse the one man/one woman ideal as the model for marriage. I don’t have any desire to get into a this verse that verse argument with this, the point is that the position is not because I have not examined other issues in the church or because I am seeking stability or anything else, it is what I have personally understood the scriptures to mean within the interpretive method that I believe is best, it is the traditional teaching of the church, it is reasonable to think that, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, what scripture has said is indeed still true, and both in my personal life and in the life of the UMC, there is no evidence of the Holy Spirit moving to change the position. There is your quad coming to a completely different conclusion. That is why we have the BoD and the GC as the voice of the church so, that in the presence of disagreement, there is a voice that moderates and maintains the witness of the church. Without that voice, there is only doctrinal chaos, and that is not good for anyone.
          “I do think the idea of local option has difficulties and I consider it only as a transition.” This actually again demonstrates what I have said before, that there is not a compromise position in the UMC, there is only my way or no way. I get that as we all think that we are correct. Again, that is why submission to the authority of the church is vital so that in those disagreements, we can still function as one body. We trust the process and trust the church and trust the Spirit is guiding it all.
          “I do not believe the BofD is the “final” word on how we should live in the faith but is only a guide, more suitable for administrative matters. Better to live in accordance of how we think (in terms of the Quadrilateral?) Jesus would have us live.” When we do this we operate and live under our own authority. Our authority, our opinion, our, our, our…where in the our is the one body? Where in the our is there room for the church? If we could each on our own be trusted to be an authority, Christ would not have established the church. Even in that vein, when you take an oath or vow, you should follow it. That is what some in the church, pastors and bishops, are not doing and what CUP seeks to correct.
          “Finally for tonight re LGBTQ issues and my position that LGBTQ persons should be included in ALL aspects in our fellowship: If this inclusion is not of God, it will fail; if it is of God, we do not want to be against God.” I agree. At the moment it is obviously not of God, so again the CUP plan becomes important as it guides the clergy and bishops back to right relationship with the church and with Christ. Also, it is fair to ask when will we know? I am fine with the same thing every 4 years as that is our process, but when is it ok to say that it is not of God?

          1. Scott, I understand your position—which is well thought out—but I don’t agree with your idea of ceding great and binding authority to tradition. Quite frankly, I do believe that, if persons—especially clergy—take vows to live and act in accordance with the BofD and find they cannot, those persons should voluntarily give up their positions. In a sense, I feel the same way about “ordinary” members like me, although I prefer—for the present—to work for changes within the communion precisely because I don’t have a position of authority. I am tempted at times, however, to remove myself from the communion.

            I don’t see much difference between Mark Berryman’s actions and those of civil rights leaders/agitators during the tumult of the 1960s. Keep in mind, many of these “protestors” came from the UMC. The more attention paid to Mark Berryman’s outlandish actions and proposals, the more he will continue. Perhaps, we need agitators.

            More personal: I have an earned doctorate in Biochemistry and 20 years of academic biomedical research followed by 20 years of clinical research in the pharmaceutical industry. That is, I am a scientist. Once of the major aspects of science is its iconoclastic nature. For that reason, I don’t necessary agree that tradition is always definitive as a guiding principle. The scientific literature is replete with examples of iconoclastic scientists overturning traditional axioms and ideas. Please keep in mind that in Western Christianity, science was originally considered a means of understanding God’s revelation in the natural world. Of course, I see no inherent conflict between science and religion.

            I don’t agree with your interpretations of the role of women and slavery but that OK, we can agree to disagree.

            I still maintain that, if we cede so much tradition to the strictures against LGBTQ issues, we must accept all of the other “baggage” in Holy Stricture. When you posit “differences” for Leverage marriage, women, stoning of non-virgin brides, you’re simply following right along the path I follow in a non-tradition interpretation of LGBTQ issues.

            This tread has reinforced my idea that the UMC should split on the issue of LGBTQ inclusion/exclusion. As long as the southern, some of the southwestern, and the African conferences remain in the UMC, the GC is highly unlikely to change the BofD strictures on LGBTQ issues. While regrettable, splitting the denomination might well be better than the continuing discord we face now and seem incapable of solving. If we split, over time, we’ll see which faction not only survives but thrives and makes the most positive impact on modern society.

            Yes, there is a core of traditional values that we must maintain—as I previously outlined—but prohibitions against LGBTQ full inclusions ain’t one of those values. We have more important issues upon which we must focus.

      2. (Very much a sidenote on this, sorry) I’ve read a Discipline, for Methodist societies I believe, from 1796 with notes from Coke and Asbury. So the BoD or something resembling it is indeed very old.

  2. I will be my obnoxious self.
    I prefer to be a happy-camper, listening to rather non-controversial sermons, that do not touch on politics or hell-bent Fire and brimstone doctrinal issues. I like feel-good sermons. So I will leave a church if they start dictating from the pulpit for either one side or the other on the issue. I can live with an individual’s stated personal opinion. But I draw the line at personal opinions being stated as fact/doctrine from the pulpit. I am speaking about what actually happens at church. Blogs can state all sides. Conferences, as far as I am concerned, can fight wars among members, but it doesn’t affect me. I wouldn’t ever be at one anyway. If they project political fights from conferences into the Sunday service (which has not happened yet that I have seen), then I would leave.

    Sorry in advance for copy/paste of a long scripture, but it illustrates my problem with Yahweh/Baal issues on doctrine. If it is THAT important, why isn’t there some direct intervention by God. I suppose the stories from 3000 years ago, assuming they are true, meant God thought it was worth intervening then. But not so much, now. My conclusion is that the issue is like Ahab chasing, and trying to kill, the White Whale. Useless endeavor. Better to live, and let live.

    1 Kings 18: 21And Elijah came near unto all the people, and said, How long go ye limping between the two sides? if Jehovah be God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word. 22Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, am left a prophet of Jehovah; but Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men. 23Let them therefore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on the wood, and put no fire under; and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on the wood, and put no fire under. 24And call ye on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of Jehovah; and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken.
    25And Elijah said unto the prophets of Baal, Choose you one bullock for yourselves, and dress it first; for ye are many; and call on the name of your god, but put no fire under. 26And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped about the altar which was made. 27And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud; for he is a god: either he is musing, or he is gone aside, or he is on a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth and must be awaked. 28And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lances, till the blood gushed out upon them. 29And it was so, when midday was past, that they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening oblation; but there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded.
    30And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me; and all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of Jehovah that was thrown down. 31And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of Jehovah came, saying, Israel shall be thy name. 32And with the stones he built an altar in the name of Jehovah; and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed. 33And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid it on the wood. And he said, Fill four jars with water, and pour it on the burnt-offering, and on the wood. 34And he said, Do it the second time; and they did it the second time. And he said, Do it the third time; and they did it the third time. 35And the water ran round about the altar; and he filled the trench also with water. 36And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening oblation, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, O Jehovah, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. 37Hear me, O Jehovah, hear me, that this people may know that thou, Jehovah, art God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again. 38Then the fire of Jehovah fell, and consumed the burnt-offering, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. 39And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, Jehovah, he is God; Jehovah, he is God. 40And Elijah said unto them, Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape. And they took them; and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there.

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