Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Letter to a Bishop in W. PA!

Hello! Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Theo and I am Administrative Assistant to the person who is in charge of the web site, Circuit Rider's Range. His given name is Clayton D. Harriger and he is an ordained elder in the Western PA Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. There are United Methodists, including those in positions of leadership, who get extremely upset with him about some things. If you ever go to his web site, you will see what I mean. Anyway, a resolution was passed in the 2009 session of the Western PA Annual Conference in which each clergy person was to pay $25 to support a fund which would assist clergy on what is described as "short-term disability." Each member of the clergy was expected to pay this, including those who are retired. CDH recently received a letter from Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton reminding him that he had not yet paid the $25.00. So, CDH responded with a letter and enclosed a check for $25.00. BTW, Theo is my shortened name which CDH gave me -- an explanation about my longer name is given at the web site. Now, here is the letter.

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton
Western PA Annual Conference
The United Methodist Church

Dear Bishop Bickerton:

I received your letter reminding me that I owe $25.00 as my part in the one time contribution (pertaining to RS 404 – 2009 Annual Conference session) which is expected of all clergy in the conference. This is to inform you that I am paying this under protest. The reasons are as follows:

First, whoever dreamed this debacle up didn’t give any serious thought to fairness in such an assessment. There is a big difference between my income and yours, clergy with the “plush” appointments in the conference, the district superintendents, and even those clergy at the lower end of the salary scale. The last I heard, bishops are making something like a 6 figure annual salary, are they not? Therefore, let those in the upper salary ranges pay more on this “short-term disability” program and show some mercy toward us retirees.

Second, I own my own home and pay taxes on my property. I pay all expenses to maintain my home. I pay for all furnishings for my home. I pay all utility expenses for my home. I pay the insurance on my home. You and the active clergy on the other hand have some very nice perks – you have your home furnished with major appliances and you do not personally pay taxes on your home. You do not pay maintenance costs for the home in which you live. You do not pay the utilities for your home. And you do not have to pay the insurance on your home, except if you choose to have your personal possessions insured. But that is far different than the total insurance bill for a residence such as the one in which I and my wife presently live!

Third, you who are active clergy have advantages in health coverage that we retirees do not have. We were kicked out of the dental plan a few years ago, and finally someone decided that we retirees should have some coverage, but it is nothing to make the front page of the local newspaper. I have paid a few thousand dollars just for dental work alone because of extreme limitations in the plan as applied to retirees. So I am having expenses where you in the active clergy category do not!

Finally, there has been a heavy stress on the “connectional system” and “covenant” – you have been one to remind us in the conference of this. OK, why are such words as “fairness” and “equity” obviously missing when it comes to the “connection” and RS 404? The retirees’ share should have been in the $5 to $7 range maximum, while you active clergy could far easier pay $200.00 or $150.00 than I can pay the 5 bucks!

Enclosed is my check for $25.00 which is submitted under protest.

Still contending at, blogging at and warning at

Clayton D. Harriger, Elder in full connection, W. PA Annual Conference

PS – On another issue related to the “connection” – what hasn’t been realistically addressed is the “infection within the connection” which is why the United Methodist Church is in a state of decline!

cc: The Rev. Alyce Weaver Dunn, newly appointed DS for the Johnstown District

I did not sit in the assembly of the mockers, nor did I rejoice; I sat alone because of Your hand, for You have filled me with indignation. --- Jeremiah 15:17

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

That Gulf Oil Spill - A Certain Fact Commonly and Vigorously Denied!

"Then they will answer, 'Because they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, who brought them out of the land of Egypt, and embraced other gods, and worshiped them and served them; therefore He has brought all this calamity on them.'" --- 2 Chronicles 7:22

Therefore thus says the LORD: "Behold, I will surely bring calamity on them which they will not be able to escape; and though they cry out to Me, I will not listen to them. --- Jeremiah 11:11

"Because you have burned incense and because you have sinned against the LORD, and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD or walked in His law, in His statutes or in His testimonies, therefore this calamity has happened to you, as at this day." --- Jeremiah 44:23

It is dominating news everywhere on a worldwide basis and the longer the crisis continues, the more the assignment of blame and responsibility escalates! One wonders if President Obama's hatchetman, Rahm Emanuel, continues to play the favorite string on his fiddle which gushes a familiar tune, "Never let a crisis go to waste."

As the president continues to wear out Air Force One (will hundreds of millions have to be spent for a replacement before his term ends?) he is finding out as he walks along beaches with oil penetrating them that things just don't happen automatically when he opens his mouth and gives a command -- you know, like "Fix that ##$$@@%% leak!"

What is really pathetic in this happening is the fact that the president, his administration, the members of the U.S. Congress and the "experts" on deep sea oil drilling fail to realize another dimension in what is termed an environmental disaster of the first magnitude.

Since we have for decades as a nation chosen to give the Creator of the universe an obscene gesture as to our response to His claims and His call that we repent of our sins, receive His Son, Jesus Christ, as Savior and Lord, and commit to seeking His holy will and purpose for us, then we can only expect a series of calamities in our national experience as the blessings of God are withdrawn!

God has clearly established the fact that a sane, sensible, serene, stable, secure, and stellar society is experienced on basis of total obedience to Him. To reject Him is to become the target of unimaginable calamities and ultimately judgment and total destruction if there is refusal to repent. The principles as to how this comes into play are spelled out throughout the Scriptures, but especially in Deuteronomy 28. In that chapter a sharp contrast is drawn as to what happens when a nation obeys God as opposed to what happens when disobedience is chosen by the majority of the citizens and its leaders!

There will be large numbers who will vehemently deny that God has anything to do whatsoever with what happened in the Gulf of Mexico. Granted, there are any number who deny that God even exists, or if He does, He just kind of looks on indifferently as to what is going on in this world. A greater number may claim there is a God and that they "believe" in Him -- but they live day by day as though He doesn't exist -- what some describe as being a "practical atheist" -- insisting there is a God but denying Him by personal lifestyle!

But what if.....?

Yes, the day will likely come that just maybe the leak will be "fixed" but the damage that has taken place up to that moment is impossible to fully and accurately calculate. Plus the fact that for those willing to face the reality, there is the recognition that Almighty God does interact with the members of the human race and the nations into which they are divided. What is on the divine "agenda" so far as the schedule of future calamities are concerned as Jesus Christ tarries in His personal return to this confused and chaotic world?

"And they shall know that I am the LORD, and that I have not said in vain that I would bring this calamity upon them." --- Ezekiel 6:10

Vengeance is Mine, and recompense; their foot shall slip in due time; for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things to come hasten upon them.' --- Deuteronomy 32:35

Monday, June 7, 2010

Helen Thomas Telling the Israelis Where to Go!

On the May 27 video, Thomas says Israelis should "get the hell out of Palestine," suggesting they go to Germany, Poland or the U.S. --- statement in an internet news release on June 7, 2010

White House correspondent, Helen Thomas, is calling it quits after controversial comments about Israel became publicly known by means of a video which recorded the remarks on May 27th. Maybe some tolerance should be shown for an 89-year-old who is long overdue for retirement somewhere outside of the White House from which she did her "reporting" since 1960.

But on the other hand the remarks reflect the spirit of large numbers of people who aren't quite so bold as to state their feelings about Israel publicly. And this certainly is also true of the leadership of a number of nations in regard to true feelings about the Jewish people. It has certainly been revealed on a continual basis at the United Nations when the nation of Israel is the subject of "discussion," if it can be called that! Attitudes on the part of the U. S. government toward Israel have been obviously shifting in recent months with Israel expected to dance to the tune that is being played in the Oval Office of Washington DC.

For centuries the Israelite people have been despised and hated more than any other national identifiable group of people. Efforts to destroy them have failed again and again. For instance the Babylonians destroyed the ancient Israelite kingdom of Judah in 586 B.C. Can anyone identify a Babylonian in today's world? Yet the descendants of those Israelites are clearly identified today as being of the Hebrew race!

They live on a very small piece of real estate today with pressure being brought to bear upon them to give up even more land so "peace" in the Middle East can be achieved. Due to a very high level of ignorance on the part of world leaders and those who participate in the United Nations there is failure to realize that Almighty God has special plans for the Israelite people and a nation known as Israel. And in the future they will be occupying much more territory than what they have now! So what will actually happen is that there will be a lot of "giving up" of land, but it will not be on the part of the Israeli people!

A day is coming when the world will be made aware of those plans as God brings about fulfillment of His promises made many centuries ago concerning Israel. Jerusalem will be at the center of many of those promises and will be known as a city of truth with citizens of foreign nations seeking to go to Jerusalem to be instructed in the things in which God wants them to be educated. That certainly is not the desire of most people now -- to learn about God and His ways in Israel would be the very last thing the majority of people would want to do. But it will happen at a time determined by the mighty Creator of the heavens and the earth!

Obviously Helen was totally off base in her remarks and has apologized since for having made them. But she was "on base" by saying something that is in the minds of huge numbers, including a number of government leaders and participants in the United Nations, and reflects how they really feel about "those Jews" and their country!

And the LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him: "Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are; northward, southward, eastward, and westward; for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever. And I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; so that if a man could number the dust of the earth, then your descendants also could be numbered. Arise, walk in the land through its length and its width, for I give it to you." --- Genesis 13:14-17

On the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying: "To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates; the Kenites, the Kenezzites, and the Kadmonites; the Hittites, the Perizzites, and the Rephaim; the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites." --- Genesis 15:18-21

The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, "Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; he will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths." For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and shall rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. --- Isaiah 2:1-4

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

One Gusher Is Given Top Priority While Another Is Intentionally Ignored!

News is much dominated by the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico and fingers being pointed in all directions as to who is to blame and what ought to be done to stop the leak quickly. --- it's a shark in bloody waters situation with the mass media on the oil spewing into the Gulf

Broadcast media through major networks as well as internet sources are making the oil leak a priority news item. You can view a live stream video of the disaster on the internet. As is usually the case, there is a scramble to see who can outdo the competition in reporting the details. It is getting almost exciting as the blame game gets into high gear and the battle rages on with talk now coming from the federal government level of the pursuit of criminal charges possibly being filed. Ah, that makes great fodder when those evil oil companies become the target.

While that gusher continues to spew out the oil at the bottom of the Gulf there is another one that most citizens along with leaders (government and church) chose to ignore and have done so for decades.

That's the "gusher" of innocent blood that spews forth each day across our republic. It amounts to about 3,500 victims or more each day or about 25,000 every week on average throughout the year! These are unborn children who are intentionally singled out for mutilation and murder before they are born. The grand total since we instituted our own customized version of holocaust is now nearly 52 million!

It is a tragedy in more ways than one -- it's not just the huge number of victims but the fact that most, including our leadership (government and church), do not consider this a serious thing at all. If there is anything serious about it, that comes from a few who are considered to be fire-breathing radicals with an IQ rating of 65 at best and who need to be "educated" on why certain unborn persons do not deserve to live. There are government and church leaders who are "experts" at teaching us as to why this has to be and others who prefer to keep silent about the issue.

The tragedy is compounded by the fact that there is failure to realize that the mighty Creator of the heavens and the earth is going to make His response to this "gusher" of innocent blood in the future! One thing is sure -- the main question at that time will be something like this, "What have we done? Why is God doing all these bad things to us?"

Will you be among the crowd asking the questions, or will you be among the small number who will give a direct answer as to why calamities of the first magnitude are striking a republic known as the United States?

Moreover Manasseh shed very much innocent blood, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another, besides his sin with which he made Judah sin, in doing evil in the sight of the LORD. --- 2 Kings 21:16