Friday, November 29, 2019

Letter #6 Sent to Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi and Members of the Cabinet!

NOTE: A total of 6 letters have been sent to Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi who is bishop of the Western Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church. The first was sent shortly after she took her present position in September of 2016 and other letters were sent in the following months, most of which included copies to the district superintendents as well. Never one time did I ever receive so much as a reply or even an acknowledgement that she had received the letters! A few years ago I sent a personal letter to Queen Elizabeth of England and shortly received a reply via her secretary. In that reply I was informed that the Queen had read my letter and expressed some response to the subject which I had mentioned in the letter. That says something about those two persons, does it not, in regard to not just their position in this world but more importantly to character and integrity regarding response to people who communicate with them about concerns! And so, letter #6 is printed below, a copy of which was sent to each of the 10 district superintendents of the W. PA Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Bishop Moore-Koikoi:

In your recent letter you reiterated concerning persons registering to participate in discussions related to the fallout following GC 2019 held earlier this year. You clearly stated that if any of us were going to try to convince others that we were right, DO NOT register!

In the first place, my calling from God as I entered the pastoral ministry 60 years ago as of June 21 was not to convince anyone that I was right! My calling was and is to preach and teach the truth of God’s inspired Word. The choice people make after being exposed to the Word of God presented is their responsibility.

In the second place, however, I know I am right on several critical issues related to the Christian faith such as:

1. Jesus Christ is exclusively the only way of forgiveness from sin and hope of being a resident in His Kingdom forever. Years ago there was a magazine printed for U.M. pastors titled, Circuit Rider. One issue showed a picture of a statue of Jesus with the question, “The Way, the Truth, the Life?” imprinted over it. The issue was devoted to a debate as to whether Jesus is the only way of salvation and eternal hope or the other religions in the world are on an equal level with Christianity and have valid claims in addressing the issue of eternal destiny! Either the radical “I am” statements of Jesus as stated in the Gospel of John are true and exclusive or He is the biggest liar and fraud to ever walk on two feet and certainly not worthy of 1 second of our time! Further, all that He said and did are true. If not, then throw the Bible into the garbage can, close the churches, and live the rest of our lives always wondering what happens when we die!

2. Jesus placed 4 demands on us humans. Unless we are converted and become as children, unless we repent, unless we draw life from Him by faith, and unless we are born again we will have no part or place in His eternal Kingdom!

3. The miracles as recorded throughout the Scriptures literally happened as reported in all the details, whether it be the Red Sea crossing, an iron axe head floating in water, a man swallowed by a great fish, feeding thousands of people with a few loaves and fish, the virgin birth, or a host of others. In my elective courses at seminary I chose to do one on contemporary U.S. theologians and one on European theologians. One of the wildest among many was one who said that Jesus was likely conceived when Mary was intimate with a mercenary on duty with the Roman army and he was an ancestor of the German people! How is that one for inspiring your faith and to know that Jesus had German blood running through His veins?

4. Jesus is going to return to this sin saturated planet at some point in the future. And yes, I know, it is common to deny this and be skeptical as to whether He really will come back. But He specifically promised He would return with many changes planned as He establishes His Kingdom. Having been personally acquainted with Him now for over 62 years I know I am right when I say that He always keeps His promises!

5. God is not only a God of love and compassion, but He is also a God of wrath and judgment! Starting in the book of Genesis and continuing all the way through the book of Revelation the truth of this is constantly repeated. The ruins of past cultures are mute evidence of the fact that a society of people cannot endlessly defy God and His standards for a sane, sensible, serene, stable, and secure nation and expect to survive. The once mighty Babylonian and Roman empires are prime examples!

6. God has clearly drawn the boundaries on human sexuality making clear to all who with open heart and mind take an honest look at those boundaries. He has spelled out explicitly what is sexually acceptable and what is not, even to the point that some immorality is not merely a sin, but an abomination!

Still contending at Circuit Rider's Range and blogging at Musings of a Maverick

Clayton D. Harriger, Retired Elder
Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference
The United Methodist Church
cc: Members of the Cabinet

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