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UM News Service Features Assault On Biblical Inspiration And Authority

From: Jeff Uhler
Date: Thursday, July 22, 1999 11:35 PM
Subject: UM News Service Features Assault On Biblical Inspiration And Authority

Well, here we go - again! Let's throw out the Bible as having any authority unless we see it only through our eyes as a human creation. I don't get it. We say that we believe there is a God who created and is still creating - I wonder if McFarland does. If he does, could not that creating God grant the ability to human beings enough wisdom to write the book we call the Bible. If such a God does have that ability, could it not carry the weight of authority that many of us ascribe to it? According to McFarland - no!

Jesus said, "Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me ..." Well, yokes enslave those who are under them, don't they? They take the authority of the master to control. But Jesus' yoke is easy and light. It is not one that causes bondage, but freedom. Yes, we will understand it through our human eyes and experiences, until the Holy Spirit - (Gasp! Is there such a thing?!?) - teaches us with God's experience and eyes.

I guess I'm getting very cynical about articles like this one. Please forgive me. (Of course, Jesus already has!)

From: Randy Aldering
To: NewsDesk
Cc: Christian Methodists
Date: Thursday, July 22, 1999 11:30 PM
Subject: Too bad

It's too bad that you have to print such heresy as UMNS#380. It is quite apparent from reading Mr. McFarland's expose that he has not been studying the very Book he claims has been misused and abused by believers. This is the type of story that, unfortunately, shows the direction of the UMC. That is, I fear, toward hell. Views such as Mr. McFarland's only provoke in me feelings of deep sadness. Sadness for him, sadness for the Church.

in His service,

Randy Aldering

From: Austin W. Fergusson
Date: Thursday, July 22, 1999 7:13 PM
Subject: A UMNS Commentary by H. Neill McFarland

Publishing "When use becomes abuse" as a UMNS commentary, especially at this time of agonizing in the United Methodist Church, seems unwise at best.

What purpose have you served to antagonize a large segment of our church?

The whole tone of the article is inflammatory since it makes use of words such as "Pandering, self-righteousness and graceless judgmentalism [sic], mockery, conduct, reprehensible, etc." when referring to the other side of an argument.

More to the point for your immediate consideration is that your publishing of the commentary, which apparently denies Article V and Article VI of The Articles of Religion of the Methodist Church and Article IV of The Confession of Faith of the Evangelical United Brethren Church, is in defiance of Judicial Council rulings on these articles.

I would strongly urge you to print a retraction, or at the very least a disclaimer.

Rev. Austin W. Fergusson Co-pastor,
Green Center United Methodist Church

From: Mike or Carmen Gordon <>
Cc: United Methodist  Reporter <>
Subject: Re: UMNS#380-Commentary: When use becomes abuse
Date: Thursday, July 22, 1999 3:46 PM

July 23, 1999

Dear Editor,

How many people have been around pig farms to know where the meaning of HOG WASH comes from and it's true meaning.


By nature pigs are very clean animals.... man tends to put them in a pen without the ability to keep themselves clean... they then become dirty or will wallow in a mudhole to cool off as they do not have sweat glands..... now to explain HOGWASH...

When pigs are raised in barns, on concrete floors.... one side of the barn will have a trough running the length of the barn... it is about 4-6 inches deep.... The pigs will go to this trough and deposit their urine and feces (excrement). On one end of the trough there is a large container on a platform... the container has water dripping in it at a preset rate... as the container fills up it becomes top heavy and dumps/spills the water into the trough.... the water then washes the excrement down and out of the barn into a sewer system or into a cesspool.

Hence when I use the term HOGWASH... I'm thinking that the subject is a bunch of watered down excrement. In this case the article by the apostate H. Neill McFarland and his attack on the use of the bible.

I won't give him the honor of calling him reverend... which connotes respect and he does not deserve respect... but pity... to know that in his lack of belief he will be judged accordingly to the Bible.....

In Christ
Mike Gordon
142 Ruth Ave
Benton Ky 42025

From: John M. Dunnack <jdunnack@UDel.Edu>
To: <>
Date: Thursday, July 22, 1999 8:44 PM
Subject: UM News Service Features Assault On Biblical Inspiration And Authority

Dear Friends:

How do we gain by pulling the foundation out from under ourselves? Scripture -- all of it -- is the objective (not easy, nor simple) standard we must have to function effectively. It is the harness that appears to some to entrap and enslave, but in reality enables us to pull together to the single direction, "make disciples," we are called to as followers of Jesus.

John Wesley dared to be a "man of one book." His works show a clear pattern of believing what it says, and doing it. The Word is our standard. Good enough for me.

Pastor John Dunnack
Red Lion UMC
Bear, DE

From: James Gibson <
To: NewsDesk <NewsDesk@UMCOM.UMC.ORG
Subject: Re: UMNS#380-Commentary: When use becomes abuse
Date: Thursday, July 22, 1999 2:37 PM

To whom it may concern:

This is the second essay you have published in recent weeks denigrating the authority of Scripture as the inspired Word of God, the first being a piece by Bishop Kenneth Carder. I would suggest your liberal bias is being put on display once again. You might want to publish an article or two on this subject from a more traditional perspective to provide balance. I will gladly volunteer for such a project if you so desire.

James A. Gibson
Marshallville United Methodsit Church
Marshallville, Georgia

From: George Don Spruill <
Date: Thursday, July 22, 1999 3:17 PM
Subject: UMNS#380-Commentary: When use becomes abuse

With an episcopasy like ours, with agency heads like those in the GBGM and Church and Society and with media support like UMNS, no wonder people are running over each other, trying to leave this pitiful denomination.

Why would you print such tripe as the attached?

I don't know which is worse, a professor like McAnally (can he be from the same school that has Billy Abraham on its faculty?) or a news service that prints his comments.

And our bishops think that our churches should pay their apportionments to support organizations like yours?

They better re-think things...while there are still any of us left to pay apportionments!

In Christ,


Don Spruill, Layperson
St. James UMC, Atlanta, GA
North Georgia Conference

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From: Dick Dalfiume <
Date: Thursday, July 22, 1999 2:56 PM
Subject: UMNS#380-Commentary: When use becomes abuse

Is the UMNS on the warpath against the Articles of Religion and Confession of Faith of the UMC?

If not, this is a strange choice for a commentary.  Please, let us be thankful that the professor has retired, and let us let him stay retired!  It is precisely such nonsense that leads to the ever-widening distrust of the laity.

Richard Dalfiume
Vestal, NY

From: Laurie Webster
To: Christian Methodists
Date: Thursday, July 22, 1999 3:27 PM
Subject: UMNS#380-Commentary: When use becomes abuse

This writer shows that he has not read the Bible himself.

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Hmmm, sounds like a weapon to me.

And what about this passage, especially verse 17.

Ephes. 6:10-18 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. [11] Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. [12] For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. [13] Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. [14] Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, [15] and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. [16] In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. [17] Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. [18] And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints


From: Jake Barker <>
To: New UM-List <>
Date: Thursday, July 22, 1999 3:20 PM
Subject: Fw: UMNS#380-Commentary: When use becomes abuse

Another far left UMNews tragedy.

Jake Barker

62. (The 1996 Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church)

The Articles of Religion of the Methodist Church

Article V—Of the Sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures for Salvation

The Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation; so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man that it should be believed as an article of faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation. In the name of the Holy Scripture we do understand those canonical books of the Old and New Testament of whose authority was never any doubt in the church. The names of the canonical books are:

Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, The First Book of Samuel, The Second Book of Samuel, The First Book of Kings, The Second Book of Kings, The First Book of Chronicles, The Second Book of Chronicles, The Book of Ezra, The Book of Nehemiah, The Book of Esther, The Book of Job, The Psalms, The Proverbs, Ecclesiastes or the Preacher, Cantica or Songs of Solomon, Four Prophets the Greater, Twelve Prophets the Less.

All the books of the New Testament, as they are commonly received, we do receive and account canonical.

Article VI—Of the Old Testament

The Old Testament is not contrary to the New; for both in the Old and New Testament everlasting life is offered to mankind by Christ, who is the only Mediator between God and man, being both God and Man. Wherefore they are not to be heard who feign that the old fathers did look only for transitory promises. Although the law given from God by Moses as touching ceremonies and rites doth not bind Christians, nor ought the civil precepts thereof of necessity be received in any commonwealth; yet notwithstanding, no Christian whatsoever is free from the obedience of the commandments which are called moral.

The Confession of Faith of the Evangelical United Brethren Church

Article IV—The Holy Bible

We believe the Holy Bible, Old and New Testaments, reveals the Word of God so far as it is necessary for our salvation. It is to be received through the Holy Spirit as the true rule and guide for faith and practice. Whatever is not revealed in or established by the Holy Scriptures is not to be made an article of faith nor is it to be taught as essential to salvation.

The Holy Bible

(2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV) All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, [17] so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

(2 Timothy 4:1-4 NIV) In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: [2] Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction. [3] For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. [4] They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

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