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Bishop Twice Arrested For Disrupting Conference: "The Holy Spirit Made Me Do It" Because of "Murderous"  Biblical Doctrine


From: Jeff Graham graham@vci.net
To: ucmpage@ucmpage.org
Sent: Sunday, May 21, 2000 11:00 PM
Subject: Bishop Twice Arrested For Disrupting Conference: "The Holy Spirit Made Me Do It" Because of "Murderous" Biblical Doctrine

Letters from the Cleveland jail? Doesn't hold much of a candle to those written from another jail further south.

It is not a civil rights issue, Bishop. It is a sin issue. The attempt to entwine the two is simply grasping at straws.

Jeff Graham Kentucky Conference


From: TGRAFFGA@aol.com
To: jsprague@umcnic.com
Sent: Saturday, May 20, 2000 2:24 PM
Subject: Your view from jail.....

Dear Bishop Sprague,

I just read your column/assessment of the UM General conference from your pastoral viewpoint behind bars. I especially appreciated your including the long list of accomplishments that you have in the past performed on behalf of humanity.

Obviously, you must be very, very proud.
We are all impressed.

However, the bottom line is this:

Jesus, our Savior and Lord (?) said that marriage is for one man and one woman and that adultery and fornication is out of bounds...sinful. You, sir, in effect, are saying that Jesus was/is a liar (or mistaken?) when He said those things and that YOUR OPINION supercedes the words of the Annointed One, Meshiach, Christos, Messiah. You are saying that YOU know better than Jesus Christ. You are saying that you have received a "newer" and "better"...more "up to date" revelation from "the Spirit".

That certainly is extremely heady stuff, sir! (Yowee-Zowee!)

But as your publically displayed laundry list of accomplishments on behalf of humanity illustrates, such "heady" pronouncements from you are quite predictable and...I'm sorry to say...very much "in character".

Someone once said that Original Sin is Pridefulness of the human heart....the attitude that says to God: "MY will, not Thine, be done."

You,.... what you have recently said, written and done,..... are a perfect example and illustration of this truth.

"Pride goes before destruction,
a haughty spirit before a fall."
(Proverbs 16: 18)

Repent. He awaits with open arms......

You are in my prayers,

Tom Graffagnino
(one of those "uninformed audience" members in the church*)

*From your open letter to Rev. Scott Field, May 27, 1997)


From: stjake45@aol.com
To: cmdiscuss@egroups.com
Sent: Saturday, May 20, 2000 6:29 PM
Subject: An Open Letter to Bishop Sprague

Bishop Sprague writes in his recent letter from a Cleveland Jail to Northern Illinois Conference. Check the whole letter at http://www.gbgm-umc.org/nillconf/colmay00.htm#jail

Dear Bishop Sprague:

How can you ask your Pastors not to do Holy Union Services and a list of other things? You have publicly stated you have performed such services before your election as Bishop. You are now asking those you admire to desist from such practices. You have rewarded and blessed the Pastor in your area who was recently charged and convicted of the same thing by reappointing him to his old church. Many will see through this smoke screen of "Connectional faithfulness." How can you uphold 100% of what GC2000 enacted when you fundamentally disagree with it?

You state that those who reject homosexual practice do not appeal to scripture. You reveal your own ignorance of current and historical critical biblical scholarship. Read Raymond Brown, Richard Hays, EP Sanders, Gordon Fee and others. You accuse such persons and all those who by conviction, conscience and appeal to scripture of murder. Your violent rhetoric is unbecoming a man of peace and is deeply disappointing and disturbing.

Your so called stand of conscience is really an act of hubris and rebellion. Your position is deeply flawed. You take a stand that rejects the tradition and experience of the church for 2000 years. You confuse moral sin with civil rights. Our church has spoken clearly and unequivocally on the protection of human and civil rights for all persons and our desire to be in ministry with all persons. You justify your position by appealing to your own experience.

You have taken actions that have set loose forces and actions that will further damage the unity of our church, damage the witness and mission of Christ. It is interesting to note the priority of your list!!!! Withholding of apportionments is now the second deadly sin!!! The very things you fear most in your list of no no's will now happen.

No, Bishop Sprague you do not take on to yourself the mantle of a man who wrote other pastors a letter from the Birmingham jail. That man had great moral and spiritual authority. He was a man of peace. Rather, you have placed on yourself a mantle of shame and violence.

I plead with you to resign your episcopal office, surrender your clergy orders. Have the courage of your convictions and leave the United Methodist Church and join a denomination that supports the unBiblical practices you so admire.

Sadly,

Roy E. Jacobsen


From: George Don Spruill donspruill@hotmail.com
To: jsprague@umcnic.com
Sent: Saturday, May 20, 2000 5:32 PM
Subject: [Jude] Your letter from the Cleveland jail.

Bishop Sprague:

Since your letter from the Cleveland jail is posted on the internet and since we are members of a connectional church, I will comment on it.

I don't doubt one bit that you are sincere in your beliefs. You honestly believe that a "spirit" has called on your to take the stand that you have taken.

I question what spirit it is that you're listening to.

You believe that Dr. King, John Wesley, Sojourner Truth, and others would have been in jail with you, if they lived today. Be honest now, Bishop. Are you saying that with a straight face? If John Wesley were alive today, I believe -- if he were the kind of man to do so -- he would have Melvin Talbert, Susan Murch Morrison, Mary Ann Swenson, Roy Sano, you and some of our other bishops caned.

Here's what I also believe. You see this as some kind of modern day civil rights movement. It isn't. God's word is clear on homosexuality. It is sinful. And, bishop, even if geneticists found that homosexuals has some kind of special genetic makeup, homosexuality would still be considered a sin. Why? Because Scripture says its sinful.

Please do yourself and the denomination a favor and resign from the episcopacy and leave the denomination. And take the bishops I mentioned above with you, plus Jimmy Creech, Greg Dell, Don Fado and all the others who are determined to be disobedient.

You all represent a divisive element in the denomination, and you'd be doing this part of the Body of Christ a favor to leave. You might be happier, too.

In Christ,

Don Spruill
St. James United Methodist Church
Atlanta, Georgia
North Georgia Annual Conference


From: TGRAFFGA@aol.com
To: jsprague@umcnic.com
Sent: Saturday, May 20, 2000 2:24 PM
Subject: Your view from jail.....

Dear Bishop Sprague,

I just read your column/assessment of the UM General conference from your pastoral viewpoint behind bars. I especially appreciated your including the long list of accomplishments that you have in the past performed on behalf of humanity.

Obviously, you must be very, very proud. We are all impressed.

However, the bottom line is this:

Jesus, our Savior and Lord (?) said that marriage is for one man and one woman and that adultery and fornication is out of bounds...sinful. You, sir, in effect, are saying that Jesus was/is a liar (or mistaken?) when He said those things and that YOUR OPINION supercedes the words of the Annointed One, Meshiach, Christos, Messiah. You are saying that YOU know better than Jesus Christ. You are saying that you have received a "newer" and "better"...more "up to date" revelation from "the Spirit".

That certainly is extremely heady stuff, sir! (Yowee-Zowee!)

But as your publically displayed laundry list of accomplishments on behalf of humanity illustrates, such "heady" pronouncements from you are quite predictable and...I'm sorry to say...very much "in character".

Someone once said that Original Sin is Pridefulness of the human heart....the attitude that says to God: "MY will, not Thine, be done."

You,.... what you have recently said, written and done,..... are a perfect example and illustration of this truth.

"Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall." (Proverbs 16: 18)

Repent. He awaits with open arms......

You are in my prayers,

Tom Graffagnino (one of those "uninformed audience" members in the church*)

*From your open letter to Rev. Scott Field, May 27, 1997)

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