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In Support Of A Brother

Pastor Charles Sineath
Marietta First UMC

Dear Pastor Charles,

Grace and peace be with you in the name of or Savior Jesus Christ.

Word has reached across the country and beyond our borders that you have been informed by your Bishop that you will not be re-appointed to Marietta First UMC.

It is with great sorrow that those of us who have been following the courageous actions of you and your church, learn of this action against both a brother and the faithful gathering of brothers and sisters to whom you have been called.

I would like to prayerfully request that as you and your flock work through this event that all of you consider taking a further stand in support of the Biblical truth and authority which is the foundation of our Methodist heritage.

Our connectionalism which was the glue that made possible a growth from small societies into over 12.5 million people less than 20 years ago, has been shattered. The dissolution of the connection and the loss of over 25% of the body of believers was not caused by those who stand in support of our Scripture and Tradition, but by a change in focus from being a fervent disseminator of The Word in the world, into a political and monetary machine and golden storehouse. As such, the loss of direction and inward focus has become the only idea upon which the "church" will become obsessed and therefore, confront.

I would suggest that now is the time for Marietta First UMC to once again lead in a significant and world resounding way. Publicize the initial response once again to the apostasy and heresy that has become rampant. Publicize again, the relatively small amount (on MFUMC's part) that was redirected to other direct missional outreaches. Then take the stand that the response by the Bishop and Cabinet has not been in good faith to achieve a peaceful and realistic resolution, but as vindictive and punishing to both the people of the congregation and to you as their spiritual leader. In response to this overt and unwise action, Marietta First UMC should redirect all of their apportionment's except those which support pastoral retirement etc. to other missional areas which can more closely meet the stated needs of spreading The Gospel of Jesus Christ among the lost.

This entire response is akin to Matthew 21:12-13, Mark 11:15-18, John 2:14-17 where the scribes and Pharisees had turned the Temple into a house of money grubbing thieves. The denomination has lost sight of where and what it should be doing, and has become a tax collection agency with the power of the IRS to threaten, coerce and destroy any who stand in their way.

It is time to send a strong message to Bishop Davis and the entire money machine that there is some upward accountability required by the "church" in order for the body of the "church" to be blessed in God's eyes.

Although this may seem like a radical idea, it is not without precedent in the reforming of large unwieldy churches and it's time has come once again.

I pray for your continued ministry and your ability to follow God's direction in this entire set of events. Our God has not placed us in this time of conflict for our own comfort or for our own need, but He has given us the power and wisdom to reach deeply into our souls and listen carefully for how He will lead us into repentance and revival wherever we are.

In Jesus who makes us whole.

Tom Weathers
P.O. Box 68
Strawberry, CA. 95375


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