[I happened to hear a fragment of an interview with Jim Winkler on npr in which he was suggesting that American evangelicals who supported Bush's war are now having second thoughts. Winkler Is General Secretary of the United Methodist Church (Bush's) and has opposed the war since its inception. He also argues that state support is necessary to supplement inadequate private charity. The following criticisms of Winker are instructive in several ways. Winkler had mentioned that pastors are reluctant to preach on 'political' issues, as they get too much flack from their parishioners. Such offers an insight into much of American religion which is dominated, perhaps, by what DeTocqueville (and Mill) characterized as "tyranny of the majority." Also note the use of St. Paul to justify dominance by whatever happen to be one's political authorities -- presumed to have been appointed by G-d. And so Hitler, Stalin, Hussein -- and Bush . . . ? Yes, there are some decent Christians, but note who is Commander-in-Chief. Ed Kent]
Jim Winkler “doing exactly the right thing”?!
Jim Winkler is doing “exactly the right thing” as he misuses his position to push his personal views to the national press in the name of the United Methodist Church? At face value to me this looks more like a power grab and a stab at political notoriety. The “right thing” would be to work within the context of the church and not purport to speak for those he does not represent.
Jim Winkler’s doing “exactly the right thing” as he calls for the impeachment of our President? What ever happened to representing the stance expressed in Romans Chapter 13 about “submission to the authorities?” In verse one; “The authorities that exist have been established by God” and in verse four; “He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.”
Jim Winkler is quoted nationally by the AP, speaking for United Methodist Church, and saying “the war on terror is a war of terror.” Does he infer here that the Armed Forces of the United States are terrorists? Certainly this is the stuff of repugnancy.
Mr. Winkler is further quoted by the AP as in favor of an 80 percent slash in the U.S defense budget. Certainly such an action would rapidly lead to the end of our nation as we know it. Certainly we are blessed by the Lord with many freedoms here in the USA, and the Lord keeps those freedoms in place through strengths. I wonder if Mr. Winkler appreciates his civil rights, and what he thinks secures them.
Is it improper for the secular leader of our land to be who he is, a man who was changed and born again by the transformative lifestyle of Jesus? Is it improper for the secular leader of our nation to seek Godâ€™s wisdom, guidance, patience and understanding? Should our President be a man who attends church just to look good and get votes, or should he be a man who actually lives his faith, a man of whom we can trace back a walk with the Lord as he grew in faith within the United Methodist Church?
It is not unseemly for a Christian man to seek God and then act in the best way he is led.
It is not unseemly for an elected official to seek the Lord as he uses the authority given to him by the people to carry out his responsibilities.
The best I can tell, President Bush is actually a Christian man who truthfully seeks the Lord. I will assume Mr. Winkler is the same. It is not my place to judge men — the Lord does that.
It’s interesting to me that Mr. Bush acts within his authority and Mr. Winkler does not.
Do they both hear God’s voice? Certainly this is not for me to judge, but I do know this:
God is in control.
Will my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ come back tonight?
I don’t know, but I’m ready.
If he doesn’t come back today or tomorrow though, I’d like to continue to enjoy my freedoms, and for my children and grandchildren to do the same.
I thank the Lord for putting the right people in the right authority at the right times.
May God continue to bless America.
Perhaps our Church should concentrate on making disciples for Jesus Christ rather than political issues such as impeachment!
Wichita Falls, Texas
“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)
Ed Kent 718-951-5324 (voice mail only) [blind copies]