by R.P. Tuttle
One of my favorite cartoon characters growing up was Popeye. I think I watched every Popeye cartoon ever made. One thing common to all the Popeye cartoons was the moment when the heroic sailor had suffered enough abuse – usually at the hand of his arch enemy Bluto, and he grabs a can of spinach, downs it, and suddenly he wallops the bad guy. When Popeye reaches that point where he can no longer tolerate Bluto's bullying, he utters one of his most recognizable phrases, “That's all I can stands, an' I can't stands n'more!”
We have all find ourselves in similar circumstances at one point or another in our lives, when our patience or tolerance has reached a breaking point. When we reach that point, and something inside us changes and we step up to the plate and confront whatever it is that has pushed us too far. That point, the moment when a person changes and there is no stopping what is about to happen, is known by psychologists as the “Popeye Point.” Yes, it is a real thing. I'm sure if you give it some thought, you will be able to identify a few of Popeye Points from your own life.
Since becoming a Christian, my own Popeye Points have become more infrequent; but to be sure, they do occasionally happen. Today I had a Popeye Point. It came when I was reading my email, and I came across one that contained an article by Dr. Albert Mohler. I like Dr. Mohler, I really do, but today I think he disengaged the analytical part of his brain, and turned on the politically correct part. The part that causes people to say things that are just plain stupid. Sorry Dr. Mohler, but it is what it is.
Dr. Mohler's article is titled, “Church History Made Before Our Eyes: United Methodists Make History, Affirm Biblical Standards of Sexuality.” As soon as I read it, I groaned and executed a flawless 3-point face palm (turn, elbow to desk, face to palm). When I had recovered enough, I began reading the article. I wish I hadn't.
Dr. Mohler writes, “In St. Louis Missouri, the United Methodist Church met for a special General Conference to answer unavoidable questions central to the sexual revolution and the LGBTQ agenda. The United Methodist Church stands as the last mainline Protestant denomination that has not yet fully surrendered to the sexual revolution. The church has long agonized over this issue, with many in the church advocating for capitulation while a slim conservative majority still held to an orthodox teaching of marriage and sexuality.” He goes on to comment, saying United Methodist homosexuals “demand the ordination of openly gay clergy, the affirmation of same-sex marriage, and even electing homosexual bishops. But the liberals within the United Methodist Church have been thwarted in this effort – and the reason is illuminating.”
Dr. Mohler's words are, at best, a dishonest reporting of what actually occurred at the UMC General Conference. At worst they are total fiction, a departure from the truth, imaginative musings – I am doing my best to be generous and respectful here. I assume you get the point.
That the UMC General Conference was to answer questions regarding the homosexual agenda, is true. That the UMC is the last mainline Protestant denomination that has not fully surrendered to the sexual revolution, is not true. Unless, of course, one defines “mainline Protestant denomination” as UMC exclusively; but even then the statement is misleading since the UMC actually embraces sexual sin, and has for quite some time. “A slim conservative majority still held to an orthodox teaching of marriage and sexuality” – since when? Where did this “slim conservative majority” come from? And if it is “slim” is not a minority rather than a majority? But I digress.
United Methodist homosexuals “demand the ordination of openly gay clergy, the affirmation of same-sex marriage, and even electing homosexual bishops”! Sigh. Rest easy folks, the liberals have been thwarted in this effort according to Dr. Mohler. Double sigh. The demands of the homosexuals are nothing more than a desire to be in the spotlight, a means to satisfy their narcissistic desires. At the end of the day there is no need for them to “demand” these things, because they already have them. Already. As in right now. As in from before the General Conference, to during the General Conference, and including after the General Conference. They were not “thwarted in their effort,” not by a long shot.
Look at the facts folks, the United Methodist church currently has over 150 openly non-celibate homosexual clergy, as well as hundreds more that are either in the closet, or are supportive of the openly non-celibate homosexual clergy. It's been that way for years. It may be true the “slim conservative majority” (I'm still chuckling about that) has “banned” openly non-celibate homosexual clergy, but at the same time this is the same group of “conservatives” who have maintained the ban for decades on paper, but in practice their refusal to abide by that ban constitutes an acceptance of the openly non-celibate homosexual clergy that the conservatives keep ordaining! Most recently the “slim conservative majority” ordained its first non-binary transgendered person.
But the conservatives have managed to maintain the ban on same-sex marriage, right? Affirming that marriage is between a man and woman only, right? Well, yes, but again only on paper. There have been several homosexual marriages conducted in United Methodist church sanctuaries and by United Methodist clergy – both homosexual and straight. Again, the refusal of these “conservatives” to punish and or excommunicate those who perform these marriage profanations is a tacit approval by those same “conservatives.” And what about the election of homosexual bishops? Oh, you mean like UMC Bishop Karen Oliveto? The openly homosexual United Methodist bishop who rule over the Mountain Sky Conference which encompasses 400 churches in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Utah and Idaho? The one “married” to an openly homosexual woman who is also an ordained deaconess in the UMC? Do you mean that United Methodist Bishop? Yeah. That one.
It seems the United Methodist homosexuals are demanding to have that which the United Methodist church – the United Methodist church conservatives – already gave them years ago. But wait, don't go away yet, because there is more that needs to be said here about the United Methodist Church, the “last mainline Protestant denomination” to not surrender to the sexual revolution. Yeah, well, as we can see, they fully surrendered. But the sexual revolution is not the only thing the UMC has surrendered on. It has also surrendered to paganism.
Beginning in 1994, the United Methodist Church has been involved in occult practices; both explicitly and implicitly. It was in 1994 that the first “Reimagining” conference took place, hosted by the United Methodist Church and the Presbyterian Church, USA. During this multi-day conference, participants “reimagined” the Church, Jesus Christ, and God Almighty. “Reimagined” in that they rejected the traditional, biblical views of all three. As a result, the participants embraced a new god, a goddess in fact, named Sophia. Throughout the conference chants and prayers and blessings could be heard being made to Sophia. On Sunday morning, in the church sanctuary, Sophia worshipers participated in a paganized version of Communion where they shared milk and honey rather than bread and wine, while a pornographic painting of a partially nude woman sat displayed nearby. One conference speaker, Delores Williams, taught, “I don't think we need a theory of atonement [in Christianity] at all. I think Jesus came for life and (to show us) how to live together, what life was all about."
Perhaps the greatest blasphemy to take place was the “Croning Ritual” – a witchcraft ritual, performed in the church sanctuary by United Methodist clergy. You would think with all of this worship of false gods, paganism, heresy, and blasphemy the United Methodist Church denomination might have something to say about all of this. Well, no. Not really. According to the UMC denomination headquarters they have nothing to say about the Reimagining conference, and no prohibition against witchcraft rituals in the church sanctuaries. The UMC denomination also noted that no United Methodist clergy or other participants were disciplined for engaging in these demonic practices. Not one. The “slim conservative majority” closed their eyes and gave them all a pass, thus giving their tacit approval of the whole sordid mess.
That was in 1994. The Reimagining conferences continued for another decade; the practices and teaching that take place in them continues to this day, as does the worship of the goddess Sophia in United Methodist Churches. On May 6, 2018, at the First United Methodist Church – Omaha, Dr. Jane Florence delivered a message titled, “Meeting Sophia,” which promoted not just the worship of Sophia, but actually the replacing of the One True God, the Great I AM, with the false god Sophia. In fact, her message concluded with a sojourner seeking divine enlightenment and meeting the goddess Sophia. “I am called Sophia” she tells him. “I'd like to talk again. Where do you live? Where can I find you?” he asks her. Her response should send chills down your spine and send you running for the holy water. She says to him, “Seek and you will find me. Knock and the door of your heart will open. Then you will know. I AM with you always.” [emphasis in original]. Note: the “slim conservative majority” is still, after more than a quarter century, continuing to allow all of this abhorrent, antichrist, anti-God behavior, beliefs, and practices.
So no, Dr. Mohler, no. The United Methodist Church is not a Christian denomination, not by any stretch of the imagination. The “slim conservative majority” has not thwarted any attempted liberal takeover of the denomination. If anything, it has encouraged the liberal homosexual agenda by capitulating to it decades ago. News articles similar to Dr. Mohler's have been plastered all over the internet since the completion of the UMC General Conference a few days ago, and one can not help but notice them. It was not that Dr. Mohler wrote his article in a substantially different way than any of the other articles, it was just that it was one more, and one more too many.
I stood all I can stands, and I can't stands n'more.
It was my Popeye Point.
The only question now is, when will the Church, the Body of Christ, have a Popeye Point, where they can stand no more blasphemy against our Creator and Savior?