Of Impeachment, Weather, and the Church

Today the House of Representatives will be voting on sending the two Articles of Impeachment against President Trump to the Senate.  According to the Constitution, it is now the function of the Senate to conduct a trial  of the President based upon those Articles of Impeachment.  The Senators will hear the Managers from the House present the Articles and give a defense for the Articles based upon the testimony received during the impeachment hearings this past December.  The Senators will then have the opportunity of asking questions of those House Managers seeking to decide whether there is sufficient grounds to deliberate the Articles further.  At the end of the period of questioning, the Senate will then decide to: a) make a decision on the guilt or innocence of the President based upon what they have heard from the House Managers, or b) to call their own witnesses in order to hear further testimony.  Their decision will be based upon their perception of the strengths or weaknesses of the arguments presented by the House Managers.  This entire process could take several weeks.

Presidential Impeachment is a rarity.  Only two presidents have been impeached by the House of Representatives: Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton.  Both men were acquitted by the Senate - Andrew Johnson by just a single vote.  A third president, Richard Nixon, resigned from the Office of President before he could be impeached.  So, in 233 years under the Constitution, this is only the third time a president has been impeached.  I would say that was a pretty amazing track record.  I know you will be watching these proceedings in Washington in the coming days.  It is a lesson in how a democracy works.

The world has been focused upon powerful weather events.  Indonesia has been experiencing flooding that has brought devastation and death.  Israel has just experienced their wettest winter in nearly 50 years - praise the Lord the Sea of Galilee is filling up once again.  Australia is battling the worst wildfires in its history - millions of acres have been destroyed, along with hundreds of homes.  And there does not seem to be a let up in sight.  A powerful earthquake rocked the island of Puerto Rico with seismologists saying that another more powerful one could occur anytime.  And the Taal volcano in the Philippines sent a plume of ash and dust over nine miles into the air, closing the airport in Manila.  Over 38,000 people have been displaced because of the continued volcanic activity.  The weather patterns continue to approach the bizarre around the world.  Those of us who follow the signs of the endtimes are not overly alarmed by their increase.  In fact, we have come to expect that these will happen.  Paul, in Romans 8, tells us that all of creation moans awaiting its redemption - a redemption that will come when the King of kings returns. 

We heard this week that the Methodist Church, at their annual convention to be held in Minneapolis this coming June, will officially divide into two separate entities.  The cause of this division is the same-sex marriage question.  This decision really has nothing to do with reaching out to members of the LGBTQ community; the Bible instructs us to share our faith stories with everyone - no matter their race, creed, economic status, or sexual preferences.  God has called us to be lights in the world - and light is not discriminatory upon whom its rays fall.  This decision has nothing to do with allowing LGBTQ members to enter into your church.  Again, the Church is to be welcoming of everyone because we have all worn the brand "sinner." 

No, this decision to divide a historic denomination is based upon changing the definition of marriage.  John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, would most certainly affirm that marriage is one man and one woman coming together in unity.  Francis Asbury, the father of American Methodism, would also affirm that definition of marriage.  And why would they do that?  Because it is the biblical definition - it is God's definition.  (Note: see Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:4-5).  This division is occurring because some within the Methodist Church do not want to compromise their understanding of marriage.  And, because others are willing to compromise, Methodism will be splitting. 

Friends, I close with these comments.  When we begin to accommodate Scriptural truths to fit our culture, we are on dangerous grounds.  Scriptural truths are to impact our culture, not be impacted by our culture.  How we need to carefully guard those faith-principles which have been handed down to us.  As Jude wrote, "Let us contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints" (verse 3). 


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