Like I was saying....

What the heck?!?

I’d made reference last month to an entry on Josh Clayborn’s blog about a huge ad that some in the UMC took out a full page ad calling for the repentance of GWB and all the war stuff.

Something in that article made reference to one of the signers of that ad being a UMC Bishop in Chicago who denied the full deity of Jesus Christ. I thought, “What!?!” So I did a search for this guy and found this saying he’s been in hot water for a few of his comments on his beliefs. Here’s an excerpt:

Bishop Sprague expressed his disbelief of various key tenants of the Christian faith, including Christ’s eternal deity, the virgin birth of Jesus, and His physical resurrection from the dead. Bishop Sprague referred to the holding of such beliefs as “idolatrous.”

Tell me this…how and the heck do you get to be a Bishop in the UMC by not believing that Jesus is God’s son, not believing in the virgin birth, and not believing that Jesus rose on the third day? This amazes me.

And this isn’t a “Slam the UMC Day” or anything because I’ve grown up in one and know that these instances aren’t indicative of the whole denomination…but check this out:

United Methodist pastor and New Testament theologian Theodore W. Jennings, Jr. has released a book entitled The Man Jesus Loved: Homoerotic Narratives from the New Testament. The book uses references to “the disciple Jesus loved” and the “nude youth” in the Garden of Gethsemane mentioned in the Gospel of Mark to forward his hypothesis that Jesus was a homosexual.

Truly amazing…


  1. giddy

    Maybe there are persons who need to affiliate themselves with a group whose doctrine more closely parallels their personal tenet.

  2. rob

    Does it make you feel better thinking that Jesus was a heterosexual? And what does it matter? I've not read "The Man Jesus Loved," but I don't think there is anything wrong with asking questions or wrestling with theological issues. It's been going on since the dawn of the church, definitely not something new. Some have argued that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene, and the wedding at Cana was his own. These are merely questions, or hypotheses. The two writers you mentioned happen to be United Methodists, and like you said, one person cannot speak for the entire UMC. Just because some people make their questions or their theological wrestling public doesn't mean that they are not people of deep faith. God is a big God, big enough for our questions and wondering!

  3. Blake

    Does it make me feel better? Hmm…not sure. I'd really not pictured Jesus as "sexual" much at all. But he was "fully man" wasn't he? And we men are sexual beings. I guess in most views (mine included) Jesus is a heterosexual because of most people believing that the Bible says homosexuality is a sin, so a book saying Jesus was gay seemed almost absurd.

    But whether someone believes a certain act or lifestyle is a sin or not…I don't think that is "salvation critical". Meaning I don't think it will "get you in/keep you out". But I'd think that you'd have to admit that believing that Jesus wasn't Divine, believing that He wasn't raised from the dead, or that His death atoned for our sins are "salvation critical".

  4. giddy

    I certainly hope there is nothing wrong with asking questions or wrestling with theological issues. If there is, I am in trouble. I still have a problem with Bishop Sprague's disbelief of Christ's "eternal diety" , because I feel that when he speaks publicly AS A BISHOP of the UMC, he is seen by many as a representative of the UMC as a whole.

    Nothing about Jesus' sexuality is what makes me "feel better". What makes me feel better is knowing that Jesus gave us a chance by taking on OUR sin and dying on that cross for us.

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