Hello, my name is Rick Stiles. At an early age I was baptized in a Methodist Church (United hadn’t happened yet) and have been a United Methodist for 70+ years. Besides being a Methodist, I have been a submarine sailor, a design engineer, a photographer, and participated in too many hobbies to list.
At an early age I drove the church pastors crazy with constant questions about the Bible. Why this and why that. It says this here and something else there. Where is that in the Bible? The stock-in-trade answer was, ‘you will understand all about it when you are a little older’. In my teens I ended up reading the Bible (twice) cover to cover. It is amazing how different the Bible comes across when read intact versus picking and choosing versus.
Over the years I have hosted Christian home and church book studies, written faith articles, delivered Sunday messages, taken courses, and served various ways including Lay Leader. I have attended many denomination and non-denomination churches but continue to call United Methodist my home. At times I have sworn off going to church but missed the Christian Fellowship.
For me, the current homosexual issues going on in the church are symptoms of a deeper problem, a problem that has been going on for years. I believe that the church has a need to feel socially acceptable. As a result they feed people pabulum in attempt to bolster membership. Is that working? It doesn’t seem to be.
The Methodist Church still calls itself United, but I believe it is in name only, and much of the Scriptures are being reinterpreted to fit the social climate. The current phrase in vogue is called the ‘reformed interpretation’ of Scripture. Has scripture changed or have we?
Throughout everything, John Wesley has helped define my life: a love for all of God’s people. I have tried to demonstrate His love through my relationship with other people. Has it always worked? Not hardly, but I continue to thank God for His grace and continue to live according to his will.
This blog contains my thoughts on Scripture, the goings on in the United (or maybe not so united) Methodist Church, and a few thoughts from other writers. Right or wrong, these are my views.