There were many United Methodist annual conferences this year who invited Bishop Diversity to preside over them. They needed help resolving the issues that were tearing the Methodists, the nation, as well as the world, apart. They had long ago realized that the simple message of saving faith in Christ would not work with an educated, modern, scientific mankind. Most pastors, unlike their founding Circuit-Riders, had a least one college degree and were completely certified to preach. Some of these pastors, unlike their crude founding circuit-riding forefathers, pastored large modern churches with members from a diverse metropolitan population. Others came from churches of less grandeur. They met here in Metro Lib City at the Darwin-Dewey Enlightenment Center for Global Inclusion. This conference was a far cry from the first meeting in the loathsome Lovely Lane Church which saw the ordination of the narrow-minded Bishop Asbury.
When Bishop Diversity arrived, he was dressed in the latest Afro fashion. He was sporting a huge gold earring with a matching finger ring. On a golden chain around his neck was a large cross. The way he wore his hair and beard was reminiscent of the illustrious Karl Marx. As he walked onto the platform, the prodigious congregation became silent. His Middle Eastern demeanor was awesome.
The first issue to come to the floor was homosexuality. One good Doctor asked, "What do we do with the gay pastors, who love to work with the needy, who are full of compassion for those who are hurting, and most of all who have picked up the cross and followed the Lord in holy living by take 'holy orders' from the Church?" He continued, asking, "Why can't these Christians get along with the Christians who kept themselves clean by follow the Biblical instruction to do so?" Bishop Diversity listened to their reasoning and finally responded in a very enlightened manner. He said, "God is Love and God loves the whole world." This comment was received by great applause. He concluded by saying, "We as Methodists must be inclusive because the Church is a mission, and somebody is crying out there. Woe to anyone that may offend these smart, caring, sharing saints who have an alternate lifestyle for it would be better to have a stone tied around their neck and drowned." Some of the narrow-minded Methodists quietly moved from their seats and left the meeting with their "holier than thou" feelings hurt.
Abortion was the next issue on the floor. Some of the more hard-hearted Methodists wanted this wholesale plan of murder stopped. They even dared to cite some passages in the Bible about how God views children in the womb. However, the more illuminated Methodists pointed out to Bishop Diversity the importance to protect the rights of women in continuing this practice. They cited the fact that women should have control over their bodies. Another delegate stated that if abortion is stopped only the wealthy could afford it and that would be discrimination. One even suggested that abortions help curve the population of the world and that modern, advanced nations like Communist China use this method. The Chinese people love it. Some of the United Methodist women pastors even argued that children who are unwanted will not be loved and therefore should not be suffered to be brought into this world. Finally, one older Methodist pastor stood and with tears streaming down his face, tried again to use scripture to rebuke them. But before he could finish the wise Bishop Diversity raised his hand and stopped the poor old idiot. Silence fell over the delegates. Bishop Diversity then rendered his opinion on the subject. He said, "God gave humans the right to rule the earth and that would mean the right to take unwanted, and unloved children's lives." He reasoned that it was just a simple extension that humans have the right to rule even over their own bodies. "God wanted us to have rule of every living thing," he said. He praised China for their program of abortion and said that "by doing so we can avoid war as a method to control earth's population." He also insinuated that the uses of tissue from such acts might give us cures for cancer, Parkinson's Disease, and other appalling illnesses. He suggested that modern science and humankind all over the world would greatly benefit from such activities. "After all," he said, "God loves the World, and we should be more loving to our neighbors who are the poor and hurting." Strange though, the old Methodist preacher who was silenced just clung to his Bible and withdrew sadly from the conference floor.
The issue from the Dark Ages, the death penalty, was brought up for discussion by a delegate. He said that we should pray for both those who lost a loved one through the act of murder and the murderer himself. He said, "God's inclusiveness is extended even to the killer." The debate raged. Some narrow-minded Methodists quoted some old obscure scriptures that supported capital punishment. Others cited the commandment that said that no one should kill. The conference was on the verge of falling apart. Bishop Diversity then came to the microphone and settled the members down. The Bishop then spoke, "I must tell you that you should never repay evil with evil." "This," he said, "takes precedence over the passage that many of you are quoting. Besides, the taking of life is not necessarily evil. Euthanasia is a good example of how we now practice murder. We must make sure that the quality of life is held in high regard. Humans like Kevorkian should be praised. Because someone kills someone else does not mean that the murderer should be put to death. What a waste of talent! It only means that he/she needs to be retrained and shown how to use that specialty to the good. After all, God gave him/her the ability to kill. If killing is evil, then God is at fault and not the human." He finished by saying, "What greater love does a human have except he take the life of an old or diseased person who wants to die?" The delegates were dumbfounded by such miraculous wisdom. Cheers and applause broke out.
The conference then moved on to other issues, including gun violence and racism. One delegate called for a total ban on all weapons including handguns and rifles. He said that "guns are murdering our children." He continued by stating that no other civilized nation allowed their citizenry to own guns. He made his point by showing how little violent crime the Soviet Union had while they were under Communism, and how safe Hitler's Germany was under National Socialism with their unyielding adherence to a gun ban for all citizens. Another Methodist pastor spoke and pointed out that it is not guns that are killing people, but it is people using guns to kill people. And besides, he reasoned, "Our Constitution guarantees the right of gun ownership." He also pointed out, "The Bible never places blame on a weapon for a crime, but always on the person using it." This brought many boos from the conference floor and some even called him a heretic. Many pastors then stood and said that since the U. S. Constitution is a living document, it can be changed. However, it was the testimony of one mother, who broke down in tears as she told how she lost both children in a school shooting, that caused Bishop Diversity to speak once more. He motioned with his hands for silence. He said that since "God loves the children, we must destroy the right of gun ownership in order to save our children. It is apparent that guns are the root cause of violence." Looking at the pastor who defended gun ownership, he said, "Depart from me ye accursed who defends the wicked ownership of such dangerous weapons. Such a silly defense will earn you a place in hell if you don't repent!"
In his closing remarks, Bishop Diversity reaffirmed the rights of women to chose and control their own body. He said that the "Church must reach out and be more inclusive. All humankind must dwell under the big tent and be made to feel welcome no matter what they believe. All humans should be included and have the freedom to believe what they want. We should accept them for what they are and not what they believe. And above all we must save our children for they are all in danger. 'Children first!' is our cry and every thing we do must reflect our inclusion and love for children. If it does not, it is a sin." He continued, "Such intolerant oration of narrow beliefs as some made today should not be tolerated because it hurts children and our fellow humans." He then called on the government to take an active role in developing a safe place in our global community for our children, and for those of different lifestyles.
As the conference came to a close, Bishop Diversity showed his inclusiveness by inviting the evangelical-minded band, U2, to sing. They sang a hallelujah song until all the congregation was standing and swaying their bodies with hands raised in the air. The delegates felt the power descending through this song. The song then gave way to that great old hymn, "We Shall Overcome." The atmosphere was electric.
Outside those who spoke and defended the historical Methodist Christian values were seen praying for their friends and conference. One told a reporter, "There is a way that seemeth right to man, but the end there of is death." He continued, "Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it . . . and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat." Others who followed them were disappointed to see how many of their friends continued to stay in the conference because of the cultural spiritual enlightening music which made them feel that the Lord was there.
This parody came to me after reading the reports of many of the Annual Conferences that were held this past summer. I became very aware that the buzzword "inclusive" seemed to dictate what would transpire at any given conference. Another buzzword which was found a lot was "children." If any liberal concept met any opposition, the cry came that it was being done for the "children." In both cases, it is understood that to oppose issues where these two words were invoked, would be considered hard-hearted and non-Christian. I gave the Bishop the name of Diversity for a real reason. For the most part he represents a new version of the Lord's teaching that the modern church is now worshiping: A Jesus that loves and abides with sin no matter what as long as it can be said to be "inclusive" and for the sake of the "children" and "unity." So, I gave the modern United Methodist church what they wanted. A Bishop that would yield to the demands of modern secular society with the conviction of a secularized scripture. Again, "there is a way that seemeth right to a man, but the end there of is death." "Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it . . . and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat." Though Jesus is love, He also taught us the above verses. I trust, dear reader, that your Bishop is not like the fake Bishop Diversity, but that he is the captain of your faith, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.