Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Hollow and Deceptive Philosophy

Colossians 2:8

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.

img_0063-2In 2012 – I wrote the following devotional. It rings true nearly 8 years later. I will make a few changes – but basically it is the same article from 2012. I believe this is a passage that speaks about the split that is happening in the United Methodist Church today.

Recently (back in 2012) at our Annual Conference for the Baltimore-Washington Conference – a suggestion was made concerning our church’s stance on issues like homosexuality. The suggestion was that our denomination’s stance – which in part is as follows from the Book of Discipline – is hindering the church’s ability to reach young people.

¶ 304.3 – While persons set apart by the Church for ordained ministry are subject to all the frailties of the human condition and the pressures of society, they are required to maintain the highest standards of holy living in the world. The practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching. Therefore self-avowed practicing homosexuals1 are not to be certified as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve in The United Methodist Church.2
1. “Self-avowed practicing homosexual” is understood to mean that a person openly acknowledges to a bishop, district superintendent, district committee of ordained ministry, board of ordained ministry, or clergy session that the person is a practicing homosexual. See Judicial Council Decisions 702, 708, 722, 725, 764, 844, 984. 2. See Judicial Council Decisions 984, 985.

¶ 341.6 – Ceremonies that celebrate homosexual unions shall not be conducted by our ministers and shall not be conducted in our churches.

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January 7, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Olympics Are Here

2 Timothy 4:7

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

Photo on 7-6-16 at 3.42 PMThe Olympics are here. Much has been in the news of late about the Olympics. The news has been filled with health concerns about the water in Rio de Janeiro. Here is a news report about the concerns with the water. Athletes are being warned to not put their heads under water.

The Olympics are here. Will our own Michael Phelps win more metals – more gold (checkout the link for his events)?

The Olympics are here. Athletes have bailed on these events because of health concerns. Some have concerns but are still competing. These athletes – the best of the best – will compete for gold – for the prize. They will run to finish the race and to fight the good fight. Continue reading

August 3, 2016 Posted by | Build, Church, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Preach the Word

2 Timothy 4:2

Preach the word…

profileToday’s devotional thought is mainly for pastors but we can all get something out of it I hope. Pastors are given the following marching orders by God through Paul – Preach the Word. I have written on this passage numerous times – it is one of my favorite passages. 2 Timothy 4:2 – Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.

The tension that some pastors feel and the thin line that some walk is preaching the word in a relevant way that stays with people without watering down or changing the word. Jesus taught using parables – examples that people would remember later and when they remembered the story – they might just remember the truth that He was trying to tell them.

Pastors are always searching for illustrations. Illustrations are stories they can use to make a point – to make the point the Scripture is trying to make relevant – remembered. Continue reading

May 20, 2014 Posted by | Church, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , , | 1 Comment


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