As I mentioned in a recent post, I decided to call all of the congregations from right here in West Virginia who were slated to participate in atheist Dr. Michael Zimmerman’s infamous Evolution Weekend to confirm whether they were in fact participating. The results were a bit surprising, to say the least.
One of the churches we commented on was Cross Lanes United Methodist Church. As noted in my earlier post, when I contacted the pastor of this church, he was surprised to say the least. Rev. Gregory Hayes said his church had never participated in Evolution Weekend and that the contact person on the Clergy Letter Project website was merely a deacon. Regarding evolution, he stated, “That’s an argument we’re simply not interested in.”
I contacted Dr. Zimmerman regarding the error on his website and also provided him with a number to reach the church’s pastor. He responded with the following:
“I’m shocked and troubled by the information you’ve provided. In the interest of being as conservative as possible, I’ve removed Cross Lanes UMC from our list of participants for 2012 and I’ve copied Reverend Lacaria so he can respond. I’ll make a decision about how to proceed once I hear from him. Again, though, in the meantime, I’ve removed Cross Lanes from our list.”
I did confirm that Cross lanes UMC has been removed from the Evolution Weekend 2012 list, but I find it odd that Zimmerman would not contact the church’s actual pastor for confirmation; instead, he says we’ll have to wait on word from the fellow who misrepresented the church he attends as a participant! Again, Cross Lanes United Methodist has been listed on the Clergy Letter Project’s website every year since Evolution Weekend 2009 as:
Cross Lanes United Methodist Church
Cross Lanes, WV
The Rev. J.F. Lacaria
Well, I spoke to the Rev. Dr. J. F. Lacaria and I asked him if Cross Lanes UMC was participating in this year’s Evolution Weekend. He replied that he wasn’t doing anything specific this year, but that he had participated in the past. When I noted that this claim oddly contradicted the pastor’s denial that Cross Lanes UMC had ever participated in Evolution Weekend, Rev. Lacaria, admitted that he did so through his adult Sunday School class and that he doubted his pastor knew about it!
How can this be acceptable to him? How can he suppose it is OK to list the church he attends as participating in Evolution Weekend and then teach evolution from his Sunday School class and not feel the need to discuss it with the pastor of the church?? What sort of subversiveness is this? The pastor expressly told me that evolution wasn’t an argument his church was interested in, yet Rev. Lacaria apparently has set up his own private flock within the church! There he is teaching evolution from the Sunday School lectern and knows better than to let his pastor in on it, all the while misrepresenting the entire Cross Lanes UMC as an active yearly participant.
During my conversation with the Rev. Dr. Lacaria, I asked him if he affirmed the Bible as the inerrant special revelation of God. After a moment’s pause, he said that he could affirm that, but that he and I probably understood the terms very differently. For clarification’s sake, I asked him if he thought that any portion of Scripture ever came by the will of man. Sadly, he said he believed that much of it came by the will of man.
We must be on our guard for these fellows within the church, much respected wolves in sheep’s clothing, who seem to speak our language but really mean very different things when they say them. This new evangelical newspeak, which Ken Ham warned about in Already Compromised, is rampant in the church. We must examine our ministers by asking them what they mean by the things they say. If they say the Bible is inerrant, we must ask them if they believe that the Earth is less than 10,000 years old, whether Adam and Eve were literal, historical people and whether the Flood of Noah’s day covered the entire globe. We need to ask them what they believe concerning creation, the resuurection, the deity of Christ, the authority of the Word of God, eternal rewards and punishments… and so much more. We have become a credulous generation, who trusts experts and those in authority; thus, if someone has a title or a degree, we trust them to lead the flock without ever examining their convictions personally.
We also need to continue to pray for those within the Methodist Church who are opposed to millions of years of microbes-to-man evolution, who’ve come to realize how it undermines both the ultimate authority of God’s Word and the foundational basis of the Gospel itself. We need to pray that they remain steadfast as they speak the truth boldly for the sake of future generations.
-Rev Tony Breeden