Saturday, November 12, 2016


     I have ended up in several similar conversations lately that came to a head when one person called me a chauvinist.  Just to make sure, I went and looked it up again.  It means a person displaying aggressive or exaggerated prejudice toward one group or gender.  In this case I am sure they meant I was a “male” chauvinist.  By exact definition, I’m not sure if I can say that I am or am not.  It is a fine line.  I am positive that I am not one in the sense that they meant it.  But allow me to share what I was attempting to explain to the different people involved.

     American society is in quite disarray.  I submit that few would disagree.  There should be an attempt to “fix” as much of it as possible.  Many are trying in their own unique ways to do just that.  But if you have ever tried to fix a car, computer, plumbing system, etc.  One thing is true.  It is very difficult to fix anything until you understand how it works.  So, how does our society work?  If you believe in God and the Holy Bible such as I do, you know that God created society by creating a man, then a marriage, then a family and then a society with culture, habits and so forth. 

      So if we look at God’s design “backwards” we see this.  The society is a reflection of all of the families within it, the families are reflections of the marriages that make them up and the marriages are reflections of how each individual woman relates to each individual man and vice versa.  And of course the church is a reciprocal reflection of them all.  This all being said, you cannot fix the society without fixing the families and you will not fix the families without fixing the marriages and the marriages cannot be fixed until the woman and the man understand and perform their appropriate parts of the relationship. 

     So rather than always trying to start from the top and work our way down, (passing laws to try to legislate morality, etc), why don’t we start at the bottom and work our way up with a strong enough foundation that can sustain the change?  With all of this in mind, I have counseled a lot of couples.  Young couples, middle age couples, couples raised in church, couples out of church.  Some definite issues that I have noticed about them are large deficiencies in the Biblical concepts of respect, protection and chain of command.  One at a time. 

     Respect.  When one spouse disrespects the other by arguing with them in public or in front of their children it leaves a tremendous negative mark on both of them.  Neither of you should be correcting the other in front of other people, especially your children or HIS peers.  The woman should especially not be seen as an arguer, debater or corrector of her husband.  Regardless of what current culture dictates, the Bible is extremely plain about who is the leader of the family and the head of the household.  As soon as that premise begins to erode, the rest of society erodes with it.   Ladies, if you have a man that provides a decent living, is willing to work, on the job, around the house, etc, does not abuse you verbally, mentally or emotionally and is not an addict of such things as drugs, alcohol, pornography or gambling…you have a man that 75% of all of your peers wish they had.  You should respect him openly. 

     Protection.  Men, you were given very clear objectives as to your role in a marital relationship.  You are the lover and protector of your wife.  Notice in scripture she is not commanded to “love” you.  She is commanded to “submit” to you.  You, on the other hand, are commanded to LOVE her.  This perfect balance is ideal when done correctly.  A good woman will generally submit with ease to a man that truly loves and protects her and a good man will generally, with ease, love and protect a woman that is submitted unto him.  If you do not think so it might be because you don’t understand the depth of what is being asked. 

     Submission in all areas of life.  Two cannot become one without an agreement to follow one path.  The path has to be determined and instead of flipping a coin or leaving it to chance, God chose for us.  The path is the path of the man.  If this is not understood in advance then there will likely by trouble.   The wife is to submit to the general direction of where to live, what types of activities to grow the family around, who will be involved in the family fellowship, and even submit to specifics.  As specific as what he likes you to wear, when intimacy occurs, how many children you will have and what types of foods are to be eaten.  This probably sounds VERY EXTREME to a lot of you but it is because you don’t realize how it is all supposed to work together.  Stay with me.

     Love and PROTECT.  When you add protection to love it emphasizes a particular quadrant of love.  The overseeing responsibility of preserving.  This is far, far more than just beating someone up if they hurt her or the like.  Yes, you are to physically protect or “preserve” her by giving her a home to live in, providing for heat, health, etc.  But you are to preserve HER.  Everything about her.  You are to protect and preserve her ideas, her desires, her honor, her integrity, her womanhood, her reputation.  Ahhhhh, now we are getting somewhere.  A man that merely bosses his wife around and makes a paycheck and expects dinner on the table, blah, blah, blah, degrades her in public, corrects her in front of her children, does not provide for her to chase her goals and dreams….is not a good protector.  You are leaving her reputation unprotected, her heart unprotected, her motherhood unprotected.  Now someone is going to say, “Wait a minute!  What dreams?  What goals?  She gave those up to become one with him, didn’t she?”  YES.  This is what I meant by “how it is supposed to all work together”.  She can easily surrender her need to forcefully push wholly for his, if he is at the same time “preserving and protecting” hers. 

Let’s take an easy example.  He likes steak.  He eats red meat.  A dead cow man!  She prefers fish.  If you have a shallow, carnal couple that will probably end up in trouble, it will look something like this.  He will want steak, she will try to assert to cook fish, he will scold her and belittle her, mocking her for not eating “real meat”.  Do you see this turning out very well?  Me neither.  She is trying to assert her ways, he is giving no concern what so ever to her ways.  Now, “pretend Biblical followers” at this point just say, “She is supposed to submit and obey him, period.  She is out of line.”  But watch what happens when you have a true Biblical relationship.  He likes steak and she submits to that and learns how to make it just the way he likes it and cooks it for him 2 or 3 times a week, as much as they can afford it.  Period, end of story on her part.  He in turn, loving and protecting her, thus her desires and tastes, takes it upon himself to make plans to get off a little early and call ahead for reservations to a nice seafood restaurant every so many days as he can afford it. 

     Her only response to him was to submit and obey.  His response to her was to love and preserve.  You Christians will realize the basic doctrine of how we as humans must die out to self in Christ but in turn we end up receiving new life in Christ.  This doctrine is alive and well in the marriage relationship.  The wife is to surrender herself to her husband, in turn the husband is to preserve the individuality of the wife in response to her willingness to become one with him.  It’s beautiful. 

     Men, if you have a woman that surrenders to you and you goals and dreams, listens to you, takes care of you and meets your needs, physically, mentally and emotionally to the best of her ability…you have something that 80-90% of your peers long to have.  You should cherish and PRESERVE her.  Biblically speaking, she is not supposed to strive to have her own identity, but that is because you are supposed to strive to let her have her own identity.  Her reputation should be lovely because you spread it that way.  She should be known to be a good cook and a beautiful person and talented at her hobbies, etc…..Because you let it be known that it is so. 

     Chain of command.  A business, a ministry, a social event, any group of humans functions at it’s peak when there is a chain of command.  In marriage, NOBODY chose the chain of command but God!  If you have been involved in cultures of corruption, dictatorships, dysfunctional groups full of politics and gossip, then you will not have a frame of reference for this.  A good leader, surrounded by good followers, are some of the greatest people to be around.  The top of the chain realizes how much he needs those working for him, the next level under him understand that it is their job to work for the goal of their leader and they are appreciative of how the leader understands his need for them, etc.  It is comforting and accomplishing for everyone to have a part and a secure setting.  To know what is expected, where the boundaries are and that there is an open line of communication. 

     One of the regularly overlooked benefits of such a Biblical union is the meeting of the psychological needs of the children.  When children know that their father loves and adores their mother and that their mother trusts and believes in their father.  When they see true compassion from dad to mom, true allegiance from mom to dad.  When they believe that mom wouldn’t undermine dad and dad won’t let you disrespect mom and they have an intimacy that is beyond our grasp at this age….It raises children into adults that are less anxious, less nervous, less prone to try the wrong things and rebel and have fears and doubts.  Why?  Because they see a living example right before their faces every single day of unity, leadership, submission, respect, love, tenderness, trust and peace.  They now have something to strive for.  But if dad will tell the kids about mom’s weaknesses to get a laugh out of them and dad makes a plan but mom says it’s all wrong in front of them, then it becomes up to them to experiment on “something better”. 

So wives, do not boss.  Accept or suggest.  Do not argue.  Wait and discuss.  If you are so smart that you have a better plan then you should be smart enough to convince your husband to take it on without over stepping your bounds.  Your husband will seldom be any more admired, respected or followed by anyone else than he is by you.  You have the power to make him or break him.  Men, you should be your wife’s greatest fan.  People that know you should know of her beauty, her ability and her strengths, because you let them know. 

     My last point is this.  Most people that I have counseled have a general understanding and at least a percentage of agreement with what I have here to fore described.  But as humans we are always amateurs at finding our own faults and professionals at discovering those of others.  The simplest way to make your relationship better with your spouse, REGARDLESS OF WHO IS WHAT PERCENTAGE OF THE PROBLEM, is for you to do your part better.  This works because it is also human nature that a woman would struggle less to submit to a man that is loving and protecting her and her attributes and a man would struggle less to love and preserve a woman that is busy being on his side and helping accomplish his goals. 

     If this makes me a chauvinist…so be it.  God bless.

Your humble servant,
Rev. D. Todd Slogett

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Generation NEXT!!!

Something amazing is happening on "The Wall"! When it first started several years ago it was a few pictures and postcards from several homeless people that we had helped. Some had gotten medical attention, some apartments, some even saved! So we put their pictures and notes of gratitude on the wall for others to see and enjoy. 
As the wall (and our ministry) grew, we ended up "specializing" in meth addictions and the problems that surround such lifestyles. I noticed at one point that the wall began to focus less on homeless people and more on addicts. There is a large section of the second wall that is mostly pictures, notes, letters and even poems from ex-addicts. 
Of course as we have expanded our ministries even more, travelled to more places and added support of more affiliates...the look of the wall has followed those trends. 
There are spots on the wall where we worked with orphans, prisoners, preached in Israel, taught at Colleges and High Schools, put on seminars and preached meetings, etc.
But the latest trend makes my heart full! I have recently noticed that more and more of the newest part of the wall has to do with us being contacted A LOT lately by high school graduates, college graduates, newly engaged, newlyweds, parents of new borns, young ministers and first time Pastors. 
THIS IS SOOOO EXCITING!!! It means that our message is getting through to the next generation. It means that this won't just be about us. It means that when I and our original team begin to fade off the scene someday...the vision and the work won't fade with us!!!!!!!! It means that it's not about us, it's about HIM!
Young people trying to reach the Least, the Last and the Lost, with more Outreach, more Discipleship, more Church Growth, more Scriptural Truth and Understanding, less Church Politics, less Culticism and less In-fighting....WE ARE FOR YOU!
Your humble servant,
Rev. D. Todd Sloggett
Pres. HMA

Monday, October 24, 2016

Amazing Bethany Part II

     A year or so ago I wrote an article titled "Amazing Bethany".  I want to follow up.  This place, this property, this people called Bethany Holiness Church never cease to amaze me.  There are not a lot of us.  Maybe 300 if we were really all in one place at one time.  But it seems to me that the impact is always much greater.  There are so many things getting done here.  So much being accomplished here and so many being touched from here.

     I am the kind of guy that is always trying to put things into perspective.  I like to see the "whole picture".  And here is just a glimpse.  In a matter of just a few short days.  Our Pastor, Darrell Toliver, our Assistant Pastor, James Burgess and some other ministers have preached some of the most incredible sermons from theses premises.  Understand what makes them so incredible is not necessarily their intellectual level, their charisma, their rhythm and rhyme or their persuasive power to control and cause people to see it their way.  Rather it was the spirit behind the men and messages that was so great.  Humble, Godly, praying men with clean hands, right spirits and intentions to present a pure gospel.  One where the sweet Holy Ghost of Heaven would be allowed to use them and do his marvelous works in the hearts of men, women and children.

     Many of these sermons were broadcast literally around the world by the sound booth staff, live as they were being preached and archived for future listening.  Broadcast to regular followers and those whom the Lord might lead to "randomly" intersect with.  All the while this is happening there are wives, children, co-laboreres and faithful followers listening, gleaning, absorbing and praying in the wings.

     During the same days there are about 60 students from pre-K to 12th grade that are attending full time accredited Christian Schooling on the premises.  Board members, principal, teachers, teachers aides, cooks, etc all doing their part to further the education of another generation in a way much more fitting to a once great and Godly nation than what the federal government is currently providing.

     While this is happening we are in a complete remodel of our primary sanctuary with new carpet, paint, pews, fixtures, pulpit, sound booth, entry, classes and offices all being redone.  Men are coming in through out the day and staying up to all hours of the night doing their part and donating their expertise.  The saints are meeting in a very nice make shift sanctuary set up in our gymnasium and the school is having to alter it's daily routine to conform to not being able to use the gym or the full kitchen facilities.

     As this all goes on there are special guests being brought in to teach and preach Chapel services during the day to further the well rounded Christian education of our youth.  This is all compounded by the fact that some awesome young men and women of our faith spend hundreds of man hours putting on a Fall Harvest Party Fundraiser to generate money for our school, Bethany Christian Academy.  Many of the people that were involved in the Harvest Party are doing double time or even triple time at the school and at full time jobs and other outside affiliated ministries.

     While all of this continued our church raised almost 4,000.00 this weekend for our Pastor to take on a trip with him to Panama this week.  He is the President of an international mission organization that is sponsoring a large Pastors meeting in Panama right now.  While most in the home church were having church in our evening service last night, several were with my family and I in Tulsa where I was preaching for Full Gospel World Mission Church.  We had many representatives from churches all around the United States in the form of Bible College student from Ozark Bible Institute.  They were traveling with Servant's Heart Outreach and stopped to be in service with us.

     Some of the ladies that were in that service were from Bethany, visiting Full Gospel and work at our HMA affiliate women's and babies home Martha's Heart.  Others that were in the service attend church regularly at Landmark Tabernacle in Sand Springs, OK, have direct ties with Bethany and work full time at The Saving Place where they help generate income for MANY MANY outreach ministry projects and support me and my family to do our ministries.

     There are ladies going into jail services and making contact with women that have horrible life struggles and these ladies are advised by myself about how to help the women.  We provide food, counseling, shelter, jobs, prayer, etc for people getting out of jail, struggling with addictions and much much more.  Much of which is financed by the regular weekly and monthly donations from families all around the country including a large number of the families from Bethany Holiness Church.

     There is a weekly county jail service put on by our Pastors brother, David Toliver that is also the county chaplain.  Many different men from the home church have attended these services regularly or at least from time to time when they can.  They also take a group at intervals into a state correction facility to present the gospel there.

     During this exact same time frame we have been raising money to fix up some churches, vans, buses and outreach buildings across the country.  We are attempting to distribute outreach, discipleship, church growth, addiction and biblical marriage material all around the United States.  We have partnered with some people to help us reproduce these materials in Spanish so that we can begin to distribute them into South America.  We are moving a Sister from Virginia to Sapulpa, OK during all of this.  She is going to help in multiple outreach programs and attend church at Bethany.  We had a minister move to Sapulpa this week from Texas to begin the process of integrating back into the "Body Bethany".  We are daily on the phone and the computer with young pastors, currently from 17 states, working with them on their doctrine, outreach, discipleship, fellowship and church growth.

     ARE YOU GETTING THE PICTURE?!?!  We have missionaries, evangelist, preachers, teachers, organizers, helpers, financiers, workers, followers, parents, leaders, business owners, prayer warriors and educators all hailing from Bethany.  Some work here full time, some come and go from here, some base out of other places but purpose to stop and spend what time they can here.  It is a testament to the leadership, the leadership styles, the history and especially the diligence to being like Christ that the men and women that worship here belong to!!!

     I have been asked at least 100 times in the last decade.  What makes Bethany like that?  Why is it working like that?  Tell us the key, etc?  First of all.  I have only been here for 10 years or so and I am only one small part of it all.  So for me to answer for Bethany as a whole would be ridiculous.  But this much I know.  People at Bethany tend to think before they speak, more than a lot of places that I know.  In the leadership for sure.  There seem to be less chips on shoulders, more big picture thinkers and more time and room to let things go before having to make a big deal out of them.  Bethany people tend to be "benefit of the doubt" people.  Less cultic and more cultural.  Less "my way or the highway" and more inclusive.  They are the kind of people that would often be described as easier going, sweet spirited, kind, helping, "real".  Bethany has not traditionally been a safe sanctuary for people that want to tell tales, gossip, crank it down and make people toe the line.  It is a place of refuge.  A place to learn, to better, to grow to pull up.

     Bethany, as always, I muse...YOU AMAZE ME!!!

Your humble servant,
Rev. D. Todd Sloggett


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Full Circle

This is my Father. Donald Ray Sloggett. I left him when I was 10 and didn't come back home until I was almost 15. Even then I was in and out of the house for several years. My Dad was always there for me and helped take care of my family all the way up until I left to evangelize full time when I was about 32 years old. 
Last year, my Dad went through some very rough times and ended up at rock bottom. After working very hard all of his life and amassing a good living and nest egg, he ended up basically homeless. He had his dog and some clothes and was living in his car, talking about going to a homeless shelter. My Dad has done more for more people than almost any person I have ever met and here he was with nothing and he had all but given up. 
Through the help of all of the saints and sponsors of HMA, we were able to help him in an amazing way. We took him in and took him to church and helped sort out his difficulties. One of the HMA ministry partners provided the platform that we were able to re-launch my Dad's life from. At 77 years old, he is starting over. 
My Dad came to Bethany and listened to the preaching of Pastor Darrel Toliver and myself and prayed and sought the Lord and his counsel. He would come to my office and ask advice and debate what to do or not do. We were able to re-work his finances and he was able to work through his thoughts and feelings. He was able to keep his dog and his car, both of which he was sure that he had to give up. 
Many of the saints would encourage him and give to him and it touched him very deeply. My Dad had lost his home, his business, his income, nearly his emotional stability and nearly his sanity. But today things are different. 
He left Oklahoma to go back to Idaho where he is from. He is re-opening his business, moving into an apartment and has all his ducks back in a row. The whole process took 8 months. THIS IS WHAT IT IS ALL ABOUT!!! I weep as I type this post. I am sooooo incredibly blessed to get to help addicts, give hope to the hopeless, see God fix the broken and bless the undeserving, etc. etc. But to be able to do what we do...for my own FATHER is more than this mortal heart can hardly stand. 
I know some of you don't get it. You don't understand what we are doing or why we are doing it or how it works or how it can be done through goof balls like us. But this thing called HMA is a network of preachers, teachers, counsellors, businessmen, Pastors, Saints, prayer warrior and workers, that are finding new ways everyday to reach the Least, the Last and the Lost. 
There are not enough hours in the day for me to tell you all of the stories of those that are receiving help through your efforts in supporting us and working with us, but this one was too special to go untold. 
Special, special thanks to The Dustin Toliver family, Pastor Darrell Toliver and the wonderful saints at Bethany Holiness Church, The Hugh Heneger family, The Mathew Castleberry

 family and my precious, loving wife and children for making this possible. Also a very special thank you to the regular financial donors of HMA. God bless each and every one of you.
This is the real Church, this is true Christianity, this is Biblical Holiness.
Your humble servant,
Rev. D. Todd Sloggett

Always Ready to Serve!

2nd TIMOTHY 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
I woke up this morning shortly before 4am in a motel room in Oklahoma City. Drove my truck 7 miles to the airport and flew to North Carolina, switched planes and flew to Lexington, Kentucky. Rented a car, drove to my motel in Richmond, changed clothes and drove to a meeting in London. 
By the time the meeting was almost over it was around 9pm and I was feeling my long hard day. Pastor Michael Wilson then said to me, "Would you like to preach in Laurel County Jail?" I said, "I would LOVE to. When?" "In about 20 minutes", he said. 
I was in a rental car, no Bible, no notes, no preparation, study or prayer time. No intention of preaching today, but there I was about 15 minutes later. Walking down the halls of the jail. 
It just so happened that I was able to borrow a guitar on the way into the jail and I had been pondering a thought in my mind all day about a scripture. We went in with some amazing brothers in the Lord and they brought us 40 broken, sin stained men that were somebody's sons, husbands and daddys. 
A brother sang and some others testified. The Lord moved mightily! I sang a song and preached for about 25 or 30 minutes and gave an altar call. About 20 men came foward and knelt on the concrete floor to submit to the Master! 
Men cried, prayed and confessed. It was beautiful. Before I left the jail I was allowed a private meeting with a young man that I had never we met but have been praying for, for years. His family members are close personal friends of mine. Pray for him, God knows. 
Pray for the Brothers that do this blessed work on a regular basis and say a prayer for the men that were touched during the service tonight. 
It's almost 1:30am, I am in another motel room and I wouldn't trade my life for anything. I live a charmed life...
In service of the Master,
Rev. D. Todd Sloggett

Tuesday, October 18, 2016


     Ok, this miracle has got so many twists and turns to it, I will try to do it justice. We at HMA have an affiliate that we support that is a Pregnancy Support Center. It is an alternative center to abortion. The main center has an ultra sound machine that is very important in helping convince expecting mothers not to abort. There is another clinic that doesn't have one. (actually several). This ministry is in North Carolina. 

     My wife and I went from our home in Oklahoma to preach and be a part of a Camp Meeting in Ohio. While we were there on Thursday morning, I mentioned the need of another ultra sound machine. Friday morning we went back to the church to speak again and someone was there that wanted to give us an ultra sound machine. There is a lady that was raised Catholic and had 2 abortions before she was 19. At nineteen she got saved. Since then she has been a staunch pro-life supporter. Her husband is a doctor and when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, they went down to help with the clean up. Some how through their dealings with people that they helped or met while doing that, they ended up with an ultra sound machine. They have had it for several years. 

     This women woke up Friday morning, (the morning after I expressed the need) she just so happened to be about 20 miles away from where I was at and I was about 700 mile from my home and office and about 500 miles from the clinic where we need the ultra sound machine to be. When she awoke she said that she had an sense of immediate urgency about getting that machine to someone who could use it. She got up and called Candice Keller, a local lady that runs a pro life organization in the greater Dayton, OH area. Candace Keller happened to be attending the church services that I was preaching in that week. She told Candace that she wanted to give the machine to her and Sister candace immediately gave it to me. The machine is only about 8 years old (very new for an ultra sound machine). It is in excellent condition and some church members of another HMA affiliate church, near the Pregnancy Support Clinic where the machine needs to go, have already volunteered to drive from North Carolina to Ohio and transport the machine back to where we need it to go.

      These machines run from about 15,000.00 to over 200,000.00. We looked at one of these several weeks ago very similar to this one and it was 28,000.00 used. Here is a picture of the actual machine that is being donated. God bless everyone involved.  PRAISE BE TO JESUS!!! Loving the LEAST, the LAST the LOST and the UNBORN!!!!!!!!!! By the way, this is one of multiple miracles that took place in the same 24 hour period. I will get to the others as my schedule allows. Please be in prayer and support for HMA and all our friends. God bless u!

Monday, October 17, 2016

My Cup Runneth Over!!!

Last night was one of the most exciting nights that I have experienced in a long, long time. We had a fundraiser in Down Town Tulsa. It was held just blocks away from where HMA's original outreach to the homeless was started. It brought back many fond memories and caused me to reminisce and wonder where many of the souls that we have worked with are today.
The event was a fundraiser for an HMA affiliate, Martha's Heart Women and Children's home. It was a uniquely classy and deep evening. I do not have any final totals but I have been involved with many such happenings and I am certain that the fundraising went very well. It was extra precious to me because several members of my family were involved in putting it on, several members of my home church were involved also, as well as some of my staff and even a few of our converts. 
To watch some of our young men and women shine and excel in doing the very hands on work of Christ gave me incredible joy. The evening was intended all along to be a concert/benefit/fundraiser but I don't think any one of us realized, going in, that it was going to be the benefit/fundraiser/a whole lot of church up in here event that it turned out to be. We listened and enjoyed. We watched and were awestruck. We gave and were blessed. We wept and praised and prayed and shouted and........mmmmmmmmmm!!! You just had to be there!
But even as wonderful as all of that was, it was just the tip of the iceberg of what God was REALLY doing. I have heard people preach, teach and talk my whole life about how they are not prejudice against whites or not prejudice against blacks. Or how we as pentecostals should be able to come together with Baptists to do the work of God or how, etc. etc. But the longer that I live on this earth, the more I see that things are going in the opposite direction.

When I have preached at churches that have whites in them, they are 99.9% white. When I have preached in churches that have blacks in them, then are 99.9% black. When I have preached at churches that have hispanics in them, they are mostly all hispanic. If I listen to Pentecostals preach, they inevitably get around to preaching against Catholics. When I listen to Baptists preach, they will almost always get around to preaching against Charismatics. 
Ohhhhhhhhhhhh but last night brothers and sisters!!! The Lord used the needs of some broken young women and some family-less small babies and HE made a statement! We had a bunch of people pulling together, giving for a Godly cause, coming together for Christ, praising God, worshipping OUR King, praying with each other, loving each other and finding common ground in Christ Jesus. 
We had a fundraiser-turned church service at a PRESBYTIRIAN church with some FREE HOLINESS singers and some PENTECOSTAL singers and some CHARISMATIC worshipers and a BAPTIST choir and I don't know what all. It didn't seem to bother anybody that there were blacks, whites, hispanics, Guatemalans and who knows who all that were all there pulling for less rapes, less abortions, less corruption of society, better social programs and MORE JESUS! 
I always hear preachers say that this is "how it should be" but they never seem to get around to being able to DO IT. And if someone else DOES IT, there must be something wrong with it. Well, I for one, am here to tell you that there was everything right with what happened last night. My wife saw it, my children saw it, my friends saw it, my ministry team saw it and I believe with all my heart that God designed it, foreordained it and smiled upon it. May God get the glory and may we all learn form it.

Your humble servant,
Rev. D. Todd Sloggett

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Divorce and Re-Marriage

Divorce and Re-Marriage

     I have avoided this particular topic many times when I probably should not have.  It is not that I have never approached it or dealt with it.  Merely that I have only done so in isolated instances.  For this I apologize.  The issue of divorce and re-marriage is one of the most troubling and dividing issues of the modern church.  Never the less it must be addressed. 

     First of all I must admit that this article has as much to do with what I don’t know and don’t understand as it does with what I do know and do understand.  It has to do with what the Bible plainly says and what it does not plainly say.  Almost every material outside of scripture that I have ever gotten my hands on about this topic, reads as if what it says is the final authority.  That is absurd.  God is the final authority.  Also, if whatever you say about it, including what you say about what the Bible says about it, isn’t fully seasoned with all scripture and the lack there of, then it is merely your opinion.  Much like what this will probably end up being of mine. 

     I do not give my opinion just to give it.  I give it in hopes of helping the hundreds of people that have asked about this subject with some clarity.  I will take plenty of heat from both sides of the topic and it matters little to me.  Truth and clarity is all that I am after.  I would much prefer to tell it the best way, the easiest way or the simplest way, but if I am going to tell it, I must tell it the most accurate way. 

     It may shock and surprise some the way in which I approach these topics.  I do not quote scriptures very much to attempt to “prove my point”.  Mainly because all of the scriptures on these topics are known and they are still twisted and misrepresented and partly because some folks will only read the ones that I print and never follow up with context and lazily accept what ever I say anyway. 

     To begin with I must start here.  God is pro marriage and He is anti divorce.  If you can read the Bible and find God to ever be against marriage or for divorce I probably can’t help you no matter what I say.  I believe this soooooo much that I make this statement on a regular basis.  Even if it is not the will God for you to marry that person, as soon as you do marry them, it becomes the will of God.  In other words,  God knows that is not the right person for you and He knows how miserable you will be in that marriage but if you defy Him and marry them anyway, you are not allowed to ever divorce them and say that it was never the will of God for you to be married in the first place.  Who ever you marry is who God expects you to be true to.  Don’t leave Him out of the marriage and then bring Him into the divorce.  God is into people staying the course.  He does not support quitting. 

     Let me take care of a little more house cleaning here.  Most of the people that wanted to know what my take on this subject was, don’t know me from Adam and asked for it on facebook.  This throws up a huge red flag to me.  Now it is possible that you are very sincere, are stuck in a cult and trying to get out, etc, etc.  But mostly it is people that don’t go to church, don’t have a Pastor, don’t read their Bible and aren’t trying very hard to serve God and are looking for REAL DOCTRINE ON FACEBOOK that might ease their conscience about a mess they have gotten themselves into.  Or perhaps you have followed the basic teachings of your church up to a certain point but ended up in a bad situation and you do not like or accept your leadership’s answers on this subject so you are looking for someone CREDIBLE to dispute them with.  If this is your approach, this will not turn out very good for you. 

     The whole reason that I write this as a blog is because I have studied out and decided what each form of electronic communication is good for and Godly for (See my sermon titled “Facebook, Twitter, Texting and Paul’s Letters to the Romans) and I have pre-determined that facebook is a horrible source and use for doctrine.  Another problem with random searches for doctrine outside of genuine study, bible reading, prayer and sitting under sound ministers is that people end up redefining their search.  Instead of trying to figure out what God wants of me and doing it regardless of what I want or think.  After all HE IS GOD.  We end up seeking after “what is it exactly that I can get away with” and still be a professing Christian.  Which is a disaster waiting to happen. 

     The premise of my answer is this.  Much of our doctrine hinges on when we, as ministers, can or cannot say “I don’t know”.  There is so much about ministry and Godly living that the new testament didn’t SAY exactly.  But over time we have eventually tried to fill in all the blanks.  That very well may be the biggest mistake the church ever made.  If the Bible is so precise, and it is, then the things that it didn’t say are probably just as important as the things that it did say.  In other words, God very well might have left certain things out so that ministries would stay less cultic and not be able to completely lord over every personal aspect of life thus leaving out the day to day need for each individual to communicate directly with God for answers to the most important questions.  (LIGHT BULB!!) 

     When the minister believes that he MUST have an answer for EVERYTHING, he will “come up” with answers.  Right or wrong, he will have them.  This eventually, usually over decades, sometimes faster, becomes less Christ-like and more cultish.  People get weaker, shallower, pray less, study less etc.  Because the bottom line is, whatever the leader says, that is our gospel.  No matter how good, Godly or accurate the minister is, it makes for a very weak, lethargic church.  I truly believe in some cases this is why God didn’t leave everything so cut and dry.  He left it where if you were in this terrible of a predicament that you would go through divorce, that you would consider having two living spouses, that you would have to seek God in a sincere, aggressive way to get His real answers for you because you obviously needed that much more of a relationship.  This isn’t picking a church to go to or deciding to split your tithe up or not.  These are eternity affecting decisions for multiple lives weighed in the balance. 

     I know that there are a hundred different people that will want to argue with me from a thousand different angles but here goes.  If I read every single thing that the Bible has to say about marriage, divorce, betrothal, putting away, adultery, fornication and everything in between….this is what I find.  Using NOTHING but scripture only, I can safely and confidently say, If you get divorced and stay single for the rest of your life and serve God with all of your heart, mind and strength, I PROMISE you, you can go to heaven.  If you get divorced and re-marry and serve God with all of your heart, mind and strength, I CANNOT PROMISE you that you can go to heaven.  I cannot promise you that you CAN’T go to heaven either.  There just isn’t enough there.  Or in some cases there is too much there.  In other words if you leave out a verse or two I can guarantee you one way or the other but when you include ALL of the verses I cannot promise that you can and I cannot promise that you can’t.  The only time I can promise is if you abstain form another marriage.  I have heard a thousand preachers give reasons why you can and I have heard a hundred preachers give reasons why you can’t.  I disagree with both sides.  But I will tell you this much, if I was the one doing the counseling I would plead for the safest possible solution,  This isn’t dominos that we are playing here.  This is for all and eternity.  Sometimes it really does come down to if you want to be happy or you want to make God happy.  If you are more concerned about your life now or your eternal life.

     The next question is, what if I am already in a second or third marriage?  Then it gets even more complicated.  My answer.  I DON”T KNOW.  If I did, I would tell you.  This much I know, I believe with all of my heart that if ANYBODY turns to God and prays and begs and cries and pleads with Him for help, guidance, direction, answers, HE WILL GIVE THEM.  If you are sincere God will commune with you.  You may reject Him but He will be real to you.  God is never wrong and He always does the best for His children. 

     Now I am sure what is going to happen here.  I will be given all kinds of scenarios of personal circumstance and he did this or she did that and I am innocent or it was at this age, or that long ago or he lied or…………All of your personal circumstance, and believe me I have been through it all with our clients, do not change what I do know and what I do not know about scripture.  Some people will quote 1 or 2 verses at me and make some big bold definitive righteous statement but then I can bring up another verse or 2 that will appear to contradict theirs and make a big radical religious statements back at them.  It will not change anything. 

     If you want to refute me, refute this.  The Bible is absolutely definite beyond the shadow of a doubt that A) God is pro marriage B) God is anti divorce C)  If you are divorced it is scripturally safer to not remarry D)There is some definite obscurity on if there is any way shape or form that one can have 2 living spouses and be as deep in God as they need to be.  My only other point was, if you are already in this predicament, pray, pray, pray and seek God.  It will amaze you how many people will fall out with this kind of logic. 

     As for what the church should be doing.  Preaching, teaching, counseling and putting forth sound examples of Holy Matrimony in practice.  Teaching and counseling very strongly against divorce.  Loving and helping and working with the divorced to do everything possible to help them grow in grace and find their place in the kingdom.  And encouraging the remarried to come to church, seek the Lord, raise their children in the house of God and search for answers inside the practices and principles of God’s Holy Church.  I know one more thing after reading the Bible cover to cover on many occasions.  It makes no sense to me that the church be established in it’s doctrine to shun, resist or belittle any particular person or persons.  If you think they are wrong, why in the world wouldn’t you want them to be in church?  The one place that they can get right. 

     If you have specific doctrines of what they can do and how far you believe you can let them go, fine, make it black and white and clear with all the love and right spirit that you can muster and then help them go forward into all of Christ that they can get.  I do not understand this idea that more preaching, more teaching, more praying isn’t what they need.  It’s what everybody needs. 

     Let me say this as well.  If you are in second marriage and you attend a church where they teach against it.  (This is where most of the people that have asked this question are coming from.)  If the preacher has a right spirit and is sane in his doctrine, you should be backing the preacher more than anyone else in the congregation when he is teaching against divorce and remarriage.  Especially if you have children or grandchildren in the church.  You of all people know first hand how terrible and horrific of a life altering event that a divorce can be.  How it breaks you and demoralized you and how it seems to affect everyone around you.  You of all people should want to be sure that your children and the youth of your home church never have to go through the horrors that you went through and one way that can help that is for them to be warned against it and shown how God is against it.

     It would be so much more peaceful to just tell you what I want to or what is comfortable or how I wish it was but I am constrained to tell you what I know to be the truth and what will help everyone the most, in the long run. 

     The truth is, your peace, strength, joy and satisfaction is not in another relationship.  It is in the one you can have with Christ Jesus.  You can get another mate and still be miserable.  But if you have the fullness of Christ, no matter what happens, you will still have joy!

Your humble servant,
Rev. D. Todd Sloggett