Foundry Memorial Methodist "Cult"

c 1997 Mark E. Howerter

The Other Side of the News

Last week's article started out with a statement about how every time I wonder whether we are being too hard on the Clintons or not, that some more info comes along which assures me we are not. Some have said that the Clintons only attended Glide Memorial Methodist Church in San Francisco once and that was way back in 1982. OK fine, then let's talk about the church they both attend regularly now in Washington, D.C.

Any church would have to try awfully hard to keep up with the antics that regularly go on at Glide, but Foundry Memorial Methodist Church (which is about a mile from the White House) does a good job of trying to do just that. While I haven't uncovered any stories about topless dancers at Foundry like there have been at Glide, Foundry is still not far behind.

Take the homosexuality symposium held at Foundry for example. Jesus was spoken of as a "drag queen." Homosexual marriages were praised and the Ten Commandments were declared immoral. The keynote speaker was the infamous Episcopal Bishop John Spong who has trashed every Christian doctrine held dear by the true church since its birth in the first century.

Bishop Spong made fun of the star which led the wise men to the baby Jesus and then went on to make fun of all Biblical prophecy claiming that, "People can't predict future events. It's a magical view of the Bible." If that wasn't enough he then attacked the virgin birth and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Spong said that events in Jesus' life didn't happen the way they are reported in the Bible, but were just "interpreted" that way. Spong also claimed that the Apostle Paul was a "self-hating homosexual" and that legitimizing homosexuality within the church is " a total justice issue exactly like the civil rights movement."

How were Bishop Spong's beliefs received by Foundry's pastor, J. Philip Wogaman? Wogaman said, "Bishop Spong's remarks this morning were so stimulating," noting that he also shares concerns about a "literalistic" view of the Bible.

"The day-long `celebration' was organized by PFLAG (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays). Called `Sharing Our Rainbow of Light,' the November 10 (1995) symposium's speakers surprised even their mostly homosexual audience of several hundred persons with their denial of traditional religious beliefs."

According to Mark Tooley, who attended the event, at the conclusion of the symposium, "The clergy processional was led by flags showing the homosexual rainbow emblem. A banner behind the altar carried the rainbow surrounded by skulls, symbolizing `truth, justice, reconciliation, and peace.'"

During the service Tooley reports that, "male couples held each other and kissed in the pews." "The Reverend Kwabena Rainey Cheeks of the Inner Light Unity Fellowship, a New Age group, prayed to `ancestors, lights, angels, saints and spirits of Buddha, Mohammed and Jesus.'"

The Foundry church has been praised in the D.C. gay newspaper, "The Washington Blade." The "Blade" quotes Wogaman as saying that he disagrees with the United Methodist stand against ordaining gay ministers. "I deeply regret that some fine people have not been able to serve because of that rule," Wogaman told a "Blade" reporter.

Mark Tooley, director of UM Action, a committee of the Institute on Religion and Democracy attended the meetings and tape recorded the symposium on homosexuality at Foundry. I had the privilege of speaking to Mark on the phone while researching this article and I credit Mark for most of what I have been able to learn about Foundry. The reason he is such a credible witness is that Mr. Tooley is a Methodist man. He is not an outsider who has a goal of trashing the Methodist Church. It is clear from his writings that he has a love for the Methodist church, but a disdain for what is being done by Pastor J. Phillip Wogaman at Foundry Memorial Methodist Church in Washington, D.C.

Foundry is not typical of the 8.7 million member United Methodist Church according to Tooley. "For example, Foundry is one of only 87 churches out of the denomination's 37,000 that have enlisted in a `Reconciling' movement that rejects Methodism's disapproval of homosexual practices."

Foundry's pastor, J. Philip Wogaman, has gone on record publicly as a supporter of socialism and pro-choice. He despises capitalism. He supports higher taxes and the taking over of health care by the federal government. He saluted the Supreme Court for its ruling on Roe V. Wade for its "humane spirit and practical wisdom." He also publicly speaks out against any initiative to bring back prayer in schools. Tooley also quotes Wogaman as saying, "Like the `Washington Post,' the Scriptures contain both truth and error." He has also publicly called Biblical authority a "crutch" which he has preached against.

Well, let's see what kind of "church" the Clintons call home in Washington D.C. One that holds pro-homosexual symposiums and invites the reprobate Bishop Spong to be the keynote speaker. One that is pastored by a man who believes in ordaining homosexuals into ministry. One led by a pastor who believes in socialism, higher taxes, no prayer in schools, that the Bible is full of errors and on a plane with "The Washington Post," and that Biblical authority is a crutch. One pastored by a man who thinks Bishop Spong is "stimulating" when he makes fun of a belief in the virgin birth and resurrection of Jesus from the dead and Biblical prophecy in general. The list could go on and on. I must not. Suffice it to say that birds of a feather flock together and the Clintons fit right in at Foundry Memorial Methodist Church in Washington, D.C. just fine.

One hallmark of a cult is that they subtract from the person of Jesus Christ and His deity and/or they add or take away from the Bible. Phillip Wogaman at Foundry Memorial Methodist Church does both. You can still choose to put "Methodist" over the door of Foundry Church in Washington, D.C., but "Cult" would make a better header. Bill and Hillary Clinton have shown their true "spiritual" colors by the "church" they have chosen to attend.

There will still be those who will tell me, "judge not brother that you be not judged" when I say that the Clintons can't be true believers, but anyone who can't see the difference between the Clintons and a Christian are blind followers of the blind.

A desire to ordain homosexuals, skulls behind the altar, praying to ancestors and Buddha, denying the virgin birth and resurrection of Christ from the dead etc. would make any true believer uncomfortable to say the least. A Christian might wander in a church like that once, but would not be able to call it home, and yet the Clintons proudly call Foundry home. Not only that, but Hillary said Bill taking her to visit Glide Memorial Methodist Church in San Francisco was the greatest Mother's Day present she ever received. If you didn't read last week's article to see what kind of a "church" that is then please take a look at it.

If there is any discernment left at all in the true church then let's use it, and see if there is any difference between Glide and Foundry Churches and a cult. If not, then let's no longer fear calling a spade a spade and admitting that the Clintons can not be examples of true believers in Jesus Christ.