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Suns & Shields

By Rachelle Hamlin

 

sunsandshields@att.net

Read more of Rachelle's editorials:  Suns & Shields Index page

A Change in Direction

By Rachelle Hamlin

Fort Fairfield Journal, April 17, 2013

In order for one to be a leader, all they must do is make a commitment to whatever talent lies within them. Once they are fully committed, followers are going to make their own lines behind them as long as they are first, able to make contact with their leader, and second, persist in imitation or adulation. Anyone can do this from Obama to the unknown Tim Belvedere Cruz. "If the blind lead the blind," said Jesus, "they both fall into the ditch." If on the other hand, a Christian tries to lead in this way, it won't work for them. Everything the Bible teaches mitigates against self-aggrandizement. Eventually the Holy Spirit will clear out any line of followers. So how is a Christian to become a Christian leader? All is dependent on direction.

The Christian worth following is one who has made union with the Holy Trinity his or her destination. This goal will be supported by the Holy Spirit. The OT states that when one is a Branch of the vine that God planted in this earth, "the Branch always has a place to walk among them that stand by." The Branches change those that see and hear them, but they don't necessarily have people lining up behind their bodies. They have a spiritual following. Today I want to introduce you to such a Branch. He represents both a sun and a shield as he has integrated these into his visible conduct so well that he is now making news due to his outstanding behavior. His name is Kenneth Miller. Remember, "the only place for a just man in an unjust society is in its jails." He has been in a Vermont jail since last summer.

Kenneth Miller, a Mennonite pastor, became acquainted with a woman named Lisa Miller (not related) who rejected a lesbian "marriage", repenting of her sexual sins. She was attempting to return to the Lord and conform to His ways. Lisa had become inseminated while "married" to a woman, and birthed a daughter she named Isabella. An unfortunate consequence of her rebellious "marriage" was that she inadvertently gave her partner marriage rights formerly reserved for truly married people; namely, court-ordered visitation rights. Janet Jenkins, her three year "marriage" partner, was given the right to visit Lisa's child by a Vermont family court judge.

Lisa's dilemma was that she could not now raise her child in the purity that her conversion demanded as long as her Lesbian partner remained part of Isabella's life. She sought help from Kenneth Miller who understood that if Lisa chose to relocate to a place in this world where the strange law of Vermont would not be binding, she would then be free to raise Isabella in a normal way. A number of people became involved in assisting Lisa to move to South America. Lisa and Isabella have been there for about ten years.

Meanwhile, the 47 year old, Kenneth Miller was convicted last summer of aiding in international child kidnapping. Now that is a stretch, but that is present day Vermont to the core. I was personally involved in a nearly identical dilemma such as Lisa's, in which the pastor counseled that the parent move to another state where the offensive ruling would not have the force of law. No one charged kidnapping, neither was there an aggressive pursuit of the parent or pastor involved. This tells me that none of this would have happened if Janet Jenkins could only have accepted the consequences of her own decisions and truly loved her ex-partner. Lacking that, Kenneth Miller faced sentencing on March 5, 2013 in Burlington, Vermont. Full details of what happened can be found at themillercase.org.

This is an excerpt from that site written that day.

"David Bercot, one of the consulting attorneys, explained the future prospects this way: "Two to three years from now, we should receive a ruling from the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals on our appeal. If they agree with us that venue in Vermont was improper, then the federal government will have to start over. Such a ruling would erase Ken’s sentence as well as his felony conviction. The government may elect to try Ken in Virginia, or they may decide to drop the case. If the Court of Appeals rules that venue in Vermont was proper, then Ken will have to report to the prison to which he will be assigned to begin his sentence."

Pastor Miller was released for the time being to return to his family. If you will read the excerpt from the trial of his testimony under oath, you will see a picture of a true Christian leader. He is committed to the Holy Trinity and his is direction is fixed on the paramount necessity of man to unite with God. He has served as both a Shield to his flock (true to his calling) and a Sun (as his testimony clearly reveals). At the most trying part of his testimony, his voice was shaking but his words were not. No media considered this important enough to report on.

This was the scene outside the court in Burlington, VT that late afternoon;

"The air was cold, snowy, a bit raw and blustery, but the mood was one of quiet jubilant thanksgiving as we gathered on the street, offered some prayers, and sang a few songs. Ken spoke to several reporters. In prayer, Ken acknowledged our Creator God, the love of Jesus, His gift of life eternal, and prayed for the judge, for this nation, and for the friends he had anticipated returning to at the prison in St. Albans, VT. With meaning in our hearts we sang together, "There is a God He is alive..., O victory in Jesus my Savior forever..., The love of God is greater far than tongue or pen can ever tell..., Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus..., and I was in sin's prison O so dark and cold...".

 

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