Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Hottest New GA Game: Jesus Says!

All week long, I watched the 218th General Assembly. It astounded me how many times people stated that Jesus would do this or say that to bolster their arguments. What a load of baloney! None of us were around with Jesus in New Testament times. We have no earthly idea about what He would do or say with regard to our cultural dilemmas and ecclesiastical issues. We question the authenticity of the Gospels and the authority of the scriptures. We transfer our own cultural preferences and see our own societal prejudices in the texts that were written by the people who truly knew Him.

We are a bunch of narcissistic hypocrites looking to justify our politically correct ways and cultural orientations. We cast aside our allegiance to Christ because we don’t want to submit to Him. We change what the Bible says because we want everybody to like us. And then we get up to the microphones and tell other people what Jesus would do as if He’s our best buddy, turning Him into a theological ventriloquist’s dummy by putting words into His mouth and thoughts into His head.

Bovine manure! We are the biggest bunch of failed followers in the history of Christianity and we have so diluted the Gospel that we have deluded ourselves into shaping Jesus like play dough and making Him a bobblehead character to sit beside our PCs. Our modern Presbyterianism is a theological tacky, mood manufactured, and cheapened grace of a faith. Even the word faith is false when applied to us – we have spiritual trends, and that’s about all.

Perhaps we still have time left. Perhaps we can return to what we once were. Perhaps the Church will go through a revival, instead of cultural capitulation and doctrinal denial. Philippians 2:9-11 can be the starting point.

9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

John Stuart, aka Stushie, is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee


Jim Jordan said...

I think this GA confirmed our worst fears, the PCUSA has decided to be a liberal, New Age, post-Christian body. I'm transferring to another denomination this week.

Doug Hagler said...

Wow. A couple votes don't go your way and suddenly its raining fire and brimstone.

If only it were the case that the PCUSA was the worst lot of failed believers in history! What a wonderful history that would be. If only!

Unfortunately, we're just run-of-the-mill failures of various kinds.

If this GA confirmed your *worst* fears, you frankly need to find some new things to be afraid of. Like killer bees or Ebola or cancer or even a terrorist attack. The PCUSA is a wheeze in a windstorm - its still the wheeze I choose, but its a wheeze nonetheless. And whatever denomination you transfer to will just be wrong in new and fascinating ways.

If you expect to get exactly what you want from a denomination, and to never have a disagreement with anyone else, and to never have anything go a way you don't want it to, then disappointment will be your lot forever.

Why is it such a shock that a vote can go a way you don't like? I guess I've had more time to get used to it. I promise, the sting fades, and you realize that God is even bigger than the GA - or your denominational governing authority of choice, I suppose, if you really are leaving because of this.

Stushie said...

Doug, you're so predictable at times, but that's to be expected. I guess it's part of the seminary-lite training these days. BTW, I'm not leaving the PCUSA - I'll be a burr under its saddle and a thorn in its worldly flesh.

Drew said...


Can we refrain from the ad hominem crap that has no bearing on much of anything?

Fanning the flames of melodrama not only looks stupid, it is hardly helpful or constructive in my judgment.

Stushie said...

Melodrama? That's what's you call strong opinions on the other side?

In my neck of the woods, it's called deep convictions based upon centuries of tradition, rooted in scripture, and loyal to Christ.

As for the ad hominem stuff, it's grass roots grievances that emergent seminarians are coming up against. This is not about ivory tower academics or feel-good psuedo-theologies, this is about real issues of true faith and the gloves are off.

Drew said...

Stushie, you can take the gloves off, but there is a certain amount of respect in the language that we use in the process. Without equality of respect from both sides we have lose as a Body of Christ. And I am calling on both sides of this particular issue to wake up and realize this. IF we are committed to this denomination is is our duty as witnesses to the Gospel to maintain respectable candor. Using metaphors of excrement and needless condescension are what will elicit an irreconcilable rift - not the decision rendered by the GA.

Stushie said...

Sorry Drew. Maybe you should start reading what John the Baptist, Christ Himself, and Paul said when arguing against hypocrisy and false teaching. Nothing decent and in order there.

You've chosen to fight for the life of the PCUSA and it's going to get a lot uglier because some of us who have kept semi-silent are not going to quietly into the night.

Presbyman said...

The Progressive Language Police is staking out your blog, Stushie. Be afraid. Be very afraid. :-D

Drew said...

Show me where they used ad hominem invective as a rhetorical device and then we can talk. Arguing why a point is wrong is one thing, essentially calling someone stupid is another. There is constructive arguing and there is not. The level of discourse a post like this is neither constructive nor helpful in my judgment.

Presbyman: I know you were joking, but this is not even a progressive versus not progressive issue. It is a matter of constructive discourse in disagreement.

Stushie said...

Snakes, vipers, hypocrites...from Jesus & John the Baptist.
Paul also talked about Judaizers being castrated. Even the Greek word that Paul uses for 'homosexual' isn't exactly one that you could pleasantly translate into English...****-******!

Stand up and be counted. If your argument is worth defending then speak out, but as for a peaceable kingdom and pc points..forget about it. It's much too late for that.