Thursday, December 13, 2007

Merry Shucksmas

Apparently John Shuck has his panties in a wad over the House of Representatives voting to give a hat-tip to Christmas. He invokes the almighty wall of separation between church and state. Funny...from this blogpost, you'd think he didn't like walls that kept blood-thirsty religious nuts from damaging otherwise democratically run institutions.

What really gets my goat, however, is that he pretends to be taking the high-road of neutrality in church-state relations. I might be able to swallow that if he'd posted something similar when the House passed an identically worded resolution honoring Ramadan. But let's face the facts: the guy hates Christmas almost as much as he hates the virgin-born Lord of the Church.

update: I almost forgot to mention this. I admit that, as a Reformation junkie, I don't get as worked up about Christmas as I do about Easter or even every single Lord's Day. Moreover, the whole "war on Christmas" bit is overplayed by folks in my camp. Nevertheless, I find this anecdote illustrative.

I was examined for candidacy at First Elizabethton, where John serves as guru. The presbytery meeting was held in December, so the nice elder that was hosting us wished us "Happy Holidays." A moment of silence passed, after which an astute elder seated behind me shouted "And a MERRY CHRISTMAS as well!"

First Liz regularly hosts awareness events for other religious celebrations. However, I'm afraid they've forgotten (more likely forsaken) their own....

16 comments:

captainkona said...

"First Liz regularly hosts awareness events for other religious celebrations. However, I'm afraid they've forgotten (more likely forsaken) their own...."

Do you think any other religion holds "awareness events" for their own religion? LOL

I'll bet you thought the Jews in congress should support the measure too.

I invite you to find genuine faith in your heart, brother. It will serve you better than the black-and-white, signed and sealed, notarized kind.

Dave Moody said...

I like that, "Merry Shucksmas." A legend in his own mind...

Chris said...

Ever noticed how many widgets he has devoted to tracking his audience and who is linking to him? Frightening.... Probably needs to process that attention-getting behavior in CPE or something.

Chris said...

"Captain"

Um...I would think that every time a religious organization celebrates its own faith, it's an awareness event. Sunday is the Lord's Day, so Christians do that every week - remember the God who created the world and redeemed a people to himself. There's a Presbyterian Church right down the street from First Liz if you'd like to experience Christian worship. Try it out...it'll raise your awareness.

As for the Jews in Congress, if they chose to vote for the Ramadan resolution, I expect them to have voted for the Christmas one as well. My own Rep. Yarmuth was duplicitous - voted Yea for Ramadan but Present for Christmas. I know that he doesn't celebrate either, so if he wants to make a nod to religious diversity then he should attempt to respect more than one. After all, most Christians don't want to wipe Israel off the map.

I invite you to find faith in Jesus Christ. Faith in faith or faith in yourself is just a form in metaphysical masturbation. It's a bridge going nowhere. Faith in Jesus Christ - the real Jesus Christ as testified to in the Scriptures - is an exciting and humbling journey.

Benjamin P. Glaser said...

I see that the "other" Presbyterian Church runs a:

Abortion Alternative Christian Services and Crisis Pregnancy Center

That cannot sit well with the folks at First...

Chris said...

Memorial was formed by the Christians ...I mean, SCHISMATICS from First Liz.

Benjamin P. Glaser said...

Before or After Shuck?

Chris said...

Memorial left fairly early in the PCA's history - gaining ground in the leadup to and fallout from the North/South union. The previous pastor - heavy into Bultmann and Tillich - was there for more than two decades, so First Liz has been bereft of evangelical preaching for over a quarter century.

...um, maybe I should say "hi" to the CPM who is undoubtedly reading my grace-filled blogposts.

No disrespect, but I think the presbytery failed when they didn't rigorously examine this wolf in shepherd's clothing. They've also failed the congregation by not applying our confessional standards. While congregations have the right to call whomever they wish, the presbytery has the responsibility of making sure that it's the gospel that's being preached.

God save the church.

Viola said...

Chris, in case you are unaware CaptainKona is TN420 from Shuck and Jive's comments. He is the one who advocates violence at http://tn420.org/cove/page.php?id=9. I will quit reminding people of that when he apologizes.

Benjamin P. Glaser said...

If it is any consolation my CPM also is "monitoring" my blog posts. My 88-y/o liaison who does not have e-mail somehow had printouts of my posts.

Chris said...

Viola,

Thanks for the unmasking. I can't stand it when people conceal their identity. That's something I respect about John: once he was in, he was himself. Now if the presbytery had just pushed for a little more up-front disclosure.....

Ben,

Why am I not surprised. I invite my CPM to talk to me about my blog. Of course, the moment they do, I'll ask them if they've asked the COM and the Presbytery to have a chit-chat with John about his.

I'm all for freedom - so long as it's even handed. That's a large part of the problem in our denomination. The orthodox allowed the heterodox to have freedom - freedom to preach in Christ's pulpits and teach from Christ's seminaries. As soon as they got there, they started telling the orthodox that we weren't free to say things. At LPTS a student was dragged before the Dean because he dared use a masculine pronoun while referring to God in his senior sermon!

Presbyman said...

Speaking of freedom, consider the huge contrast in treatment of Rev. Kirk Johnston to that of Rev. John Shuck. Johnston is being prohibited by his COM from proclaiming the Gospel ANYWHERE within the geographic boundaries of Heartland Presbytery. If he persists in proclaiming the Gospel, he loses his benefits.

On the other hand, in Shuck's case, it is perfectly acceptable to demean the Gospel and regularly trash the orthodox faith. He risks nothing by such actions.

What the denomination has gotten itself into is this: bureaucratic perogatives are elevated above preaching the Word of God.

Chris said...

But John, the letter closed with "In Christ's Service"...doesn't that mean it was a Christian act?

I think we're all gonna have some `splainin to do when the real Jesus shows up....

will said...

"At LPTS a student was dragged before the Dean because he dared use a masculine pronoun while referring to God in his senior sermon!"

You've gotta be kidding.

Was that the actual reason given?

Chris said...

Will,

I wish I were kidding. I was hauled before the Dean twice myself. Once was because I took courses at Southern Baptist across the street. The other time was for "interactional patterns" and for quoting from academic sources that contradicted assigned readings. (They called it a "shadow bibliography" that I'd compiled.) I actually have a recording of when I went before them the second time.

Nevertheless, my CPM assures me that I have issues that need to be ironed out in CPE and that none of the "friction" experienced at the school could be generated by someone else's hypersensitivity. Believe me, Will, I could go on and on about LPTS.

There was a silver lining, though. The NT faculty was phenomenal. They were so even-handed and broad minded that nobody could find anything bad to say about them. I remain on good terms with both my NT profs.

will said...

Funny how that much vaunted academic freedom doesn't extend to some people. I guess in this delightful world of (self-professed, unpracticed) tolerance "some animals are more equal than others."