Some of my most recent posts have drawn the wrath of other Christian bloggers.
In a post entitled "Heritics 'R Us" the writer of 4Simpons Blog argues that a recent sermon I delivered was a demonstration of a minister "preach(ing) heresies." Check it out and draw your own conclusion. I suspect the author has a good heart and loves the Lord a lot so if you leave any comments be kind and respectful. Sadly, he has not shown that same courtesy to me but we can witness God's compassion together in our interactions with him.
The new "Saving Jesus" class that I'll be teaching in September has drawn some fire. Read A Shiny Brand-New Messiah:
Reverend Chuck Currie of the UCC announces a seminar called "Saving Jesus." (Guess Jesus is not strong enough to save himself these days.)...
I have no problem with people thinking the bible is not divinely inspired, nor denying the doctrines it contains (those of "the early church"). Nor do I have a problem, per se, with vigorous arguments against mainstream of traditional Christian faith and in favor of another belief system.
But most such critics are honest enough to admit that they are outside that faith. It takes a special kind of dishonesty to imply that people who promote new views are the legitimate heirs of a faith, while those who believe pretty much the same thing their parents and grandparents believed are somehow radicals who are "kidnapping" an ancient faith and turning it into something it has never been.
Anwyn's Notes of the Nargin had this to say recently:
This guy’s personal blog post was linked off the front page of the website of The Oregonian, oregonlive.com. Nice when you don’t even have to bother to pay your editorialists.
The comments left on this post where really interesting:
I thought it might be Currie before I clicked the link. He abhorrs the influence of conservative Christians’ influence in politics, but loves the liberal influence.
I haven’t run across him before. A real piece of work–sees no conflict (and thus offers no defense for it) in being Christian and pro-choice.
If this had been a Southern Baptist preacher promoting the appearance of a Republican candidate, all heck would have busted lose from the Left. (Rightly so, I might add.) But somehow its OK going this way? Shouldn’t be.
So, the church is a tax-exempt non-profit, eh? What says the IRS about his candidate (as opposed to issues) advocacy? Hmmm… might be worth looking into.
I’m not going anywhere near the pro-choice/Christian thing.
Oops. It’s a personal blog. He’s speaking on behalf of hisself, not on behalf of his church. Anyone want to bet he takes a deduction on the blog as a business expense? And his business is… ?
Issues of church and state are big one and can be confusing (at least for me).
Her’e a little bit of what I’ve written on this subject:
When I endorsed Barack Obama I said this:
“As a minister in the United Church of Christ, I trust deeply in the Constitutional principle of separation of church and state and my endorsement is therefore a personal one and does not reflect on the church I serve or my denomination. But as a citizen I believe that all Americans must engage in the political process as individuals for democracy to thrive. So I choose to add my voice today with millions of other Americans concerned about the direction of this nation.”
In a following post I made it clear how important I believe it is to separate any partisan political work from church life:
“…I refrain from any campaign work during work hours, the campaign knows only to call my private cell or home numbers, I do not discuss my involvement on campaigns with church members, and I would never promote my endorsement of a candidate from the pulpit during worship or during any other church related activity.”
I would never use church resources of any kind to promote a candidate. My endorsement was made on my personal blog and on the senator’s website. As USA Today reports, that isn’t the case for The Rev. Wiley Drake, a leading Southern Baptist Convention figure. Drake recently endorsed Mike Huckabee’s campaign for president on church letterhead. Now he wants God to silence his critics:
There are lines we cannot cross as clergy.
Finally, no I do not use by blog as a tax deduction.
If you want to argue with me do it in a civil manner. We don’t need to spend all our time tearing people apart.
And I'm happy to respond to any questions / concerns you might have.
Hi Chuck. I read about Drake, and his behavior is heinous.
There is no Constitutional principle of separation of church and state. The phrase came from Thomas Jefferson and has nothing to do with the Constitution.
Nobody is being uncivil here. I did not come onto your blog and begin arguing with you, nor did I argue with you here. I simply questioned your assumption that Obama does not receive campaign money from interest groups and commented in passing on the Oregonian’s partisanship. Commenter Norm made some incorrect assumptions, which you have now refuted.
I have no “questions or concerns” for you. If you were my pastor, I would, but thankfully that is not the case and you do not answer to me in any way.
You called me a “real piece of work” and filed your post under “jerks.” Norm suggested that something I was doing was illegal or unethical. The tone itself is uncivil. So was your final comment stating how thankful you were that we did not worship together
1) Yes, I called you a piece of work for the reason stated in that comment. Abortion is a hot-button issue for me.
2) I have filed posts referring to Obama under “Jerks” before, and it was he I was referring to now.
3) Norm did. You have refuted him.
4) My final comment did not say that I am thankful we don’t worship together. It said I am thankful you are not my pastor. If you call that uncivil, so be it. I call it noting the fact that you are not a man I could look up to as a Christian leader.
For my part in this discussion, I will apologize. I made some incorrect assumptions based upon my admittedly limited and anecdotal experience with pastors abusing their authority.
It was Roger Williams (a Baptist minister) who first used the phrase.
Thank you, Norm.
I was glad the exchange ended with Norm's apology. But I'm struck once again through all these posts at how "Christians" cannot even debate theology with getting slammed by those who use harsh political language. I'm reminded that I need to be more careful in the language that I use.