Thursday, November 28, 2013

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Do this sort of thing long enough and you will eventually arrive at a point where you almost unfailingly know what somebody’s going to say well before you read it.  Case in point: the Rev. Scott Delgarno, a Utah Presbyterian, riffs on The Single Most Misunderstood Group Of People In The Whole History Of The Entire World And Any Other Worlds Out There That Might Be Inhabited By Some Form Of Intelligent Life:

On Oct. 18 The Tribune reprinted a fascinating piece from the Religion News Service titled, “Mainline Protestants: vintage or vibrant?” The piece examined the fact that many mainline Protestant churches are shrinking and have been for decades. This is true, but as a pastor of a Presbyterian (USA) congregation in Sugar House that is growing and also growing younger, I would like to rise and say, “Rumors of our demise are a little premature.”

The article suggests we may be in need of re-branding. I would say no to that, but not for the reason stated by Steven Hunter, quoted in the piece: “People didn’t leave these churches because of marketing or branding, and they won’t come back for it either. Sorry. But you can’t water down a faith until it’s essentially meaningless and then expect to still draw people.”

“Water down?” I wonder. Is accepting Darwin’s theory of evolution (seeing no conflict between science and our belief that God created the universe) to water down the gospel? I think not. Mainline [Protestant]Christians happen to be Christians who, in most cases, have highly developed critical thinking skills.

As opposed, I guess, to Roman Catholics, conservative Protestants and the Orthodox who are all dumber than a bag of hammers.  But here’s the deal.  If you have visited this site for any length of time, you know exactly what is coming next because you have read versions of it dozens of times.

That’s all. We may not take the Bible literally in every instance, but make no mistake, we take it seriously. Very. We do our best to read the Bible on its own terms, not on terms dictated by the political right wing in this country, a political wing that seems to have taken evangelical Christianity hostage.

Translation: we accept the stuff we like and then wait for liberal theologians, the whores of the intellectual world, to provide us with justifications for us to reject the stuff we don’t like but still tell people that we take the Bible seriously.

These are the most predictable people in the world.

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