Saturday, July 28, 2012

An alternate universe news report??

I copied this from an online friend who originally wrote it.     He opened it with this: 
Please tolerate my foolishness please .... a weird news report:
Jesus of Nazareth's controversial stance in favor of traditional marriage has ignited a storm, leading to him and his followers being banned from municipalities across the nation.

The controversy centers around his hyper-conservative and narrow-minded view of marriage (quoted in Matthew 19:1-6) as between one man and one woman. Civic and religious leaders are up in arms as a result.

Mayor Thomas Menino of Boston banned, Dan Cathy, the CEO and founder of Chick-fil-A restaurants, due to his agreement with Jesus of Nazareth. "The guy is a homophobe," commented Menino. "Even his own religion and fellow citizens can't stand Jesus and his followers! Like us, they are trying to silence him too. No wonder: they act like he is God, or something. We can define morality, just fine, without Jesus of Nazareth."

Mayor Rahm Immanuel of Chicago has weighed in. Recently, he banned Chic-fil-A restaurants, due to their founder's affirmation of Jesus' conservative view of marriage between one man and one woman: "I may not be able to do anything about street murders in my city (Chicago has a higher murder rate than that of Afghanistan), but I sure can keep Jesus and his followers from entering this fair city."

Citing their policy on freedom of expression, Facebook shut down Mike Huckabee's forum for freedom of religion and speech for evangelicals and catholics who believe the teachings of Jesus. "Even though I make billions of dollars, and control millions of people's opinions, I am one of the 99%," said Mark Zuckerberg, founder of the social media juggernaut, Facebook, "In our attempts to foster open debate, we will censor evangelicals and catholics who believe such hate speech as espoused by Jesus of Nazareth."

We called Emperor Caesar's Homeland Security for their opinion of Jesus and his followers. An official released this prepared statement, "Jesus and his followers are very dangerous. They refuse to adopt the morality of their culture. We applaud your efforts to stifle them. We are working on a final solution for them, and know that, together, we will save the world from these people and their subversive views."

"I swear, I do not know the man!" emoted Neo-Oprah-dox theologian, Bishop Bubu of the Church of the Couch. "Jesus used to be the cool kid who cared for the poor and powerless, and stood against abusive civil power and religious hypocrisy. But now, he clearly stands against us. As you know, we Progressives are ever-evolving in its view of everything. Jesus is going the other way - back to Creation - to define marriage between one man and one woman. I may not believe much anymore, but one thing I can tell you with conviction: Jesus is no Progressive."

The Presbyterian Church's Committee on Tolerance and Diversity has also taken a strong stance. We caught up with the chairperson, while attending a seminar, "Tickling Our Ears." He solemnly remarked, "After much weeping and gnashing of teeth, we decided to delete Jesus and his writings from any influential position in our church. Sadly, the only just and loving way to protect our freedom of conscience and behavior was to remove Jesus from our midst. We cannot, yea we must not, tolerate his diversity. But, we continue to pray for more light to shine upon his heart and mind."

The PCUSA is presently in federal court, suing Jesus for ownership rights to the Kingdom of God. If they prevail, they will rename it: "Rainbow Realm of Pan-Gender Deity."

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Watching the PC(USA) GA

Like many Presbyterian polity geeks, I'm sitting home watching the PC(USA)'s 220th General Assembly via streaming video.

You may have heard of a few things going on:  Israeli Divestment, same sex marriages.    I"m not going to review them here, except to say they both lost, and your local paper may not have the full information, nor the expertise to understand what our polity is all about.

No, this blog entry is about the overall BLOAT of the General Assembly docket, as well as the bloat of the number of advisory committees that give orders advice to the various committees that review the overtures sent in by the presbyteries.

These advisory committees weigh in on almost every overture that comes in, and it makes you wonder what some of them are doing putting out an opinion on an overture that really has no relationship to the area they are supposed to be advising on.

Today, I watched as the discussion of same sex marriage started three hours late.  This was due to the battle over divestment the night before.   The GA plenary schedule was already 3 or 4 hours behind by the time they started the SSM deliberations.   In the middle of all of it, they had to break for dinner.

They came back, and went for another two hours.    As I finished watching for the night at around 12 midnight, they were still going over another committee's report.    OK, I get it, every GA commissioner has a right to express an opinion, and to propose amendments, but good grief .. please be prepared.       Then you have the commissioners who ask for some clarification by calling on the resource  person from an advisory committee.   Oh great, lets just have the staffers do the testimony, deliberation and decisions then.

Then you have the Young Adult Advisory Delegates ... !!  Yes, I realize that its good to have the voices of youth at the GA, but how are these kids selected?  Most have no grounding on Scripture (a lot of what I heard is of the well, the Jesus I know'  type of response), and hardly any Polity knowledge.     These kids are the ones most easily swayed by the personal feeling types of arguments used by many of the liberals.

Even so .. none of this would be an issue, if it weren't for the sheer number of these overtures coming from the Presbyteries.  The number of overtures for the Social Justice committee is staggering, then you have the others change in Polity .. Church Orders .. and so on.

Which is why, over the past three or four GAs that I've watched, the last night of the GA always lasts way past midnight so that all the business can get accomplished.  And for what .. pronouncements by the PC(USA) to tell Iran to play nice with its neighbors.    Oh yeah, I can just imagine the Ayatollah saying to himself Gee, the Presbyterians of the PC(USA) are upset with what we're doing, I'll have to fix that right away." !!      Hey guys .. GET A CLUE .. the days when people paid attention to what the PC(USA) said are long gone.  In fact, they were way before the PC(USA) was born during the merger.

Looking at the GAs of the EPC, PCA .. even our spiritual cousins, the Church of Scotland, and Free Kirk of Scotland.     They don't have these late night sessions, they don't even have staffs 1/4 the size of ours.      Yet they get things done, decently and in order.  and, in the case of the Church of Scotland, actually get ahead of themselves so they can call a free afternoon in the middle of a GA.

But I guess that's what happens when a denomination gets more worked up about calling on parents to stop spanking their kids, than spreading the life changing Word of God to a nation, a world that is looking for the Truth.

Then again, this GA affirmed that the denomination has many interpretations of Scripture, so no one should prevail.    As Pilate said .. What is truth?   In the PC(USA) we don't have the ONE any more.

... and so it goes.