By Tony Breeden, Defending Genesis.
Presbyterian John Shuck is at it again. He’s trying to get the PCUSA to affirm theClergy Letter Project and Evolution Sunday. Again. His last attempt was shot down 49-5.
And that’s not all.
According to an article he wrote in Presbyterian Voices for Justice [Network News – Fall 2015], he thinks the Presbyterian Church needs to do away with most traditional Christian doctrine …
Shuck worships himself…isn’t the first….won’t be the last.
Maybe you should read the Clergy Letter before you judge the man, not that you should be judging him at all, as I remember my Bible.
Presbyterians by an large are not creationists. The idea that the earth is 6 thousand years old or that the stories of Jonah or Noah are more than allegory or myth is not who we are.
Anti-intellectualism is not the path we follow.
This guy is not even a Presby. Was this printed because he criticized John Shuck, or because he had something to say that was intellectually honest.
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
1 John 4:1
“…but test everything; hold fast what is good.”
1 Thessalonians 5:21 ESV
Mary, dear, you really should think about what you’re writing before you hit the submit button.
Your first phrase assumes a fact that is not in evidence (i.e. that common tater has not read the so-called clergy letter), something about which you actually have no way of knowing one way or the other. That’s called an unwarranted assumption.
Your second phrase heaps judgment on common tater for his having heaped judgment on John Shuck. But surely what’s bad for the gander is bad for the goose as well. That’s called a double standard, and someone who uses a double standard is called a hypocrite.
And your final phrase, citing the Bible without actually citing anything in particular within the Bible, is simply absurd. Instead of quoting Scripture, you just throw out the word “Bible,” and assume that this somehow adds weight to your comment. That’s called ridiculous.
Next time, Mary, you might want to think about what you have written before you submit it for the world to see. It could save you some serious embarrassment.
Wonder how many people know the PCUS (old “southern” church)G.A. declared that the statement in the Bible that the earth was created in 6 days (found in Genesis)would no longer be considered correct by them–this passed in 1969. I imagine that many of the readers of this column who were part of the PCUS in 1969 do not know this… history can be both interesting and revealing. Source of info–Witness without Parallel by Earl Johnson–footnotes there will point to the PCUS records.
Yes, I probably SHOULD have said…..”from his writings, it seems to me that Shuck worships himself.”…but this being a comment board, I figured people understood it was the opinion I got from readin this!
sorry James…..but you can be a “creationist” and believe the earth is older than 6000 years….AND it is possible to believe other parts of the Bible are literal AND also be far more “intellectual” than you seem to be…… Arrogant condescension is not the path ‘we’ follow.
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. … And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” (Heb. 11.1-3,6)
John Shuck has gone on record saying that he does not “believe in God as a supernatural agent or force”, that rather, “God is a symbol of myth-making not credible as a supernatural being or force”. He does not believe that God exists, let alone “that he rewards those who seek him”.
Similarly, he has stated, “Jesus may have been an historical figure, but most of what we know about him is in the form of legend.” And on this website, he has posted, “Jesus is not coming back.”
The man simply does not believe—let alone teach—the central tenets of the Christian faith. He has rejected the Gospel of Jesus Christ as taught by the Apostles in favor of his own “belief-less Christianity”. He “utilizes the symbol ‘God’ in worship” and is “not yet ready to let go of God as a symbol”, because he “finds that ‘God’ for (him) is shorthand for all the things for which (he) longs: beauty, truth, healing, and justice.” God, in other words, is not his Master but his mascot. He does not believe that he will one day stand before God’s judgment throne to make an account of himself (Rev. 11-15).
Although he has stated that he does not “appreciate being told that (he’s) not truly a Christian”, he really isn’t one. He has reduced “Christianity” to “a culture” that must “adapt in order to survive in the modern era.” Disciples of Jesus Christ were first called “Christians” at Antioch in the First Century (Acts 11.26) and were noted for their devotion to Jesus Christ, even in the face of persecution (I Pet. 4.16). Today, Christians in parts of the world are still put to death for their faith in Jesus Christ. But most assuredly, no one who reduces Christianity to a culture would be willing to stand by Him if his or her life was on the line—not even John Shuck.
If there is one thing positive I can say for John Shuck, it is that he at least professes his unbelief. There are other Presbyterian ministers who believe as he does but are not vocal about their unbelief.
“Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.” (Jas. 3.1)
To be sure, John Shuck is a controversial figure and an engaging public speaker, and as such can bring many into whatever church at which he is preaching. But the blind will not receive their sight, the lame will not walk, the lepers will not be cleansed, the deaf will not hear, the dead will not be raised up, nor will the poor have the good news preached to them (Mt. 11.5). No one will come to faith in Jesus Christ through his preaching, for one cannot give to others what one patently does not have.
The Presbyterian Church (USA) has done no one any favors by ordaining John Shuck. He is a blind guide. “And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” (Mt. 15.14) And as for himself, he preaches a gospel contrary to the one that the Apostles taught, and Paul had some not-so-very-nice things to say about people who do that (Gal. 1.6-10).
John Shuck does not believe in God, nor does he believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and savior of sinners. He freely admits as much, and has done so on more than one occasion. But let’s face it … Mr. Shuck is honest about his unbelief only in those situations where there is no price to be paid for his honesty.
When he was required to affirm the ordination vows of the PCUSA back when he was first ordained to office, and when he moved from one presbytery to another, to my knowledge he never stood before any presbytery and honestly, openly and boldly professed his rejection of those Christian beliefs specifically cited in the vows.
He never stood before a presbytery and said, in effect, “Listen, people, I don’t believe all of this outdated, outmoded and off-putting stuff, and you shouldn’t believe it either.” Rather, as he acknowledges in the article cited in this post, he chose to simply answer the ordination questions put to him in the affirmative.
So … I will give Mr. Shuck a little bit of credit for a little bit of honesty at least some of the time, which is, as you say, Loren, more than can be said about some other PCUSA ministers for whom even this very low level of honesty is a completely alien concept.
However, all of this notwithstanding, several simple facts about this story seem to me undeniable; that John Shuck and his fellow unbelievers are very much a part of God’s judgment on an apostate and unfaithful denomination, that the damage he and they have done and will continue do to the PCUSA is fully within the plan and purposes of God, and that, when all is said and done, all of this will redound to God’s glory. Of these things I am sure.
Wow, Donnie. Could you be more snotty and condescending? I bet you could if you try harder.
You might want to consider your own words, “you might want to think about what you have written before you submit it for the world to see. It could save you some serious embarrassment.”
Thanks, Ron. I’m never snotty except when I have a cold, but I can be condescending when the need arises, as you also obviously are able, as your comments to me make clear. I can feel the love.
Your friend Mary waded in to this discussion by making a judgment about someone else because she considered that the other person had made a judgment about someone else. The exact same behavior on the part of both the accused and the accuser, but apparently for Mary what was bad behavior for the other person was perfectly acceptable behavior for her. I don’t think so.
There is nothing worse than the kind of hypocrite who condemns someone else for doing the very same thing that s/he also at that very moment is doing. Such a person deserves a pointed rebuke, and I was more than happy to administer it.
I suspect that you realize, Ron, that this web site has a lot of give and take on it, and not all of the comments are expressions of sweetness and light. If your friend Mary wants to come into the ring, mix it up and throw a few punches at the others of us who are here, she is more than welcomed to do so. It won’t hurt our feelings. But she should expect to receive a few punches in return. It’s the way the game is played.
So, again, thank you for your comments. Please tell your friend Mary that she is welcomed to come back anytime she wants, but if she chooses to dish out judgment on others, she’ll have to expect to receive some in return. Cheers.
Here you have it folks, the Golden Rule as interpreted by the Layman crowd:
“But she should expect to receive a few punches in return. It’s the way the game is played.”
That’s what it is, Ron. If you and your friend want to beat up on other people, you should not expect your victims to meekly submit to your abuse. I love it how you lefties will aggressively attack other people, and then as soon as your attacks are resisted, you immediately shift into playing the role of a poor aggrieved victim. You’re a real piece of work, Ron, a real massively dishonest piece of work.
But you’ve already said that attacking other people is just fine, Donnie. Why are you now upset that so-called “lefties” do it?
Consistency isn’t really your strong suit, is it, friend?