Monday, February 13, 2012
The Divinity of Christ - an essential
While many have been aware of issues within the PC(USA) for decades, some of us are new to the game. I was surprised recently when someone referred to the existence of those being ordained who did not affirm the singular saving lordship of Christ in the PC(USA) as rumor and gossip. So I did a brief search which yielded enough for me to say that this is not gossip but the truth as there are those that deny even the deity of Christ within the PC(USA) as ordained ministers. Of course there are many more such incidents not available via a simple google search, but again this was enough for me to not classify this information as gossip. I understand that on paper the PC(USA) does affirm the historical stance of the church, and many ministers are not outside these bounds, but let's be honest about the state of the denomination.
- “I believe that Jesus may have been historical but most of the stories about him in the Bible and elsewhere are legends. But he's cool. He serves as a human ideal and a focal point for devotion (like an ishta deva [,a concept from Hinduism])” (Source) (Rev. John Shuck, PCUSA pastor in Tennessee) Rev. Shuck also believes that Jesus did not die for our sins. (Source)
- "Again, I say that the language of religion is metaphor and myth. If everyone in the room understands that we are speaking in those ways, I am willing to expound the Christ myth passionately." (Source)(Rev. Dennis L. Maher, retired PC(USA) minister who would rather be a Unitarian Universalist - Source)
- In 1981, the highest court in the PCUSA upheld National Capital Union Presbytery’s decision to ordain Mansfield Kaseman. In answer to the question, “Was Jesus God?” Kaseman replied, “No, God is God.” Later, in an attempt to explain his position, he said, “Saying Jesus is one with God is a better way of saying it … but I, too, am one with God." (Source)
- There have been a few in the PC(USA) who have denied such basics as the deity of Christ. I heard one pastor do this very thing in a Presbytery meeting where he was involved in examining a candidate for ordination. This pastor was upset that the candidate has said so plainly that Jesus was God incarnate. At the time, I thought the examination was going in the wrong direction, and the candidate should have been examining the pastor! (Rev. Dr. Mark D. Roberts) (Source)
- In 1993, a conference entitled “Re-Imagining God” was funded by the PCUSA mission budget ($60,000) and planned largely by PCUSA personnel at denominational expense. Participants received tens of thousands of dollars worth of travel and registration expense reimbursements from the PCUSA mission budget. At the conference, “worship” leaders denied the existence of a transcendent God, worshipped “the god within ourselves,” and exchanged the goddess “Sophia” for Jesus Christ, declaring that Jesus “was first born only in the sense that he was first to show us that it is possible to live in oneness with the divine source while we are here on this planet. (Source)