Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Read Jude ....

I wasn’t going to link at all and didn’t in my last post, but evil toward another needs to be held to the light. When a lady, Kelley, explains that she was raped but kept her baby because she, as a Christian ,values life, and others insult her it is time to be responsible.

In my last posting on the Manhattan Declaration I referred to the “Pastor’s Emergency League” and posted its four vows of purpose. One of those was, “I hold myself responsible to the utmost of my ability for those who are persecuted on account of this confessional stand.”

I want to point out that if the rest of society reacts the way followers at John Shuck’s “Shuck and Jive” are toward Kelley we all need to make that vow toward one another.

Kelley has fallen into a hornets’ nest and those who write there are acting out what is truly in their heart. I can only think here of a quote by C.S. Lewis that I have used before:

“…the dullest and most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. … There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, marry, snub, and exploit—immortal horrors or everlasting splendours.”

I once again hope that Shuck’s Presbytery takes note. And yes I did commend Kelley but my comment was of course deleted.

48 comments:

Debbie said...

I momentarily lost my senses (well, not really) and posted a comment at Shuck's blog. Kelley is a wonderful follower of Christ.

Toby Brown said...

I would comment, but I'm just a deranged man who believes in fairy tales...

(Not news, I know.)

Viola Larson said...

I was so hoping someone would lose their senses and so glad it was you: )

She is a marvelous follower of Christ.

Viola Larson said...

Your comment would be for Kelley- And I think you are right about that fairy tale.

Kattie W. Coon said...

I am certainly not commending those on "Shuck and Jive" who gave Kelly an unreasonably hard time (and I believe they did), but Kelly certainly went over the top herself with her characterization of her critics.

I do agree with the criticism of her relating to "rider-logic" though.

"And yes I did commend Kelley but my comment was of course deleted."

I'm not really sure here Viola; are you saying "of course" because you are defending your own policy?

Kattie
Huntsville, Al

Viola Larson said...

Kattie I am saying of course because I had been told not to comment there.

John Shuck said...

And why do I not post Viola's comments on my blog. Viola knows. Just so you all know. There are two people, Viola another, who do not get to comment at Shuck and Jive.

The reason is because they "reported" me to my executive presbyter. I found out about it because Viola (and the other) both posted about it. Oh, and my executive presbyter told me.

He doesn't have much patience for tattle tales either.

That is my one rule. If any of you "report" me for the purposes of disciplining, silencing or otherwise infringing on my work and my livelihood, I will ban you from commenting.

Of course, if you say you are sorry and promise not to tattle again, I will allow you to comment.

No big mystery. Very simple.

So think twice, dear readers, before reporting me to the authorities.

No one likes a tattle tale.

Kattie W. Coon said...

"I am saying of course because I had been told not to comment there."

Oh, I see.

One thing strikes me a little odd concerning you commendation of Kelly. It is clear that Kelly didn't exactly give factual information concerning the charges made against her by her blog persecutors. She claims she was called "a hypocrite, right wing, superstitious, busy body, Pharisee, fusspot, spouting BS,crazy, nutcase,biblically illiterate, duped hick,delusional,elitist,fear monger,etc." This is clearly untrue, although I can understand where she is coming from.

Recently you gave John Wilde a pretty hard time for defending the exaggerated and sometimes untrue claims made in “I Am Israel”, even though he fully recognized them as such.

Why should we not criticize you?

Kattie
Huntsville, Al

Alan said...

John is such a Don Quixote. Glad I'm not with THAT group of self-righteous prigs.

Alan
Portland, OR.

Sorry Viola if this violates you're standards but someone has to call him what he is.

Presbyman said...

Thanks for speaking out, Viola. It is appalling how someone who confessed a heartbreaking vulnerability got treated like trash. I guess if your "gospel" is all political then if someone disagrees with your politics they are owed nothing: not the slightest bit of kindness or respect.

John Erthein
Erie, PA

Snad said...

I do have to say one thing in my defense: I missed the comment from Kelley talking about her harrowing childhood and the horrendous violences against her.

I do understand her feelings about the sanctity of life, and I commend her for whatever decision she made. I cannot imagine the pain.

That being said, I do need to remind you all that she HAD a choice. It is not up to any one of us to decide if she made the right decision, but I can take great comfort in knowing that she DID HAVE A CHOICE.

Now, you may continue to pillory me for my oversight, but please do not assume that there was any cruelty intended.

Viola Larson said...

John E & Alan I, just this time, have to agree with you-.

Viola Larson said...

Snad,
I thank you for what I consider a part apology. But I also have to say that I feel sorry for anyone who innocently walks into your group over there. To me it is a picture of those who only care about tearing other's innocence apart.

Snad said...

Naivety, perhaps. Innocence, never.

John Shuck said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Shuck said...

Snad put it well. I responded to what I heard her say rather than hear what she was saying.

I apologized at my blog.

Now that I am here, I wonder what you make of Carmen Fowler writing that it is time to tie a millstone around the neck of Dr. Achtemeier?

Yes I know it is in the Bible and that Jesus used that very image. But don't you find it a bit inappropriate?

"Time for a millstone?"

How are we supposed to take that?

1) It would be better he be killed rather than to teach what he teaches?

2) Or just better that he was dead than teach what he teaches?

3) Or maybe it is figurative. Better that he lose his position at Dubuque Seminary than teach what he teaches?

When Carmen writes "time for a millstone?" is she asking the faithful to take some action on behalf on items 1, 2, or 3?

How do you interpret that, Viola? I ask you as you commented on her post approvingly.

Is there any sense of inappropriateness especially due to the violence against gay and lesbian people and their allies?

John Shuck
Elizabethton, TN

Viola Larson said...

John,
To be truthful I am appalled at you and Snad. If you had come over to my blog saying we are sorry that was wrong and left it at that, I would have thought highly of your action, but instead you come with I am sorry but …

If you had commented on my posting about Carmen Fowler I would have gladly discussed that posting and what she wrote. But not here, not when I'm sorry to an innocent lady is called for. And only that.

Kattie W. Coon said...

Viola,

What do you know about this Kelley woman? You call her innocent; how do you know that? She never identified herself, and clicking on her name on her blog comment reveals nothing.

She clearly lied about what her opponents on John Shuck's blog called her. What else did she lie about?

Could this person in reality actually be Alexia Kelley, founder of the Soros-funded organization Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good? Seems like a pretty good bet to me.

I think she's a big girl and can take care of herself.

Kattie
Huntsville, Al

John Shuck said...

Sure have a lot of rules, Viola. I am glad you are not Blog Mother. So you are going to chicken out on the millstone comment, eh? Figures.

JS
E-ton

John Shuck said...

Kattie,

Interesting. Who knows who trolls these boggy blogs?

Without her full name and address, she wouldn't even have been allowed to comment here.

JS
E-ton

Debbie said...

John, the millstone comment was figurative. Carmen Fowler did not mean that anyone should literally go put a millstone around Mark Achtemeier's neck and throw him into the sea. She is echoing what Jesus said, that it would be better for someone like that to have a millstone around their neck than it would be to lead someone astray. She did not say, "Let's go put a millstone around his neck." Instead, her editorial was a warning that he is getting into the territory that Jesus spoke of. Really, theological conservatives are not the monsters you seem to like to imagine.

John Shuck said...

Not so fast,

If the title of her post had been:

"Time for healing?" and she had quoted Jesus healing someone in the context of Mark's address we would have understood it was "time for healing" and that we should engage in it.

One of the respondents picked up on it figuratively, and suggested he be removed from his post at Dubuque.

A blog post titled, "Time for _____?" is obviously an invitation for action to be taken by someone.

Like when letters to the editor are titled, "Time to Chuck Shuck" I know what that means.

Giving you the biggest benefit of the doubt I can imagine, even if she didn't think people should do something (and I am not convinced) still...

It would be better in Carmen's view (and yours I presume) if Mark Achtemeier were dead (that is the result of having a millstone tied around your neck and thrown into the sea) than to be a Christian teacher?

No matter how your parse this this is in extremely poor taste to say it about anyone let alone a teacher in one of our own seminaries.

Admitting that this was a poor use of judgment and apologizing for it would be appropriate.

I don't think conservatives are monsters nor do I like to imagine it. Even though on this very post, I have been referred to as "evil."

I think in this case, Carmen made a mistake and should apologize.

John Shuck
Elizabethton, TN

Debbie said...

I do not think it would be better if Mark Achtemeier were dead. I would be surprised if Carmen Fowler thought so, either.

I interpret the title of the blog post to mean "Is it the time now that Mark Achtemeier is in the position where he may be leading people astray?" But remember that Jesus said it would actually be better to have a millstone than it would be to be leading people astray! In an ironic way, a suggestion that Mark Achtemeier might be heading towards millstone qualification eligibility is actually better than saying he's leading people astray. Yet that's actually what she is saying; he's leading people astray. This would be less shocking to you, presumably, but not to Jesus.

Someone somewhere has been saying that Carmen Fowler actually wants to kill Mark Achtemeier. I don't remember where I saw that, if it was you or someone else. But that is ridiculous, and actually a serious charge that should not be said lightly. It's based on a hysterical overwrought reading of what she has said.

A headline is a condensed version of what is said in a blog. Usually it's not worded as eloquently as the article it's put above. To know what the person is really saying, you read the article, not the headline. Don't get stuck in telegraphic language; read the whole thing and think about it, not the headline.

Debbie said...

Forgot to add, I'm glad you don't think that theological conservatives are monsters. Remember that I carefully worded it as "you seem to like to imagine", because I wasn't sure what you really thought; I was only responding to an impression that you make by what you say. Apparently the impression you give is not true.

And I forgot to add my town.

Debbie Berkley
Bellevue, WA

Dave Moody said...

commenting, arguing, or otherwise trying to engage Shuck's people, seems to me to be an exercise in casting one's pearls before swine. Their god does seem to be their stomach. Ad hominem attacks seem to be what everyone, to a person, experiences, if one dares to say, "But God says..." As for Shuck, personally I would refrain from even engaging him, unless one is willing to 'tilt at the windmill' of disciplinary charges for heresy in the pcusa, talk about your fantasies. But thats just me.

dm

John Shuck said...

Debbie,

I did read the article. Several times. I wasn't the only one who saw this as inappropriate. Six different people called her on it at her blog.

Even a gentleman identified as Gene wrote:

"Respectully Rev. Fowler, your point was made in such a manner that it could be easily interpreted in the manner that many here have. Like other posters here, I also am disturbed at what an unbalanced person might think of it. I have always respected The Layman and the Lay Committee, even when I strongly disagreed with them, and find reading it useful and edifying. This was the first time I have read something on The Layman site written by a person in a position of authority in which the tone and manner of writing made me truly uncomfortable."

Several people asked for clarification. She said nothing, except:

"Many of you have simply missed the point."

OK, so what is the point?

You wrote:

"I do not think it would be better if Mark Achtemeier were dead. I would be surprised if Carmen Fowler thought so, either."

I am glad to hear that about you.

So far, we don't know about Carmen, do we? She was asked to clarify and so far has not.

You said her blog post means:

"Is it the time now that Mark Achtemeier is in the position where he may be leading people astray?"

That isn't what she wrote at all. She calls him out as a false teacher, (not "may be leading people astray").

Carmen was most definite that Achtemeier is now a false teacher:

"He has publically exchanged the truth about God for lies. He has publically renounced the truth of the Word of the Lord by subordinating that Word to his own sincerely held and heartfelt desires."

She even knew the rhetoric was harsh:

"Jesus has something to say about false teachers: “Jesus said to His disciples: ‘Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come. It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin’” (Luke 17:1-2). Harsh words? Yes, but they are not my own."

"Is it time for a millstone?" is easily seen by many, not just me, that it is time for action against this false teacher, Achtemeier.

Like you, I was trying to read her post through rose colored glasses as well, as in she can't possibly have written that, but she did.

She won't own up to the fact (and so far neither will you) that her rhetoric was over the top even in the slightest.

All she has to do is clarify. But she refuses.

The meaning is clear to any who reads it:

It would be better (for him on judgment day & apparently for the church in the present) that he not be alive than to teach as he does.

Personally, I think she meant to communicate to her readers that it is time to take action to remove him from Dubuque Seminary (as when the Layman's editors title letters about me, "Time to Chuck Shuck" as being time to remove me from the ministry).

I personally don't think she meant to incite violence against him, even as she was very insensitive in her choice of words.

Some have thought she meant to incite violence. Given the history of people who do violent things out a warped sense of doing God's will, I can see why they are nervous.

One would have to be obtuse not to see the lack of sensitivity in Carmen's post. One would think she would want to distance herself from being perceived, even wrongly perceived, of advocating any kind of harm to the allies of LGBT people.

There are, as Gene mentioned on her blog, unstable people who would take her post as marching orders.

A simple statement clarifying what she meant would end misunderstanding.

John Shuck
Elizabethton, TN

Viola Larson said...

Dave,
I agree!

Jodie said...

You ladies really can't see yourselves, can you?

Debbie said...

John, please read more carefully. I didn't say that Carmen Fowler's entire blog meant "Is it the time now that Mark Achtemeier is in the position where he may be leading people astray?" I said that that was how I interpreted the title of the blog.

I haven't read the comments on her blog. I'm curious who understands it as an incitement to violence. I'll have to take a look. I wonder if any of them were orthodox believers. I would venture to guess that no orthodox believer would understand it as an incitement to violence. So if you're worried that she's giving marching orders to orthodox believers, you can relax on that concern.

The point of Jesus's words about the millstone was that when a person dies and comes before God, if he has led people astray, he is going to be thinking, "I wish I had been thrown into the ocean with a millstone around my neck instead of facing what I'm facing now." Carmen Fowler is saying that Mark Achtemeier may have gotten to the time where, if he were to die at this moment, he would be in that position. She is not suggesting that anyone cause him to die.

My husband in fact talked with her about it before she wrote it, and I know that she did not want anyone to kill him. As for removing him from the seminary, I don't know her thoughts on that. I didn't get that impression from reading that blog posting, however. But even if she did want that, what would be wrong with her wanting that? People are always calling for the removal of other people from various offices.

Now, about something you said earlier, about someone having called you evil. For those of us who believe in the living Christ, who have put our faith in him and who know him, when we read your writings where you say you don't believe he is alive, where you advocate that he is dead, where you say disrepectful things about his corpse, that to us is an evil thing to do. But because we actually are tolerant, as opposed to the current definition of "tolerant", we affirm your right to say what you say. You are a human being with freedom of expression. We would not try to stop you from expressing your beliefs as a person and as an American citizen. (As a Presbyterian minister, that is another question, since you are breaking your ordination vows. But we are not going to try to stop you from expressing yourself as a person.)

Debbie Berkley
Bellevue, WA

Debbie said...

Jodie, please, no sexist comments such as "You ladies".

Debbie Berkley
Bellevue, WA

Snad said...

By the way, Viola - you made a comment earlier stating you hoped Holston Presbytery was paying attention. I have news for you: they have decided there are better things to do than to hang on every word John, you, or anyone else on these blogs writes.

Tra la!

John Shuck said...

Debbie,

In case you missed the link to her blog.

Here is a comment that I posted earlier from Gene:

"Respectully Rev. Fowler, your point was made in such a manner that it could be easily interpreted in the manner that many here have. Like other posters here, I also am disturbed at what an unbalanced person might think of it. I have always respected The Layman and the Lay Committee, even when I strongly disagreed with them, and find reading it useful and edifying. This was the first time I have read something on The Layman site written by a person in a position of authority in which the tone and manner of writing made me truly uncomfortable."

Can't vouch for his orthodoxy.

Carmen was over the top. Even a person who finds the Layman "edifying" gets it.

Six different people noticed it including Gene above. Those are just the people who commented on her blog.

John Shuck
Elizabethton, TN

Pastor Bob said...

And I wrote what I had to say, not so much about the millstone post as about the general tenor or comments about Mark in a letter to the Layman. You can see it there today.

Bob Campbell
Same Bat time, Same Bat channel

John Shuck said...

I thought your letter was good, Bob.

JS
E-ton

Pastor Bob said...

I clicked on Kelley. Turns out that HE is a Baptist pastor in the Caymans. Always better to check than to guess.

Bob Campbell
SH, PA

Oh and John, thanks a lot. Now that you have said something nice about me you have ruined my reputation! :)

Viola Larson said...

I am breaking in here despite trying to get a few things cleaned for Thanksgiving. And probably no one is going to appreciate what I am going to say not even my good friends Debbie and Bob.

I chose purposely not to engage John S. in this conversation for a very particular reason. You know how kids get caught doing something they are not suppose to do and so they start finding something else bad that someone else did. You know I’m sorry but what about them-let’s talk about them instead!

Well, as far as I can see John has accomplished what he set out to do-turn the conversation around so that no one is talking about what I posted only about that bad Carmen-who “oh my” goes around calling people bigots, and fundamentalist elites, and words that I would rather not use on this blog. Or was that somebody else.

So please take this conversation about Carmen somewhere else because John is not going to get to do that on my blog.

Viola Larson said...

Okay Bob,
One more very important thing. Pure Blog that you clicked on is a blog that Kelley follows. In fact I have that link on my site because he is a pastor of great integrity and just the kind of pastor everybody needs. I am glad Kelley has found his site. Hopefully she found it here.

Viola Larson said...

And just one more thing, the pastor at that site is a very kind African American Pastor. I am sure she got it off of my site because I have been linked to it for a long time. And I did check Kelley's link before writing. She did not even have that link to Pure church before. So praise God she came over to my site and saw that many of you did care.

Debbie said...

OK, that's fine, Viola. This is not really about Carmen, however, but something related that I was thinking about.

John, you said that you don't think that theological conservatives are monsters, but then you continue to insist that Carmen or other theological conservatives want someone dead or have incited someone to kill someone. Only a monster would want to kill someone, or incite people to kill someone. You have belied your words.

And I'm fine with quitting the discussion now.

Debbie Berkley
Bellevue, WA

Viola Larson said...

Thanks Debbie,
That probably needed to be said, but I think everyone needs to get the turkey ready now.

Hopefully a happy Thanksgiving to everyone

Pastor Bob said...

Viola

Re: Kelley

OOPS! Sorry about that. And about talking about Mark and Carmen.

Bob Campbell
Sharon Hill, PA

John Shuck said...

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

I am grateful for you all as you help make life interesting!

Love,
John Shuck
Elizabethton, TN

John Shuck said...

Debbie,

You made up this whole "monster" thing. I guess that happens when you don't have an argument. My point has been very specific and clear. Carmen's rhetoric was over the top and insensitive. I wasn't the only one to see this. You can read the comments of others on her blog including the one from Gene who I have now quoted twice.

John Shuck
Elizabethton, Tennessee

John said...

It is sad to see you decide to judge the author and many of the readers of Shuck and Jive so harshly. We need to work at mutual respect and reconciliation.

By the way, I have let John know that I find his rhetoric offensive at times. We all need to work on humility ... and forgiving ... and not judging ... something I find over and over and over again in scripture.

love,
John A. Wilde
Whitesboro NY
The John A Wilde Blog + “Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.” – Mohandas Gandhi

John said...

I urge everyone to work on mutual respect and reconciliation. I know there are huge disagreements about theology and politics within the big tent of the USA and the Presbyterian Church (USA). We can disagree without being disagreeable and we should all work at that very hard.

There is nothing wrong with being passionate about your beliefs and values but we can learn how to passionately respect even those whose beliefs and values are quite different.

The ad hominem statements which so many are making on all sides is not what the nation and the church we love so much needs.

The harsh judging we are all doing -- including me for sure --is sinful.

Let the one who is without sin cast the first stone.

love,
John A Wilde + The John A Wilde Blog + “Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.” – Mohandas Gandhi

John said...

Viola wrote: "I once again hope that Shuck’s Presbytery takes note. And yes I did commend Kelley but my comment was of course deleted."

+++

So, John deletes your comments because you question his orthodoxy so much that you report him to his Presbytery.

I think John is absolutely correct to delete your comments until you stop trying to get him removed from his livelihood and you are absolutely wrong to report him to his Presbytery.

John is one of the most faithful, loving, compassionate pastors I have ever known and you can feel the love from so many of his flocks past and present. Too bad you don't know him like I know him.

Please change your mind, Viola, and stop trying to banish people from the PC(USA) because you disagree with them. We are a big tent. We need to find ways to develop far more mutal respect, understanding, forgiveness and reconciliation. We can disagree without being disagreeable and definitely without trying to get someone fired or reprimanded for remarks on the internet which don't meet with someone's approval.

+ Love + John A Wilde + Whitesboro NY + The John A Wilde Blog + “Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.” – Mohandas Gandhi

Viola Larson said...

John,
You are mistaken and do not understand. I never reported John to his Presbytery because of doctrines but because he put up a post about Rick Warren that was hateful and then allowed a commenter to suggest using violence. And this was a commenter who had done this before; I would report him again if he did that.

Jodie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.