Today, October, 18, the Presbyterian News Service posted an article, Cycle of attacks on Holy land Churches continues: Third vandalism incident in a month; Israeli settlers suspected. The author Kelly Baker, who is now living in Palestine, goes on to write of a monastery door being set on fire, tires slashed and some homes in Jerusalem being vandalized. Yet, the place I want to aim at is the matter of some extremely bad messages being written on the monastery and several churches such as “Jesus is a monkey” and “Jesus is a son of a whore.” Also Jesus is dead.
But before I turn the conversation the direction I am turning it, which will have nothing to do with either Palestinians or Jewish settlers, I want to say this is horrid. To attack anyone’s place of worship or home, be it Jewish, Muslim or Christian, is vile and whoever has committed these crimes should be punished.
But as I read this article I couldn't help thinking of all of the orthodox in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) who too many times have their faith insulted by much of the same disbelief. Think about it; to say Jesus is the son of a whore is simply a crude way of saying that Jesus was not born of a virgin. To say that Jesus is dead is to say that Jesus was not bodily resurrected. To call Jesus a monkey is not so much worse than stating that Jesus is less than the Wisdom and Word of God.
At least the vandals understood that Jesus is the object of worship in the churches of the Holy Land. Many in our denomination fail to understand that it isn't just that Jesus has a way to follow—it is that he is the way—the only way.
Too many of us have sat in official denominational meetings, enduring such faithless sentiments by those who should have given us the meaty word of God. Too many of us have been harangued after such meetings because we stood up for the truth.
Recently I wrote an article on some faithless material being carried by The Presbyterian Leader.com. The title is Presbyterian Leadership.com-harming the little ones. The mix of authors used in the material carried all of the same sentiments written on the worship places in the Holy Land—just not with the same kind of crudeness written there, and surely not with the same kind of maliciousness.
The authors that were used deny the deity of Jesus and certainly deny the virgin birth. They deny the bodily resurrection of Jesus. They deny the uniqueness of Jesus. They deny the saving work of Christ. This is what too often the orthodox face, not from the world, their neighbors or their friends and family, but from their own denomination.
The progressives are not writing on our churches. They haven’t written Jesus is dead or there was no virgin birth on the doors of our faith communities. Rather they have written on our hearts with pins that cause great pain. And they have set fires, metaphorically speaking; fires that have driven dark smoke between us causing disunity and broken fellowship.
Kelly Baker and undoubtedly the PNS think that the messages left on the houses of worship in the Holy Land are insulting and wrong, as well they should. We all do. But what about the heresies that the orthodox hear continuously in the PC (U.S.A.)? The Lord of the church has been maligned and that is bad news.