Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Goodbye John


(Conversations with Bob! It appears we have ended another chapter in our conversation. This post is from Bob's site. I post it here and my response to come).


I have terminated my conversations with John Shuck. While we have been friends for a long time, and still are friends John has mocked members of the Presbyterian Church. He did so in three posts on his blog:

New Winos Are Too Holy for PCUSA

New Winos Are All About Jesus

Name the New Wineskins Contest!

Now I will be the first to admit that some of the folks in the New Wineskins movement have not been at all polite in the comments about the Presbyterian Church. Further, as some of them leave the denomination, the call the PCUSA apostate. I disagree with them. And frankly some of them have been terribly nasty to John. But I don’t believe in returning evil for evil. So I posted the following on John’s blog:

John

I find your mocking of the New Wineskins people totally unacceptable. I can no longer in good conscience participate in a dialogue with you.

I certainly don’t agree with the people leaving the denomination but frankly your current behavior is exactly what has caused me pain from the rigid liberals for my whole career.

I know you love and are concerned about the PCUSA. I do and am too. But the way to respond to all who disagree with you, no matter what their behavior, is by treating them as we have each other not by mocking them. Others may not respond as we have but we still have a responsibility to “. . . be (friends) among (our) colleagues in ministry, working with them, subject to the ordering of God’s Word and Spirit,” even when others do not behave in such a fashion.

If you remove the three mocking posts about the New Wineskins and apologize for mocking them I will continue in dialogue with you. Just send me an email if you have done so.

I have appreciated our conversations and continue to love you as my friend.

Bob

I make no claim to be sinless. But I do try to be courteous to all, no matter how much I may disagree with them. I believe the greatest thing the PCUSA needs is careful, courteous listening.

I say this and do this with a heavy heart. John is still my friend. I don’t approve of what people have said about him. But I expect him to extend the same courtesy to others as he has to me.

But I am going to continue my posts on the essentials of faith. Look forward to a post coming soon on Freedom.

Pastor Bob

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