You are not a rhubarb pie

I really don’t understand this.

A fellow pastor posted on his Facebook page this blog post from a self-identified progressive Christian blogger and ordained Presbyterian minister. My fellow pastor lauded the post as providing great food for thought.

The point of the post, if you don’t want to read it, is that Jesus never said he was God in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, so worshiping Jesus as God should not be a requirement for calling ourselves Christians. The writer informs us that he calls himself a Christian because Jesus is the best teacher he knows about “this god thing.” The title of the blog post does not beat around the bush: Jesus Is Not My God.

As I say, I don’t understand this.

I’m not terribly familiar with the doctrinal standards of the Presbyterian Church (USA), but I assume somewhere in there it talks about Jesus being God. I feel fairly confident about this because this has been a more or less settled question for 1,700 years. What I read of John Calvin and what I’ve read about John Knox suggests to me that they took the whole Jesus is God thing pretty seriously, too.

The blog writer says he is not trying to say orthodox Christians are wrong (I’m allowed to use orthodox in this case, right Via Media?). He just wants to be free to call himself a Christian even though he openly denies that Jesus is God.

Of course, it is a free country. If he wants to call himself a rhubarb pie, he can do so. But the rest of us are still allowed to tell him he is wrong.

Right? Could we still do that if he were a United Methodist?


7 thoughts on “You are not a rhubarb pie

  1. Well, if he’s Presbyterian he can be fired by his church. I don’t think that would mean he would lose his ordination though. It may be easier to get rid of such a pastor in the Presbyterian system than ours.

  2. He should be a pastor for the Jehovah’s Witness church. They’re always leaving pamphlets on my porch saying things like “Why Jesus was not the Son of God.”

    1. I saw a really interesting billboard in Nazareth put up by Muslims that made the same point.

      1. Ah, do the pastors in Indiana confess Jesus Christ as Lord God and King? You might be able to split these barren Western precincts right down the middle on this one.

  3. I wonder if what we are seeing and hearing today coming from all directions within the church is the lack of, and understanding of, the fear of the Lord. Its as if all restraint has melted away. I would like to suggest that the Church become a place of terror again….a place where God continually has to tell us, “Fear not”…..a place where our relationship with God is not a simple belief or a doctrine or theology, it is God’s burning presence in our lives. I am suggesting that the tame God of relevance be replaced by the God whose very presence shatters our egos into dust, burns our sin into ashes, and strips us naked to reveal the real person within. The Church needs to become a gloriously dangerous place where nothing is safe in God’s presence except us. Nothing – including our plans, our agendas, our priorities, our politics, our money, our security, our comfort, our possessions, our needs.

    I often wonder if our world is longing to see people whose God is big and holy and frightening and gentle and tender……and ours. A God whose love frightens us into His strong and powerful arms where He longs to whisper those terrifying words….”I love you”. A fear for the Lord that would make even the thought of denying His truth of God the Father, God the Son, and the Holy Spirit as one to terrifying to even consider.

    An Acts 5:13 kind of fear….”No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people.”

  4. I think such flat-out heresy is much more common in PC(USA), and perhaps in Methodism on the West Coast and in other “progressive” enclaves of the church (though I don’t know that for a fact). Seems to me like the man should just be a Unitarian, if you ask me.

    This blog reminds me of C.S. Lewis’ arguments regarding the definition of a Christian in Mere Christianity, which is always a good read.

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