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Every denomination needs one of these...

Dorhauer pats self on back

Monday, May 14, 2007

Missouri-Mid South Conference Associate Conference Minister, John Dorhauer, is pretty proud of himself. From his latest post:
I have been in this office for well over four years now. My colleague on staff, The Rev. Sheldon Culver, and I made a conscious decision and took a calculated risk over three years ago: we would begin to refocus our attention on these attacks, learn as much as we could about them, and report everything we found out on as wide a scale as we possibly could.
Report their findings? Hardly. The Dorhauer/Culver team haven't reported much of all but that hasn't stopped Dorhauer from praising his own success. From his most recent post, we find:

1) A dozen ministers called Dorhauer about a book the Institute of Religion and Democracy sent out

2) A dozen ministers called Dorhauer about an invitation they received from Faithful and Welcoming Churches to attend a "Healthy Churches" workshop

3) A pastor called Dorhauer to report that a new visitor to church might be part of the conspiracy to steal churches out of the UCC... although Dorhauer concedes the visitor "may be completely innocent of any nefarious intentions".

This is success? Creating a witch hunt which is now stretching out to suspect new visitors to our churches?

What is clear is that there are pastors, conference leaders and national leaders who have intentionally instilled a culture of fear within the denomination with no foundation of truth at all.

The last time Dorhauer boasted of success, he was slapping himself on the back because one of the churches that attended his workshop mistakenly accused a woman of being part of his imaginary conspiracy.

As I have said before, I detest the idea of church stealing and have said repeatedly that it is very, very wrong. But I also think it's important to distinguish between petty church politics (which happens to many churches across the theological and political spectrum) and a genuine conspiracy.

Dorhauer has identified a few churches in crisis and turned it into conspiracy of church stealing. I challenged Dorhauer awhile ago to provide proof of a conspiracy. Instead of providing evidence, Dorhauer falsely accused UCCtruths of redirecting the UCC Vitality web site and then apologized for the false accusation a week later.

Still, I taunted and pushed him for evidence of a conspiracy. A number of pastors sympathetic to Dorhauer's concerns sent him emails only to find out first hand that Dorhauer will not provide proof of his conspiracy claims. People signed on to the message board where he publishes his conspiracy to ask for answers only to be kicked off the site or called names.

In spite of all of this I was willing to stop giving Dorhauer's antics any attention. After all, it's not against the law to be wrong and I didn't really want to legitimize his activity by repeatedly posting on it. This changed with his most recent post boasting of how local church ministers are calling him because they are suspicious of visitors. So much for our "extravagant welcome".

This is not how rational, mature, Christian people should act. It's certainly not what we are called to do... especially an Associate Conference Minister.
posted by UCCtruths, Monday, May 14, 2007


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