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Every denomination needs one of these...

Overlooking political connections

Monday, October 29, 2007

Pastor Dan serves me up today. In response to my post about the allegation that the UCC is targeting MCC churches and how it looks similar to Dorhauer's Steeplejacking conspiracy, he says:
In any case, the momentum is enough that we don't have to plan to poach churches from any other denomination, and of course there's a difference between picking up basically like-minded congregations on the basis of shared vision for ministry and using wedge issues to subvert a congregation from within with the larger aim of splitting the denomination for secular political gains. That's the essence of John Dorhauer's charge in Steeplejacking, which our friend at UCCTruths conveniently overlooks.
I thought I settled this a couple of weeks ago when I said:
I think I've been pretty clear on this all along... this whole issue is being motivated by politics, not "church stealing". To date, Dorhauer, Culver and Clarkson have yet to name a single UCC church that has been stolen by the Institute on Religion and Democracy. This is about politics: Dorhauer/Culver/Clarkson's liberal politics vs. the IRD's conservative politics... and Dorhauer's use of a phony conspiracy of church stealing to attack political opponents.
I fully accept Pastor Dan's conclusion about MCC churches... but why couldn't the same be said about Evangelical denominations "picking up basically like-minded [UCC] congregations on the basis of shared vision for ministry"?

I'm not trying to defend the IRD here... but the truth is that the IRD isn't forming a denomination and Dorhauer has yet to identify a single church stolen by the IRD. Conservative churches that leave the UCC are joining groups like the Evangelical Association... and it's just a wild guess, but I bet it's because of a "shared vision for ministry".

I don't like to see churches leave the UCC any more than Dorhauer does, but lets call it what it is and stop the grassy knoll conspiracy theory of why churches are leaving... and start dealing with reality.

On that note...

I see that some nut by the name of Rusty Pipes is claiming here, here and here that UCCtruths is a "front group for the IRD". As usual with the small band of Talk2Action folks, there's nothing to support the claim that's plainly false. I have never been a part of the Institute on Religion and Democracy in any way, shape or form.

Props to Talk2Action owner Freddy Clarkson for clarifying it... sort of... by commenting that "UCC Truths is not to my knowledge, an IRD front group. It might be fair however, to call it an IRD cheerleader."

Cheerleader? I guess it's better than "front group".
posted by UCCtruths, Monday, October 29, 2007


My recent deep thought is asking whether the Iraq war is a "wedge issue" that the IRD introduced into UCC discussion in order to divide our congregations.

Upon reflection, the obvious answer is that the Collegium of officers (and specifically trespassers Thomas and Jaramillo) seem to have pushed this particular 'wedge issue' into the life of the UCC. The top-driven campaign seems to have alienated faithful members of the UCC.

Who will write the book on *this* conspiracy?

Peace (with justice),
commented by Anonymous Richmond T. Stallgiss, 2:05 AM  
Was it the IRD that "steeplejacked" the Puerto Rico Conference? PRC made the claim that it was General Synod 24 that drove the wedge, when it passed the Gay Marriage resolution over the PRC's delegate's clearly stated and passionately delivered objections during floor debate. (I was in line at the mike right behind them, but debate was cut short - the delegates had their minds made up).
commented by Blogger Steve, 10:12 AM  
You have it right here! Our church left the UCC in 2003 to join the Evangelical Association, not because of the influence of an outside group, but because we increasingly no longer fit in the UCC. We found "like-minded" folks in the EA, and have been very happy with our choice.

Don't see the difference between what we did and what the MCC churches that join the UCC are doing.
commented by Anonymous Lin, 3:14 PM  

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