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UCCtruths

Every denomination needs one of these...

Spies in the church

Friday, March 28, 2008

Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, President, Chicago Theological Seminary, has identified a conspiracy: Spies in the church! Gasp! From the Washington Post's "On Faith":

A member of Trinity United Church of Christ, the church once led by Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright and where Senator Obama is a member, told me there are “spies” among them in the pews, strangers who take notes during the service and try to record the message.

Check it out for yourself. Go to the Trinity UCC website, select "Why The Black Church Won't Shut Up!", and listen to Rev. Otis Moss politely ask that there be "no recording equipment." He repeats over and over, "We are in worship. We are in worship." When visitors are asked to stand, you can see those with paper and pencil in hand. Are these folks members of the press or political operatives? Impossible to know if they don't, as Rev. Moss requests, sign in.
Stop laughing, she's serious.

Nevermind the media storm that was created by videos of Jeremiah Wright's rants which came from DVD's sold by Trinity UCC... no, according to Thistlethwaite... it could be political operatives! Spies!

According to Thistlethwaite, "this is what happens when politics intrudes into the sanctuary of the church, a sacred space."

Hmmmm.... ya think?

Thistlethwaite didn't seem to mind the political intrusion when it was Barack Obama that spoke at the UCC's General Synod last June at a time when Obama was desperately trying to prove to the voting public that he was in fact a Christian. She also didn't seem to mind when Obama used his UCC speech in his campaign literature in South Carolina later in the year.

Yet Thistlethwaite now says "our churches and our faith commitments are out of bounds in the tumult of political contests."

If this were a genuine statement, she would have objected to Obama speaking at the UCC's General Synod. Clearly Thistlethwaite isn't worried about church and politics mixing so long as the church can control the message. In the case of Obama's speech, which was heavily promoted by his campaign people, the United Church of Christ was all too eager to ride on Obama's coat tails. Throw in an an angry cussing pastor from a bygone generation and now the media attention isn't quite as welcome. The same media people at Obama's speech now show up at Trinity UCC with the same "paper and pencil in hand" and now she suspects they might be "spies".

For the United church of Christ, politics intruded into the sanctuary a long, long time ago. While I share Thistlethwaite's sudden concern about politics mixing in the sanctuary, we only have ourselves to blame.
posted by UCCtruths, Friday, March 28, 2008

10 Comments:

The camera pans out from a woman scribbling her grocery list on the back of the bulletin.....

Transition to a long camera shot from over the shoulder of the pastor preaching a fiery sermon........with a palm sized red button mounted on an electrical panel in the foreground.....

A hand moves into camera shot......


Boinggggggg.......
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 3:46 PM  
James: I just posted on this (http://reformedpastor.wordpress.com/2008/03/28/the-sky-is-falling-not/) before I knew that you had seen it. My read on Thistlethwaite is that she is a first-class hypocrite whose outrage is strictly a matter of her politics and her denominational affiliation. Sorry you UCC folks have to put up with the likes of her.
commented by OpenID reformedpastor, 9:36 PM  
At my church our pastor is thrilled that we take notes on his sermon. We are encouraged to do so.
commented by Blogger Firezerk, 9:23 AM  
James,

This is unbelievable. Well, maybe not totally unbelievable. It simply points out the corruption in the leadership of the UCC. In every Baptist church I have been in, and in the mission I am starting, everyone is encouraged to take notes, record the messages and lessons, and when it is appropriate, ask questions – as many as you like.

I know you like your denomination. However, I don’t think you are going to reform it. You will be successful at changing a few hearts and minds of those who really want the truth, but you are not going to change the leadership.

I appreciate you honesty and desire for the truth. But, I don’t see that same desire in the leadership of the UCC as evidenced by this woman’s assertion. It makes me ask the questions: “What are you trying to hide?” and “What is it that you don’t want people outside the denomination to know?”

Isn’t preaching the word of God about the truth and being open with it?
commented by Anonymous Paul W. Davis, 2:09 PM  
This is unbelievable. Well, maybe not totally unbelievable. It simply points out the corruption in the leadership of the UCC. In every Baptist church I have been in, and in the mission I am starting, everyone is encouraged to take notes, record the messages and lessons, and when it is appropriate, ask questions – as many as you like.

I know you like your denomination. However, I don’t think you are going to reform it. You will be successful at changing a few hearts and minds of those who really want the truth, but you are not going to change the leadership.
James,

I appreciate you honesty and desire for the truth. But, I don’t see that same desire in the leadership of the UCC as evidenced by this woman’s assertion. It makes me ask the questions: “What are you trying to hide?” and “What is it that you don’t want people outside the denomination to know?”

Isn’t preaching the word of God about the truth and being open with it?
commented by Anonymous Paul W. Davis, 2:11 PM  
Hmmm...apparently the only time politics in the pulpit are a problem is when conservatives do it...

And are these spies fermenting defections from the UCC?-oh, sorry, wrong spies...They must be everywhere in politically active UCC churches...
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 8:15 PM  
paranoia isn't what's needed for us to get through this. what has happened to our policy of openness? it seems like the shepherds have been letting the flock(s) stray.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 12:24 PM  
As an ordained Baptist who now proudly affirms the historic Baptist principles (especially of soul liberty) present in the UCC and who knows from the inside the fundamentalist culture I know it's nearly useless to debate with the likes of you. It must hurt to not get your own way and to realize that you're in that tiny privileged minority who know they're right and everyone else is wrong. There's even been a study about your kind. Something about "Fundamentalism as a predictor of cognitive complexity capacity." And if you truly understand what that is, then you understand how people who think as you do are locked cognitively. However, if you read those words as a perjorative or as an attempt to sound smarter than you, you truly are cognitive-complexity-challenged -- and no one should blame you for that genetic limitation (even though knowing about it might make you feel either angry or put-down.)

As others have written, you DO have the option of leaving the United Church of Christ -- but you likely wouldn't be happy anywhere else either. You find your happiness in tearing others down, not building up the whole household of faith. And that's real sad.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 6:55 PM  
As an ordained Baptist who now proudly affirms the historic Baptist principles (especially of soul liberty) present in the UCC and who knows from the inside the fundamentalist culture I know it's nearly useless to debate with the likes of you. It must hurt to not get your own way and to realize that you're in that tiny privileged minority who know they're right and everyone else is wrong. There's even been a study about your kind. Something about "Fundamentalism as a predictor of cognitive complexity capacity." And if you truly understand what that is, then you understand how people who think as you do are locked cognitively. However, if you read those words as a perjorative or as an attempt to sound smarter than you, you truly are cognitive-complexity-challenged -- and no one should blame you for that genetic limitation (even though knowing about it might make you feel either angry or put-down.)

As others have written, you DO have the option of leaving the United Church of Christ -- but you likely wouldn't be happy anywhere else either. You find your happiness in tearing others down, not building up the whole household of faith. And that's real sad.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 6:56 PM  
"As an ordained Baptist who now proudly affirms the historic Baptist principles"... says the guy posting anonymously
commented by Blogger UCCtruths, 7:15 PM  

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