Learning from the MLP
In her discussion about Butterfield she mentions a store called "Butterfield Bible and Bait". She wrote, "Right here, in Butterfield, I knew that somewhere between the Bibles and the bait - a truly peculiar interpretation of the Gospel was taking shape: half a verse here and half a verse there – and pretty soon, voila! They had knit themselves a nice little theology and a dandy set of life’s priorities. …Might not actually bear any semblance to the core values of our faith or even a peripheral theme therein…but there you have it… ever-so-carefully gleaned from random portions of scripture: life’s priorities brought to you by those who 'Ran the Store': fishing and capitalism."
Thank you Ms. Ride because that's exactly how I view the liberals of the PCUSA. A peculiar interpretation of the Gospel is what the soc/libs* offer us in this sermon. You see it in hercomment that "everyone is in God's family – right now" forgetting that just moments before Ride shared how Jesus pronounced woe on the hypocrites of His own Judaism. Jesus told a sinner, "go and sin no more" but her sin doesn't really matter because she is part of the "everyone is included – right now ". When the rich man walked away saddened. Jesus didn't chase him down because it really didn't matter if the man "sold all he had, gave to the poor and came and followed Jesus" because according to Ride's peculiar interpretation of the Gospel he also is included – right now.
Perhaps in later sermon Ms. Ride can explain how someone who said the rich would have a better than difficult time entering into God's Kingdom can be included – right now. I really already know the answer—God's grace. But it is peculiar interpretation of God's Grace. He may be included –right now but this man should still boycott Caterpillar, McDonalds and the other latest and greatest movements of the non-capitalists of the PCUSA.
Perhaps I should add the quote Dr. King's that Ride uses to support the fact that it's time for those who stand for the "orthodox and biblical" understanding of God's People, the Church [yes capital 'C']
Dr. King wrote,“There was a time when the church was very powerful. It was during that period when the early Christians rejoiced when they were deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles or popular opinion (promoting an agenda that goes along with the gay agenda to get along in this world); it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society. Whenever the early Christians entered a town the power structure (denominational leadership and committees) got disturbed and immediately sought to convict them for being ‘disturbers of the peace’ and ‘outside agitators.’ (such as filing nuisance disciplinary charges) But they went on with the conviction that they were a ‘colony of heaven’ and had to obey God rather than any human voice. They were small in number but great in commitment (New Wineskins 100+ endorsing congregations)…I hope the church as a whole will meet the challenge of this decisive hour.” (Emphasis and parenthetical statements are mine not Dr. King's)
I am certain that Ms. Ride will take issue with my use of her own words but it seems a far more peculiar take on the Gospel that comes from the mouths of those who are liberals than those who stand with the historical convictions of Christ's people and with the worldwide witness to Jesus.
*MLP More Light Presbyterians
*soc/libs = Social-Liberals who describe themselves as "progressives"
Corrected June 22, 2006