BEAVERTON, Ore. – A Presbyterian USA minister in Oregon who says that he doesn’t believe in God—and doesn’t require his members to believe either–remarked in a recent article that he is offended by those who assert that he is not a Christian.
“Someone quipped that my congregation is BYOG: Bring Your Own God. I use that and invite people to ‘bring their own God’—or none at all,” wrote John Shuck of Beaverton’s Southminster Presbyterian Church in a guest post for Patheos last week. “While the symbol ‘God’ is part of our cultural tradition, you can take it or leave it or redefine it to your liking.”
Shuck first came out as an unbeliever in 2011, generating controversy as to how one could serve as a minister and not believe in the Bible.
“The concept of ‘God’ is a product of myth-making and ‘God’ is no longer credible as a personal, supernatural being,” he wrote in a blog post on his site “Shuck and Jive.” “Jesus may have been historical, but most of the stories about Him in the Bible and elsewhere are legends.”
“We all have been trained to think that Christianity is about believing things,” he wrote. “Its symbols and artifacts (God, Bible, Jesus, Heaven, etc) must be accepted in a certain way. And when times change and these beliefs are no longer credible, the choices we are left with are either rejection or fundamentalism.”
But Shuck says that although he rejects the Bible as being literal, and denies the existence of Heaven and Hell, he takes offense when people tell him that he’s not a Christian.
“Mr. Schuck proves that he knows very little about Christianity,” Andrew Rappaport of Striving for Eternity Ministries in Jackson, N.J. told Christian News Network. “He talks about ‘belief-less Christianity’ thriving. But what defines a Christian is specifically stated as a belief that Jesus Christ as God (Romans 10:9–10). Therefore, it is impossible to have a belief-less Christianity.”
“To have someone who can claim to be a minister and redefine Christianity against its proper definition is no different than attempting to redefine marriage as possible between the same sex,” he continued. “God defines marriage as being between man and woman, and God defines Christianity based on belief.”
“What you see here is nothing more than someone who wants to infiltrate the Church in an attempt to destroy it,” Rappaport stated. “The two things that he does not understand is, first, the Church will not be destroyed, and second, his whole argument that God does not exist is based on intelligence, logic, ability to reason and morality—all of which require the God that he denies, because immaterial things are not the product of chemical reactions; they require God.”
Source: Christian News
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But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death -Revelation 21:8 (KJV).
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils – 1 Timothy 4:1 (KJV).
For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect -Matthew 24:24 (KJV).
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry – 2 Timothy 4:3-5 (KJV).
In transgressing and lying against the LORD, and departing away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood – Isaiah 59:13 (KJV).