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Not Prince Hamlet

"Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse."

Yeah, Well, We'll Just Go Buy An Ad Then

Saturday, June 24, 2006

NPH knows that only some of our readers are affiliated with a church community, and even fewer of them are a part of the Presbyterian church community in the U.S.A. (and even fewer of them are in Kansas City). NPH is not a blog about the church.

However, NPH is a blog the convergence of faith and media, and the questions that arise as a result. So when we discovered today that colleagues in the Heartland Presbytery, the regional body to which NPH's church belongs, had purchased a 3/4 page ad in the Kansas City Star, we we bristled.

The ad is a self-enclosed box with a body of text in front of the PC (USA) insignia, and is headed with the words, "Local Presbyterians Oppose Weakening of Ordination Standards." The ad then lays out a version of what happened at the PC (USA)'s General Assembly last week that is, if not inaccurate at points, then incompletely presented. The effect of it is to say the denomination is in schism, that it has departed from Biblical standards and from traditional Christianity, and that it will be abandoned by the church worldwide.

Any NPH reader who has taken in our comment on the GA's actions will recognize the fault of such statements. But be that as it may, the real problem NPH has is that tomorrow, while our church is trying to celebrate our church's ministry with children through our VBS, we will be dogged by panic-stricken congregants who demand to know why our denomination has renounced God, the Bible, and the Church.

We can't help but feel hard put to by our colleagues, if not a little betrayed. They claim to affirm wholeheartedly the anti-division sentiment so strongly conveyed at the General Assemby, and yet they can hardly wait to do something that can only perpetuate division.

And let's not overlook the key aspect of this situation: that the church in America, far from being the marginilized community of witness found in the New Testament, has the cultural and material resources to use the media industry for airing inter-ecclesial disputes. What, after all, did these evangelism-minded churches and pastors think outsiders would think, reading this ad? Do they expect this "valiant" statement (they really used that word) would make people want to run to their churches?

NPH is flummoxed.


posted by Not Prince Hamlet, 9:19 AM


unlike a pill, projection needs to be as big as possible if it's going to be swallowed.
commented by Anonymous landon, 8:34 AM  

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