John Shuck, a Presbyterian minister, thinks that is perfectly reasonable to not believe in God and remain in ministry. (H/T Real Clear Religion)
“How can you call yourself a Christian, let alone a minister?!”
I get asked that question frequently and the questioner is hostile more often than not. Still, I like to answer it if I believe the questioner is sincere.
Though I self-identify as a Christian and I am an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), I raised eyebrows a few years ago when I posted an article on my website about how my personal beliefs don’t align with those of most Presbyterians.
For example, I believe that:
- Religion is a human construct
- The symbols of faith are products of human cultural evolution
- Jesus may have been an historical figure, but most of what we know about him is in the form of legend
- God is a symbol of myth-making and not credible as a supernatural being or force
- The Bible is a human product as opposed to special revelation from a divine being
- Human consciousness is the result of natural selection, so there’s no afterlife
In short, I regard the symbols of Christianity from a non-supernatural point of view.
And yet, even though I hold those beliefs, I am still a proud minister. But I don’t appreciate being told that I’m not truly a Christian. Read more…
He thinks that Christianity is a culture, and not a belief system. We are people of the enlightenment–not the dark ages. Twenty-first century culture, dontcha know, transcends 2000 years of Christian witness. And scholarship.
Well I certainly agree that Christianity is not a mere belief system. To be a Christian is to profess Jesus as Lord and Him crucified. It is to know that Jesus is Truth incarnate.
I really can’t understand his reasoning. I mean why bother. If you truly believe that God is just a symbol (what does that even mean), and that the Jesus presented in the Gospels is just a legend why remain in ministry? You don’t have to belong to a church to be involved in social justice issues. You can sleep in on Sunday morning!
I guess he wants the trappings and rituals, without the cross.