Presbyterian “Rev” John Shuck: Undermining The Authority of the Bible AND The Credibility of Atheist Dr. Michael Zimmerman
Once again, atheist Dr. Michael Zimmerman, founder of the pro-evolution Clergy Letter Project, was pontificating over at the HuffPo. In the midst of preaching to that liberal choir, he made the following generalization:
“As I’ve said so many times before, the very existence of The Clergy Letter Project demonstrates that thousands of religious leaders have absolutely no trouble embracing evolution while remaining true to their faith.”
Is that even remotely true? Um, no.
Take for example, Clergy Letter signer and Evolution Sunday celebrant, “Rev” John Shuck. This false minister cannot even affirm the historical, bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ, a fundamental basic of authentic saving faith per Romans 10:9. In fact, Shuck doesn’t even believe in God. He’s a member of the Clergy Project [not to be confused with Zimmerman’s Clergy Letter Project], a cabal of atheist clergy, most of whom still preach from our pulpits. And he doesn’t care who knows it. By his own admission, he revels in the fact that he’s underming the authority of Scripture and constantly thumbs his nose at the Presbyterian Church [USA] for letting him occupy one of their pulpits; here’s a quote from Shuck himself:
“…The PC(USA) is awash in heresy and it refuses to do anything about it.
Take for example, me. I think the Bible is wrong about most everything. It is wrong about evolution, slavery, women, and gays. It has no authority on those topics. I think the Bible is wrong about cosmology, history, our future, Jesus, and God. The texts were all written by human beings without any supernatural or special revelation. Yet I preach in a PC(USA) pulpit. Run! Flee! Escape while you can into the refreshing waters of pure doctrine!
Ten denominations aren’t near enough. We will need plenty more break-offs before we finally give up on the oppressive notion of the Authority of Scripture. The Bible contains no truth outside of what we can discover through public means of inquiry. Don’t misunderstand. I enjoy the Bible. It is a marvelous human book. I read it and study it with all the critical means at my disposal. In so doing, I will do my part to undermine its Authority which I think is the next important step for religious freedom.”
Another conversation I had with John Shuck stands as a further contradiction of Zimmerman’s claim that the “Clergy Letter Project demonstrates that thousands of religious leaders have absolutely no trouble embracing evolution while remaining true to their faith.” Commenting on how statistics [yes, Zimmerman: statistics]demonstrate a link between a belief in evolution and apostasy, I pointed the following out to John Shuck:
“Your own evident lack of faith in core Christian beliefs is symptomatic of the link between faith in evolution and religious unbelief. Might I suggest you read Already Gone by Ken Ham & Britt Beemer? I know you have no love for Mr Ham, but unless you are prepared to arbitrarily accuse him of lying, the statistics he presents in this book should convince all but the most heretical liberal of the link between evolution and loss of faith.”
the link between evolution and loss of faith
Science has a way of undoing superstition. May the loss of “faith” continue! …Your god doesn’t exist, my friend, nor does his hell. So I am not afraid for my “eternal salvation.” I do pity you for believing outrageous fairy tales and cruel ones at that. I hope you will repent as well and stop spreading fear and ignorance.
If you’d like a short list of his skewed beliefs, he’s provided us with one on his site, under the heading, What Presbyterians Believe [Except Me]:
- in evolutionary theory. This obviously includes human beings. Evolution and science in general have had major implications regarding theology that we mostly ignore or in our worse moments deny.
- in higher criticism of the Bible. The Bible like all other books are human products (what else could they be?) and should be read as such as opposed to special revelation from a divine being.
- that all religion is a human construct. Its primary purpose has been and should be an attempt to find and evoke meaning amidst life’s contingencies as opposed to speculation regarding supernaturalism.
- that “God” functions as a symbol. The concept of “God” is a product of myth-making and “God” is no longer credible as a personal, supernatural being. For me, “God” functions as a shorthand for the Universe and sometimes for qualities and aspirations I wish to pursue or to emulate.
- that human consciousness is the result of natural selection. Human beings do not have immortal souls nor will consciousness survive death. Thus there is no afterlife. There is no heaven, no hell, and no need for salvation from one realm to another.
- that there is no “end” in human time. Earth is four billion years old. Earth was here long before human beings. Earth will spin on its axis and revolve around the sun long, long after the last human being has breathed her last. We will have to find meaning and our “eschaton” in this life.
- that Jesus may have been historical but most of the stories about him in the Bible and elsewhere are legends. But he’s cool. He serves as a human ideal and a focal point for devotion (like an ishta deva).
- that industrial civilization is in for a long descent. Peak Oil and Overshoot should be everyday terms in our lexicon. We ought to be putting our religious energies toward spiritual, emotional, and practical preparation for this reality.
Note that Shuck prioritizes evolution on this belief statement and that he freely admits that affirmation of evolution has consequences for theology. Those consequences are implicit in the rest of his belief statements. Which means that if Zimmerman truly believes his own press concerning the neutrality of evolutionary belief on religious belief, he’s done so by ignoring the evidence.
Zimmerman’s self-delusion aside, we’re forced to ask ourselves why the PCUSA allows this wolf to remain over one of their flocks? I think the Presbyterian Church USA is a little concerned that they’ll make a martyr of John Shuck if they remove him from his pulpit. He’s ceratinly itching for a fight:
“It could and likely will get ugly. Those who cling to their superstitions will be ruthless. There will be inquisitions. There will be heresy trials…. My advice for clergy and for laypeople who are growing out of a childish supernaturalistic past is to stand your ground. Don’t let them set the terms or the rules. Don’t resign.”
Yet the PC[USA] should remember that they will give an account before the one who charged them with shepherding the flock of God from wolves whether they be within or without.
Whatever decision [or indecision] the PCUSA commits to concerning this notorious apostste minister, Zimmerman needs to realize that rather remaining true to their faith, the majority of Clergy Letter Project signers appear to have abandoned the apostolic faith once delivered to the saints in favor of modern novelties and heresies.
This is an important point [one I wil close with]: Zimmerman and those who use his Clergy Letter Project to promote evolution in our churches and schools want us to look at the quantity of clergy signatures under the heading “Christian” when we ought also be examining the quality and validity of those clergy who affix their name to his apostate Letter. Can they affirm the historical, bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ? Do they believe that Jesus is God? Do they even believe in God? If they cannot answer these basic questions in the affirmative, we can be assured that we are dealing with Christians in name only, damned wolves in sheep’s clothing.
More information is available here: Ex-Christians: The Evolution Factor and in Ken Ham’s excellent book, Already Gone: Why Your Kids Will Quit Church & What You Can Do About It!
And may I suggest that instea dof celebrating an Evolution Sunday this year, celebrate a Creation Sunday instead. You can view and add a Creation Sunday event in your area at http://CreationSundays.com