Shuck and Jive

Monday, November 05, 2007

Name the New Wineskins Contest!

A commenter suggested that my use of the word "Winos" for the New Wineskins Association of Churches was offensive for recovering alcoholics. I agree. Winebibbers falls into that category as well. He suggested, "New Whiners."

What, dear reader, shall we call them? Go to the right of this blog for a poll. Name the Wineskins! I have started us out with a few. Feel free to make nominations.

Am I being naughty? Am I making fun? Am I ticking you off? I intend to do so.

The PCUSA is not a fundamentalist denomination even though we have a few. Leave if you must, but if you plan on taking your congregation, you gotta lotta paperwork to do.


  1. I don't understand the use of the term New Wineskins in this context.

    New wine is undrinkable.

    In the parable of the New Wineskins in Mark and Matthew, the New Wineskin is clearly Jesus. It is he who is willing to spend time with the undrinkables and undesirables. He is explaining why he is willing to spend time with them while the traditional law abiding religious folks will not. They are the old wineskins.

    I think it is really funny that the folks who are refusing to accept the undesirables are calling themselves "New Wineskins". They are the old! They accuse the rest of us of not believing the Scriptures, but then proceed to mangle them beyond all recognition.

    Some people just can't get the point of the Gospel no matter how hard they try.

  2. Appropos of nothing whatsoever, I will just say that while Jesus may have said that "no one puts new wine into old wineskins", it was Elton John who pointed out the immense difficulty of trying to drink whisky from a bottle of wine.

  3. Someone on another blog suggested that the More Light Presbyterians and the New Wineskins could merge (ha!) and be the More Wineskins... :) This commenter thought that more wine may help to ease the tensions in our denomination.

  4. I think that they opened themselves up to this by picking that particular metaphor for their organization's name (which in itself is probably inappropriate for recovering alcoholics who want to join). I say New Wineskins' name is fair game.

  5. John

    I find your mocking of the New Wineskins people totally unacceptable. I can no longer in good conscience participate in a dialogue with you.

    I certainly don’t agree with the people leaving the denomination but frankly your current behavior is exactly what has caused me pain from the rigid liberals for my whole career.

    I know you love and are concerned about the PCUSA. I do and am too. But the way to respond to all who disagree with you, no matter what their behavior, is by treating them as we have each other not by mocking them. Others may not respond as we have but we still have a responsibility to “. . . be (friends) among (our) colleagues in ministry, working with them, subject to the ordering of God’s Word and Spirit,” even when others do not behave in such a fashion.

    If you remove the three mocking posts about the New Wineskins and apologize for mocking them I will continue in dialogue with you. Just send me an email if you have done so.

    I have appreciated our conversations and continue to love you as my friend.


  6. I appreciate Jodie's comments for giving me some perspective on where the name comes from.

    Bob thinks we should not mock this group. It is okay for The New Wineskins to mock Jesus and what he practiced in his short life. The name a group chooses is supposed to express what they stand FOR. If Jodie is correct, they make a complete mockery of what Jesus was FOR by calling themselves the New Wineskins.

    I put in a vote for Neo-Wineskins. Because the prefix "neo" has become associated with extremism (Neo-Conservatives, Neo-Nazis)that perverts the original concept, it seems to fit perfectly.

  7. The "New Wine" in Jesus' parable in my view is his teachings, and when one attempts to put Jesus new teachings into the old dogmatic wineskins of Jewish theology, one ends up losing both.

    Likewise, with the teachings of Jesus as revealed in modern biblical criticism, and Christian theology as inherited from Pauline thoelogy.

    My vote is to call them the "Old Wineskins." That sums up what they are doing in my view; attempting to stuff Jesus' liberating teachings into the confines of old dogma.

  8. Hi Bob,

    Your comment and my latest post passed as ships in the night. I wish to continue dialogue with you. You are a friend and colleague. Not sure I can do so under your conditions, but perhaps if we have a dialogue about it as we have other things, we can do so.

  9. John

    While I appreciate the tone of most of you latest post you still suggest that mocking is acceptable. I don't approve of the way some of the New Wineskin people are leaving the denomination, trash talking the PCUSA on their way out the door. Others are leaving with respect and love.

    I could have lived with the first 2 posts. This one about renaming the New Wineskins goes beyond what I consider acceptable.

    No matter how they behave these are our brothers and sisters in Christ. We are called to criticize and correct with humility and love. You have not done so.

    When you treat others in this fashion in the Church, because we are all one body, you have also treated me in this fashion.

    I repeat, I cannot dialogue with you under these conditions.

    Nevertheless I love you.


  10. All right, then, Bob.

    I love you too and I appreciate the conversation we have had.


  11. "No matter how they behave these are our brothers and sisters in Christ. We are called to criticize and correct with humility and love. You have not done so."

    Personally, I feel the same about Bob with regards to his comments towards our Muslim brothers and sisters. To call Muslims "accursed" and not forgiven by God becaues they don't believe the atonment doctrine is as about as unChrist-like as one can get I think. And it matters not how "nice" is is said.

    I think there is a rather large mote sitting in Bob's eye, and he might want to tend to it.

  12. "No matter how they behave these are our brothers and sisters in Christ. We are called to criticize and correct with humility and love. You have not done so."

    God...I soooo wanted to stay out of this.

    Bob, it is with much humility and love that ask you to re-assess what you said here.

    Those "queers" and "Liberals" and "freeze-dried hippies" and pot smokin', debauchin', fornicatin', etc people that have been drummed out of the church and denied Deconships and Elderships and openly mocked and falsely accused...

    Were and are "Brothers and Sisters in Christ" too.

    We are in no way obligated to abstain from equal force. And we can fight and forgive at the same time.
    We will never stop aggressively opposing those of our "brethren" that try to lay some exclusive, cultish condition on salvation.

    Jesus showed us how to be one with "God". We don't need to be one with the Right Wingskins. Salvation is not theirs to offer.

    Peace in Jesus, Brother.

  13. Hey, I was having fun with this topic, and then this whole discussion suddenly got all serious. I'm very disappointed.

    I know I'm not even a Presbyterian, nor do I play one on TV, but I am curious--are those right wing Christians as respectful towards progressives as progressives are being admonished to be towards the right wingers? Do the right wingers consider progressives their "brothers and sisters"? Or do they attack them as being "false teachers"? I've seen the vitriol that has been used against John Shuck by these people--it is readily available in various blogs and web sites. These people have essentially decided that progressives are far from "brothers and sisters", but rather their enemies. Some of these people have gone after John in more formal ways. They tell him that he's been "reported".

    I would say that we have a bit of a double standard here.

  14. Don't stop the fun, Seeker! Lighten us up!

    I tried to add Right Wingskins to my poll, but since votes have been cast, my little poll thing won't add it.

    If I were even more narcissistic than I already am, I would add a poll for favorite names for John Shuck.

    Nominations would include:

    heretic, apostate, demon, wolf in sheep's clothing, false teacher...

    but at least I am not being mocked.

    I am teasing Bob a little with that. I appreciate Bob and the conversation we have had. He is an above board kind of guy. I hope our chat can be resumed.

    Bob and I disagree over how to be appropriate I suppose.

    You are right, Seeker. There is no way the new whiners (the term leading the poll at the moment) is going to regard me as a brother in Christ.

    I don't think there is any hope for being reunited or for finding a solution to the issues that divide the church.

    The above statement does not apply to Bob. I think he represents someone with whom we could find a solution.

    We tried a solution from 2001 to 2005. It resulted in the committee made up of folks from all over the spectrum unanimously passing the TTF report. That report in turn was passed by the last General Assembly. It was fuel for The New Whiners. Because someday, somewhere a gay person might be ordained.

    It is all about THE GAY at least for this latest schismatic movement.

    We are at the point of fighting over property with a very small minority of malcontents.

    Yet as Flycandler said, the Whiners are getting some traction and more could join their cause.

    That battle is going to be messy and ugly as only a church fight can be.

    So...I think making fun of these people who want to destroy the PCUSA is in order.

    It is pretty mild if you ask me.

  15. Hello my Blogalicious Friends:

    I believe that my life has been forever changed and illumined by the 'co-incidence' of finding The First Presbyterian Church of Elizabethton,TN.

    I do not mean to suggest that I have 'blind faith' in Rev. John Shuck ...but I know what I know. Every Sunday 100 ways ...I have witnessed his ministry and his congregation's good fellowship and good works.

    So ...when it comes to the 'Wineskins Controversy' ...I am compelled to view John's words as reflective of God's Word & God's Love mirrored in the bright and shining faces of the members, guests and...most especially, the children...of FPC-E.

    As an attempt to be pithy & succinct .....I reject 'judgmental & divisive' in favor of 'loving and inclusive'.

    Thank You
    Thank you
    Thank You!

    Twain -a regular visitor at 119 West F Street ...and happily 'in-SPIRED' ...up at 3000' in Spruce Pine, N.C.



  16. Thanks to you & GOD....Today....

    Thank you for your good works and inspiration.

    -Twain :-)


  17. I hesitate to belabor this point, because I feel that you probably doesn't need to be reminded of this stuff, John. But still, I think it is important to stress here for others who might read this blog that it is you who is not being treated like a "brother", not vice versa.

    I did a Google search of the Presbyweb site to see some examples of how some Presbyterians treat John Shuck as their "brother in Christ". Here are some quotes:

    Rev. Dwight White of Vermont says that John's blog "is not worthy of the printed page, let alone Presbyweb. The blogger blasphemes in what he has to say about Jesus."

    Rev. Horton from Alabama says that he and John Shuck "share no common ground at all."

    Rev. Clay Brown from North Carolina accuses John of "heresies" and says that "Shuck is in violation of several of his ordination vows." He also says that if the people in his congregation "all believe what Shuck believes, they’re not even Christian." He calls for John to be disciplined.

    Rev. Pat McElroy of Pennsylvania says, "he has departed from the faith catholic and must get on with obeying his own ordination vows by peacefully renouncing the jurisdiction of the PC USA and getting on with a new career. And, if he is not willing to do so, then his Presbytery must lovingly do so for him."

    And this is all just from that one web site. I didn't go combing the Presbyterian blogs from some of those who attack you as a "mocker" or a "heretic" or whatever, but it probably isn't necessary. I think it is pretty clear here what is going on.

  18. Seeker...

    Your observations are spot on.
    The Right Wingskins (thanx for that by the way) :), feel free to slander John or anyone that doesn't adhere to their uninformed, Catholic fantasy version of Christian theology. But God forbid that someone answer back in kind.

    They employ what is comfortable for them, not what is true. For to abide by the true doctrine of Jesus, they would be forced to admit to themselves that they are evil in nature.

    These are the Scribes and Pharisees that Jesus opposed to his death. The uber-pious control-freaks that hide their ways from the light while putting on an eminence front in public.

    Their end has already come.

  19. John has the right to comment as he has on the New Wineskins. All the New Wineskins stuff is completely one sided in every way (only their way). They are asking for negative blogs when they prevent other opinions.