Shuck and Jive

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Enough of the LayMAN

Tribal Church asks Is Anyone Else Getting Tired of the Layman?

TC reports on typical tactics of the LayMAN:

A couple years ago, my dear friend Beth Sentell was engineering a merger between two small churches. To do something like that successfully is no small feat. Often one congregation is simply engulfed by another, but she and a neighboring pastor managed to do the delicate work of uniting two congregations without losing anyone along the way.

And then, of course, there was the issue of property. They didn’t need two buildings any longer, so they put the church up for sale. After months, they got an offer–a really good offer–from an Islamic Community Center. They sold the property, and figured that the matter was settled.

It was, until the Layman decided that the good laws that govern our good nation (namely that you can’t discriminate against people on real estate deals on the basis of religion) weren’t good enough.

They wrote a story, misconstruing the facts. Among other things, they wrote that the congregation had turned down solid offers from other churches in order to sell it to the Muslims. Soon after the story ran, an anti-Islamic blog reprinted it. And so now, when someone does a google search on Beth’s name, all of this stuff comes up….

You can count on exposure and mocking of the LayMAN on Shuck and Jive. The LayMAN was responsible for fomenting schism in my previous congregation. An agitating group demanded that the session sign on to the fundamentalist Confessing Church Movement and when the session unanimously voted that it was not interested, the LayMAN got a hold of the congregation's mailing list and turned every church member into an unsolicited subscriber.

This is not an evangelical vs. progressive issue. This is between those who love the PC(USA)--(evangelicals, progressives, and moderates)--against the LayMAN and its ilk who want to foment schism and bring down the PC(USA).

Fight back, beloveds.


  1. They did the same thing at my old church (though they had an enthusiastic subscriber enthusiastically give them a congregational directory after being advised by the Session not to) right as the Re-Imagining flapette was going on. My first encounter was reading their excerpts of the "womb prayer" in 18 point type.

    As an aside, the Layman would probably report the Apostles Creed this way: "I believe...Jesus Christ...born of...Mary...under...Pontius Pilate...into Hell.... I believe in...Ghost...Catholic...Saints...ssurection...everlasting. Amen."

    The apparent misogynist racists in the Session used this to bring down the Blue Hymnal, which they claimed was full of subversive lesbian and black-power messages, even after my parents joined the committee that went through every. single. page. to find such subversion, finding none.

    The thing about the Layman is that even if we did everything they wanted, they'd still find things to bitch about.

  2. "As an aside, the Layman would probably report the Apostles Creed this way: "

    No, "flycandler", you didn't use enough "snot quotes" around "things" you "disagree" with in order to properly "meet" the Layman's "style" "guidelines."

    Thanks to them, many experts predict we'll run out of the world's supply of snotty quotation marks by 2010.

  3. John,

    I'm so sorry to hear about your previous congregation. Just awful.

    I love Jefferson Davis Hogg pic. And thanks for the link!

  4. I won't give the Layman all the credit for my rather short but fun (4 years) pastorate there. I made my own screwups, but the LayMAN had its role. I didn't get my butt kicked for nothing, though. : )

    I know a lot more about their destructive tactics. Thanks again for your post. It takes folks willing to take them on.

  5. "Alan", you are "of course" "correct" about using the "quotation marks" in an "annoying" "manner". It "always" reminds me of "those" irritating "people" who are always "stabbing" the "air" with "their" "fingers". One is "tempted" to take the offending "digits" and "shove" them up the offender's "proboscis".

    Since I no longer have my (signed, sigh) copy of Jack Rogers' Claiming the Center, perhaps someone could look up the origins of the Presbyterian Lay Committee (of which the LayMAN is the mighty, prominent and pulsating "organ"). It's tied in with the oil industry, misogyny and segregation! Fun stuff!

  6. Doing some research, I found this little gem from the LayMAN's prior incarnation, the LayMENSCH:



    CAPERNAUM, JUDAEA-- Left-wing radical "rabbi" Yeshua ben Yosef, recently criticized for his "healing" of a mute by right-thinking rabbis, who note that "by the ruler of the demons he casts out the demons", has once again raised concerns over "comments" made to his "students" that seek to undermine the family values of Jews. Yeshua was overheard to say "I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one's foes will be members of one's household." In explaining his controversial "opinion", he stated "do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword." Rabbi Yaakov of the Institute for Pharasaical Domination responded, "we are very concerned about not only 'Rabbi' Yeshua's fiery remarks against the traditional family structure that has made Israel great, but his apparent 'endorsement' of terroristic activity. We pray for him and hope that he will see the error of his ways through the continued application of 'loving discipline'. We will continue to 'love' him until he submits."

    "Rabbi" Yeshua continues to correspond with the heretical felon Yohannan, currently serving a sentence for treasonous comments about King George W. Herod."