Monday, August 18, 2008

August 18, 2008

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)


The Cubs are my third favorite baseball team behind the Yankees and Mets.

So I'm objective about 'em; and unlike their "fans" who keep waiting for their September swoon despite almost two weeks remaining in August, I'm sticking with my pre-season prediction that the lovable losers will be in the World Series in October.

While the Yankees won't make it this year, we know it won't be long before we're back.


Free enterprise.

Yankees fans are true Americans who don't believe in that socialistic revenue sharing stuff.

So we're gonna rebuild the American way by buying the best from the rest of 'em.


A friend expressed relief to discover I've always been a Yankees fan.

He feared I was one of those guys who hitch my wagon to whomever's in first place.

If that were the case, I would have left the PCUSA during any of the recent exoduses.


My professor/pastor buddy in Florida who is getting his way as I turn to Cave Canem in about a month introduced me to Edmund Clowney who wrote the Eutychus series for Christianity Today before I was ordained; which means he's dead or in a nursing home cashing in on his pension credits.

I like both of 'em.

Indeed, EC is an ecclesiastical version of Kurt Vonnegut; and I suspect he was an inspiration for Frederick Buechner.


EC has helped me to understand the majority of mainliners who aren't far left or far right or, uh, far anything; but rather, uh, moderate as in moderately committed to Jesus.

Anyway, he described 'em as Predicandus Amorphus: "All things to all men. An evangelical-liberal with leanings toward and away from neodoxy and paleoism. Heartily concurs in both sides of every argument - with minor reservations. Man of many deep convictions which last for days."

Now I get it.

Mainliners are like golfers and their putters: deeply committed...for about a week or two; or as I tell hackers, "Putters are like girlfriends in 10th grade: fast, furious, and fleeting."


EC wrote, "Many Americans crave a big church because their God is too small."

A few lines later, he added, "God's saving power operates not by addition, but by transformation."

It's too bad too many pulpiteers and pewsitters don't wrestle with stuff like that anymore.


Get this from EC: "Americans spend 3 billion for their churches and 6 billion for cigarettes...Churches have done well, considering their modest advertising budget and extremely soft sell...Or perhaps in the church news column we might read: 'First Church has reduced theological irritants to the lowest level among all leading pulpits. First Church preaching is smooth. It's First for filtered truth."


I like this guy.

I'm sending that last quote to a friend who followed a "professional church statesman" who said nothing when he preached but said it so eloquently yet boringly that nobody was offended from left or right or up or down or holy or debauched so that he was idolized for agreeing with the last person that he talked to which has made my friend with convictions so terribly uncomfortable by comparison.


"Committees," concluded EC, "are essential to our society as centers of indecision. The allegations that a camel is a horse put together by a committee is a manifest fabrication, since no committee could formulate anything less compromising than a swoose."

Preach, brother, go on!!!

He did: "Sometimes a red or green light shines from the pulpit, but usually the amber is timidly blinking. The preacher is neither modernist nor fundamentalist, but is dialectically hovering somewhere between a conservative liberal and a liberal conservative. Following the amber gleam, the church can move toward the sublime uncertainties of better adjustment."


I'll bet back to baseball.

Or as Kurt Vonnegut said after preaching in an Episcopalian church which is indicative of their problems, "People don't come to church for preachments, of course, but to daydream about God. I thank you for your sweetly faked attention."

Play, uh, church!


I grew up in New York City while my dad was in some war; and I went to Yankee Stadium a lot with Grandpa Jacob to watch Yogi, Whitey, Elston, Mickey, Roger, Bobby, Tony, Moose, Clete, and countless other clippers who hardly make room for anybody else in Cooperstown.

I've been a Yankees fan all of my life.

I've been blessed to root for a winner.


Yankees fans don't understand Cubs fans.

When the Yankees are losing like this year, we expect 'em to start winning soon or buy better guys for next year.

When the Cubs are winning like this year, their fans expect 'em to start losing soon and do nothing about it.


Actually, our parish nurse explained it to me: "You get used to it after a century or so."


But can you reimagine a Cubs-Yankees World Series?

With everybody loving the Cubs except all four or five White Sox fans in America not to mention Chicago and everybody hating the Yankees except their fans, it would set attendance and viewer records that would even exceed the ratings for Benny Hinn, Joel Osteen, and Rick Warren.

I could lose my job over it.


Maybe that's why I'm a Yankees fan.

Maybe that's why I like EC so much.

If everybody likes you, that includes the bad guys.


Primary allegiances never acquiesce to secondary affections; unless, of course, you're a damned fool.


Blessings and Love!

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