Friday, January 23, 2009

January 23, 2009

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)


Kopper's life seems so simple: sleep, eat, play, pee, poop, sniff, lick, and be nice to me.

But as he approaches his second birthday, he's gettin' kinda feisty; and he's been acting like he's trainin' me.

So I got a book from a friend to help me to understand what's goin' on: Bruce Fogle's The Dog's Mind: Understanding Your Dog's Behavior.

It's helping: "In his mind, your dog should always look upon you as the alpha dog, the leader of the pack. Remember, don't let your democratic ideals get in the way of proper training. These aren't party tricks you will be teaching. They are the basis for a successful and satisfying relationship with any dog and once trained, he will be as happy and contented to obey your commands as you will be proud of his willingness to do so."

That's metaphorical; if you know what I mean.


Speaking of alpha dogs, a leader's integrity is established by saying what she/he means and meaning what she/he says.

That's why the mainline denominations are in such trouble.

That's why there are so many questions circling the White House.

If there's a disconnect between rhetoric and administration, it's hard to know who's in charge.


I'm still exegeting the inaugural rite.

Though I was terribly disappointed and disillusioned by the clergymen who were the only ones who injected race into the liturgy and still have no idea what that poem was about, I liked what PBHO said because he sounded so much like, uh, Ronald Reagan.


But he did!

Be that as it was, his voting record and rhetoric just don't match up; and if you go to the website, well, geez, it's lookin' way left of the campaign and inaugural rhetoric.


Getting back to the pastor disasters of 1/20/09, Lowery's benediction reminded me of an old song by Denis Leary.

If you write and ask, I'll send a link; but I'm not going to link it, uh, on, uh, site/sight because it's really raw; despite a commendation/criticism from San Francisco: "Your creativity goes over the top with barely a blink!"

Of course, like politicians in Illinois, I've gotta price; meaning I'll put it on, uh, site/sight if someone sends a gift certificate to the local HD dealer to cover a Fat Boy, Fat Bob, Softail, Super Glide, or...



Some guy in Milwaukee sent a few lines from one of my favorite authors: "A bike is totally vulnerable; its only defense is maneuverability, and every accident situation is potentially fatal...It's a phallic locomotor symbol" (Thompson).

The point being...

Just like comparing PBHO's rhetoric to his record and early executive orders, I can't figure out if that guy is offering therapy or harboring hope.

I don't get it, PBHO, or the two clerics who injected race into the rite.

It's like asking a woman to review John Eldredge's Wild at Heart or a man to admit reading a book by Nancy Friday.


It's in the...blood.


Speaking of the downside of the heroic with unavoidable parallels to PBHO, a few Rick Warren sycophants are upset about any criticism of his inaugural prayer.

Let me be kinda clear.

I like him.

He loves Jesus and is trying to get people to love Jesus by loving like Jesus; which is a lot more important than what his critics detect/discern about his, uh, humanity.

I'm not jealous; though I wish I could wear Hawaiian shirts while preaching and sold enough books to...

Moretheless, I recall a church mediation about four years ago with folks who were hittin' and hurtin' each other in a Christian kinda way; and a big part of the problem was a lot folks in the church idolized Rick and a lot of folks thought he was O.K.

Anyway, a guy said, "I get so mad at people in this church who don't like him. He's done so much for our church."

I said, "Well, if he's done so much for your church, why have so many people left, why is your budget so under-subscribed, and why are people treating each other like crap? Besides, has it ever occurred to you that you talk more about Rick than Jesus?"

Idolatry distances us from the only infallible and categorically trustworthy way, truth, and life.



That's one of my favorite songs; even though one of my favorite friends doesn't get it.

I always cry when I hear it.

And though Neil Young is now collecting Lionel trains, his music touches me in the deep places as much as Third Day or David Crowder.

I've been listening to this particular song a lot lately because I'm feeling confused/concerned/romantic/nostalgic about so many things except Jesus.

With a heart breaking for how our sociopoliticoreligioeconomic culture insults Him and injures his - I can barely look at children anymore without crying for what we're handing over to 'em - I'd give up for sure without Him.

Or as I told a favorite braveheart last night, "Yes, our country seems like it's going to hell. Yes, our denomination has gone to hell. Yes, our congregation has been really, really, really hurt in the past. But He calls us to salt, shine, and sow anyway in the certainty of sharing His ultimate victory in the end and probably sooner than later."

If I didn't believe that, I'd probably idolize somebody like...


Keeping faith with Neil, here's a sad letter from a sad pastor in North Carolina:

Dear ___,

This is a personal note in response to your invitation to
renew my subscription to ___. This is not intended
for publication by you or anyone else [I got permission
on condition of protecting the source which KD always

Forgive me if I ramble. I am writing from my heart...

Last evening, I saw Defiance which is another movie
about the horrors of Hitler's hatred for Jews and
the complicity of others in his persecution of the
Jews...When I left the theater, I realized that for
my own sake it was necessary that I not renew
my subscription this year.

This decision is not personal towards you and is not
a reflection upon your excellent work and ministry.
It is personal about me for spiritual reasons which
I'll attempt to explain ever so briefly.

While there is no viable comparison between my
suffering and those of the Jews at the hands of
Hitler, his co-conspirators and co-enablers...bring
back so many brutal memories of my experience
in the PCUSA...The zeal with which leaders in
the PCUSA have sought to persecute those who
question it or decide to leave it reminds me of
Hitler's zeal. The silence of those in the PCUSA
who know what is happening reminds me of the
silence which deafened the world to Hitler's
genocide. The complicity of good people in
the PCUSA who are afraid of what will happen
to them if they try to stop the PCUSA's ruthless
persecution of those who left or talk of leaving
or even question them reminds me of the
complicity of so many in carrying out Hitler's
hatred because they were afraid to oppose him...

I wept throughout Defiance because it reminded
me of the suffering inflicted upon me and so many
others by leaders in the PCUSA; and the silent
and fearful co-conspirators in the PCUSA. It
reminded me that every time I come in contact
with the PCUSA, that the worst in me rages out.
Against the prohibition of Holy Scripture, I now
rejoice when I read of bad things happening in the
PCUSA. Against the prohibition of Holy Scripture,
I want to return evil for evil when I am wounded yet
again and when I see so many others wounded
yet again by the zealous attack of the PCUSA's
leadership. Against the prohibition of Holy Scripture,
I scoff at the feeble and repetitive efforts of
renewalists in the PCUSA who sincerely, yet lamely,
seek to reform it.

The PCUSA and her co-enablers have broken me.
I need to let God heal me. To this end, I am
deliberately doing everything I can to separate
myself and my memory from the PCUSA...Much
to my dismay, I realize I must now include ___ in
my discipline...

___, this is more than you deserve, but I want you
to know that I will continue to pray for and speak well
of your ministry...I pray that the day will come after
God has healed the brokenness and anger within me
that I will be able to benefit from your ministry.

Thank you for your friendship and service.

The PCUSA and its sister mainliners remind me of the song that came to mind while listening to Lowery on Tuesday.

So sad.


I better play some golf.

Dang snow!

I'll go work on my bike.

Dang Caliber and plastic!

I'll walk Kopper.

Dang two year old!

In meantimes, it's good to remember only Jesus saves.


Blessings and Love!


Unknown said...

Why not just renounce the jurisdiction of the church if you find everything about it so objectionable?

Dr. Robert R. Kopp said...

Dear Mary Ellen,

Thank you for your kind question.

While I think I've answered your question many times since KD went public and over many years in many columns in many publications, I was wondering why you think I should leave our heritage, property, and assets to folks who are defying Biblical Christianity as upheld in the constitution rather than...

However, in short, I like Buechner's response to questions like yours: "A prophet's quarrel with the world is deep-down a lover's quarrel. If they didn't love the world, they probably wouldn't bother to tell it that it's going to Hell. They'd just let it go."

Some, friend, are called to remain faithfullly while others are called to separate to be faithful.

For those who stay, I always recommend this strategy: salt, shine, sow and live with joy in the knowledge that He wins in the end and probably sooner than later.

Again, thanks for your kind question, read some old stuff, and, uh, salt, shine, and sow for Jesus!

Blessings and Love!