The U.S. Christian Community Finally Returns My Calls!

pylonAfter I posted yesterday’s Why Won’t the U.S. Christian Community Return My Phone Calls?, my phone rang. It was them! Here’s how my conversation with the U.S. Christian Community went:

My phone: Ring. Ring. Ri—

Me: Hello?

U.S. Christian Community: Is this John Shore?

Me: Who wants to know?

USCC: My, my. That sounds like the response of a guilty person.

Me: Who is this?

USCC: This is the U.S. Christian community, John.

Me: No. Way.

USCC: Way.

Me: I’ve been calling you guys forever.

USCC: Yes, we read that on your blog.

Me: You guys read my blog?

USCC: Yes. And we’d like to apologize for not returning your calls sooner. As you can imagine, we get a lot of phone calls.

Me: No worries. So you guys read my blog, ‘eh? That’s great, because I—

USCC: Your blog is actually one of the things we wanted to talk to you about. John, do you think your blog is pleasing to God?

Me: Why? Did he say something about it?

USCC: Ah, there’s that sense of humor. You do understand, don’t you, John, that when you write something to be read by the public, you’re doing so as a representative of God?

Me: I am? I mean … okay.

USCC: And that’s why it’s so important, John, that what you write is genuinely pleasing to God.

Me: Okay, seriously: Did God say something about my blog? Because I try to use a good picture with every post, and I always run the spell check, and …

USCC: It’s more your content that we’re concerned about, John. For instance, we’ve noticed that you do a lot of blogging about homosexuals. Now, why do you think that is?

Me: Well, the reason I sometimes write about the relationship between Christians and homosexuality is because I’m profoundly uncomfortable with the state of that relationship today. I think too many Christians are a little too interested in keeping gays and lesbians out of their church. I think it’s critical that, as loving people of a loving God, we—

USCC: And you also do a lot of writing discouraging Christians from evangelizing to non-believers, do you not?

Me: I do not. What I do write about is the relationship between The Great Commission and The Great Commandment. Because, again, as a loving—

USCC: John, do you believe in the Bible?

Me: I don’t know what that question means. I believe the story of Jesus is absolutely true, if that’s what you’re asking me. The virgin birth of Jesus, his miracles, his resurrection, his atoning sacrifice on the cross … I believe all of it.

USCC: So you do believe the Bible is the word of God?

Me: Well now, see, that’s a different—and, as you must know, an extremely loaded—question. And it’s one that doesn’t actually make sense. It’s like asking if I believe in water. I believe the Bible is a book. Can we start with that? It has a cover; it comes with pages. I definitely believe the Bible is a book.

USCC: The Bible is the word of God, John.

Me: Well, there’s certainly no question but that it was written by men who were deeply inspired by the Holy Spirit. No one but God could possibly have written such a book. But the simple, unarguable fact remains that over thousands of years the books of the Bible were actually, physically written by men, in whatever language those men happen to speak or write at the time. So ultimately the Bible is a cooperative venture between God and man. But I don’t think that lessens the Bible at all. In fact, I think it allows us to—

USCC: John, do you fear going to hell?

Me: Boy, you’re not afraid to ask the tough questions, are you, U.S. Christian community?

USCC: We fear for your soul, John.

Me: Oh, thanks! But I’m okay. Seriously. I am. But I appreciate your concern.

USCC: We love you, brother.

Me: And I love you. It’s an important point to make. I do love you, no matter what you think you might have read on my blog.

Print Friendly

About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is co-founder of The NALT Christians Project and founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here). His blog is here. His website is JohnShore.com. John is a pastor ordained by The Progressive Christian Alliance. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. And don't forget to sign up for his mucho awesome monthly newsletter.

  • http://skerrib.blogspot.com skerrib

    I'm pretty sure God himself laughs at your blog.

  • http://theskinhorse.wordpress.com theskinhorse

    It's just silly to think that God wouldn't appreciate humor.

  • http://ramblingsofaspiritualidiot.blogspot.com/ Julia

    Not bad, John.

    Now, if you would change 'blog' to 'your beliefs' and drop off the little bitty about you representing God and evangelizing and you pretty much have the typical and darn near word-for-word- conversations I often get from the general USCC. Kinda leaves you a bit… frustrated and a little sad, sometimes, eh? Yeah, that's how it makes me feel, too.

    I think John you and I are more alike than not, yes?

    So. Um. Well….

    How about them Phillies…..?

  • http://kaffeelover.wordpress.com kaffeelover

    I'm sorry but I do have to ask: "Did that really happen?"

    I confess your sense of humour and your more moderate approach is what makes me following your blog.

    This conversation reminds me quite abit on a book I read recently "The unlikely disciple" by Kevin Roose. Do you happen to know that one? I loved it.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Skerrib: Thanks. And let's hope he's laughing in a good way….

    Skin: I was once told by the CEO of a MAJOR Xtian book publisher that it's blasphemy to assert that God has a sense of humor. Blasphemy! Fool.

    Julia: All people are more alike than not, and no question about that.

    Kaffee: No, there's not truly a "U.S. Christian community" that called me. I just said that for fun. And thank you for following my blog. (And no, I don't know Mr. Roose's book. I look forward to learning more about it.)

  • RogerC

    You are a talented writer, John, and I am interested in reading more of your thoughts about the Bible. God bless.

  • http://skerrib.blogspot.com skerrib

    That's true, he could have a lightning bolt poised and ready. But I think he'd've struck you by now.

  • http://namesake.wordpress.com Dale

    Man! That's so frustrating! That darn USCC just kept cutting you off at every point at which the conversation was getting interesting. Hmmph. Just goes to show, I guess, that Christianity will have to be condensed to 10-word bullet points in doctrinal statements in order to be effectively communicated to the masses. You'll need to work on that, John.

    I love you, too.

  • http://ricbooth.wordpress.com ric booth

    You know, its never good when they use that endearing term "brother."

    That part …seriously: Did God say something… made me snort.

  • http://megaloi.blogspot.com Redlefty (Michael)

    My favorite line:

    "Okay, seriously: Did God say something about my blog? Because I try to use a good picture with every post, and I always run the spell check, and …"

  • http://oddideas.com Rainer

    Very good! Loved it…

    God must have a sense of humour. He puts up with Christians after all…

  • Greta Sheppard

    This blog is true to life for sure. You're the bravest , wittiest, honest -to -your- feelings writer I 've ever read, John. I think publishers are intimidated by you…."I'm O.K., you're not" ought to be at the top of the best seller list. You re a breath of fresh literary air!

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Wow. Thanks, you guys. What a great set of comments. Great stuff.