Robert Piggott reports here about the Dutch Protestant clergy who are atheists and agnostics. What amuses me about such articles by English journalists is how very serious they all are about such nonsense.
I remember studying at Oxford and Cambridge and reading some of the radical theologians of the time–Don Cuppitt and Maurice Wiles and other Myth of God Incarnate guys. What a load of intellectual claptrap they all talked with their serious expressions, their anguished pondering and their ingrown existentialist angst…
I remember John Drury at Cambridge in his weedy voice going on about ‘the darkness of God’ or some such. He was basically equating his own loss of faith with the dark night of the soul. How ridiculously self righteous and pompous can you get?
Their talk was along these lines: “I think I would want to say that in some sort of way that is not seeking to be dogmatic of course that one could speak of God (as it were) in a method that was at once subjective and existential in its language and yet at the same time objective and ‘out there’. This objectivity of course would be be dependent on the subjective and spring from it so that in a very real sense one could say that God (if such a concept is not too outmoded) could be said in some very real sense to reside within the longings of each human being and what are these longings? If we unpack this we would come to see that these longings are, I think, be the longings for acceptance, yes, certainly acceptance and with this an understanding in the civil forum of equal rights for all and then there might be a sense in which one could say or at least propose a concept of human love whatever that may be in which that longing for union or unity with another somehow reflected what has traditionally been referred to as divine love although it would be difficult to define this in any real sense apart from the appreciation one might have for, example a fine work of art or a glass of claret after a particularly good dinner at high table.”
And on and on. You get the idea. The fact that these Protestant ministers still draw their paycheck is outrageous, and the fact that their people fund the paycheck is even more ludicrous. The problem is many of the established Protestant churches are funded by a European church tax. You sign up on the tax form what your religion is and the government takes ten bucks or so and it all mounts up and the local Protestant atheist minister still gets his stipend.
These guys need a wake up call. I suggest the Dutch Reformed Church establish a clergy sharing arrangement with some of the Protestant outfits here in the Deep South. That would shake them up. The hillbilly Christians over here wouldn’t stand for that sort of fraudulent nonsense. Might even make the Rev’d Gert Netterlander handle a rattlesnake or two to see if he has ‘the anointing’ or not…
Meantime Pastor Ronny Hawkins could take over Rev’d Gert’s church in Holland and shoot the gospel gun, thump a few Bibles, rumble out the old time religion teach them to sing all eight verses of Just As I am Without One Plea, have a few altar calls and get them folks saved.