Friday, October 20, 2006

Presbyterianism in ten words or fewer

At the recent meeting of the Presbyterian Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy in San Antonio (click here, here, and here), chair Gordon Edwards was bringing members up to date on what went on at the General Assembly Council meeting a couple of weeks earlier. "One of the issues that really kept surfacing there was communication," he reported, "and one aspect of communication … is that the Presbyterian Church needs to have a ten-word-or-less statement of who we are.”

Hmmm. That got me thinking. What might that brief statement be?

Well, if the need is there, who's better than Berkley Blog readers to step up and fill the need? You can come to the rescue of your denomination by proposing what you think that ten-word-or-less statement of who we are might be.

So just to get your creative juices flowing, here are some warm-up examples of brief lines that help people get a handle on the Presbyterian Church:

Presbyterians: We're not half bad.

The church with more heritage than future.

Deformed and always being deformed by the word of ambiguity.

Not half as big as Baptists or bad as Unitarians.

We not only believe in total depravity; we demonstrate it!

Committed to per capita and property--and not much else.

Everything you’ve always wanted in a church--and less!

Presbyterians: Boy, did we once know what we believed!

The church that put the “total” in depravity.

We don't know what to think about damned unbelievers.

We care more about you than God.

Forget sin. Forget rules. Forget the Bible. We're PRESBYTERIANS!

Nothing is essential if you don’t want it to be.

Presbyterians: Preserving our property for the posterity of progressives.

Well, you get the idea. Now it's your turn to submit your suggestions. You can use the "Comments" apparatus of this blog (click on "Comments" at the bottom of the posting). Remember, make it ten words or fewer.


Blogger Dave Moody said...

PCUSA: This ain't your father's church- really. ( a riff on the Oldsmobile ad years ago.)

PCUSA: Older than Moses... uh, what was the quetion?

(said with a Mexican accent): PCUSA: Churches? We don't need to plant no stinkin churches.

PCUSA: Show us the money!

PCUSA: Takin' the Jesus out of Exegesis

I now need to go repent of my cynicism...

7:08 AM, October 21, 2006  
Blogger tubbykat said...

Presbyterian - the 21st Century game of Scruples.

Got Scruples? (a play on the "Got Milk" ad)

Larry Yerger

7:36 AM, October 21, 2006  
Blogger Jim said...

This becomes addictive. Here is another dozen:

Presbyterians: We make it up as we go.

Presbyterians: Too damned clever for our own good.

We keep doctorin’ our doctrine and messin’ with our mission.

Orthodox? Schmorthodox! We’re Presbyterians!

The few. The proud. The nuanced. Presbyterians!

We may be toxic, but at least we’re not potent.

Every two years, we make a General Ass. of ourselves.

Presbyterians: Equally effective at social witness and evangelism.

Respectively practicing the ins and outs of decency and order.

Presbyterians: Reformed beyond belief!

The church with assets sufficient for years of decline.

And one final serious one:
Where broken people find hope in God’s unbroken promises.

--Jim Berkley

12:59 AM, October 22, 2006  
Blogger tubbykat said...

Larry Yerger said

Presbyterians - the "Frozen Chosen" - we are totally cool people

11:23 AM, October 22, 2006  
Blogger Mark Smith said...

Presbyterians: Unless you believe what we do, you're apostate.

Presbyterian: We're holier than thou.

11:56 AM, October 22, 2006  
Blogger person in the pew said...

Kudos for "Every two years, we make a General Ass. of ourselves."

I got a good laugh from that one!

12:46 PM, October 22, 2006  
Blogger Presbyman said...

How about ...

1. In essentials, confusion. In non-essentials, coercion. In all things, contradiction;

2. The PCUSA ... the perfect combination of Northern charm and Southern efficiency;

3. Inclusive ... or else;

4. Where God reveals Godself to God's people;

5. Dance around the diversity totem pole!

Here are my wife's suggestions:

1. The PCUSA: run by the liberals, funded by the conservatives;

2. Presbyterian Church (USA): Pathetic Christian Unitarians in the USA;

8:04 PM, October 22, 2006  
Blogger Revfisher said...

PCUSA: We're just one-two-or more, not so big, unhappy family-ies!

PCUSA: We're not sure exactly what God's been saying either!

PCUSA- New and Improved; It's now the Ten Non-Essentials!

PCUSA: Insert Apology for America Here.

PCUSA: Where Christ our Lord meets "My Buddy Jesus"

10:48 AM, October 24, 2006  
Blogger Aric Clark said...

This has gotta be the winner:

"1. In essentials, confusion. In non-essentials, coercion. In all things, contradiction;"

Although Jim Berkley's serious one is what I wish the Presybterian Church was really like.

Here are a few more...

PCUSA - for those who like to argue about everything and accomplish nothing.

PCUSA - No one under 50 years of age admitted.

PCUSA - The low-fat non-dairy creamer of churches.

12:40 PM, October 29, 2006  
Blogger sftsexperience said...

Here are some:

PCUSA: Still partying like its 1646!

PCUSA: Better living through anachronism.

PCUSA: Apotheosis is just one vote away!

PCUSA: In Robert's Rules of Order we trust.

PCUSA: 30,000 more people each year are missing out.

PCUSA: No witness? No problem!

PCUSA: Stay awake, we're coming to the good part.

Kudos to "We may be toxic, but at least we're not potent." Cracked me up.

Isn't it interesting that we're almsot all moved by cynicism here? By interesting, I suppose I mean sad.

10:43 AM, October 30, 2006  
Blogger Rob said...

Interesting? Yes. Sad? Yes. Surprising? No. Fact of the matter is, before you can put together a ten-word statement of what you're about, you have to be about something -- and right now, the PC(USA) just isn't about anything coherent. (Except that it does remind one, as some of these lines have reflected, of Marx's comment that the Church of England would more readily pardon an attack on 38 of its 39 Articles than on 1/39th of its income.)

9:14 AM, November 01, 2006  
Blogger Backwoods Presbyterian said...

Presbyterians: At least you can always count that we have Donuts and Coffee.

Presbyterians: Westminster ain't just a river in England.

10:41 AM, November 02, 2006  
Blogger drew said...

Presbyterians: New Motto Pending (refrerred to committee)

Presbyterians: Betting over a million dollars that a House divided CAN stand.

Presbyterians: Faithfully following God's mission to maintain ordination standards.

8:32 AM, November 03, 2006  
Blogger MikeZ said...

"We care more about you than God."

That one's interesting: It could mean ".. than we do about God" or "... than God does".

Your "final serious one" is right on the mark. (But not just broken people.)

3:32 PM, November 06, 2006  
Blogger Stephen Bolin said...

The Government that Governs least governs best.

7:21 PM, November 08, 2006  
Blogger Chris said...

PCUSA: A non-prophet organization.

PCUSA: Praising Mother, Child, and Womb to the dismay of Judge, Jury, and Executioner.

Seriously, if neither a Book of Confessions nor a Book of Order can hold us together responsibly, what chance does a Board of Pensions have?

8:29 AM, January 04, 2007  
Blogger Chris said...

One last one...

PCUSA: Must be this 48" or taller to sit in pews.

8:45 AM, January 04, 2007  

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