Of clergy and defamation
Oh dear, now Saint Francis of Saint Michael's is suggesting that the Uniting Church Moderator's words about him are defamatory. I viewed a bit of the videos of Dr Macnab preaching. His views are not exactly new and a bit of psych thrown in as theology thrown out. Okay, an elderly man who searches for knowledge and his own journey in life is entitled to rethink views that he may have had sixty years earlier. That's okay, but it could be important to separate himself and his followers from being called 'Uniting Church' which has a Basis of Union and is part of Christian norms in belief. And don't give me stuff about me taking the Apostles Creed etc. literally, because I too take some things as metaphor and am enlightened by modern scientific knowledge. Dr Macnab goes too far though. Yet there are contradictions at St Michael's. A pipe organ. Lord's Prayer. Old rituals with the new?
from today's Age
Uniting Church rebukes Macnab
October 11, 2008
THE minister who last month launched a "new faith" with billboards proclaiming the Ten Commandments one of the most negative documents ever written, has been told by the Uniting Church to take them down and apologise.
Francis Macnab, minister of St Michael's Uniting Church in Collins Street, says in reply that he was defamed by church moderator Jason Kioa, who said Dr Macnab had discarded much of what had been accepted as Christian belief for 2000 years.
Dr Macnab describes God as a presence rather than a person, and says Jesus was not divine, Abraham was a concoction and Moses a mass murderer.
His multimedia campaign, aimed at reconnecting with people who do not find the church credible, had been well received worldwide, he said yesterday.
The Victorian Uniting Church voted at its recent synod to ask St Michael's to remove the freeway signs and to apologise for any offence they caused, especially to Jews and Muslims. The synod expressed concern at the potential damage to interfaith relationships.
Dr Macnab, a noted psychotherapist and founder of the Cairnmillar Institute, said St Michael's had always planned to remove the advertising once it had done its job.
"We did not act to cause offence," he said. "If we did, we express our regret."
Dr Macnab said he had asked the synod to forward to him any complaints by people of other religions, and he would reply personally.
But he said Mr Kioa's criticisms of him were unacceptable, and could be considered defamatory. (my emphasis)
"I have done what many others have done," he said. "I have discarded a belief in a class society ordained by God, beliefs that diminish the role and status of women, beliefs in the church's long acceptance of slavery … beliefs in a vengeful and violent God.
"These beliefs have been upheld by the Christian church for the best part of 2000 years, but I submit there is good reason to discard them."
As a certain red-haired woman from Queensland once said... 'Please explain!'