Friday, February 19, 2010

Billboard over freeway

So, just who is the greatest? Francis MacNab's billboard above Monash Freeway. Photo: Michael Clayton-Jonesfrom w
I was astonished to read in the Age this morning that the Rev McNab has put up a billboard over a freeway advertising himself and his (old) new-style religion. Who is the greatest among us? Is he having a joke or what? Or have a 'senior moment' when he decided on this kind of advertising for St Michael's Church which used to be a lovely church with great preaching and hospitality. Francis McNab got a serve from the Uniting Church some time ago, but meekly and quietly the rage seemed to dissipate. Anything goes, even mishy mashy psychobabble in a church.

For a dose of faith, sign up BARNEY ZWARTZ
February 20, 2010
Dissident Uniting Church minister Francis MacNab has posted a giant billboard over the Monash Freeway with pictures of Florence Nightingale, Martin Luther King and himself as model leaders. Dr MacNab, minister of St Michael's in Collins Street, launched his ''new faith'' in late 2008 with another controversial freeway billboard: ''The Ten Commandments, the most negative document ever written.'' He rejects the idea of a divine Christ and a personal God. Yesterday he said the billboard was intended to give the new faith a lift for 2010 and show that individuals could make a big difference.

Others have accused him of self-promotion. ''Every morning I drive past and think 'what an impertinence','' said commuter Geoff Slattery, a Catholic.

Evangelical Uniting Church leader Max Champion spoke against Dr MacNab from the pulpit recently, accusing him of psychological manipulation and blatant self-promotion. The minister of St John's, Mt Waverley, he told The Age yesterday: ''Francis has missed the point of Christian faith - namely that 'our chief end' is to worship God and enjoy him forever, not to idolise ourselves. The 'new faith' is not new. Faith in oneself is the oldest form of self-centred religion.''
And on another tack, I noticed that Sister Mary McKillop is to be declared a saint by Rome in coming months. A wonderful woman, a teacher of the poor, a woman who would stand up against the bishops of the church, certainly she was saintly. I don't know about the criteria of miracles, and being a Proddy I don't dare go down that track, but if anyone deserves to be on billboards it is the men and women who care for the poor, heal the blind, visit the prisoners. You know the drift. But of course most saintly people don't like to be on billboards. In Geelong those Street Faces are not about high status or esteem, just a cross-section of faces from our multicultural city, ordinary, often shy, people.

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Blogger annie said...

Amen...Right on target, as usual, Wendy. I hope your back is letting you get some rest and comfort.


2:33 AM  
Blogger Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Hello Annie,
I was a bit critical of the Reverend wasn't I. I am generous when it comes to Sufi Muslims, South Indian Hindus, some friends who are Bahai, but I am mean when it comes to a guy who says he is Uniting Church which is my mob!
My back is moderating a bit but I did see a young doctor yesterday and this morning had blood tests and five xrays so we'll see if it's a disc, muscle or kidney problem. I must stop looking up 'lower back pain' on the internet as it becomes scary with too much information!

2:21 PM  

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