Saturday, October 17, 2009

Kook Exchange Update

The AP reports that the Amazing Grace Baptist Church of western North Carolina, pastored by one Marc Grizzard, will hold a book burning on Halloween night.

That's ordinary weirdness for a few churches on the radical fringe of fundamentalism. But this exercise is special: the books will include non-KJV translations of the Bible plus contemporary Christian music and books by such authors as Billy Graham and Rick Warren.

The AP describes the church as "small." That detail could probably have been assumed.

We note this story on the way to a moral exhortation. Such Christians are ridiculous, of course. They make Christianity easy to vilify, at least for those anti-Christians unable to concede that every group has its nut cases.

They also make easy objects of scorn for saner Christians who resent the kooks' absurd perversion of the faith. On this particular case we open the scorn by wondering aloud whether the book burning will include editions of the Greek New Testament or Hebrew Bible, or whether translations of the Bible into languages other than Jacobean English will be burned as well.

We call such folks easy objects of scorn for Christians because we've known more than a few bright, thoughtful, engaged Christians who become enormously preoccupied with scorning Christian kooks. Some want to find the effective "defeater" arguments for such characters, especially KJV-only types, as if one can argue effectively with folk who have staked their position in the absurdly irrational. Others are devoted to chronicling in detail the escapades of notorious figures like Jack Chick, Fred Phelps, and others of their ilk.

We find neither exercise helpful. The best way in our view (and in our view our view is always the best way) for Christians to respond to the embarrassingly insane members of the ecclesial family (and they aren't all on the so-called "right") is simply to ignore them. They glory in their shame, or to state it without the allusion, they enjoy the attention and ridicule they receive, regardless of the source. Being persecuted for obnoxiousness' sake is what they're all about. They're like kids who only get attention if they misbehave, so they misbehave a lot.

We know of no effective response to kooky narcissism except to starve it of attention. That's why this blog doesn't deal in constant updates on the escapades of extreme fundies or other fringes of Christianity. We hesitate to comment when their shenanigans garner even our momentary attention for reasons of exceptional oddness or notoriety. We recommend the same to others.


Bryan D said...

You're not sensitive in exposing and railing against political kooks, though. Just wondering, is this a consistent ethic? I'm not challenging, just asking.

Chief Grinder said...

Hey if the King James was good enough for Paul its good enough for me!

Jon A. Alfred E. Michael J. Wile E. SWNID said...

Bryan, we actually try not to spend time on the nuttiest offenders. You'll not very little here, for example, about fringe liberals, even in Congress.

However, we acknowledge what you're addressing but insist that we expose kooks because right now, they're in power.

Calus The Great said...

I support all efforts to destroy recordings of Contemporary Christian Music, albeit for purely aesthetic reasons.

Mike said...

Kooks are kooks, and we've all met our share, but Google that church's name. It'll lead you to its website. It will redefine "Compulsive/Obsessive Disorder".