Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Redeemer Pres and Tim Keller need to Discipline Ann Coulter

In a Time Magazine article last year, Ann Coulter made it be known she attended Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, home to the wonderful pastor and teacher Tim Keller. I made note of it at the time.

As you well know Ms. Coulter has released an extremely hyperbolic new book called Godless which attacks the "church" of liberalism. She even released it on 6/6/06. In it and her interviews surrounding its release she attacks some 9/11 Widows as people profiting on the deaths of their husbands, even claiming that many of the husbands would have divorced these women if they had not died.

frighteningly, this Shrew has an audience with the Christian Right, many of whom hold her up as a potty-mouthed, chain-smoking paragon of values. Her nasty rhetoric is praised as honest and gutsy when it is nothing but classless neo-fascism meant to cause trouble thereby allowing her to sell more books and prove that the Left hates her for truth-telling. It is brilliant, but sick.

Because of this public behavior, I humbly ask the elders and pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church to practice church discipline on her for sowing discord, gossip, slander, fits of rage, selfish ambition, idolatry and factions (Galatians 5). She sullies their good name, along with that of Jesus, whom she claims to follow before attacking widows, liberals, former Presidents, all all others she disagrees with, making mockery of Jesus' command to love your enemy.

From what I have read elsewhere, she is not a member of the church or even known by the staff. However, she trumpets herself as a member of the church and they need to take her to the Biblical Woodshed for a bit of discipline. She makes this wonderful non-political church guilty by association. She also uses God for her own benefit, to sell books to well-meaning people that cannot see through her rhetoric to its hateful anti-Christian message.

Click here to see her in action on the Today show

14 comments:

kidpositive said...

in the garden of the linguistic gods, ann coulter is the type of woman the word BITCH is reserved for.

Steve said...

Rick, I think this is a silly and self-serving post. And by writing it you only help connect Coulter even more to Redeemer than she already is.

If she isn't a member, how can they discipline her for anything? It sounds like you want the church to overstep their authority because you don't like her and her views and actions and don't want to see RPC's name dragged down by her. It sounds like you just want Redeemer to hate her because you do. I don't want their rep hurt either, but Christians aren't out to protect their rep (see Jesus, for example).
Saying the church is "guilty by association" with sinners is both dumb and dumber. A soiled rep is a guarantee when we get around soiled people.

A better response for the church isI to take a gospel approach, which means to hope she returns and hears it as often as possible. Sinners attend churches, and we should be glad she's going there because of how non-political Keller and Redeemer is.

james said...

I actually thought it was a pretty clever post. If one wishes to follow Christ, then let them be held to the standard and consequences of following Christ, rather than reaping heaps of profit.

Rick said...

Steve,

thanks with honoring me with your comments. I am glad you read my little blog (you may not want to admit it, but you are a big fish in the blog pond).

As for your analysis...

Silly- not as much as many of my posts.

Self Serving- it is a blog for goodness sake. blogs by nature are self serving. However, it is not self serving for traffic, if that is what you are implying. that is not my style. It is merely to have my readers think about what she is doing and the gospel in response.

Regarding discipline it is my opinion that the Bible does not clarify "church membership" so being our modren construct, this does nto matter.

Does she claim this church? Yes
Does she regulalry attend? according to her interview and other statements. Therefore she considers this the place of spiritual leadership for her life.

If this is the case, then they can discipline her. this is not overstepping at all. If someone attended my church regularly and was publically being a false prophet or false teacher, I would want to sit down and discuss this matter with him or her.

Therefore, Keller may want to think about it.

Also Steve, your language is needlessly harsh. You accuse me of wanting Redeemer to hate her (I never said that). You accuse me of hating her (I never said that). In fact, I do not hate her. I am concerned for her greatly. She needs someone in her life to set her straight and help her find ways to love her enemy, which what I am attempting to do.

If she claims Christ and has a Spiritual leader, then that leader should take the chance to help her through discipline if need be, that is the gospel in my understanding.

I do believe she has a dnagerous approach and message though. I think she should not be on television and people should see through her. I will admit that.

I do think Redeemer needs to know that many people judge it by her. I have heard this from liberal friends who question RPC and wonder why I like Keller so much. I have defended them to friends (and I know only a few friends). I belive this is damaging to the message of Jesus, not just RPC (luckily we all believe God is in charge and can handle it). This is not the same as Jesus dining with sinners. This is more like false prophets claiming to belong to the churhc in Jerusalem.

If she continues to come to church and listen, yet never has anyone speak into her life, how is this the gospel?

My thoughts. thanks for coming by and causing trouble.

Steve said...

Rick, you are wanting a church to see discipline as a "biblical woodshed" for a person who doesn't work for, speak for, or belong to their church. Public figures identify with a church all the time without being an important part of it. It's a part of their persona and not their person.

Your post is over-the-top self-serving because I think you are using your personal political frustrations (which come out often) to encourage a church to exercise authority beyond the boundaries they have in place and the ones they see biblically. You can at least honor their convictions.

You don't have to use the word "hate" to mean the word. If I'm wrong, forgive me. But I think your rhetoric expresses hatred. Consider your name-calling (shrew). Consider your "biblical woodshed" rhetoric. A bit patronizing I think.

I'm not going to keep commenting here on this, but I thought (and still think) your post is a better reflection of your politics than your desire for loving correction in Coulter, or even your concern for Redeemer. And I say this as someone who has little intellectual respect for Coulter.

Lastly, sorry to be a troublemaker. :)

Anonymous said...

i suggest actually reading the chapter these comments are in, taking them in CONTEXT

also, have a good understanding of what satire and sarcasm are as literay tools

Rick said...

maybe anynymous should read my posting in CONTEXT. I never mentioned what she said in the book, only its AIM, which is on the cover.

i mentioned what she said in interviews. I do not have to read it in context to understand what she said in context.

I am not wasting my time, money or muscle to read such hatefilled drivel.

I do understand satire. That was not satire. If it was satire, it is among the worst satire ever. Maybe you should brush up on the masters of sarcasm and satire, instead of reading venomous diatribes masquerading as satire. Try Swift, The Onion, David Berkowitz, Colbert, etc.

Also, get a new screen name. You share Anonymous with too many others.

I will say no more. I make it habit to not respond to aninymous comemetors usually.

Bob Robinson said...

Speaking of satire, I think Rick's post is a great satirical statement. To say they should take Coulter to the "Biblical Woodshed" may seem to Steve to be too hateful, but to me it is a way to say that if she is going to be so hateful in her writing and interviews, and if the Religious Right is actually going to back her up as she says these terrible things, then somebody in the Christian community should DO SOMETHING about it (and why not the church she claims to be her evangelical home?).

If it weren't for her hypocrisy (saying she is for Christian values while spewing hate in her demeanor and words), then we would best leave her alone. But if she is going to be this blasphemer, then what should the church do? Discipline!

Anonymous said...

Rick (and Bob),
Get Tim Keller's series on grace. When our character is transformed we'll look at someone like Coulter (or Kerry or Kennedy) and be reminded about how much grace God has bestowed on us. Our own sin is far worse than we imagine and His love is far greater. It's hard to call someone a hypocrite when our eyes are fixed on Him.

Bob Robinson said...

Anonymous,
Ahhhh... Grace! Amen to Grace! I agree with Grace!

I also agree with Jesus, who said, "When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you."

Ann Coulter, I believe, fits this description of a hypocrite. She trumpets for the national audience that she is a follower of Christ and that she attends an evangelical church. Yet she accuses the "godless" liberals of slander while attacking the widows of 9/11 with the same kind of slander.

What is the Christian community to do with this kind of outrageuos behavior? Just chalk it up to grace?

Bob Robinson said...

Why does this upset me so?

Because the hard work of being a positive witness for Christ is undermined when people like this claim to be Christians.

I'm trying to explain to the normal American that Jesus is loving and compassionate; that Jesus is for Peace and Justice; that Jesus loves the widows and orphans.

But I have to first deal with this American's perception that Christians are like Ann Coulter:
She wrote that Kristen Brietweiser (one of the four 9/11 widows who were instrumental in bringing the 9/11 Commission into existence) is a "scold" and "Miss Va-Va Voom of 1968". She referred to the four women as "weeping widows", and the "Witches of East Brunswick". She had the indecency to ask "how do we know their husband's weren't planning to divorce these harpies?", and wondered "now that their shelf life is dwindling, they'd better hurry up and appear in Playboy."

Nice Christian witness there.

Flavia said...

Chalk it up to grace? You missed the point, Bob. You were once blind, lost, stumbling in the dark, an enemy and--dare I say?--a self-righteous hyprcrite--and Christ died to rescue you from what you deserved. Until you can see how amazing grace really is, you're in no postition to confront anyone and neither am I.

The purpose of church discipline is to lovingly confront the sinner, lead them back to Christ and restore them to the fold. (Of course, the sinner has to be under the care of a shephard and that's not the case here.)

Until you can confront in love, you're worse than useless--you would actually do harm to the cause of Christ, because your bitterness would not restore--it would destroy.

Rick said...

flavia,

if you are going to insult my regular readers I would lovingly ask you to refrain from such behavior, as well as your not-so-well-hidden judgementalism, which is ironic considering your issue with Bob.

Maybe everyone else just does not get it as well as you do.

Thank God for Grace for the rest of us. I guess you do not need it anyo longer with perfect judgement, understanding and theology.

Flavia said...

Rick,

"Perfect judgement, understanding and theology?" Dang, I've either got it made or I'm being judged. You think?

My mistake, for which I humbly apologize, was not using the correct pronoun. I did regret putting it just that way a couple of seconds after posting.

So does this set things right? WE were all lost, etc. WE were all self-righteous hypocrites. And yes, if WE don't confront in love, WE actually do harm. And unless I can confront in love, I'm worse than useless.

Better? No? Well, then...let's call it a day. Nothing more to see here, folks.