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Jesus Has Left the Building







Grants Pass




By Lee Duigon
August 8, 2013

I was going to write a satire on the Presbyterian Church USA’s recent decision to drop “In Christ Alone” from their new hymnal. But then I realized these churches are already satirizing themselves.

In 1990 the PCUSA dumped “Onward, Christian Soldiers,” on the grounds of it being “too militaristic” for a trendy, burned-out, hyperfeminized church like theirs.

“In Christ Alone” is a contemporary hymn. Its authors, Keith Getty and Stuart Townsend, are still alive and kicking. And they had something to kick about when the PCUSA hymnal committee asked them to change the lyrics of the hymn.

The line in question, as written, is this: “On that cross as Jesus died, the wrath of God was satisfied.” Committee members objected to that and suggested it be changed to “On that cross as Jesus died, the love of God was magnified.”


As reported by CharismaNews, Aug. 1, “They said they didn’t want to suggest in the new hymnal that Jesus’ death on the cross was an atoning sacrifice needed ‘to assuage God’s anger’ over sin.”

You’re beginning to see why it’s so hard to satirize these people.

If Christ dying on the cross was not an atoning sacrifice, then what, pray tell, was it? What do these mainline/flatline Buddhist wannabes think it was? God becomes flesh, comes to live among us here on earth, suffers shame, humiliation, unimaginable spiritual and physical torment, and dies—are we not to take that seriously? “But he was wounded for our transgressions,” Isaiah prophesied, “he was crushed for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed… and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Is. 53:5-6) It would seem the Bible suggests Christ’s death was an atoning sacrifice. By “suggests” I mean “says so in clear and forthright language that even a driveling nincompoop should be able to understand.”

What do they think Jesus Christ was doing on the cross? It seems like an intolerable amount of trouble to go to for anything less than an atoning sacrifice that satisfies God’s wrath.

When the hymn’s authors received the committee’s suggestion, they flat-out refused to change their scripturally sound lyrics; so the PCUSA has dropped the hymn.

The Bible speaks volumes about the wrath of God, but these churchmen—it’s possible they’re women—don’t want to hear it. The gospels give the details of Christ’s suffering and crucifixion, but they don’t want to hear that, either. Has a life of ease, in the hothouse environment of the American suburbs, made them squeamish? Or are they so in love with themselves, humanists that they are, that they don’t think they ever needed an atoning sacrifice?

What’s with these American churches? A few years ago, some termites in the United Methodist Church tried to slip a few goddess-worshiping ditties into their new hymnal. Try these titles on for size. Womb of Life. Mothering God, You Gave Me Birth. She Comes Sailing in the Wind. I am Your Mother (Earth Prayer). And a little number called Bring Many Names, which praises a “strong mother God.” Can you give me a “Hail, Ishtar”?

These are called, by idiots, “songs of justice”—give me strength—and “progressive hymns.” The new hymnal was to include this twaddle in a “supplement.” It was expected to be issued this year, but apparently they’re still fighting over the contents. The UMC’s last new hymnal came out in 1989—just a tad too soon to catch the wave of full-blown paganism. That was back when the word “justice” still meant justice, before the Left hijacked it.

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Who can understand these churches? At best they’re sheep that have gone astray; at worst, traitors. But as a simple rule for making sense of anything they say or do, try this.

If it’s in the Bible, whatever it may be, look for the “mainline” Protestant churches to say and do the opposite. The PCUSA, these days, could hardly be more out of line with the Bible if they were created for that very purpose. Ditto the Episcopal Church and others, including a regrettably big chunk of the UMC.

Meanwhile, watch those churches closely; and whatever they say or do, you might do very well to say and do the opposite.

� 2013 Lee Duigon - All Rights Reserved

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Lee Duigon, a contributing editor with the Chalcedon Foundation, is a former newspaper reporter and editor, small businessman, teacher, and horror novelist. He has been married to his wife, Patricia, for 34 years. See his new fantasy/adventure novels, Bell Mountain and The Cellar Beneath the Cellar, available on


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If Christ dying on the cross was not an atoning sacrifice, then what, pray tell, was it? What do these mainline/flatline Buddhist wannabes think it was?