A controversial pastor with the Presbyterian USA has claimed that "belief-less" Christianity is actually progressing.
The claim is made by Oregon-based Presbyterian USA Minister John Shuck in an article titled "I'm a Presbyterian Minister Who Doesn't Believe in God".
He claims that "[b]elief-less Christianity is thriving" in the article, published in Patheos' The Friendly Atheist blog.
"We all have been trained to think that Christianity is about believing things," Shuck said in the article. "Its symbols and artifacts (God, Bible, Jesus, Heaven, etc) must be accepted in a certain way. And when times change and these beliefs are no longer credible, the choices we are left with are either rejection or fundamentalism."
Shuck also used the article to say that he takes offence at not being called a Christian. The minister said that while he rejects the Bible as literal truth, and denies the existence of Heaven and Hell, he is stilll a "proud minister."
He asserted that there are many liberal or progressive Christians who have "de-emphasised" their belief in the concept of Heaven and Hell, as well as belief in Jesus Christ's supernatural nature, the truthfulness of the Bible and of Christianity being the only true way.
"Yet they still practise what they call Christianity," Shuck said.
Other ministers disagreed with Shuck's statements that he is still a Christian without having faith in Christ, and said that his words indicate his lack of understanding of what it is to be a Christian.
"[W]hat defines a Christian is specifically stated as a belief that Jesus Christ as God (Romans 10:9–10). Therefore, it is impossible to have a belief-less Christianity," Andrew Rappaport of Striving for Eternity Ministries in Jackson, New Jersey told Christian News Network.
Shuck first revealed his disbelief in 2011, claiming that God is no longer "credible" as a "personal, supernatural being." He also said that, while he believes Jesus Christ is historical, all other stories about Him are "legends."