There are many wonderful, faithful people in the United Church of Canada (UCC).
But this Church as an organization has long ceased to be faithful to Jesus Christ. In fact, at its core, rather than loving Jesus Christ, it appears more like it despises and rejects everything he stands for. Exclusiveness -- "no man comes to the Father but by me" (inappropriately narrow and non-inclusive). Separated holiness (too restrictive: abortion, sexual profligacy, alternate sexualities are all OK). The sharp sword of Truth (dulled to a harmless blunt edge - the Bible's just a man-made book). The blood of Christ (barbaric -- which is why they long ago purged themselves of hymns which celebrate the Blood). The need to be saved (antiquated and impolite to even suggest).
In an article in today's National Post about efforts to revive its declining fortunes through evangelism,
Conservative theologian John Stackhouse says:
"...the United Church shows itself to be representative of a kind of vague liberal civility without any distinctive content, and thus without any real coherence, so no wonder their Church is just slowly centripetally swirling apart -- there's nothing centripetally to hold it together."
Well put. Without content. Without coherence. Without a center. How unlike the gospel portrayed within the pages of the New Testament!
The problem with a post-modern, relativistic Church like the UCC is, if it does evangelize, it's message cannot be "come to Christ" whom it has put off, it can only be "come to us".
I've looked at Christ. And I've looked at the United Church of Canada.
I would rather come to Christ.
The United Church professes to love everybody; apparently evangelical Christians are the exception to the rule. In the National Post article, the only group they took a swipe at, indirectly, was evangelicals:
"...we know we don't want to be like them..." Rev. Blair said.
Fortunately for all, evangelicals don't want to be like them, either. A Church that refuses to stand on the Word of God falls and crumbles and is blown away. Let other Churches gaze upon the once mighty Church of Wesley and Knox and tremble.
And that's the way the Ball bounces.
PS - I'm currently attending revival meetings at the Toronto Airport Christian Centre with Jeff Garvin -- now that's another story altogether!