So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter (2 Thess. 2:15). Guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the godless chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge, for by professing it some have missed the mark as regards faith (1 Tim. 6:21-22).

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Is the United Church of Canada Christian?

Counter Culture Commentary this week: Is the United Church of Canada a christian body?

The shorter answer is: it's difficult to tell because the UCC national body and different communities and their ministers can hold and promote contradictory beliefs that run the gamut from "mere christianity" to gnosticism to paganism. The longer answer is, well, much longer.

To get things going, here's a snippet from a 2009 article in the National Post. For more, visit the Counter Culture page in the left column of the blog, or click HERE.
(The United Church of Canada is) not the only religious organization in Canada to suffer from a lack of interest. But more than others, perhaps, the United Church has tried to find relevance and attract attention by offering what many complain is an all-inclusive, interpretive and “watered-down” brand of faith.
“People are leaving in droves because of it,” says Geoff Wilkins, a United Church member and reformist who lives in North Vancouver. “We have to get back to a church of substance. Essentially, what the church is saying now is come and join us, you can believe anything you like.”
At least one church has become a virtual no-God zone.
Gretta Vosper is the minister at West Hill United Church in Toronto and author of With or Without God: Why the way we live is more important than what we believe. She explains that she doesn’t refer to God anymore “because there is no single meaning for the word.”
The question is often raised: Why is Rev. Vosper, a self-described “non-theist,” in the United Church? Its leaders don’t consider her views as heresy. Perhaps not even strange.
People at the General Council this week were asked by church videographer Royal Orr to describe where they believe the United Church is headed.
“The kind of old assumptions of the United Church are falling away,” answered Russell Daye, an ordained minister from the Maritimes. “New archetypes are starting to emerge,” he added. “I think we’re finding a language that is grounded in Earth and some kind of eco-feminism, in a way…I think our new paradigm, if you want to use that, is going to be ‘wholographic.’”
The interview ended; viewers were left to determine for themselves just what he meant.
For a romp through UCC official statements, criticisms of United Church of Canada doctrine by UCC ministers, news reports and statements by Catholic bishops on similar matters, visit the Counter Culture Commentary page by clicking HERE or by clicking on the linked page under the Pages|Links|Resources| header in the left column of this blog.

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