A couple of posts ago, I wrote this entry about how the bishops need to clean up their act. Now I’d like to put some meat on the bones and let Socon or Bust readers know what I am talking about.
The United Church of Canada, as everyone knows, has fallen a long way from its traditional Christian roots. It was once a large and the largest protestant Church in Canada and had a strong Christian witness in it. Since the sexual revolution, however, like all mainline protestant churches in the West, the wheels have not only fallen off, they’re rolling the other way. On the theological front, back in 1997, the Right Rev. Bill Philpps, as Moderator of the United Church, doubted the divinity of Jesus and sparked a heated national debate within and outside of the church. Today, the United Church doesn’t have a “Right Rev.” as moderator at all, while on the social issue front, the church is more about the contemporary view of “social justice” than it is about upholding the biblical principles which first guided them. Besides the typical causes which can be associated with a secular NGO, the United Church continues pulling the secular NGO line by supporting same-sex “marriage”, contraception, and abortion.
All of these positions, of course, are not really news. Everyone who is nominally familiar with the religious and cultural landscape in Canada knows where the United Church stands or falls on the issues, as the case may be.
But what is noticeable is how the Canadian Bishops (and the CCCB in particular) have failed to challenge their ecumenical partners to return to their roots and to biblical principles concerning the respect for life and marriage. A couple of weeks ago, Bishop Pierre Morissette, the current president of the CCCB, sent a letter to the United Church congratulating them on their 85th anniversary of their founding. In his short letter, the Bishop writes:
“…the United Church of Canada has continued to focus on bringing Christians together, and proclaiming the liberating message of the Gospel. In our society you are recognized as a strong witness to the love and compassion of Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.” (Source)
Is that really true? Would a strong witness of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ countenance sodomy, contraception, and abortion?
No, it’s not true at all.
If the bishop wants to really help the United Church, then in addition to lauding their past accomplishments (not the current eco-worship that passes as social justice these days, by the way), he should instead challenge them to reject their acceptance of the culture of death and to recover their past strong Christan witness to the Gospel, both theologically and socially. The United Church is in a suicidal free-fall. From 1961-2001, membership in the United Church of Canada fell from 1.04 million to 638 000 – a loss of 39 per cent of its membership. It’s even lower today. Instead of calling out the elephant in the room, the CCCB prefers to send birthday wishes to a church which is barely recognizable from its roots and founding, and is little more than a leftist social group pushing the latest eco-dogma.
But this is not really about the United Church. This example shows how ridiculous and absurd modern ecumenism is. In order to not offend or challenge our “partners”, we refuse to engage them on the central issues of our day – issues that inevitably mean the very life or death of a civilization. And what is worse, we say that they are a “strong witness to the love and compassion of Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ”. Good grief. Now while the good bishop will say to me, “well, we are not countenancing abortion or contraception or same-sex marriage; only the other good work the United Church does”, my response to that is this:
Leaving aside the other good the United Church does (which is more or less debatable given what fraudulently constitutes “social justice” these days), what, your Grace, does it say about you and the rest of the Canadian bishops when you prefer to elevate contemporary ”social justice” issues over the central and unnegotiable ones like abortion, contraception, same-sex “marriage”? When you give your assessment of the United Church’s “strong witness” to Jesus, why doesn’t their abortion promotion (for they are not merely passive by any means) not impact your opinion of their “witness to Jesus”?
In generations past, the tyrants of their age had a sense of social responsibility too, and they were widely lauded for it. Many Catholic priest-predators were quite good at elevating their social justice ministries too or even creating whole Orders in the Church.
That didn’t make them “strong witnesses to Jesus”, bishop.
Advocating for the dismemberment of unborn children, your Grace, does not make one a “strong witness to Jesus”.