Thursday, March 27, 2008

Liberal Protestantism: Taking the 'Christ' out of Christian

There she is... Rev. Gretta Vosper, here to preach that "Glorious Hope" has risen... what the #&%%*@?!

This is where Canada's largest Protestant denomination is headed [United Church]. Read it and weep.
Why bother going to this 'church' when you can stay at home and read a self-help book, or purchase a carbon-offset? Why not simply become more involved in politics? Why bother going to church to proclaim that you don't believe in God? Oh well.

It's really too bad that Rev. Vosper won't wake up and smell the coffee; liberal Protestantism is dying out in drones. She should read Philip Jenkins' article "The Next Christendom", but I'm sure the title would sicken her. Jenkins' article talks about how the future of Christianity is in the Global South (Africa & Latin America) and Asia. He discusses how liberal Christianity, a phenom of the dying west, is sinking the faith in America and Europe; we are hardly replacing ourselves in birth rates, and Europe is practically dead. Yet in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, the faith is booming. In fact, the Christianity that's booming and beating out Islam, is precisely the faith that Rev. Vosper doesn't teach: Orthodox Christianity... the worship and praise and thanksgiving of the One, True God- The Holy Trinity. But to Rev. Vosper, that old doctrine stuff about the Incarnation is sooo passe.

Pray for West United Hill Church..... that's all we can do.

Taking Christ out of Christianity
From Saturday's Globe and Mail

March 22, 2008 at 12:38 AM EDT

That triumphal barnburner of an Easter hymn, Jesus Christ Has Risen Today – Hallelujah, this morning will rock the walls of Toronto's West Hill United Church as it will in most Christian churches across the country.

But at West Hill on the faith's holiest day, it will be done with a huge difference. The words “Jesus Christ” will be excised from what the congregation sings and replaced with “Glorious hope.”

Thus, it will be hope that is declared to be resurrected – an expression of renewal of optimism and the human spirit – but not Jesus, contrary to Christianity's central tenet about the return to life on Easter morning of the crucified divine son of God.

Generally speaking, no divine anybody makes an appearance in West Hill's Sunday service liturgy.

There is no authoritative Big-Godism, as Rev. Gretta Vosper, West Hill's minister for the past 10 years, puts it. No petitionary prayers (“Dear God, step into the world and do good things about global warming and the poor”). No miracles-performing magic Jesus given birth by a virgin and coming back to life. No references to salvation, Christianity's teaching of the final victory over death through belief in Jesus's death as an atonement for sin and the omnipotent love of God. For that matter, no omnipotent God, or god.

Ms. Vosper has written a book, published this week – With or Without God: Why the Way We Live is More Important than What We Believe – in which she argues that the Christian church, in the form in which it exists today, has outlived its viability and either it sheds its no-longer credible myths, doctrines and dogmas, or it's toast.

She is considered one of the bright, if unconventional, minds within the United Church, Canada's largest Protestant Christian denomination. She holds a master of divinity degree from Queen's University and was ordained in 1992. She founded and chairs the Toronto-based Canadian Centre for Progressive Christianity.


She says now that the work of biblical scholars has become publicly accessible, the churches and their clergy are caught living a lie that few people will buy much longer. “I just don't think we can placate those in the pews long enough to transition into a kind of new community that doesn't keep people away.”

She wants salvation redefined to mean new life through removing the causes of suffering in the world. [Liberation theology, or Jeremiah Wright theology for pasty white protestants.] She wants the church to define resurrection as “starting over,” “new chances.” She wants an end to the image of God as an intervening all-powerful authority who must be appeased to avoid divine wrath; rather she would have congregations work together as communities to define God – or god – according to their own worked-out definitions of what is holy and sacred. She wants the eucharist – the symbolic eating and drinking of Jesus's body and blood to make the congregation part of Jesus's body – to be instead a symbolic experience of community love. [Just convert to Catholicism or Orthodoxy, and you can have the Grace and become part of Christ's Body!]


[Rev Gretta Vosper pontificates:] “I can find myself in there [the statements of faith] but there's whole parts of it where I go, ‘Oh my goodness, this is terrible.' If someone says to me, ‘Do you believe in God?' I can come up with an answer that would satisfy the courts of the United Church. But would it reflect what's stated in their statement of faith? I don't think so. But it wouldn't be very far from what my colleague down the street, and what his colleague down the street from him, would say. That's the problem.” [Did she just refer to a fellow Christian as a colleague? Wierd.]

Read the whole idiotic/tragic story here:

Here's what Rod Dreher and Mark Shea had to say:

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