Tuesday, July 5, 2011
When God as Father Becomes Liability...
Meeting at General Synod 28 in Tampa, Florida this weekend — July 1-5, 2011 — the historic United Church of Christ will vote on an amendment to eliminate God the Father from Article 5, lines 9-10 of its constitution. The Constitution of the denomination has remained unchanged in its theological core since the United Church of Christ’s founding in 1957, and remains the covenant connection with the basic truths of Christianity that keeps many churches affiliated who are otherwise alienated by the denominations very liberal agenda.
This is one denomination with which the ELCA is in altar and pulpit fellowship. Whether or not this passes, the point is clear. A significant number of folks in this denomination believe that belief in the Father has become a liability in this age of gender sensitivity, radical feminism, and the casting off of what is seen as centuries of patrimony and patriarchy.
This is also the denomination to which Pres. Obama belonged prior to leaving his home congregation. Their current advertising logo says "God is still speaking" -- a reference to their understanding of the ever evolving definition of God and the ministry and work of the church as they see it. It is a rather recent church body created by the merger of the historic Evangelical and Reformed Church and the Congregational Christian Churches in 1957. The history of this once conservative Reformed tradition, influenced by Lutheranism, has given way to a denomination on the forefront of nearly every liberal social, political, and religious cause. At some point, it may very well end up reforming itself out of historic Christianity.
AN UPDATE: While I could not find the actual wording of the finalized changes, I did come across this in a UCC press release:
Synod delegates, however, voted to uphold the chair, and did so again when the Rev. Madison Shockley of the Southern California Nevada Conference submitted an amendment to a section defining local churches as believing in the “triune God.” Shockley objected to the language because he believed it limited the acceptable theologies of UCC churches. But again the delegates would not consider the amendment.
I am not sure if this means that the delegates did vote to strip out the passage or not.... anyone know???