The (Previous) Moderator

by Tony Copple

"... and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds" - Hebrews 10:24

Short cut to Laurie-Ann Zachar's
comprehensive analysis
Correspondence on this subject

It was Remembrance Day 1997 when this site was started as a result of the controversy surrounding public statements of belief made by our then United Church moderator, Rt.Rev. Bill Phipps, under the headline: "Is Jesus God?"

The Ottawa Citizen stories and other published articles are given below, with responses to this site by readers and e-mails distributed at the time by concerned people, and a selection of relevant writings on faith reflecting both sides of the controversy.

In November 1999 the debate was partially re-kindled when the Ottawa Citizen published a story: "Church ready to ditch Father, Son and Holy Spirit." I see this as a worrisome progression from the debate started by the "Is Jesus God?" article of October 1997.

Bill Phipps completed his term as Moderator in 2000. This site continues, under a modified title, because the issues raised have been with us since long before his statements to the press, and will continue long into the future. Subsequent additions to the site cover matters of general concern to renewal groups.

Whether this site has helped others to a better understanding of the nature of Jesus Christ as Lord I cannot say, though that remains its aim. For myself, however, it has influenced my whole life and my hopes for the one to come. When the site began I knew nothing of the renewal movement, and had just started to attend an Alpha Course. Now, writing in August 2000, I have co-lead numbers of Alphas, and have been married for more than a year to Laurie-Ann, whom I met through her response to the site, and whose scholarly writings now form its backbone. Praise the Lord for his mysterious ways!

More recently - 2002 - a group of eight Anglical parishes in Vancouver have stood up to their Bishop in opposition to his intention to permit the blessing of same-sex unions. This debate has international repercussions, and not just within the Anglican church. I have added links to this issue, which is a further eposide in the conflict between liberalism and othodoxy. Indeed, from this point on, this site will be widening its scope to cover the issue of the erosion of orthodoxy in the face of the march of liberalism, a trend that fills me with sadness, but sparks my ministry and makes it worth while.