Response to this Site and e-mail correspondence

February 28, 1998

Date: Wed, 18 Feb 1998 19:03:01 -0800
From: Don Anderson
Subject: believing

Believing in Jesus Christ is something like water skiing..... one might deviate briefly from side to side, but as long as one hangs onto the rope one will never go anywhere the boat does not; as long as one hangs onto Jesus Christ one will never go anywhere he does not.

- Don


From: Carole Burton
Subject: This is liberalism?

Tonight I received a phone call from a friend in Stephenville, Nfld. She had just come from a congregational meeting. She had asked her minister if she could present to the meeting the info I sent her on the Christmas Confession. The minister refused - said they would discuss the Moderator issue "quietly" at a Session meeting.

So- the minister began the congregational meeting with John 8 - the woman caught in adultery- don't throw stones- then said she supposed they had all read "the letter in the Georgian" (i.e. a letter from me, re. Phipps etc) - she said "That letter is the sort of thing which causes problems in the church. We ought to be able to live together in love." (i.e. I was throwing stones.)

I sent a copy of that letter to you last week- I thought it was pretty tame- I told what had happened in this controversy, and said congregations need to EXPRESS THEIR VIEWS on the Moderator's theology- write G.C. exec. (I tried to give lay people some info to counter the usual UC ministers' argument that Phipps was misquoted by the media etc - or that he had afterwards made a very "orthodox" statement of faith on Spirit Connection. Plus I gave a couple of web sites where people could obtain more info on this.)

So- liberalism means that people like Phipps can say what they like, but no one is to disagree with them.

On top of that, I just came from a congregational meeting in our local UC- supposed to be a NACC congregation- and the minister was upset with me because I presented the NACC poster to the congregation - took 6 months to do it - and he told me after the meeting, he was very upset because Dave Snihur and Claire Hoy "ganged up" on the Moderator on "Face-off" in December. He also said nowhere do the UC Articles of Faith say Jesus is fully God. Jesus is the Son of God - not God. (He had told the Session long before the Phipps controversy, that Jesus is the Son of God, but he is **not as great as God.**)

That view is VERY common in our church. Many here are saying they always believed that- they say they were taught that Jesus is the **son of God** - but he is not God. We in the UC did NOT do our teaching very well! We were ripe for a Phipps.

Sorry I am rather upset and need to sound off.

Carole Burton


From: Tony Copple[]
Sent: February 19, 1998 12:11 PM
Subject: (Fwd) This is liberalism?

Carole, I can relate to this. My minister + Chair of Council (both good friends) wouldn't allow a letter I wrote to the Newsletter to be published. [however I published it on this site.]

The impression to readers of the newsletter is presumably that no one much cares about what's going on.
The true explanation is that the boat mustn't be rocked at any cost in case we lose members from the congregation, and bring in less revenue. And I'm chair of Stewards this year! In fact religious congregation sizes dwindle dramatically the further we move from orthodoxy, a statistic reported in the New York Times of Feb 15, p39, based on the NY Jewish Population Study, and published in Moment. [see next item]

A sinister aspect of the current debate is that the UC falls over backwards to welcome the most liberal opinions (fine) but has started to reject and refuse to acknowledge orthodox opinions.

Jesus told us that people would scorn his followers. It's scorn you're getting, Carole, for His sake. Smile!
- Tony


From: Kevin_Jones@Mitel.COM
Subject: Re: Jewish continuity (referenced in previous item)
Date: Fri, 27 Feb 1998 07:41:06 -0500

The article does give food for thought as to where the church needs to go to survive. I.E. , the policy of trying to please everyone will not help the church grow and survive. The church needs a clear direction [i,e, orthodox views are very focused].
Does not mean going to orthodox views, but I bet the majority of the attending congregation has more orthodox views of Christianity!!

[gee sounds like politics!!]


To: Kevin Jones/Kan/Mitel
From Tony Copple

Subject: Jewish continuity

Ann gave me the page from the NY Times. Are you suggesting a new affiliation: Orthodox United? Can you imagine the research necessary to define it, since the UC concept of orthodoxy would probably exclude traditional beliefs in such outdated concepts as miracles.
- T


From: Carole Burton[]
Sent: February 10, 1998 5:27 AM
Subject: Christmas Confession

I believe we need to USE the Christmas Confession in a more **deliberate** way, as one more step toward reclaiming our church (or "stopping the downward slide into ultra-liberalism", or however you would word it!)

I am very thankful for those in the Ottawa area who gave us this further instrument of renewal for our church. However, Brian Wilkie and Mark Fearnall have told me (I don't know about the others who were involved in drawing up the Confession) that OTHERS will have to take it and use it as they feel led by God. They have no plans for distributing it more widely across the church.

So that part is up to us all- if we feel so inclined.
Accordingly, I have sent the Confession to 52 of our 88 Nfld. pastoral charges- wherever I think there is a minister or key lay person who will likely USE it in their congregation.

I know Fellowship magazine sent it to all their mailing list, but it was a form for INDIVIDUAL signing. I think we need to get the Confession to whole congregations, THROUGH the church boards- which is equivalent to a congregation TAKING A STAND- which will be an important step for many of them. The MINISTERS in many cases are keeping congregations from taking a stand on orthodox Christian faith- and the Confession may be a way to get past these ministers, in at least SOME cases. A lay member can take the Confession to their church board and move that it be VOTED on for presentation to the congregation.

I see the Confession as one more means of RAISING AWARENESS of the urgency of the situation within our church.

In the Christmas Confession mailing I did here in Nfld., I had columns for signing names and addresses, on the BACK of the Confession - plus sent the covering letter, the original Ottawa Citizen article on the Moderator, and a summary of what had happened - since many U.C. members don't know much about it.


From: Ted Wigglesworth[]
Sent: February 16, 1998 12:31 PM
Subject: Re: Jesus debate

Hello All: In the current debate about Jesus and God I think it would be helpful to look again at the Basis of Union Article 2.1 "Article I. Of God. We believe in the one and only living and true God, a Spirit infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in His being and perfection, the Lord Almighty, who is love, most just in all His ways, most glorious in holiness, unsearchable in wisdom, plenteous in mercy, full of compassion, and abundant in goodness and truth. We worship Him in the unity of the Godhead and the mystery of the Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, three persons of the same substance, equal in power and glory." This is the starting point of all discussion in the Basis of Union about God, Man, Jesus the Holy Spirit etc. It is very clear that the God (singular) is made up of "three persons of the same substance, equal in power and glory." and is worshipped "in the unity of the Godhead and the mystery of the Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit," All order on ministry have said they are in essential agreement with this. In Jesus the Christ. Ted.


From: Jim Breen[]
Sent: February 17, 1998 2:41 AM [another early bird]
Subject: The Decade ...

Dear Folk,
I am writing to ask if you have seen the "Renewing Our Intentions" the so called worship resource (IT IS NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WORSHIP) concerning the end of the Decade of Church's in Solidarity with Women. It is really just a "Consciousness raising Event". After looking over this worship resource it is just one more step along a wide road to destruction. Unfortunate to see such an important issue treated like this ...

1. The prayers tend to address God at the beginning and then talk about and to ourselves. IE. CALL TO WORSHIP: "What does our God require of us? To recognize the work still to be done, To renew our commitment to God's vision of wholeness, To keep going with song and prayer, TO BRING INTO BEING A NEW HEAVEN & A NEW EARTH. How can we begin? God is with us, we are not alone. We are not alone.

2. It gets children to look into a mirror and says ... "both boys and girls show a part of God!"

3. There are no scripture readings in the proper sense ... a few selected verses used here and there to "prove a point".

4. Mostly stories about acceptance or resistance to the decade. And telling about the great work the United Church has done. (Spiritual Pride is a deadly sin!)

What do you call it when people talk about and to themselves and claim that it is God they are talking to and about?

Let me know (if you have a copy) what you think. It will supposedly will be out in shorter format in the Spring 1998 Mandate ... Mine was mailed to me from national office.

Yours in Christ

Jim Breen