This just published by the North Shore News in response to a number of letters involved in character assassination of Dr. Faris.
Dec 8th, 1999 North Shore News
I am writing to express my disappointment at the 'strawman' character assassination of the Rev. Dr. Don Faris in the Nov 19th North Shore News 'mailbox'. Having met ecumenically with Don weekly for many years at the North Shore Clergy Prayer Group, I don't recognize the stereotyped picture that his critics have painted of Don. Far from being 'cranky' as suggested by his UCC colleague Rev Art Griffin, I have experienced Don as representing the best of the United Church heritage of graciousness and forbearance. Having spent time as a United Church missionary in Zambia, Africa and then completing his doctorate at Edinburgh, Don symbolizes the United Church vision of breadth, scholarship, and world concern. As a former Minister of Education for the Saskatchewan NDP government, Don's bold critique brought a breakthrough in the backward alcoholism treatment policies. The United Church Observer described Don as 'Canada's Bravest Politician'. His books 'Trojan Horse' and 'The Homosexual Challenge' proved once again that Don is not afraid to challenged entrenched cultural stereotypes.
Don Faris is not objecting to biblical usage of feminine similes relating to God. What Don and many other Christians are concerned about is the intentional subversion of the Trinitarian nature of God. To make baptizing in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit an optional mode is to seriously harm our ecumenical unity as fellow Christians. Don is right that many other denominations would be forced to begin rebaptizing United Church people who join their churches. The current campaign to indoctrinate mainline Christians in the worship of the Father/Mother god/dess in our hymnbooks and liturgies will only ultimately harm the well-being and unity of the Canadian Church. In short, God the Father likes his name. Who are we to improve on Jesus' own naming of the mystery of God in his remarkable Lord's Prayer?
The Reverend Ed Hird+ email@example.com
Doctrinal battle rages in the North Shore News over Don Faris' "Cult" article, reported in the BC Christian News.