Thursday, March 27, 2008

Get Jesus out of Christianity!

You know, sometimes I really think I've seen it all. I mean I've been a believer since I was a kid. I grew up in the church. And I think I'm a pretty sharp observer of what's going on in the Christian world. Then I read something like this.

This church in Toronto is actively trying to rid itself of references to God and Jesus. Apparently, the whole thing about Jesus being a sacrifice for our sins and God reconciling the world to Himself through Christ is just too old-fashioned for these folks.

Their Easter services must have been a real hoot. The article says that they changed the old hymn "Christ the Lord is Risen Today." It used to go like this:

Christ, the Lord, is risen today, Alleluia!
Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heavens, and earth, reply, Alleluia!
Now that same first verse says:

Glorious hope is risen today, Alleluia!
Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heavens, and earth, reply, Alleluia!
(By the way, that sound you're hearing? That's Charles Wesley spinning in his grave.)

What does "Glorious hope has risen today" actually mean? I haven't got a clue. But here's what a typical Sunday service has (or doesn't have), according to the article:

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.
What's left? Well, the pastor envisions communities of faith that come together to define god for themselves. "Salvation" means new life through getting rid of "the causes of suffering in the world." She is pushing her group to embrace what the article calls "values-based spirituality," while shifting the focus away from God and Jesus. I guess the title of her new book, With or Without God: Why the Way We Live is More Important than What We Believe, says it all.

I guess I should be angry about this. She is leading people away from the true gospel so they can find a "gospel" of their choosing. But, really, it just makes me sad. Here are people who want to find justice, beauty, love, integrity, and truth. But they've walked away from the One who is the source of all those things. And that's sad.

I've got more thoughts on this, but later...


Emmychka said...

That is also the sound of my blood boiling in my body and my head reaching critical mass to explode.

When I calm down I'll come back and give a decent... uh.... comment to this. If a decent comment can be given.

I was in a home group last night, btw, that one of the guys said, "Morality should not be regulated by the government" when we talked about planned parenthood. I responded, okay. So then what do you call not letting people who have been convicted and sentenced for death if not "regulated morality" and our laws clearly state that murder is a crime, therefore shouldn't we be regulating that? And not to mention that if a woman who wants to be pregnant is pregnant it's a baby at conception, but she doens't want the baby suddenly it's just a mass of clots and cells? Who's regulating what now and what's regulating it and who's not being given the full truth and who really is being taken advantage of.

Okay that's really a long comment that had nothing to do with your thing about this anti-Christ heretical easter, but I thought I would tell you because well, I get the feeling your just a big dad who is proud of the little missionary girl across the world ;) Of course not like a "REAAAAAL" dad, but you get the idea...

I'm off.

Richard J said...

Em--I would be proud as can be to be your dad, real or otherwise. You have no idea how often my wife and I talk about you, how brave and terrific you are, doing what God has put on your heart. You're a great girl.

And, you're right about the government regulating morality. I think when people say that government shouldn't legislate morality, they are really saying they don't want government to make a law they don't agree with. Because really, every law legislates morality. Laws are someone's idea of what is right and wrong, whether it's murder, rape, or the speed limit.

The problem comes when the law keeps me from doing what I want to do...