When Liberal Churches Shrink and Merge
(The following article was written by Rev. Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org. You can follow Pastor Brock on Facebook - here and Twitter - here.)
I passed this church today in the Twin Cities and it appears to be a merged church of two very liberal denominations, the United Church of Christ and Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Since the 1960s the UCC has shrunk more than any mainline denomination and for good reason. One can deny the Trinity, affirm a Unitarian view of God, and be a pastor in the United Church of Christ. Both the UCC and ELCA ordain practicing homosexuals and transsexuals, and pay for abortions with offering dollars in their churches healthcare plans (you will note in the picture below the church’s gay-affirming rainbow banner). Both denominations have many pastors who teach that all people will go to heaven and faith in Christ is not necessary for salvation.
As liberal denomination shrink, they merge. Two ELCA seminaries in Pennsylvania had to merge, my alma mater ELCA Luther Seminary in Saint Paul had to sell off buildings, and the building which housed the ELCA seminary in California was sold to Muslims. The UCC’s United Theological Seminary in New Brighton, Minnesota, had to be sold and now houses an evangelical ministry.
The second picture below is the large banner outside this merged congregation saying what it means to “Be the Church”. You will notice Jesus, evangelism, and disciple-making are not mentioned. It’s basically “let’s all be nice”.
It once again reminds me of the three pillars of liberal theology that are killing the Church:
1. God is nice
2. We too should be nice
3. Isn’t that nice?
Sincerely in Christ,
Pastor Tom Brock
(Rev. Brock continues in a follow up article)
I just went to the website of the church mentioned in the previous post to see what they believe. Below is their statement of faith. You will notice, not a word about the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and nothing about salvation through Christ. Again, it is "Let's all be nice." I checked their calendar to see that they offer a Progressive Christianity Study Group and a drumming group.
One would never dream from their statement that there will be a Judgement Day and that we need Christ. If one believes in Heaven and Hell and that the Church should help people be ready for the Last Day, their nice statement of faith isn't very nice.
Sincerely in Christ,
Pastor Tom Brock
THIS WE BELIEVE
We believe the umbrella of God’s love, as exemplified in Jesus the Christ, is big enough for everyone to be welcomed.
We believe that love, not doctrine, holds us together.
We believe the deepest expression of our faith is found in the way we treat others.
We believe you don’t need to take the bible literally to discover God’s profound truths and message.
We believe it is important for faith to value both the mind and the heart.
We believe that we learn from one another’s diverse experiences and perspectives, and it’s okay if we don’t share the exact same beliefs.
We believe listening to others and respecting them is a deeply spiritual act, even when we disagree.
Not all claims to truth are the same, to be sure, but we believe every claim should be measured by love.
We believe the wisdom offered from other faith traditions can complement and enrich our spiritual journeys.
We believe church should be a place of peace that welcomes those who believe in God some of the time, or none of the time, or all of the time.
11/15/2021 10:30:31 pm
"BE THE CHURCH. . .Fight for the powerless..."
11/17/2021 05:08:56 pm
Let's be nice. I guess there is no nice where unbor;n babies are the topic. These people will have a terrible price to pay.
11/18/2021 02:41:04 pm
"We believe that love, not doctrine, holds us together...We believe you don’t need to take the bible [sic] literally to discover God’s profound truths and message."
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Former ELCA seminary student and former ELCA member who is fed up with the ELCA's consistent mockery of God's Word.
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