Monday, April 14, 2008

UCC what I see?


Photo commentary: outside the Theatre building. It was one of those days that people just can't stop talking about. I sat and read for not nearly long enough, trying to get some research done for a paper that's been attempting asphyxiation for several weeks now. No headway made.

The United Church of Christ ran a full page ad in the New York Times in response to all the Pastor Wright hullabaloo. It costs $120,000. Here is what it said:

Much has been said about the United Church of Christ in recent weeks, much of it hurtful for many in our country, including members of Trinity UCC in Chicago. That is why we are eager to share the broad and diverse story of
the United Church of Christ, one that we celebrate.

With all Christians, we rest in God’s amazing grace and hear God’s voice in the words of Scripture. Yet, the UCC is unique to some because we do not require uniformity of belief. We are a church of open ideas, extravagant welcome and evangelical courage. Our passion for democracy extends to both government and church, where decision-making rests within each congregation. We support liberty in our pulpits, just as we affirm the individual conscience of our 1.2-million members to agree, disagree and wrestle with life’s biggest questions in a spirit of love.

Our story is this nation’s story. We are the people of the Mayflower. More than 600 of our 5,700 congregations were formed before 1776. Eleven signers of the Declaration of Independence were members of UCC predecessor bodies.

As early abolitionists, we came to the aid of the Amistad captives and founded hundreds of schools across the South after the Civil War. We were the first mainline church to ordain an African-American (1785), a woman (1853) and an openly gay pastor (1972). We were also the first to form a foreign mission society (1810). Our multi-ethnic membership includes persons from every immigrant group, as well as native peoples and descendants of freed slaves.

Our unity is not dependent upon uniform agreement, but in our shared allegiance to Jesus Christ. Ours is a risk-taking church, because ours is a risk-taking God.

God is still speaking.

I feel that the ad was a good one, and that it was money well spent. They took no funds from mission projects; it was mainly paid for through donations from individuals and congregations. It saddens me to think how people will stop at nothing to win. This pastor's words were taken out of context and flashed all over 24 hour news networks in order to discredit a presidential candidate. No care was taken whatsoever for those who are members of his church, for his denomination's reputation, and certainly not his own.

I wonder what punishment will befall these people.

1 comment:

katie said...

Hi, I just read your blog and had a couple of comments. One of the things that concerns me in that article, from a Christian point of view, is that it seems that the church has no sense of accountability. They believe that people should be allowed to believe what they want to, which is not biblical.

Also, you mentioned that the comments were taken out of context. I went and found the context and transcribed it:

"The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three strike law and then wants us to sing God Bless America. No, no, no..not God Bless America, God Damn America. That's in the Bible, for killing innocent people, God Damn America, for treating its citizens as less than human"

He is referring to the government's treatment of blacks. I will allow you that there remain people in America that are rascist, however these comments indicate that the government creates policies aimed at oppression of blacks, which is simply not true. The government does not hand out drugs. Also, just the fact that this man is able to become the leader of a church of people that believes that America should be damned (otherwise I don't think they would stay and listen to him say that over and over again) kind of disproves his theory of black oppression. If the government were truly using backhand policies to target blacks, they would have taken him out by now.

Anyways, I'm glad that you posted this, because I think that it is really important that we get to the bottom of these issues as voters.