Skip to comments.God no Longer 'Heavenly Father' for United Church of Christ (Prefers the term 'Triune God')
Posted on 07/17/2011 9:32:13 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
The left-leaning United Church of Christ now wants to be even more politically correct, and to do so its deliberative body has replaced the reference to Heavenly Father with the gender neutral term, triune God, in the denominations constitution.
In the process of revamping its decades-old constitution, the Protestant denominations General Synod endorsed an eye-catching change: It deleted the term Heavenly Father, replacing it with triune God, Courier Journal reported Saturday.
Though a largely liberal denomination, the United Church of Christ has conservative sections which have objected to the amendment.
Rejecting God as Father in an age of fatherlessness is unthinkable, David Runnion-Bareford, executive director of Biblical Witness Fellowship, an evangelical renewal movement within the denomination, told the Journal.
Inclusive language has been a long-term project in the UCC for at least three decades, the Journal quoted the Rev. Greg Bain, pastor of Grace-Immanuel United Church of Christ in Louisville, as saying. It was a decision to use a broader definition of God, said Bain, who was part of the denominations national executive council until recently.
The constitutional revision by the General Synod, which meets biannually, is yet to be ratified by the regional bodies. The UCC has over 5,200 congregations and around 1.08 million members, mostly in the United States a significant drop from 2.1 million in 1967.
Interestingly, the same synod voted separately to reaffirm the traditional language used in baptizing new Christians in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the Journal said, adding that the UCCs research shows that nearly 20 percent of its congregations were using alternative language for Father, Son and Holy Spirit for baptism. UCCs Bain explained that the new agreement intended that such terms only be used in addition to, not instead of, the traditional formula.
In contrast, the Southern Baptist Convention in a 1992 resolution stated, We state clearly the scriptural witness that God is Spirit, beyond any human gender, and that He is transcendent, beyond the limitations of any human word; but confess that He has uniquely and explicitly revealed Himself to us as Father, by His sovereign and perfect will, the resolution read.
The UCC, considered more liberal than most other Christian denominations, also allow ceremonies to sanctify same-sex unions. The General Synod in 2005 passed a resolution making the United Church of Christ the first major Christian legislative body in America to support equal marriage rights for all people, regardless of gender. However, some congregations did not support the resolution.
The General Synod, through sound biblical and theological reflection over many years, has affirmed the full dignity, humanity, and worth of all persons regardless of sexual orientation, an affirmation grounded in our creation in the image of God, read the Synods statement. We have called for the removal of ones sexual orientation as a barrier to ordination and to all other forms of service in the church. We understand baptism to be the foundation of ones incorporation into the body of Christ, affirming the primacy of grace over every other category of human accomplishment or failure or human status, including sexual orientation, it added.
A 2001 study, Faith Communities Today, by the Hartford Institute for Religion Research showed that a majority of the United Church of Christ congregations described their members as moderate. It also noted that smaller percentages of self-described liberal and conservative congregations were in almost equal balance, suggesting that the UCC continued to be a theologically-centrist denomination. However, almost half of liberal churches in the UCC are growing while most moderate and conservative churches are losing members, noted United Church News.
Hartford Institute Director David Roozen commented that the national churchs pronouncements were often more liberal than the local churches and congregations but its governing structure was formed to allow such disagreements.
concept of a “triune god”
Is the Hindu Concept of God exactly the same as the Christian TRINITY? One God in 3 Persons?
Not sure if the Chinese have anything close to this concept, if there is, which one?
These people are adrift....
protestants-hurtling-toward-irrelevance alert. This is NOT news.
Liberals don't pay any more attention to the Bible than they do the Constitution.
Why let some dusty, old documents get in the way of their better non-judgmental judgement.
RE: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Somehow I can’t seem to get use to : ‘ Our Triune God which art in heaven,’
This reminds me of how the liberals do not use the term “Founding Fathers”. They prefer the term “Framers” of the constitution, because “Founding Fathers” is said to be offensive to feminists. Even though all of our Founding Fathers were actually men, it’s considered offensive to make note of that fact.
And while it sounds like there’s debate about the gender as relates to God, Jesus himself was a male. That’s an inconvenient truth with this “Triune” genderless diety concept.
I don’t know what to say, if political correctness infects churches.
But, if there’s good news about that, I’ve heard that as religious faith overall has declined in America, that some of the fastest growing faiths are more traditional in their outlook. These politically correct denominations may think they will halt the slide in membership by trying to be in tune with the modern world and all that, but the ones which are growing are adhereing to traditional values, not going PC.
As St. Paul points out, the pagans of Athens could "seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 'For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.'"
Here Paul is quoting Epimenides and Aratus, pagan philosopher/poets who wrote of the Fatherhood of God -- and he says they are correct.
So the ideas of a "triune God" and also of a "Father God" are found in non-Judeo-Christian religions. At their best.
I AM works
“...concept of a triune god
Don’t want to go to “triune” when I die. n/s
Gay Ministers, active Gay marriage, and Women over men that is what they want. That is the brave new world they want.
Heaven Help US!
“2And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.
3Give us day by day our daily bread.
4And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.” Luke 11:2-4 (KJV)
No, it does NOT say Triune God. The words of Christ Himself...what part didn’t they get?
The “United Church of Christ” is not united, not a true church , and not of Christ.
The term seems dry and uninspiring but not technically incorrect.
Is "Chinese" a religion?
I may be mistaken, but I've always assumed that the "Founding Fathers" and the "Framers of the Constitution" were two separate groups (albeit with a lot of overlap).
Thomas Paine, Paul Revere - lots of well-known patriots were not directly involved in the creation of the Constitution, but could nonetheless be regarded as "Founding Fathers," no?
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