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Religious Liberals Who Would Proselytize A Reimaged Jesus Christ


By Carman Bradley

God is not a human projection, to be treated like a spiritual rheostat, by which you adjust His guidance (Law) and impact in your life to suit the desired situation.  The idea of a spectrum of right and wrong depending on contextual preconditions like sexual consent, love and utility, defiles holiness and the idea of one truth before God.  Those who claim to be Christian and choose to treat the Word of God in a rheostatic fashion, who promote unbiblical norms in ethics in the name of “authentic personality,” are in reality against Jesus Christ - against God.  Pro-gay theology proposes to set aside explicit Biblical teaching and substitute secular alternatives.  Liberal or so-called “enlightened” Christians choose to explore “new ways of bearing witness to the good news of Jesus Christ.”  Since religion has not been eliminated in the recent tsunami of sexual liberation, the next alternative for those seeking to shake-up heterosexist society by eliminating discrimination against the homosexual, is to discriminate against orthodox religion.  Their aim is to transform the traditional Christian sexual ethic into the image of sexual liberation values.  And here, homosexual “rights” have been used to pioneer this change.  The following quotes help to frame the context of the on-going attempt to reimage Christ to a God of indifference:

It is because the concept of a Creator-God interferes with our sexual mores.  Thus we have rationalized God out of existence.  To us, He has become nothing more than the faint and disappearing smile of the cosmic Cheshire cat in Alice in Wonderland.[i] - Aldous Huxley, humanist, free love advocate

The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is at bottom no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but pointless indifference.[ii] - Richard Dawkins, Darwinist, Oxford zoologist

All the crosscurrents of present-day [sexual] liberation struggles are subsumed in the gay struggle… sexual identity is in crisis throughout the population, and gay people – at once the most conspicuous subjects and objects of the crisis – have been forced to invent a complete cosmology to grasp it.  No one says the changes will come easily.  But it’s just possible that a small and despised sexual minority will change America forever.[iii] - The Nation, May 3, 1993

The chief opposition to gay equality is religious.  We may conduct much of our liberation efforts in the political sphere or even the ‘cultural’ sphere, but always undergriding those and slowing our progress is the moral/religious sphere.  If we could hasten the pace of change there, our overall progress would accelerate - in fact, it would be assured.[iv]  - Paul Varnell, gay columnist

I knew I would have few if any problems with the so-called liberal churches.  Liberal churches do not usually deeply involve themselves with Scripture.[v]- Rev. Troy Perry, Metropolitan Community Churches

If we perform the radical surgery [on Christianity] that is required, not only will certain traditional formulations of faith fall by the wayside, but also much of the presumed content of Christianity, and rightly so.  Our only consolation is that if we do not intervene radically and soon the patient will die.[vi] - Thomas Sheehan, professor of religious studies, Stanford University

We reimage God to keep the world from enduring the pain of a continuing reliance on a theistic deity…That same theistic God is quoted by people who want to impose their definitions of homosexuality or their values in the right-to-life movement on everyone else.  So it matters how one thinks of God.[vii] - Rev. Dr. John Shelby Spong

If there are other choices open to homosexuals, why should not these options be available to heterosexuals as well?  Homosexuality may well serve as the ‘test-case’ of Christian sexual ethics since it poses the clearest challenge to the universal evangelical character of that ethic.[viii] - James P. Hanigan

The “liberal” Episcopalian Rev. Dr. John Shelby Spong writes in his 2001 release A New Christianity For a New World:

I do not define God as a supernatural being.  I do not believe in a deity who can help a nation win a war, intervene to cure a love one’s sickness…Since I do not see God as a being, I cannot interpret Jesus as an earthly incarnation of this supernatural deity…I do not believe that this Jesus could or did in any literal way raise the dead, [or] overcome a medically diagnosed paralysis…I do not believe that Jesus entered this world by miracle of a virgin birth or that virgin births occur anywhere accept in mythology…I do not believe that the experience Christians celebrate at Easter was the physical resuscitation of the three-days-dead body of Jesus, nor do I believe that anyone literally talked with Jesus after the resurrection moment…I do not believe that Jesus, at the end of his earthly sojourn, returned to God by ascending in any literal sense into a heaven located somewhere above the sky…I do not believe that this Jesus founded a church or that he established an ecclesiastical hierarchy beginning with the twelve apostles and enduring to this day…I do not believe that human beings are born in sin and that, unless baptized or somehow saved, they will for ever be banished from God’s presence…I do not believe that homosexual people are abnormal, mentally sick, or morally depraved.  Furthermore, I regard any sacred text that suggests otherwise to be wrong and ill-informed.  My study has led me to the conclusion that sexuality itself, including sexual orientation, is morally neutral and as such can be lived out either positively or negatively.  I regard the spectrum of human sexual experience to be broad indeed.  On that spectrum, some percentage of the population is at all times oriented toward people of their own gender.  This is simply the way life is.  I cannot imagine being part of a church that discriminates against gay and lesbian people on the basis of their being…I do not believe that the Bible is the ‘word of God’ in any literal sense.  I do not regard it as the primary source of divine revelation.  I do not believe that God dictated it or even inspired its production in its entirety.  I see the Bible as a human book mixing the profound wisdom of sages through the centuries with limitations of human perceptions of reality at a particular time in history.[ix]


We are open to the ways in which the challenges and opportunities we face call forth new ways of bearing witness to the good news of Jesus Christ. - Committee on Theology and Faith The United Church of Canada, Faith Talk II, January 2005

Pro-gay theology seeks the impossible - to reimage God - and asks its adherents to live in this false reality.  The UCC Committee on Theology and Faith has chosen to deny the claim declared in Hebrews 13: 8: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” The orthodox reader can at least respect the honesty of Dr. Spong’s liberalism.  This theologian has little doubt as to what is necessary to reimage the Gospel of Jesus Christ to accept and sanctify homosexual relations.  And in 1999, the New York chapter of a humanist organization honoured his public advocacy by presenting him with their “Humanist of the Year” award.  On the other hand, what label should be given to UCC theology, if not counterfeit Christianity?  In Canada, the denominational voice for a reimaged Christ has been the United Church.  Their theological remake has been decades in evolution.  In 2006, an evangelical Christian outside of the UCC gave the following feedback:

I have read your emails and I am opposed to same sex marriage, it is against all that God has commanded and His plan for mankind.  However, I do not understand what you are trying to accomplish.  We as evangelicals can oppose what is wrong and stand up for what we believe without launching an attack against the United Church. There are many denominations that have teachings and practices that are not of God.  My question to you is this.  If you build a wall between you and them, how do you plan on reaching them with the love and truth of God's Word?  They will no longer be willing to listen at all.  They need to see that although we will not compromise our beliefs and are willing to stand for what is right no matter what, we still love them as Jesus does.  Do not confuse who the real enemy is here, it is not The United Church, or gays or Paul Martin, it is Satan who has blinded the eyes of many people.  We need to love and pray for these people every day.

This is a well meaning and valuable e-mail, although the view behind it must be challenged.  First, United Church theology, when carefully examined can be exposed for what it is at its very core: an attack upon the integrity of the Bible; an attack upon the sufficiency of God’s written revelation; an attack upon the authority of Scripture; and therefore an attack on the very nature of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Although, the UCC boasts of its theological diversity and inclusivity, there is no statement of respect for the evangelical position in their Factum to the Supreme Court.  The UCC believes that state support for same-sex marriage “does not conflict” with the religious freedoms of the orthodox.  The Factum declares: “ is absurd to suggest that allowing same-sex couples to have access to the institution of marriage somehow undermines the institution.”[x]  The UCC witness is an attack upon orthodox Christianity and an attack upon the institution of marriage and an attack upon the long-standing heterosexist worldview of the state.  The United Church has the right to hold religious views supporting homosexual relations and marriage.  They should just stop calling themselves Christian, when they are not.  “Orthodox” Christians need to wake up from their status quo slumber and stop being used as a veil to cloud the true image of the UCC or to give it undeserved standing as they proclaim – a mainstream Christian church,” indeed, Canada’s largest protestant denomination.  Christians are to be the “salt of the earth” and the “light of the world.”  Jesus also proclaims” “If the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?  It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.”

Second, although other Christian denominations hold acknowledged aberrations and heresies, they have not denied the heterosexual worldview declared in Matthew 19:4-6, which is also the cornerstone of other world religions.  Homosexism is simply a false reality, a false worldview.  It does not even fit with Darwinism.  It is simply a self-serving projection of reality.  Returning to the email, two wrongs never make something right.  The fact there are other pro-gay elements in other denominations is no reason to apologize for focusing on the UCC in their apostasy.  No other denomination followed the UCC lead in lobbying parliamentarians to vote for same-sex marriage at a church-sponsored prayer breakfast.

Third, separation is scriptural and a higher witness for Christ under the circumstances than the status quo association.  To those evangelicals remaining within the UCC and clinging to the status quo one must ask: Is there any heresy that the UCC could adopt that would cause you to separate in loving obedience to Jesus Christ?   The reality is that the status quo witness for Jesus Christ is not stemming the tide of unorthodoxy; the status quo witness flies in the face of the spiritual evidence of the hundreds of thousands of “orthodox” believers already burdened to leave the UCC; and the status quo witness, in the face of decades of persistent liberalization and chronic heresy, has proven to be in vain and is simply no longer credible. 

With further regard to the feedback, “If you build a wall between you and them…They will no longer be willing to listen at all.”  This situation is not Christendom separating from the uninformed, the uneducated or the intellectually immature.  Three decades of witness from some of the best orthodox theologians within and outside the UCC has fallen on deaf ears; brilliant Christian witnesses from within the United Church like Rev. Drs. Don Faris, Allen Churchill and Victor Shepherd, to mention only a few.  It is not plausible to think the UCC is now on the verge of an outbreak of orthodoxy following the Government’s decision to make same-sex marriage into law.  Reformers deceive themselves to think the apostasy can be righted, even turned around.  The Apostle Paul speaks to this issue of separation when he writes on church discipline:

When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 5:4-5).

If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of him.  Do not associate with him in order that he may feel ashamed.  Yet do not regard him as enemy, but warn him as a brother (2 Thessalonians 3:14-15).

“Timothy, my son, I give you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight, holding on to faith and a good conscience.  Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith.  Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme (1 Timothy 1:18-20).

Moreover, the Book of Hebrews warns against the consequence of apostasy:

It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the Word of God, and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting Him to public disgrace (Hebrews 6:4-6).

Regarding the feedback, “Do not confuse who the real enemy is here, it is not The United Church, or gays or Paul Martin, it is Satan who has blinded the eyes of many people.”  Satan has blinded many people.  Indeed, this informed observation was the conclusion of the first and second century patriarchs.  The early Church’s response to the threat from Gnosticism offers invaluable parallels in how to address the current danger from liberalized, pro-gay theologies.  Regarding the feedback: “We need to love and pray for these people every day,” amen.  A call for separation and prayer is a the true act of love for one’s self-professed “Christian” neighbor.


Copyright © 2008 StandForGod.Org

[i] Duane T. Gish, Evolution: The Fossils Still Say No! (El Cajon, CA: Institute for Creation Research, 1995), p.133.

[ii] Quoted in Gregg Easter Brook, “Science and God: A Warming Trend?” Science 227, 1997, p.892.

[iii] Robert M. Baird and M. Katherine Baird Ed. Gash Homosexuality: Debating the Issues (Amherst NY: Prometheus Books, 1995), pp. 31 and 32.

[iv] “Learning From Catholic’s Change,” Out NOW! 27 June 1995, vol. 3. No. 13, p.15.

[v] Troy Perry, Don’t Be Afraid Anymore (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1990), p. 41.

[vi] John Shelby Spong, A New Christianity For a New World (San Francisco: Harher, 2001), p.57.

[vii] Ibid., p.230.

[viii] James P. Hanigan, Homosexuality: The Test Case for Christian Sexual Ethics (New York: Paulist Press, 1988), p.18.

[ix] John Shelby Spong, A New Christianity For a New World (San Francisco: Harper, 2001), pp.3-6.

[x] FACTUM OF THE INTERVENER, The United Church of Canada, Supreme Court File No. 29866, 11 May 2004, p. 7.