When, in college, I understood my need for God's pardon and the gift of righteousness, I was angry at this church that had deprived me of the gospel. Mine was an attitude of "Why didn't you tell me?! Why did you keep the truth from me?" It took a while for me to realize that nothing had been intentionally kept from me. There was no clandestine plot to prevent me from learning the truth. The sad fact was that the leaders themselves were in darkness. That darkness showed itself yesterday when the UCC became the first mainline Christian denomination to officially support homosexual marriage. The New York Times reports that following the synod's vote, UCC President, Rev. John Thomas declared:
"On this July 4, the United Church of Christ has courageously acted to declare freedom, affirming marriage equality, affirming the civil rights of gay - of same-gender - couples to have their relationships recognized as marriages by the state, and encouraging our local churches to celebrate those marriages."The same article illustrates the contradictions that groups like the UCC have to embrace in the name of "tolerance" and "open mindedness." The female pastor of a predominantly black UCC congregation described many blacks as being more "orthodox" in their biblical interpretation and gave the following reason for her vote against the resolution: "There are those of us who live in the tension of affirming love and relationships for people who have not had enough of that, and feeling like the theological evidence for it just hasn't been presented." An associate who voted in favor of the resolution stated, "I voted for it, and I agree with everything she's saying."
I doubt I could have remained in the UCC but some evangelical believers have chosen to work and pray for renewal and reform from within. The Biblical Witness Fellowship is a network of such Christians whose work, in light of this recent decision, will be all the more challenging.