“Supporting, inspring and connecting Christ-centred leaders and congregations within the United Church of Canada”

As usual the national magazine for our denomination gets me… ummm… thinking.

A recent edition contains an article about the post-theistic church. It describes churches that have been moving away from God language and music in favour of more contemporary and secular references, to the point where their members are getting uncomfortable with the God language they encounter at services at other churches.

There’s a claim in the article that post-theistic theology helps people begin to start talking about their own spirituality because they feel like they are in a safe environment to ask these questions.

There’s a couple of huge problems here.

First, why does it take the complete stripping of Christianity within the church to make it safe for people to come and ask the questions they want to ask? In my opinion, it doesn’t. I have seen many churches with deep theological roots have wonderful conversations about faith in the context of a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. If this wasn’t true, I wouldn’t be here. There are churches where asking questions is intimidating, I know this as well. This is where we need to work. We need to make people comfortable and let them know “there is no stupid question” because there isn’t.

The second problem with distancing ourselves from God is shown in the Bible. Look at the Old Testament, you know, the part where God gets mad all the time and punishes people. When you look at these times in the Bible, ask the question, “Why did this happen?”

These situations often happened because they distanced themselves from God. They became “post-theistic”. They stopped letting God lead and guide them, and they got themselves in big trouble and then God would have to come in and bail them out.

Thank you God for loving us so much.

Look at the world around us. What kind of shape is it in? Institutions are failing, governments are falling, corruption abounds, and where do we go from here? We continue to try and fix it ourselves. How’s that going for us?

We need to look to the Old Testament and remind ourselves how God wants us to be close to Him. When we push him away, all hell breaks loose and we have no where to turn for help.

We are living like the chosen people of the Old Testament stories. We are distancing ourselves from God and finding ourselves deeper and deeper in trouble.

Take God out of our churches? Yes! But not in the way the article indicates. The world needs God more than ever right now, and our theistic churches need to let people know we are a safe place, and we can help you get to know God who is the only one who can make all things right in the world.

We need to be like the Old Testament prophets who called people to come back to God.

We need to take the God we worship out of our churches and into the public squares of our communities before it’s too late.