Saturday, March 22, 2008

Taking Christ Out Of Easter

If you are reading this I will assume that you will or have already celebrated the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ on the First Sunday of Easter. This Sunday will be followed by others as the celebration continues. In fact, each Sunday is a renewed celebration of the Resurrection of Christ from the dead. Christ is Risen! Alleluia! This central truth defines who we Christians are: people who believe that Jesus is the Christ/Messiah and the Conqueror of death. Because He lives, we shall live also. 

The Apostle Paul put it this way two thousand years ago in his first letter to the Corinthians.  Speaking for us all, he wrote, "If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins."
But that appears not to be the belief of all so-called Christians. In this weekend's news comes word from Canada about Taking Christ out of Christianity.  No need for Him any longer. He is unimportant. Here, in part, is what is reported from Toronto's West Hill United Church of Canada, one church in Canada's largest Protestant denomination.  

"Generally speaking, no divine anybody makes an appearance in West Hill's Sunday service liturgy. . . There is no authoritative Big-Godism, as Rev. Gretta Vosper, West Hill's minister for the past 10 years, puts it. No petitionary prayers ('Dear God, step into the world and do good things about global warming and the poor'). No miracles-performing Jesus given birth by a virgin and coming back to life. No references to salvation, Christianity's teaching of the final victory over death through belief in Jesus' death as an atonement for sin and the omnipotent love of God. For that matter, no omnipotent God, or god. 

"In her book With or Without God: Why the Way We Live is More Important than What We Believe...She argues that the Christian Church, in the form in which it exists today, has outlived its viability, and either it sheds its no longer credible myths, doctrines and dogmas, or it's toast."

Makes me wonder who will be toast, her and her kind or the rest of us who still believe that "Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he that he was raised on the third day."
But then who is surprised? Not me. Jesus warned that as the time of his return draws nearer and nearer it will be more and more difficult for believers to resist the onslaught of false teachings and false gods. 

As for Ms. Vosper, I suggest that she had better enjoy the moments she still has on this earth. Paul advises her to "eat and drink, for tomorrow we die." And that death will not merely be the kind of death that separates the body from an eternal soul. No indeed. It will be the separation of both body and soul in an eternity of sorrow from the God who created us all. 

Meanwhile you and I will cling to this truth: Christ is risen! Alleluia! And because he lives we shall never die. 

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So what do you think? I would love to see a few words from you.