God Is Falling
By John Warrener
At our recent District Mission School the opening worship included an "Affirmation of Faith" from a Celebrate Women worship resource. This new confession of faith began and ended with "We believe in God, Maker, Redeemer and Sustainer of Life." The doctrine of the Trinity, "God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit" had been dropped in favor of a more gender neutral version of God. The rest of the confession celebrated God, Christ and Mary Magdalene as if they were equal. Also, at the 1999 North Texas Annual Conference Communion services before the regular business session of the Annual Conference, God was re-imagined into a goddess and was addressed as "Our Mother, who art within us, many are your names" as a substitute for the Lord's Prayer. Again, God and Jesus Christ were re-imagined into female gendered deities of "our Mother and Daughter, and to the Holy of Holies." Now to some, this seems of little consequence at first glance and hardly worth a protest until you consider the consequences of such literary freedom in our confessions of faith and worship liturgies. This is the reason that the early church fathers declared such confessions a false doctrine, condemned by the early Christian Church. They called it the heresy of Modalism in the case of the first affirmation and the UMC declared re-imagining God into a goddess "inappropriate." (Judicial Decision 714)
First, by addressing God as an occupation or mode of operation, "a maker, redeemer, or sustainer," we deny the personhood of God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit "God, in three persons, blessed Trinity" as the old hymn teaches us. The spiritual danger is akin to when we refer to those who we are to be in personal love relationships with as plumber or accountant instead of my father or my son. Soon all plumbers and accountants are the same and likewise, the personal relationship with Christ is lost among the many redeemers who claim the same occupation. Also, the number of Gods occupations increases to include a great number of names and modes and the triune nature of God becomes a unitary God with many functions. We have then become universalists who believe in a god with many different occupations and many redeemers, while denying the deity and primacy of Christ. We are no longer standing in Christian tradition or the Discipline of the United Methodist Church.
Second, such liberal treatment of Church confessions and worship liturgies lead us to change the words and therefore the doctrines which define Christianity. The above confession and excerpts from North Texas Communion Liturgy become our cases in point. The first "neutering of God" began as God the "Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer," a phrase used by Episcopal leaders to append to or replace "God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit." Jesus made no such appendage when he gave us the Great Commission:
God, the person of our loving Father, has fallen once to the occupation of just creator, and twice to the lesser occupation of a maker. A maker fabricates from what is already created! Does this mean that God has fallen in status again and is no longer creator or Father, or is it just another occupation of God making Him a quintinity or a unity with many occupations as the Unitarians believe? Yet again, the persons of God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have fallen to be re-imaged into a Mother, a Daughter of unknown origin, and the Holy of Holies which is a place and not a person. The person of God continues to fall into a whirling vortex of confused "re-images", persons, and modes of operation leading to great confusion and controversy.
Third, by changing our confessions and worship liturgies which express what we believe, we are changing our doctrines which is what we teach. This creates confusion which allows immorality and the denial of Christ as the one and only Savior to prevail unchallenged by the discipline of orthodoxy (right doctrine). The Bible warns us of this:
It is no coincidence that the neutered and re-imagined formulas for God are the ones being used by the feminists who would deny the deity and need for the atonement of Jesus Christ and promote the immorality of abortion. It is also the confession preferred by those who promote the immorality of homosexuality and same-sex unions. The Bible informs us that this has in fact happened in our denomination.
Finally, by faithful Christians joining in such liberal confessions of faith and re-imagined worships, the "lustful teachers" can justify their immoral doctrines to a confused next generation, our children, because the great doctrines of our church have fallen, along with God, by our joining in these new-age worships and confessions of faith.
Our early Church fathers saw the danger of such and disciplined the Church by affirming its orthodox doctrines and rejected these confessions and worships as heresy. The "wild boar of the forest" is rooting up the garden of our beloved Church again. Will we protect it be putting up the fence of discipline called orthodoxy, the right doctrines of our Church, or will we give our children over to the "lustful teachers" of this sinful and perverse generation with their new unholy confessions, worships and doctrines?
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