Click to read Ephesians 6:10-18
| Print |

We recommend "Landscape" print layout.


Jesus Christ Cannot Be Mocked


By Carman Bradley


A liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel. - Robert Frost

Authentic Christian witness in Canada has been tragically trampled under the popular cultural rushes of religious pluralism, inter-faith dialogue, liberal ecumenism, spiritual syncretism, and religious liberalism.  Even more heart-breaking is the realization that most of the push for these unorthodoxies is self-generated within the professed Christian Body.  It is a sad testimony to the condition of Canadian Christendom that believers need to be reminded of who they believe in, what Christ said regarding people who profess His lordship and what He said about the condition and destiny of non-believers.  God will not be mocked.  Those who profess to be Christians; those who have been redeemed and regenerated in Christ, cannot in good faith be neutral or indifferent to the status of the unsaved and to the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20).  Jesus Christ is neither a sectarian guru nor a non-sectarian sage.  He has never been broadminded about the fate of non-believers or the celebration of other faith "traditions."  And there is nothing "ceremonial" about the Holy Spirit.  Spiritual unction is not graciously showered  upon the believer through ritual, but through demonstration of a contrite obedient heart, turned towards Jesus Christ and accepting of His will.  Jesus Christ brought victory over the emptiness of religious ritual.  Let's not suggest that somehow sharing faith traditions will garner His blessings.  In His parable of the Shepherd and His Flock, Christ testifies to His divinity, His purpose, the status of those who recognize His “voice,” and the unfortunate fate of those who follow false “shepherds”:

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.  But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.  To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.   And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.  And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.  This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.  Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.  All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.  I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.  The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.  I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.  But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.  The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.  I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.  As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.  And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.  Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.  No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father (John 10:1-18). [My underline]

In the parable of The Vine and the Branches Christ details the intricacies of Christian conversion and the beneficial outcome assured on the Day of Judgment:

I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.  Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.  Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.  Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.  I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.  If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.  If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.  Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.  As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.  If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.  These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full (John 15:1-11).  [My underline]

In his first letter the Apostle John detailed the crucial relationships between God the Father, Jesus Christ His Son, “love” and our faith:

Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.  And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.  And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.  Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.  There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.  We love him, because he first loved us.  If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?  And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.  By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.  For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.  For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.  Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?  This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.  For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.  And there are three that bear witness in earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.  If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.  He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.  And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.  He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.  These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God (1 John 4:13-5:13).  [My underline]

In striking contrast to the guidance given in the few excerpts above are the following quotes, which are examples of the popular (but unchristian!) opinion that places higher value on religious pluralism, non-sectarianism and spiritual syncretism, than on carrying-out Jesus Christ’s commands:  

No Religion is an island
There is no monopoly on holiness.
No Religion is an island,
We share the kinship of humanity,
The capacity for compassion.
The hand of God is extended to all who seek Him,
He is near to all that call upon him in truth.
God’s Spirit rests upon all, no matter what their beliefs,
Man, or woman in consonance with their deeds.
The creation of one Adam promotes peace,
No one can claim:
My ancestry is more noble than yours.
There is no monopoly on holiness;
There is no truth without humility.
Let us help one another overcome hardness of heart,
Opening minds to the challenges of faith.
Have we not all one God? Are we not all His children?
Let us not be guided by ignorance or disdain.
Let lives of holiness illuminate our paths.
Together let us strive for Tikkun Olam , the mending of our world.
Together let us strive for peace and understanding for all peoples.

-       Alan M. Schwartze, Chairman, Canadian Council of Christians and Jews

I had just finished performing my Jum’a namaz (Friday prayers) on the shores of the Mediterranean sea and as I looked around me, I was filled with peace and the wonder of being here a long way from my native Pakistan and my adopted home, Canada.   I was in Barcelona to attend the 4th Parliament of World Religions with two friends and partners in interfaith - Reverend Dr. Karen Hamilton, a practicing Christian [United Church of Canada], and Barbara Siddiqui, born in Midland as a Christian and now a practicing Muslim.

It was an unusual situation in many ways.  Two white women wearing shalwar qameez were praying with me and a host of diverse Muslims, in a VIP tent set up by the Sikh community of Birmingham, England. We were joined by local media keen to see how-Muslims-pray (thank God men and women prayed together!).  However they were thoroughly confused when a turbaned Sikh and some non Muslims came and joined the prayer. This was interfaith at it’s best . Karen reminded me of the book both of us have just read and discussed:  "The Dignity of Difference", by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks in which he describes the differences of the world - differences of religion, ethnicity, language and belief as part of God's particular and intentional plan.  “The differences of our world reflect and mirror the truth that we are made in the image of the God who is infinitely various and who delights in variety” says Karen.  The ad-hoc Imam said in his sermon “Humanity is one Community” and certainly at this point in time, anyone would agree.

The 2004 Parliament of World Religions was organized in partnership with the Universal Forum of Cultures  Barcelona 2004 (which runs from May to September) and in association with the UNESCO Centre of Catalonia.  8000 Religious and spiritual practitioners from all over the world converged to Barcelona to greet and meet each other in peace. 400 carefully selected seminars, workshops, performances and films were offered in the PWR program.  They addressed three core themes: Sustainable development, Cultural diversity and Conditions for peace through spiritual practice, religious identity, and intra- and inter-religious dialogue. The Forum was supported by the presence of people like The Archbishop of Barcelona, Dr. Abdullah Omar Nasseef (President of the Muslim World Congress), Ela Gandhi (granddaughter of Mahatama Gandhi), Rabbi Henry J. Sobel (Chief Rabbi of Brazil) and many more.[ii] [My underline] 

-       Raheel Raza, Canadian Council of Muslim Women, Report on the 4th Parliament of World Religions

To the extent that the Buddha, Moses, Elijah, Isaiah, Krishna, Mohammed, Confucius, Julian of Norwich, Catherine of Genoa, Hildegrad of Bingen, Rosa Parks, Florence Nightengale, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Buber, Thich Nhat Hanhn, Dag Hammarskjöld, or any other holy person brings life, love, and being to another, then to that degree that person is to me the word of God incarnate. No fence can be placed around the Being of God. The suggestion that Jesus is of a different kind of substance and therefore different from every other human being in kind instead of in degree will ultimately have to be abandoned. Then the realization will surely begin to dawn that to perceive Jesus as different from others only in degree is to open all people to divine potential found in the Christ-figure. It is to invite all people to step into power of living fully, loving wastefully, and having the courage to be all that any one of us can be – a self-whole, free, real, and expanding, a participant in a humanity without boundaries.[iii]

-       Episcopalian Bishop, Rev. Dr. John Shelby Spong

Our society is multicultural, our world is multifaith; our church community has varying theological perspectives within it.  Some make exclusive claims to absolute truth and find in these claims authorization to do harm…While believing that our faith is grounded in truth, our truth need not deny the truths of others.[iv]     

-       FAITH TALK II: A DRAFT STATEMENT OF FAITH FOR DISCUSSION AND RESPONSE, Committee on Theology and Faith, The United Church of Canada                

Wake up brothers and sisters in Christ!  The revelation found in Apostle Paul’s second letter to Timothy warns us:

I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.  But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry (1 Timothy 4: 1-5).

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is not a so-called "Western faith tradition!"  Jesus Christ cannot be treated as some malleable deity, fashioned by human interest, the reflection of self-serving human projection.  Jesus Christ cannot be reduced to a mere saintly human to be re-imaged as desired to keep pace with so-called “increasing human consciousness.”  The uniqueness of Jesus Christ cannot be compromised for the non-sectarian goals of the CCCJ, for initiatives like the Parliament of World Religions, or for the politics of World Federalism and the World Conference of Religions for Peace.  Jesus Christ cannot be “demoted” to the equivalent of an Old Testament prophet or a gifted sage like Mahatma Gandhi for the sake of political goals like religious harmony and equality.  Moreover, the domain of Jesus Christ (God’s Kingdom) cannot be partitioned along religious, political or cultural lines, i.e. exclusive of Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, communists, atheists or leftists, for example.  Professed Christians, who entertain the notion of alternate routes to salvation (alternate paths to God) or teach that there are human beings who are exempt from Christ’s judgment, are spiritually blind and make Christ out to be a liar.  They make a mockery of Christianity.  Bearers of such theology are deceived.  They do not have the Spirit in them:

And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.  Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God (1 John 4:14).  

There is a huge difference between promoting religious tolerance for public safety and civility and proselytizing spiritual indifference.   Standing up with confidence, humbly and respectfully to give voice to one’s values and spiritual beliefs while also showing consideration for your neighbour’s right to differ in opinion displays wholesome tolerance.  On the other hand, leaning over the fence and agreeing with your neighbour that his Bahá’í faith (for example) is equal to Christianity, makes Jesus Christ out to be a liar and the Gospel to be a hoax.  When so-called “practicing Christians,” like the Reverend Dr. Karen Hamilton and her denomination - The United Church of Canada, place value in the notion of religious equality – “believing that our faith is grounded in truth, our truth need not deny the truths of others,” they are displaying hugely unloving indifference.   They profess a sameness among religions that contradicts the core of Christ’s revelation.  From what source do these religious liberals (professed believers!) draw confidence in the safe eternal destiny of the non-believer?  By their passive witness religious liberals are culpable in the damnation of their non-believing neighbours (Matthew 28:18-20, John 15:18-27).

Drawing from the wisdom of Robert Frost quoted at the beginning of this article; one must ask the religious liberal what logic is there in holding a belief about the Creator of the Universe, if you don’t hold it to be “universally” true?  Is this not like declaring to a friend, “I believe Christ died on the Cross to save my soul, but I am not sure if He did the same for you, maybe your soul will get saved some other way; to tell the truth, I guess salvation is determined by what you think”?  And what would the religious liberal say if his friend replied, “I am a secular humanist”?  Furthermore, if one does hold something to be true, what integrity is there when the person doesn’t have enough confidence or motivation to defend his belief under criticism or religious comparison?  This “anything goes” mind-set makes a mockery of monotheistic faith.   What does adherence to religious liberalism or liberal ecumenism say about that person’s respect for scripture and reverence for Christ? 

Moreover, when religious liberals assert as absolute truth that there are many truths, are they not committing intellectual suicide?  Is it not irrational, if not deceitful, to assert that there are many religious truths; that United Church theology need not deny the truths of others; and yet explicitly deny the Gospel truth that Jesus Christ says He is the only way to avoid God’s wrath on the Day of Judgment.  Again, from what source do these religious liberals (professed believers!) draw confidence in the safe eternal destiny of the non-believer?  Not the Apostle John, who recorded:

Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me (John 14: 5-6).     

Charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom (I Timothy 4:1)

Any believer, who does not to care about his non-believing neighbour’s destiny - eternal separation from God, needs to examine the authenticity of his “Christian” beliefs and ponder the whereabouts of the Holy Spirit.  With so many truths to believe in, how do religious liberals find certainty in their own spiritual status before God?  Their already evident answer serves to further prove their spiritual blindness – they profess the notion that all in the end will be saved; a monumental heresy from the Christian Worldview.  

Canadian society is religiously diverse.  However, treating this diversity of religions with zero discrimination, as if Gnosticism, Wicca and Christianity are equal belief systems is not an idea inspired by the Holy Spirit.  Professed believers who publicly subvert the Christian Worldview in an attempt to avoid the label bigot, to avoid being seen as discriminating or biased against competing faiths are lukewarm Christians (Revelation 3:15-16) at best, deceivers at worst.  Removal of the Christian underpinnings to Canadian governance over the recent decades has been a secular, humanist, non-sectarian triumph, which has succeeded primarily because of the liberal-mindedness of many and the apathy of others within the overwhelming Christian majority - at least 76 percent of Canadians. 

In sum, inter-faith endeavours that promote the idea of equivalency among religions do harm to the Christian witness and are acts of rebellion before God.  Religious toleration in a civilized society can have merit.  On the other hand, spiritual indifference is never right.  The moment that Christians think it is no longer necessary to pray for their neighbour’s salvation in Christ, because the neighbour’s Bahá’í faith will save him, we put Christ back on the Cross; we act as if His suffering by crucifixion was in vain; we imply that the gift of His resurrection (and thus our salvation)  never happened or isn’t needed by all human beings.  Demonstrations of religious liberalism with the non-sectarian notion of harmonizing acceptance of pluralistic beliefs or creating some syncretism of world spirituality is fundamentally flawed thinking and a tremendous grievance to the Holy Spirit, no matter how sincere or well-meaning the offenders.    

Christians must stand for the authentic Gospel and stop fellowshipping with deceivers and non-believers (II Corinthians 6: 14-16).  Here “fellowship” posits spiritual likeness, unity and equality in Christ and is defined as a special relationship between Christians who are regenerated members of the family of God and who are united in cooperation to do the work of the Lord.  Christians are called to respectfully witness the Gospel of Jesus Christ to non-believers – Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jews, atheists, all mankind, and we want to lovingly associate with these men and women to accomplish this; but believers are only to fellowship among God’s elect (Ephesians 4: 4-6).   Believers desiring to dignify other world religions by attempting to fellowship with and celebrate the spiritually of adherents to Islam or Buddha (for example) have a severe trade-off dilemma.  They can only dignify the faiths of their Muslim and Buddhist friends by disparaging the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Christians need to respect the right and freedom of all to profess the religion of their choice; and here “respect” means “show consideration for,” not “revere,” not “deem equal.”

Al Islam, official website for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, respectfully explains the absolute incompatibility of the Christian Worldview with that of the Muslim Worldview.  It is a sad reality when Muslims profess to a better understanding of the boundaries of Christian faith than Canada’s senior very right reverend clergy do.  Under the title, “The Belief in the Prophets,” the Al Islam text reads:

Apart from Islam, none of the divine books of religions bear testimony to the truth of the founders of other religions. The absence of any recognition of the truth of prophets other than their own has insulated religions from one another, each one claiming to monopolise truth, each viewing the prophets of other religions as impostors. Although in everyday life we do not find this expressed in such strong terms, the hard reality remains, that if the followers of any religion take their beliefs seriously, they have to consider all other religions to be false, even at their sources. It is impossible to conceive a Christian, a true believer in Christianity as he understands it today, who would testify to the truth of Buddha, Krishna and Zoroaster. Particularly, the Christian stance against the Holy Prophet (sa) of Islam is exactly the one mentioned above; they have to denounce him as an impostor, otherwise the only alternative for them is to become Muslims. The orientalists discussing this subject have always maintained this position very clearly, many among them having gone to the extent of showing undisguised hostility towards the founder of Islam on the premise that he had to be false. The same applies to other religions alike.

Although in everyday life we do not come across such glaring examples of discourtesy and insult, but whether one keeps one's views to oneself or expresses them openly, the barrier still remains. It is evident from this that the followers of all religions have compartmentalised themselves against all others, and the barrier between truth and falsehood, right or wrong does succeed in preventing the religious harmony so much needed by man today.

Of course, there are very civilised and educated Christians in the world, who out of courtesy would not offend the sensibilities of Muslims by denouncing the Holy Prophet (sa) of Islam as an impostor. However the Christians, in accordance with their beliefs, have no option but to reject the truth of the founder of Islam.[v] [My underline]

The Holy Bible clearly establishes the difference between the Son of God and a holy prophet.  The Apostle John recorded this truth in the following lengthy extract:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  The same was in the beginning with God.   All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.  In him was life; and the life was the light of men.   And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.  The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.  He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.  That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.  He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.  He came unto his own, and his own received him not.  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:  Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.   And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.  And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.  For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.  No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him (John 1:1-18).

The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.  This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me.  And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.   And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.  And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.  And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God (John 1:30-34).

There was a division therefore again among the Jews for these sayings.  And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him?  Others said, These are not the words of him that hath a devil. Can a devil open the eyes of the blind? (John 10:19-21)

And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter.  And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch.  Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.  Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me.  But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:   And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.  My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.  I and my Father are one.  Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.  Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?  The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.  Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?  If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;  Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?  If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.  But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.  Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand, and went away again beyond Jordan into the place where John at first baptized; and there he abode.  And many resorted unto him, and said, John did no miracle: but all things that John spake of this man were true.  And many believed on him there (John 10:22-42).

If they could have their way, how would key leadership and membership in the following organizations attempt re-image Jesus Christ for the sake of global harmony and manmade peace?


Canadian Council of Churches (CCC):

President: The Rev. Dr. James Christie, United Church

Vice-President: The Very Rev. Dr. Marion Pardy, United Church

General Secretary: The Rev. Dr. Karen Hamilton , United Church


World Federalist Movement:

President: The Very Rev. Dr. Lois M. Wilson, United Church

Council Chair: The Rev. Dr. James Christie, United Church

Council Member: The Rev. Dr. Karen Hamilton, United Church


Interfaith Committee on Canadian Military Chaplaincy:

UCC Member: The Very Reverend Dr. David Giuliano, United Church

CCC Member: The Rev. Dr. Karen Hamilton, United Church


World Council of Religions for Peace:

Co-President: The Rev. Dr. Karen Hamilton, United Church


Canadian Council of Christians and Jews:

Board of Governors: The Rev. Dr. Karen Hamilton, United Church


Parliament of World Religions:

Attendee: The Rev. Dr. Karen Hamilton, United Church


We can draw considerable insight on where these “leaders” would take Canadian Christendom (if their prayers were fulfilled) from recent United Church declarations, and indeed, from their own words. 

In the 1992, Moderator, The Very Reverend Marion Pardy, summarized the UCC position on inerrancy of Bible in a report titled “The Authority and Interpretation of Scripture.”  She said:

Members are to engage the Bible to experience the liberating and transforming word of God…with an awareness of our theological, social and cultural assumptions…with a sense of sacred mystery and in dynamic interaction with human experience, understanding and heritage…trusting God’s Spirit to enliven our understanding and to empower our acting.”[vi]

In 1997, Moderator, The Right Rev. Dr. Bill Phipps, denied Christ’s divinity, saying: “No I don’t believe Christ was God.”[vii]

In January 2003, Rev. Dr. Karen Hamilton, General Secretary of the Canadian Council of Churches, was the guest speaker at the 41st Annual Meeting of Oxford Presbyterial United Church Women, held at Dundas Street United Church, Woodstock Ontario.  The theme for the day was "Interfaith Dialogue."  With over 150 members attending, Rev. Dr. Hamilton spoke on "The Children of Abraham, Sarah and Hagar".  The Newsletter of Oxford Presbytery of the United Church of Canada records:

The "Interfaith Dialogue" topic gave Karen the chance to speak about Christianity, Judaism and Islam as they most directly connect to the biblical text. Christians share the Old Testament with the Jews but it is reordered. Muslims do not share our text but share our stories. Jesus is highly revered as an important prophet. The Mother of Jesus is very important as a model and holy figure.  All three believe that God has commanded that we help the poor.  In these complex times we must learn to work together as a church and learn about and understand each other.  We must listen and hear what each other is saying. She said that God works through flawed and fragile human beings ...."God is at work, God is in charge." Abraham, Sarah and Hagar are flawed and fragile humans as seen in Genesis chapters 12 and 21. Their story is portrayed in the books, "The Red Tent", and "Abraham".  Abraham is the Father of all three faith communities- Jews, Christians and Moslems.  God's message to us is," Do Not Be Afraid".

Karen spoke about some remarkable women that she knows and has worked closely with in her ministry, one Jewish and two Muslim. She has learned that the foundation of our worship comes from Judaism and we know little about our biblical roots. There is a great importance placed on ritual in all three faiths. The uniqueness of the three faiths must be upheld. The different groups must celebrate together to build better relationships. Karen's parting thought was..."Don't just talk about it! Do it!"[viii] [My underline]

In August 2003, Rev. Dr. Allen Churchill (not a religious liberal) wrote:

Our own United Church is in a state of free fall…76% of our theological professors think it is not important to affirm Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord.[ix]

In April 2004, Rev. Dr. Donald Faris (not a religious liberal) wrote:

With the approval of gay, lesbian, and bisexual marriage - the foolhardy blessing of behavior that God condemns - the paganization of the United Church is almost complete.[x]

And in July 2004, Rev. Dr. Karen Hamilton attended the 4th Parliament of World Religions in Barcelona Spain.  Raheel Raza, a “friend and partner in inter-faith” who also attended the Parliament quoted Rev. Dr. Hamilton as saying:

It was humbling, it was challenging, it was inspiring. All of the words of the songs, in whichever of God's languages they were heard, all of the rhythms - the beat of the Japanese drums, the whirl of the Sufi dancers, the clapping of the Gospel choir, the call for peace in Hebrew and Arabic by Sheva, a Jewish-Muslim band, the chant of the Buddhist monks - proclaimed the truth - Hallelujah, God is Great! The call to all of us is to continue, with every breath we take, every word we speak, every hand we touch to proclaim the depth of that truth.” [xi]

Raheel Raza further describes the experience:

As the Sufis started chanting Allah Hu, there was a hush, and then a few people joined in and I trembled as I heard more than half the audience chanting Allah Hu with the Sufis The moment was sublime the message eternal and beyond barriers of faith, culture or nationality. We were people of faith bound by our belief in God. The concert ended with 10 children of 10 traditions holding up peace lights.[xii]

Finally, in 2005 the United Church Committee on Theology and Faith released a draft statement of faith for discussion and response titled, FAITH TALK II.  The document asserts: that Jesus Christ is not the only way, truth and life; the Bible is not really authoritative; the Trinity is deconstructed into a pluralism of new-age lexicon including “Bond of Love;” the Talk denies the Day of Judgment, denies original sin, asserts that all shall be saved - “Divine creation does not cease until all things have found wholeness, union, and integration with the common ground of all being;” and denies the Law (Christian moral code) – “Scripture is not too hard to live out, nor far off, nor in heaven, that we should say, who will go up for us to heaven, and bring it to us that we may hear it and do it.”[xiii] 

Faith Talk II states: 

The Spirit fills creation in diverse ways and makes the Divine knowable, not only to us but also to others.  We understand faith as an experience common to humanity, as a shared response to God’s self-giving; and we know that our own and other’s expressions of faith are often distorted by insecurity, intolerance and hatred. How others perceive God is often foreign to our perception.   The breadth of Spirit calls us away from isolation to consider the Spirit’s freedom of movement beyond our experience and, however our expressions of faith may differ, to act toward all with the same love by which God acts toward us.

And on their website under "Overview of Beliefs," the denomination declares:

The United Church of Canada views the religious practice of all people of goodwill with respect and gratitude. We believe the Spirit of God is at work in many different faith communities.

For Christians, Jesus is the way we know God. Our understanding is nonetheless limited by human imagination. God is greater still and works in our world by a mysterious Spirit that knows no distinction at the doorway of a Christian chapel; Buddhist, Hindu, or Sikh temple; Aboriginal sweat lodge, Muslim mosque, or Jewish synagogue.

We work together with other Christian churches whenever possible, and among people of other religions in Canada and throughout the world on matters of justice, peace, and human dignity.

Today, difference is everywhere around us and, we believe, a great cause for celebration.[xiv]


Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap! (Galatians 6:7)


The Gospel of Jesus Christ is not  a human projection "limted by human imagination."  The Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ and God the Father are "One."  There is no mysterious breadth of Spirit.  Only those who place little value in God's Word as recorded in the Bible would imagine such a thing.  Only those who do not recognize and acknowledge the divine revelation in the Son of God and person of Jesus Christ would imagine such a thing.  Only those bereft of the counsel of the Holy Spirt would imagine such a demoted re-imagined Christ.  There will be no breach of the ineffectual status quo witness within Canadian Christendom; there will likely be no national revival, until authentic believers have separated from the deceivers and ended all fellowship with apostasy.  There will likely be no national revival until many authentic believers have repented of their longstanding indifference to the witness of these deceivers.  ..."Don't just talk about it! Do it!"


Copyright © 2008 StandForGod.Org

[i] Opening poem in Report From the Chairman, Alan M. Schwartze, Canadian Council of Christians and Jews,  Annual Report 2004,, 11/05/08.

[ii] CCMW Report on the 4th Parliament of World Religions, July 2004, Barcelona, Spain, The Wisdom of Listening, the Power of Commitment, Barcelona, July 7--13, 2004, By Raheel Raza,, 09/05/08.

[iii] John Shelby Spong, A New Christianity for a New World (San Francisco: Harher, 2001), p.147.

[iv] FAITH TALK II: A DRAFT STATEMENT OF FAITH FOR DISCUSSION AND RESPONSE, Committee on Theology and Faith, The United Church of Canada, January 2005.

[v] Al Islam, official website for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community,“The Belief in the Prophets,”, 08/09/08.

[vi] Marion Pardy, “Moderator Calls for ‘Holy Manners’ in the Same-Sex Marriage Debate,” August 2003,, 4/20/2001.

[vii] Head of church denies Resurrection of Christ! Hamilton Spectator, Nov 27, 1997, p.A2,, 4/16/2001.

[viii] Oxford Presbyterial UCW ANNUAL MEETING, 2003, Newsletter of Oxford Presbytery of the United Church of Canada, February 12, 2003, Volume 22, Issue 2,, 08/09/08.

[ix] Allen Churchill, “At The Crossroads,” CONCERN, Vol.XIV No. 3, 10 August 2003, p.6.  Adapted from his Presidential Address at the 12th Annual Meeting of COC.

[x] Don Faris, speech titled “THE PAGANIZATION OF THE UNITED CHURCH,” before the Community of Concern AGM, April 29, 2004.

[xi] CCMW Report on the 4th Parliament of World Religions, July 2004, Barcelona, Spain, The Wisdom of Listening, the Power of Commitment, Barcelona, July 7--13, 2004, By Raheel Raza,, 09/05/08.

[xii] Ibid.

[xiii] Committee on Theology and Faith, The United Church of Canada, FAITH TALK II: A DRAFT STATEMENT OF FAITH FOR DISCUSSION AND RESPONSE, January 2005.

    [xiv], 08/27/08.