Church of Christ television ad

Reader Daniel Crandell mentioned that Touchstone Blog has commentary about the new television ad trumpeting the United Church of Christ as an all-inclusive Church. The ad was rejected by the alphabets (NBS, CBS, ABC) and major papers picked up the story arguing that the rejection is due to a covert rejection by other churches of homosexuals. Touchstone links to Christianity Today which argues that the ad has more to do with racism than homosexuality (I agree). The most cogent comment comes from Touchstone however:

[In] Michael Paulson’s report for the [Boston] Globe, one striking detail is that UCC officials did not expect that the commercial could be taken as criticizing any other church: The Rev. Nancy S.] Taylor [president of the UCC’s Massachusetts Conference] said the ad is not intended to criticize other denominations. She said she showed the ad to members of the Massachusetts Council of Churches, an umbrella organization of Protestant and Orthodox churches, where it drew no criticism.
That detail may say more about the goo-goo atmosphere in councils of churches, even at the state level, than it does about the ad’s content.

Christianity Today did mention:

It’s worth noting that the UCC may not be turning people away, but its members are fleeing in droves. The denomination has lost 23 percent of its membership in the past 15 years, reports the Associated Press. This is not a denomination that needs crowd control.

Why are the Orthodox even involved in such nonsense?

View the ad here.

Comments

  1. Michael Bauman says:

    The Orthodox Church is involved in such nonsense because the priests and lay people allow it. We frequently do not think beyond the border of our own Holy Temple and congregation. We are, for the most part, theologically unsophisticated and unaware of the significant differences that exist between Orthodoxy and other communions. On top of that, IMO, we still suffer greatly from the immigrant mind-set, i.e., you have to go along to get along, don’t make waves. Until the Orthodox people as a whole realize, accept, and stand on our unique identity and the importance of our identity, the nonsense will continue.

    My own priest, a good, educated, aware, man is quite non-confrontational when it comes to pointing out the differeces that exist between the Orthodox and the non-Orthodox. It drives me crazy. We should be neither arrogant nor needlessly offensive, but we have to speak the truth and call all to that truth or we are simply not doing our job. Quite a few Protestants certainly have no qualms about offending us with accusations of idol worship or as the recent post on this blog, “necrophilic obsession with old bones” and looking down on us with such statements as “Ah yes, the original church, now in repose.”

    I accepted the cattle proding of the Holy Spirit to enter the Orthodox Church because of what she has historically stood for, and lived as did many other converts over the last 10 to 15 years. Unfortunately, many of our bishops have not yet awakened.

    Met Joseph of the Bulgarian Archdiocese recently said about the aborted attempt at jurisdictional unity at Ligoner, PA 10 years ago, that for any progress to be made all of the old bishops would have to die. Met. Joseph is one of the kindest, gentlest men I have ever met and he has the savor of holiness about him. For him to say such a thing is a roaring indictment.

  2. Dean Scourtes says:

    The UCC ad was NOT nonsense, but a contained an extremely important message. No one has a right to hold back someone who Christ is calling. Driving another person away from the Church, and Christ’s urgent message of love, hope and salvation, based on some superficial physical attribute must be one of the most greivous and serious offenses againt God imaginable. Think of how much Christ means to you and think of how you would feel if you were never were able to hear about Our Savior because someone didn’t like your looks, or your ethnic background, or the company you kept.

    Not a single one of us is without sin, remember that. As long a person has a sincere interest in developing a relationship with God, and abiding by the teachings of the church, it is our duty is to facilitate and not interfere with that process.

  3. Michael Bauman says:

    I have only hear the vocal tract of the ad not seen it and I don’t really care what the UC puts out to try to attract people as long as it is not defamatory or blasphemous. What is nonsense is ecumenism that requires the consistent disavowal of the doctrine of the Church. The Orthodox Church simply has no reason to be involved on a policy level with any ecumenical group-local, state, national or international. We can work on certain humanitarian projects together, but the doctrinal part has to go. We can certainly have bilateral talks where another communion is honestly receptive to moving in the direction of the historic faith, but nothing more.

    And just to be clear, I am not talking about the level of praxis. I am talking on the level of doctrine. From a doctrinal stand point, the teachings of the Orthodox Church most fully, completely, and truthfully express the Incarnational reality and salvific purpose of our Lord, God, and Savior, Jesus Christ. That should not be compromised. IMO ecumenism has compromised our witness.

  4. When a church resorts to soundbite morality after losing a quarter of its membership in 15 years, it’s in trouble.

  5. I wonder if the UCC can be still considered Christian since their members are no longer required to accept basic Christian teachings (i.e. Creeds) as factual statements but only as testimonies of faith that have no more impact than as one “guide” for their member’s own spiritual journey?

  6. Missourian says:

    Note @

    The “Church of Christ” ad was a smear against denominations that do not agree with the position of the “Church of Christ” on sodomy.

    The ad, which I have seen several times in full, shows rough-looking bouncers blocking the access not only of a male gay couple, but an Hispanic person, a black person and a disabled person. The clear message is that denominations which differ with the “Church of Christ” on the issue of homosexuality are full of mindless bigots.

    There is simply no proof that traditional denominations discriminate against ethnic minorities or people who are disabled. The clear assertion that traditional denominations is pure slander.

    I watched an interview with a representative of the “Church of Christ” and she kept a dismissive smirk on her face as she flatly denied that the ad contained a clear visual assertions that traditional and orthodox churchs are full of bigots.

  7. Daniel Crandall says:

    The ad, of course, is nonsense. No church keeps out Latino people or black people or homosexuals. However, with regards to homosexual behavior, no one can expect to not be rebuffed when, upon entering the church, they start demanding that the church’s orthodox teaching be made subservient to their personal sexual proclivities.

    I think this ad is equating orthodox Christianity’s stance toward homosexuality as equivalent to racism. In the eyes of the UCC, Catholics or Eastern Orthodox or Evangelical Protestants who fail to acknowledge same-sex relationships as normative are equivalent to those who embrace Jim Crow segregation.

    With regards to Orthodox involvement with such nonsense; it should be noted that the Massachusetts Council of Churches is a state level organization of the NCC. I no more expect the Orthodox churches in America to end their relationship with the NCC than I would expect the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to do the same. Orthodox hierarchy and the most vocal Orthodox priests in America seems to be dominated by political liberals. That should give you a warm fuzzy, Dean. ;)

  8. I find that UCC commerical very offensive. It doesn’t surprise me that religious prejudice is present, it’s everywhere, those who made the commerical just got caught. I don’t blame the catholics, eastern orthodox, or evangelical protestants for rejecting gay-marriages. The reason that these churches don’t accept gays is not because of hatred, but because they don’t want any part on that. I don’t blame them, I really don’t. Another thing that bothers me, I heard that gays are mad because these churches don’t allow gay weddings, well, they are a fine one to talk, least they don’t want any part of giving aid to gays. Plus, gays are the ones who get the support from lots of people. No offense. Anyways, those who made that commerical of the so called UCC should be condemed! Period!!