All posts tagged: United Church of Canada

United Church on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia Canada converted into a museum. Credit: Harvey Barrrison/Flickr/Creative Commons

In the name of ‘diversity,’ an atheist allowed to pastor a church in Canada

It is a bizarre world when an atheist is allowed to pastor a church, but that is exactly what happened recently in Canada. Now to be fair, it took place in the United Church of Canada, a very liberal denomination and holds some flexible opinions on God, Jesus and the Bible. Over the past several years, attendance has been in a free fall in the denominations with church closings happening regularly as congregations are no longer viable. But being a religious organization, one would have thought that there would be a line drawn in the sand somewhere on how liberal its views would get, but apparently not. Rev. Gretta Vosper, 60, pastors West Hill United Church in Toronto. In 2001 she came out publicly as an atheist in a sermon to her congregation. It had an impact as over the next several months people started leaving including 100 who left when Vosper decided to no longer say the Lord’s Prayer during Sunday services. The United Church was aware of Vosper’s announcement, but in the name …

McDougall Memorial United Church, Morley, Alberta

Can an atheist pastor a church?

This is a problem facing the United Church of Canada (UCC). During the 1950s, the UCC was a growing evangelical church. Things started falling apart when one of the church’s lead evangelists, Charles Templeton (1915-2001), walked away from the faith in 1957 embracing Liberalism — rejecting Christ’s Deity and the Bible as the inerrant Word of God. The fall of Templeton shook the United Church to its core. Templeton who also worked with Youth for Christ was a close friend of Billy Graham and they even preached together during evangelistic crusades. Graham believed God intended Templeton to be the evangelist that Billy Graham ended up becoming. Templeton was God’s first choice according to Graham. In fact, Templeton, who had attended a Liberal seminary, tried to convince Graham the Bible was no longer the inspired Word of God. This led to a crisis of faith for Graham, but one he passed and Billy went on to become one of the greatest evangelists the world has ever seen. But the United Church never recovered from Templeton’s fall. …