I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel -- not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the Gospel of Christ. Galatians 1:6-7
The pastor at Toronto, Canada's, West Hill Congregation says she is on the receiving end of an inquisition. Even so, the pastor wants to keep the position, which has been held since 1997.
The pastor is 58-year-old Gretta Vosper, and she was ordained in the United Church.
Recently, in a split decision, a church review panel has recommended that Vosper be removed. The majority position said, "Although the United Church of Canada is a big tent, welcoming a diversity of theological beliefs, Ms. Vosper is so far from centre of what holds us together as a United Church that we have concluded she is not suitable to continue as an ordained minister."
The minority side said, "The church has evolved since its founding and must continue doing so to meet the spiritual needs of Canadians."
Now you may be wondering what is the difficulty. What does Pastor Vosper believe that has caused such controversy? Well, it might be easier to tell you what she doesn't believe. For example, she doesn't believe in
* the Father, Jesus Christ, or the Holy Spirit;
* the primacy of Scripture;
* conducting the Sacraments;
* praying to the Lord.
Pastor Vosper does believe that in helping and caring for each other, people "create this positive power within ourselves and that's God, but that it's entirely dependent upon us. It doesn't come from the supernatural realm; we can't make things better by praying to another realm."
Now here's the thing. I'm not surprised that someone holds such beliefs. We know that false prophets arise in every generation. What shocks me is the committee to evaluate these teachings was not unified in its condemnation of such obviously false doctrine.
All of this leads me to encourage our pastors and parishes to hold fast to the truth of Scripture.
Even more, if you are blessed to have a preacher whose messages clearly point to the Savior and the blood-bought salvation that was won for us through Jesus' life, His suffering, death, and wonderful resurrection from the dead, then give thanks to God.
In public, speak well of the work the Holy Spirit is doing in your church, and occasionally let your pastor know you appreciate his messages, which show to all "the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world" (see John 1:29).
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, send Your Holy Spirit upon the church so that both pastors and people may tell a sinful world that there is salvation through faith in Your Son, who gave His life so we might be forgiven and be granted life eternal. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries