It is interesting to see the reflections of ministers within this church as they wrestle with the recent decision of their National Assembly, allowing same sex marriage, and effectively endorsing it to be a church of different beliefs*, and thus no longer a church of The Way! Some are leaving, others choosing to stay, and in the end it is important that each of us discern God’s will. Surely to remain in the UCA there must be because of a clear call to do so, as it is destined to die…and maybe the seed that falls to the ground will birth a new stronger church, but it will die. The evidence of course is its fast decline, faster than any other denomination in Australia.
Since its inception the seeds of compromise have existed, with its formation seeing some significant division, and doctrinal documents encompassing significant compromise to house the concept of treasured by some of a universal church…despite the best will of many. It soon became clear a double minded man existed in this body (see The book of James) and instability progressed, even in early days liberals and some theological colleges pressing for extreme doctrinal changes behind closed doors.
Soon the compromise and instability gave way to a sense of comfort in the ‘diversity’, and leading to a luke warmness not easily found in it predecessors. The warning of Christ to the lukewarm and compromising churches in Revelations (chapters 2 and 3) stands. The same sex marriage issue revealing this double minded and compromise continues in much of the church, with an indifference by the leadership to what God speaks to them through the written word and prophetic word. Those upset given to noises of disquiet but many silenced by the Assembly, or the fear of losing a stipend and position should they make a faith step come out of her. Consider the harm of allowing your congregations of remaining in this part of the house. The body of Christ is the church, not the man and woman made administration of the UCA.
The UCA leadership continuing the code of silence that has led to so much shameful abuse in the past. Cover ups by leaders causing much harm that now parishioners are asked to bare the cost for through the redress scheme.
God’s warning to the UCA is clear, and it’s fruit too, for He still prepares a spotless bride and prunes (and more) the dead wood. For those staying in the UCA do so knowing you are cleaved to that vine, and simply not recognising this decision does not separate you from their corporate sin. May be the Lord is calling a few to remain, like Jeremiah, but this should surely be a clear and unequivocal call. May God’s wisdom be your source as you seek His will, and His boldness cause you to move forward in to His leading.
2 Corinthians 6:14 – 7:1
Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:
“I will dwell in them
And walk among them.
I will be their God,
And they shall be My people.”
“Come out from among them
And be separate, says the Lord.
Do not touch what is unclean,
And I will receive you.”
“I will be a Father to you,
And you shall be My sons and daughters,
Says the Lord Almighty.”
Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
The warning is not just to those in the UCA, but much of the church in this land and other western countries. For the Lord Jesus Christ is the sole head of His church, and is jealous for His bride. The spirit of this world has infiltrated the leadership and people in the church, which is akin to the spirit of Babylon in Book of Revelations, and led by the antichrist. It is time to recognise this and come out of such compromise, for the Lord is making His Bride spotless and will purify her out of love, with a winnowing fan and fire, and the spirit of burning and judgement.
The church is to be one of the priesthood of royal believers, passionate for Christ, walking as He, and the leaders humbling serving in the fear of a God, recognising always that this is the church of our Lord, and it is for His profit and beauty alone…and not to be controlled for their own interests, feeding only the sheep with milk that they may grow fat and weak for their own desires. His people are to be on fire and devoted to God, and not standing with one foot in the world and the other in the kingdom of God. Focussed on pursuing the mission of God, we are to see His kingdom come on earth as minister into every aspect of His creation as led by the Holy Spirit, not being lazy, and leaving that to the pastor and the few who do the work in the church. The time for compromise is coming to an end. Remember Christ and His army will remove the tares from the church and cast them in to the fire. Let us come afresh to our Lord Jesus Christ, consecrate ourselves, for soon He comes, and He purifies His return.
“And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write,
‘These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword: “I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.” ’
The Lukewarm Church
“And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write,
These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ’ ”
* The Assembly has formalised a ‘diversity of religious beliefs and ethical understandings’ (R64), as the new ‘ruling authority’ within the Uniting Church and will therefore become instituted and enshrined into every aspect of the life of the church. Those who will be unjustly judged as unwilling to live and work within this new diversity will (as is already happening), be threatened with discipline and discriminated against in terms of candidature processes for ministry, placements and presbytery support etc.