From The Pastor At St. Paul's UCC, Freeburg, IL

UCC And Jeremiah Wright

I really questioned myself as to why I want to post this. It may well serve only to get me in trouble. But “sin boldly” Luther (or Augustine, I don’t remember which) said. So here it is, a quote from Richard John Neuhaus in First Things magazine, a journal to which I subscribe and a writer whose opinion makes me think.

In an opinion piece on the UCC, Neuhaus writes:

“It is not surprising that a church that is more than 90% white and feeling guilty about it would embrace the Rev. Wright and his flock as evidence of its ‘open ideas’ and ‘evangelical courage.’ Denominations that are almost totally white launch from time to time bold programs to increase their minority membership so that it matches the level of blacks and ‘others’ in the general population. Why there is a moral imperative to mirror the general population is not explained. Nor is it explained why black churches should give up millions of members so that liberal Protestants can feel better about themselves by being ‘inclusive.’…A while back, they [the UCC] ran national television ads about their inclusiveness, contrasting themselves with churches where ‘others’ are supposedly not welcome. The ad depicted blacks and gays being tossed out by ejection seats attached to the pews in those bad churches. In the UCC, on the other hand, people have for decades been walking away on their own, or, more commonly, carried out in a final farewell. Apparently the ejection-seat ad didn’t work all that well, so the people in marketing decided on a more positive approach: the prophetic ministry of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.”

First Things, June/July 2008, p. 61

Fair? Unfair? Obnoxious? Prophetic? In fairness I must say that I very much appreciate being in a denomination that values self-critical reflection.


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