Saturday, December 18, 2004

Traditions of men
It is amazing how I post on that sign from the Lutheran church back in October and almost immediately I see that ridiculous commercial currently showing from the United Church of Christ (UCC). Have you seen it? It begins with a glorious facade of a gothic church in the background (are we supposed to believe that is a UCC church?) as two guys dressed like concert stage hands or bouncers are telling certain people outside of the church that they cannot enter. The ones they deny seem to all be non-Caucasian or otherwise handicapped.

Then the screen goes black and in white letters we read: "Jesus didn't turn people away. We don't either." Next, cut to what looks like a large family photo in the sanctuary of a church. The camera pans across the group to catch just how "like" Jesus the UCC is (I suppose that must be the lesson). We see a young Asian and a young Caucasian girl embrace. We see a Black woman, an Hispanic young man, an old man and an old woman, and then, oh so briefly, we see two twenty- or thirty-something women put their arms around one another. Are these supposed to be a gay couple? The narration that is almost timed directly with that image makes some reference to lifestyle and journey. I don't think it is too much of a stretch to believe they are trying to make a comment about gay couples.

Anyway, that is certainly the impression that I and many others have gotten from that commercial. Yes, my dear friends at UCC, Jesus didn't turn people away, but he did turn them away from sin, as he made it clear that turning to him and remaining in sin do not mix. Any church that clearly proclaims moral truth does not do so to "turn people away" from entering its doors, but to turn them more authentically to Jesus.

Get it right, UCC, before the politically correct, misguided traditions of men leave you flat lining in ICU!

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