Saturday, 10 September 2016

Update on Canadian atheist "pastor"

A while ago I talked about Gretta Vosper, an atheist pastor in the United Church of Canada.  That post can be found here.  If you are so inclined, here is an update on the denomination's investigation of her and whether or not she should be allowed to retain her ordination in what is (only nominally, in my opinion) a Christian denomination. 

In a nut shell, the majority of the Toronto presbytery that was examining the matter decided that no, in fact, she ought not be able to retain her ordination.  There was a minority in the presbytery who believed that she ought to be allowed to continue to pastor since the United Church's doctrine has still not been fully decided upon.  I would tend to think that issues like whether there is such a person as God ought to have been sorted out by now at least, but perhaps I am being too hasty for these four minority voices.  [This gives a whole new meaning to "process theology."]  Reasons given by the presbytery committee for why Vosper's ordination should not continue:  such things as the fact that she doesn't believe in God or that she doesn't believe the Bible has any sort of authority in the church's life.  Minor things, to be sure, if you're an atheist.  But if you are a Christian Church, these do seem like non-negotiables.  Apparently Vosper considers such things debatable, even for a Christian denomination.  The article states that she plans to continue the debate with the help of her lawyers.