In what was to be the weirdest and absolutely most absurd piece of news to roll out of the Christian church, an atheist minister — isn’t that an oxymoron? — leading a congregation that belongs to an actual Christian denomination, has found out she will get to keep her job.
The church has become so compromised on its beliefs that it’s now allowing a God denier to lead and teach people from a pulpit. One has to wonder how this all got started and what in the world we need to do to reverse course.
The Rev. Gretta Vosper — with the theologically liberal United Church of Canada — said in a Friday interview she’s free to minister at West Hill United Church in Toronto after a confidential settlement with the denomination, the paper reported.Advertisement - story continues below
Vosper, 60 — who was ordained in 1993 and served as West Hill’s minister since 1997 — has been upfront about her atheism and non-belief in the Bible for years, the paper said.
More from an earlier Star piece on the controversy:Trending:
In her sermons each Sunday, Vosper spoke openly about how she did not believe the Bible was “the authoritative word of God for all time” — a conviction she’d held long before her ordination, and one that is not uncommon among United Church of Canada clergy.
Throughout the rest of the service each week, however, Vosper recited traditional prayers and hymns that perpetuated ideas she didn’t believe in: that God was the ruler of the universe and that Jesus, his only son, died for our sins.Advertisement - story continues below
Oh God, in your mercy, hear our prayer …
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory …
Vosper used those words until one Sunday morning in 2001, when she could no longer tolerate the contradiction. Just because her own interpretation of the prayers was metaphorical, she realized, didn’t mean the people in the pews knew that. And so in her sermon that day, Vosper came out to her congregation. She made it clear that she did not believe in the God called God — a supernatural being who intervenes in human affairs. […]
Afterward, she prepared to be fired. But West Hill, a particularly progressive congregation, wanted her to stay. And so began the evolution of a small Scarborough church. Prayer turned into community sharing time. Hymns were rewritten. Talk of God and Jesus was replaced with talk of love, compassion and beauty.
Vosper also penned an open letter to the church’s spiritual leader following the massacre at Charlie Hebdo in Paris, stating that a belief in God can motivate bad things.
This seems like something ripped right out of a headline for the Babylon Bee or The Onion, but unfortunately, it’s actually real. It should go without saying, but any real, legitimate, functioning church, would never in a million years allow an atheist into the pulpit. It just defies logic and common sense, not to mention is blasphemy of the highest order.
The leadership of the denomination allowing this to happen will one day stand before God and give an account for leading all of these pour souls in the congregation astray. It’s not going to be a pleasant experience.