At its 34th General Assembly held in Fredericton, N.B., from August 14-22, 1992, the United Church was not anxious to affirm the authority of the Bible.

It contains such commands as: “You shall not lie with a man as with a woman” (Leviticus 18:22).But high on the Assembly’s list of issues to be voted upon was the approval for same-sex “marriages.”


It may be useful here to point out that opposition to homosexuality within the UC has not vanished. Many thousands have abandoned the UC for such communities as the Congregationalists (up from 29 centres to over 70), Presbyterians and Old Methodists. Many too. No doubt, have simply ceased to attend. (In 1991 alone, over 20,000 members left.)

Still, some within the UC refuse to give up. Organizations such as the Renewal Fellowship with its Community of Concern and the National Alliance of Covenanting Congregations insist that the UC maintain the traditional teaching of marriage between man and woman, their life-long fidelity to each other, and chastity in singleness. Their members number into the tens of thousands.

Needless to say, such groups deserve support from pro-lifers We agree with them on these matters one hundred per cent. We wish them God speed. May they grow in strength.

Regrettably, the UC resisters continue to lose ground against ministers like Dr. Howard Mills, the church’s “progressive” general secretary; Rev. Bruce McLeod, the influential former moderator, newspaper columnist and present head of the Canadian Council of Churches; and their numerous supporting cast who dominate the Assembly’s deliberations and decisions.


The Fredericton meeting faced some 150 issues in addition to electing a new moderator. (The two-year post was given to a Cree minister, native to Manitoba.)

Homosexuality was in the foreground once more. However, this time it was not the commissioning of homosexuals as ministers that was at issue. That was decided in the affirmative at Victoria in 1988, confirmed in November 1988 and again in 1990, using a newspeak which puts politicians to shame. The ambiguous statements are so effective that some members still think that traditional morality is safe with their church.

Homosexual ministers

It was made clear in 1990, despite written assertions to the contrary, that in the long run there could not even be “freedom of choice” as a matter of principle, allowing opposing congregations to opt out and not  have homosexual ministers. This may work for a time in practice, but the executive was instructed to pursue affirmative action on behalf of homosexuals to eradicate this obstacle in the future.

So, in early 1992, the British Columbia Conference of UC Congregations in that province commissioned the first openly declared “gay” minister, Jim Stevenson, and the Saskatchewan wing committed itself to finding 10 pulpits for “gays” by 1996. (So far, Stevenson has been rejected by two Manitoba congregations.)

Homosexual marriages

The issue of same-sex marriages was also not new. It, too, had been decided in principle at the 1988 assembly. The statement on Membership, Ministry and Human Sexuality  recognized what it called “the commitment present in many relationships other than Christian marriage.”

Acting upon this, British Columbia, Manitoba and Northwest Ontario Conferences passed petitions earlier in 1992 in favour of solemnizing alliances between gay or lesbian couples. Without further ado they proceeded to do so, taking the outcome of later deliberations for granted . Even individual congregations within Conferences opposed to same-sex “marriages” have gone ahead, as did for example, Bloor Street United Church even after the Toronto Conference voted down the proposal 209 to 180.

As expected, the Fredericton delegates approved same-sex marriages. After first rejecting petitions that the traditional teaching about Christian marriage be maintained, they decided by a vote of 290-77 to leave the blessing of “gay marriages” under the control of individual congregations. Delegates presented this as a “compromise,” though a compromise between what positions, they didn’t say. Certainly, Leviticus 18:22 is now dead and buried.

As with “gay” ministers, UC Conferences will theoretically be able to choose whether or not to be cooperate with homosexual “marriages,” but this can’t last long. Choice will disappear either because of pressure from head office or from legal action via the local Human Rights Office where the charge of discrimination will be vindicated.

No surprise

What is the moral of the story? The United Church developments are not surprising. Christian marital-moral teaching is a seamless garment- as is its doctrine. By deliberately unraveling one thread and then another, the United Church no longer has a wearable garment.

The UC illustrates the pattern of accommodation all too well. In the forties and fifties, it accepted and helped legitimize contraception, thus separating the two joined purposes of marriage, the unitive and the procreative. To have children or not became a matter of individual “choice” only.

In the sixties, the UC accepted abortion as a back up contraceptive for women who wanted it. This legitimized the killing f babies in the mother’s womb, thus preparing the way for “mercy” killing of the unwanted old, sick and handicapped later on.

In the seventies and eighties, UC support for contraception hardened and, as a consequence, so did support for homosexuality, now seen as a legitimate alternate “life-style” to marriages where children are not wanted. “Choice” legitimizes everything and replaces right or wrong.


The next stage is inevitable. The corruption of reversing values must be made mandatory. What was wrong in the past is now good and virtuous and must be seen and accepted by all. Today the UC declares the practice of contraception to be a Christian duty and the non-acceptance of homosexual activity a vice. Its own past opposition is explained away as the product of ignorance, small-mindedness and intolerance.

What is baffling is the attitude of those who work with the United Church on ecumenical projects. While the disemboweled theology of this now disunited community continues to grab headlines across the country and thus undermines the moral resistance if Canadians year after year, they maintain a perfect silence and continue to cooperate with the leader of this corruption as if there were not a storm cloud in the sky.