Creed of...

The United Church of Canada

Click to View
Bill Phipps

Head of United church denies Resurrection of Christ!
Interview with Bill Phipps, current moderator of the United church of Canada in October 1997, shows him to be an infidel and enemy of Christ! Click here to read interview for yourself!
1965 premarital sex approved
1988 Practicing gays approved for ordination
1997 Church head denies Christ's resurrection.
1997 Leaders unanimously approve Phipps after both these articles were published in the newspapers.
Time for a new church: Click here to find assemblies of Christians who believe in Jesus' resurrection.
2003 church petitions Ottawa to change the definition of marriage to include homosexuals.

The Manual

26th Revised Edition 1987


Ever since 1925 "The Manual" has been an important and indispensable tool for members and organized bodies of the United Church of Canada.

The Basis of Union

As prepared by the joint committee of The Presbyterian Church in Canada, The Methodist Church, and the Congregational Churches of Canada, and approved by the Supreme Courts of these Churches, as amended by the United Church of Canada


1.1 The name of the Church formed by the union of the Presbyterian, Methodist, and Congregational Churches in Canada, shall be "The United Church of Canada."

1.2 It shall be the policy of the United Church to foster the spirit of unity in the hope that this sentiment of unity may in due time, so far as Canada is concerned, take shape in a Church which may fittingly be described as national.


2.0 We, the representatives of the Presbyterian, Methodist, and Congregational branches of the Church of Christ in Canada, do hereby set forth the substance of the Christian faith, as commonly held among us. In doing so, we build upon the foundation laid by the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone. We affirm our belief in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the primary source and ultimate standard of Christian faith and life. We acknowledge the teaching of the great creeds of the ancient Church. We further maintain our allegiance to the evangelical doctrines of the Reformation, as set forth in common in the doctrinal standards adopted by the Presbyterian Church in Canada, by the Congregational Union of Ontario and Quebec, and by the Methodist Church. We present the accompanying statement as a brief summary of our common faith and commend it to the studious attention of the members and adherents of the negotiating Churches, as in substance agreeable to the teaching of the Holy Scriptures.

2.1 Article I. Of God.

We believe in the one only living and true God, a Spirit, infinite, eternal and unchangeable, in His being and perfections; the Lord Almighty, who is love, most just in all His ways, most glorious in holiness, unsearchable in wisdom, plenteous in mercy, full of compassion, and abundant in goodness and truth. We worship Him in the unity of the Godhead and the mystery of the Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, three persons of the same substance, equal in power and glory.

2.2 Article II. Of Revelation.

We believe that God has revealed Himself in nature, in history, and in the heart of man; that He has been graciously pleased to make clearer revelation of Himself to men of God who spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit; and that in the fullness of time He has perfectly revealed Himself in Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, who is the brightness of the Father's glory and the express image of His person. We receive the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, given by inspiration of God, as containing the only infallible rule of faith and life, a faithful record of God's gracious revelations, and as the sure witness of Christ.

2.3 Article III. Of the Divine Purpose.

We believe that the eternal, wise, holy and loving purpose of God so embraces all events that, while the freedom of man is not taken away, nor is God the author of sin, yet in His providence He makes all things work together in the fulfilment of His sovereign design and the manifestation of His glory.

2.4 Article IV. Of Creation and Providence.

We believe that God is the creator, upholder and governor of all things; that He is above all His works and in them all; and that He made man in His own image, meet for fellowship with Him, free and able to choose between good and evil and responsible to his Maker and Lord.

2.5 Article V. Of the Sin of Man.

We believe that our first parents, being tempted, chose evil, and so fell away from God and came under the power of sin, the penalty of which is eternal death; and that, by reason of this disobedience, all men are born with a sinful nature, that we have broken God's law and that no man can be saved but by His grace.

2.6 Article VI. Of the Grace of God.

We believe that God, out of His great love for the world, has given His only begotten Son to be the Saviour of sinners, and in the Gospel freely offers His all-sufficient salvation to all men. We believe also that God, in His own good pleasure, gave to his son a people, an innumerable multitude, chosen in Christ unto holiness, service and salvation.

2.7 Article VII. Of the Lord Jesus Christ.

We believe in and confess the Lord Jesus Christ, the only Mediator between God and man, who, being the Eternal Son of God, for us men and for our salvation became truly man, being conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, yet without sin. Unto us He has revealed the Father, by His word and Spirit, making known the perfect will of God. For our redemption, He fulfilled all righteousness, offered Himself a perfect sacrifice on the Cross, satisfied Divine justice and made propitiation for the sins of the whole world. He rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven, where He ever intercedes for us. In the hearts of believers He abides forever as the indwelling Christ; above us and over us all He rules; wherefore, unto Him we render love, obedience and adoration as our Prophet, Priest and King.

2.8 Article VIII. Of the Holy Spirit.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who moves upon the hearts of men to restrain them from evil and to incite them unto good, and whom the Father is ever willing to give unto all who ask Him. We believe that He has spoken by holy men of God in making known His truth to men for their salvation; that, through our exalted Saviour, He was sent forth in power to convict the world of sin, to enlighten men's minds in the knowledge of Christ, and to persuade and enable them to obey the call of the Gospel; and that He abides with the Church, dwelling in every believer as the spirit of truth, of power, of holiness, of comfort and of love.

2.9 Article IX. Of Regeneration.

We believe in the necessity of regeneration, whereby we are made new creatures in Christ Jesus by the Spirit of God, who imparts spiritual life by the gracious and mysterious operation of His power, using as the ordinary means the truths of His word and the ordinances of divine appointment in ways agreeable to the nature of man.

2.10 Article X. Of Faith and Repentance.

We believe that faith in Christ is a saving grace whereby we receive Him, trust in Him and rest upon Him alone for salvation as He is offered to us in the Gospel, and that this saving faith is always accompanied by repentance, wherein we confess and forsake our sins with full purpose of and endeavor after a new obedience to God.

2.11 Article XI. Of Justification and Sonship.

We believe that God, on the sole ground of the perfect obedience and sacrifice of Christ, pardons those who by faith receive Him as their Saviour and Lord, accepts them as righteous and bestows upon them the adoption of sons, with a right to all privileges therein implied, including a conscious assurance of their sonship.

2.12 Article XII. Of Sanctification.

We believe that those who are regenerated and justified grow in the likeness of Christ through fellowship with Him, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and obedience to the truth; that a holy life is the fruit and evidence of saving faith; and that the believer's hope of continuance in such a life is in the preserving grace of God. And we believe that in this growth in grace Christians may attain that maturity and full assurance of faith whereby the love of God is made perfect in us.

2.13 Article XIII. Of Prayer.

We believe that we are encouraged to draw near to God, our Heavenly Father, in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and on our own behalf and that of others to pour out our hearts humbly yet freely before Him, as becomes His beloved children, giving Him the honour and praise due His holy name, asking Him to glorify Himself on earth as in Heaven, confessing unto Him our sins and seeking of Him every gift needful for this life and for our everlasting salvation. We believe also that, inasmuch as all true prayer is prompted by His Spirit, He will in response thereto grant us every blessing according to His unsearchable wisdom and the riches of His grace in Jesus Christ.

2.14 Article XIV. Of the Law of God.

We believe that the moral law of God, summarized in the Ten Commandments, testified to by the prophets and unfolded in the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, stands for ever in truth and equity, and is not made void by faith, but on the contrary is established thereby. We believe that God requires of every man to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God; and that only through this harmony with the will of God shall be fulfilled that brotherhood of man wherein the Kingdom of God is to be made manifest.

2.15 Article XV. Of the Church.

We acknowledge one holy Catholic Church, the innumerable company of saints of every age and nation, who being united by the Holy Spirit to Christ their Head are one body in Him and have communion with their Lord and with one another. Further, we receive it as the will of Christ, that His Church on earth should exist as a visible and sacred brotherhood, consisting of those who profess faith in Jesus Christ and obedience to Him, together with their children, and other baptized children, and organized for the confession of His name, for the public worship of God, for the administration of the sacraments, for the upbuilding of the saints, and for the universal propagation of the Gospel; and we acknowledge as a part, more or less pure, of this universal brotherhood, every particular Church throughout the world which professes this faith in Jesus Christ and obedience to Him as divine Lord and Saviour.

2.16 Article XVI. Of the Sacraments.

We acknowledge two sacraments, Baptism and the Lord's Supper, which were instituted by Christ, to be of perpetual obligation as signs and seals of the covenant ratified in His precious blood, as a means of grace, by which, working in us, He doth not only quicken, but also strengthen and comfort our faith in Him, and as ordinances through the observance of which His Church is to confess her Lord and be visibly distinguished from the rest of the world.

2.16.1 baptism

Baptism with water into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit is the sacrament by which are signified and sealed our union to Christ and participation in the blessings of the new covenant. The proper subjects of baptism are believers and infants presented by their parents or guardians in the Christian faith. In the latter case the parents or guardians should train up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord and should expect that their children will, by the operation of the Holy Spirit, receive the benefits which the sacrament is designed and fitted to convey. The Church is under the most solemn obligation to provide for their Christian instruction.

2.16.2 Lord's supper

The Lord's Supper is the sacrament of communion with Christ and with His people, in which bread and wine are given and received in thankful remembrance of Him and His sacrifice on the Cross; and they who in faith receive the same do, after a spiritual manner, partake of the body and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ to their comfort, nourishment and growth in grace. All may be admitted to the Lord's supper who make a credible profession of their faith in the Lord Jesus and of obedience to His law.

2.17 Article XVII. Of the Ministry.

We believe that Jesus Christ, as the Supreme Head of the Church, has appointed therein an Ordained Ministry of Word, Sacrament and Pastoral Care and a Diaconal Ministry of Education, Service and Pastoral Care and calls men and women to these ministries; that the Church, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, recognizes and chooses those whom He calls, and should thereupon duly ordain or commission them to the work of the ministry.

2.18 Article XVIII. Of Church Order and Fellowship.

We believe that the Supreme and only Head of the Church is the Lord Jesus Christ; that its worship, teaching, discipline and government should be administered according to His will by persons chosen for their fitness and fully set apart to their office; and that although the visible Church may contain unworthy members and is liable to err, yet believers ought not lightly to separate themselves from its communion, but are to live in fellowship with their brethren, which fellowship is to be extended, as God gives opportunity, to all who in every place call upon the name of the Lord Jesus.

2.19 Article XIX. Of the Resurrection, the Last Judgment and the Future Life.

We believe that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and of the unjust, through the power of the Son of God, who shall come to judge the living and the dead; that the finally impenitent shall go away into eternal punishment and the righteous into life eternal.

2.20 Article XX. Of Christian Service And The Final Triumph.

We believe that it is our duty as disciples and servants of Christ, to further the extension of His Kingdom, to do good unto all men, to maintain the public and private worship of God, to hallow the Lord's Day, to preserve the inviolability of marriage and the sanctity of the family, to uphold the just authority of the State, and so to live in all honesty, purity and charity, that our lives shall testify of Christ. We joyfully receive the word of Christ, bidding His people go into all the world and make disciples of all nations, declaring unto them that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself, and that He will have all men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth. We confidently believe that by His power and grace all His enemies shall finally be overcome, and the kingdoms of this world be made the Kingdom of our God and of His Christ.


Click Your Choice


Click to View
Bill Phipps

Head of church denies Resurrection of Christ!
Interview with Bill Phipps, current moderator of the United church of Canada in October 1997, shows him to be an infidel and enemy of Christ! Click here to read interview for yourself!
1965 premarital sex approved
1988 Practicing gays approved for ordination
1997 Church head denies Christ's resurrection.
1997 Leaders unanimously approve Phipps after both these articles were published in the newspapers.
Time for a new church: Click here to find assemblies of Christians who believe in Jesus' resurrection.

2003 church petitions Ottawa to change the definition of marriage to include homosexuals.


Jesus' divinity doubted

Church leader holds controversial views

By BOB HARVEY Southam Newspapers "The Ottawa Citizen" October 30, 1997

The divinity of Jesus and the reality of heaven and hell are irrelevant, says the new moderator of the United Church of Canada.

What really matters, says Right Rev. Bill Phipps, is mending a broken world.

In a free-wheeling debate with the editorial board of the Ottawa Citizen, Phipps said Jesus was more interested in life on Earth than the afterlife and had more to say about economics than any other subject. "I don't believe Jesus was God, but I'm no theologian," Phipps said.

His lapel button, Phipps reading "Zero Poverty," reflects the views he developed in the mid 1960s as a student observing riots and civil-rights marches in New York and Chicago. "Biblically, it's an abomination that there are any poor people in Canada at all."

As a minister in Toronto, and most recently in Calgary, he has been quick to demonstrate against everything from nuclear arms to what he sees as the cultural genocide of Canada's aboriginal people.

Phipps, 55, was elected head of Canada's largest Protestant denomination in August. He believes what appealed most to the 400 delegates was his platform: putting the Unite Church's views front and centre in public policy debates.

His views on poverty are strong an definite. "Your soul is lost unless you care about people starving in the streets."

Canada's major churches can no longer be called mainline churches, Phipps said, because they now have relatively little influence.

But he believes Canadians are increasingly conscious of a moral void kind the church can contribute much to debates about world trade, employment, and the diminishing emphasis on health care and social services.

His views on the afterlife tend more to the agnostic. "I have no idea if there is a hell," he said. "I don't think Jesus was that concerned about hell. He was concerned about life here on earth."

Is heaven a place? I have no idea. I believe that there is a continuity of the spirit in some way, but I would be a fool to say what that is."

We've got enough problems trying to live ethically and well here to have any knowledge or understanding of what happens after we die."

Phipps said Jesus is central to his beliefs and motivates his compassion for others, but he doesn't accept the Bible as a valid historical record.

Nor does he accept the traditional Christian concept of Jesus as the Son of God.

"I don't believe Jesus is the only way to God," he said. "I don't believe He rose from the dead as a scientific fact. I don't know whether those things happened. It's an irrelevant question."

However, Phipps said he does believe in Jesus. "The bald statement that Jesus is not divine gives the wrong impression. I believe that Christ reveals to us as much of the nature of God as we can see in a human being," he said."

The whole concept of the nature of God is broader and wider and more mysterious and more holy than could be expressed in Jesus."

That doesn't mean that Jesus is the totality of God."

Phipps said the defining mark of evangelical Christianity—a personal relationship with Jesus—does not ensure ethical conduct. South Africa's regime of apartheid was unbiblical and obscene, but "it was put in place with all the Christian rhetoric by Christian individuals who loved Jesus."

It is not enough to go to church, pray and live an upright personal life. "Some of the great giants of Canadian commerce were upstanding, moral people in church. But they paid low wages and opposed unions. Or they had no compunction about making armaments for Third World countries and getting them deeply in debt," he said.

Phipps also acknowledged that the United Church of Canada continues to lose members, and cited its 1988 decision to ordain homosexuals as a reason why many people have left.

Click to View
Bill Phipps

Head of church denies Resurrection of Christ!
Interview with Bill Phipps, current moderator of the United church of Canada in October 1997, shows him to be an infidel and enemy of Christ! Click here to read interview for yourself!
1965 premarital sex approved
1988 Practicing gays approved for ordination
1997 Church head denies Christ's resurrection.
1997 Leaders unanimously approve Phipps after both these articles were published in the newspapers.
Time for a new church: Click here to find assemblies of Christians who believe in Jesus' resurrection.

Article #2: Hamilton Spectator, Nov 27, 1997, Page A2

A church leader's view of Jesus, life

The national executive of the United Church of Canada has supported its moderator, Rev. Bill Phipps, whose comments have upset many church members. What exactly did he say? Here are excerpts from a transcript of his controversial comments.

Rev. Phipps (in introductory or. Phipps (in introductory marks to a meeting with the editorial board of the Ottawa Citizen): People are yearning for a strong moral voice again in public policy I think people sense that we've lost our moral centre, that society has lost its moral centre.

The United Church, over its 72 year history, has been one of the fairly strong moral voices, or strong social conscience, for Canada, and it has contributed a great deal over the years to the development of the Canada we once knew ...

But over the past 15 years, a lot of that, for a whole variety of reasons, has really diminished. We, along with a lot of the other churches, have gone from being mainline in terms of part of the moral centre to sideline. No one really cares or no one is really aware of what the church says.

Q: How do we recover the moral centre? Political activism, that sort of thing?

Phipps: My evidence for where I think it's gone are things like language. I have now been transformed from a student to a consumer of education, a consumer of health care, a consumer of social services. Our language over the past 10 or 15 years has almost been single-mindedly changed into a market-economy language.

I think the only value of, the primary value that we seem to have adopted in the past 10 or 15 years, is the market. Let the market decide. The market, the bottom line, profit and loss, winners and losers, have been the language of not only economic debate but all the other debates that go on.

If you express concerns about poverty and start using language that expresses compassion and solidarity with victims of social policy and so on, you're more accused now of being either wishy-washy or a bleeding heart or you don't understand the realities of the world, you don't understand that we are in a global death struggle with global competition and so on ...

So it's not just political activism, it's where the conversations take place that have to do with the development of social policy ...

Jesus talks about economics more than he talks about anything else. But what happens in experience is that moral questions get reduced to: I don't beat my kids, I get along with the public, the PTA, I don't have sex out of marriage and blah-blah-blah ... Some of the giants of Canadian commerce were Methodists who were absolutely moral, upstanding people in their churches but paid low wages to their workers and adamantly opposed unions.

Q: You haven't mentioned Jesus. Now, the Promise Keepers said that the critical thing is not whether you beat your dog or have extramarital sex; the critical thing, the foundation of everything, the centre of how you work is your relationship with Jesus, and it seems to me that a person who had a proper relationship with Jesus, who had opened his heart to believe in Jesus, would not engage in actions that harmed other people near or far.

Phipps: The experience has been otherwise ... One of the worst regimes outside of the Nazi regime of this century has been the apartheid regime in South Africa which was justified on biblical grounds by high-minded Christians ... it was put in place with all the Christian rhetoric by Christian individuals who love Jesus.

Q: Nevertheless, should the United Church parishioners not have a true relationship with Jesus?

Phipps: I think that goes on in every one of our 4,000 congregations every Sunday I know it goes on where I'm the preacher and where I lead prayer ... In fact I think, in many respects, another thing that's happened as we've kind of withdrawn a bit from the public world, the United Church has recovered a great deal of its Biblical study and spirituality and its personal understanding of the faith, personal relationships with God and so on...

So I think the United Church and other churches as well are doing a much better job than we ever did of that personal thing, and what I'm saying is we've never forgotten the focus, but we've got to be far more active and alive and let people know what we think about certain issues.

Q: Unless you believe in Jesus, you will not be saved. Do you believe that?

Phipps: That Jesus is the only way to God?

Q: Yes.

Phipps: No, I do not believe that.

Q: Do you believe that Jesus rose from the dead?

Phipps: I believe Jesus lives in people's hearts and did from the moment of that Easter experience.

Q: But did he die, spend three days dead and rise from the dead and walk the Earth?

Phipps: No, I don't believe that in terms of the scientific fact. I don't know whether those things happened or not. Actually, I'm far more open to strange things happening and all that kind of thing than I used to be. I think it's an irrelevant question.

Q: So if Christ be not risen, our faith is in vain.

Phipps: No. No, no. Christ risen in people's hearts is extremely important. Something extraordinary happened that hadn't happened before in biblical records of resurrection to those people after they experienced Jesus alive. Obviously something absolutely stupendous happened to turn a bunch of cowards into people who are willing to lay down their own life. But-I wasn't there. But I'm the recipient to people who had a passion that Jesus was alive and well and not only in my heart but cruising around the world, trying to mend a broken world ...

Q: But the gospel is reported as literally being fact.

Phipps: Well, the gospels were written by people with a theological axe to grind and an agenda and fine, that's what they are. But they weren't historical records of anything.

Q: Do you believe that Jesus is divine, that he was the son of God?

Phipps: We could have a whole discussion about that.

Q: Well, I would think the head of a Christian church would have a clearly defined position on the issue. You have a clearly defined position on this world, but I'm asking about theology What interests me about theology ... an after life is more important to me than a soup kitchen.

Phipps: It wasn't to Jesus and it wasn't to people of the Bible ... Your soul is directly tied (to) whether you care about people who are starving in the streets. Your soul is lost unless you care about that In a country as wealthy as Canada ... there is absolutely no excuse, speaking as a Christian, for there to be any soup kitchens, anybody living in the streets of Calgary any shelters for the homeless ...

Q: "The poor you will always have with you." That seems ...

Phipps: No, unless you read the rest of that passage in Deuteronomy People just like to lift it out and say there it is, Jesus said it. Read the whole Deuteronomy passage. If you have a Bible, we'll read it. Soul has to do with those very practical social justice issues. It always has in scripture and it certainly did with Jesus. That's why I said Jesus talked a lot more about economics than he did about anything else.

Q: In this argument, morality has become quite situational and is subject to fashion, and I'm wondering how you respond to that.

Phipps: Well, I think that's absolutely true, but those are two different things. "Subject to fashion" I think is absolutely right. What is the morality of the day? But you'd have to be more specific about that. Morality and ethics always has to relate to the situation in which you're in. I'm one of those people who's very wary about people who write down a bunch of rules and say that is going to pertain forever and ever. You look at some of morality and there's no way we'd follow those examples now. The main example is slavery and women. Those were just accepted parts of the social structure. It was not immoral to treat women as property Well, it certainly is immoral to do that now.

Q: Then what is the moral centre? If it's situational, then certainly there's no centre.

Phipps: The centre is in biblical terms, our concepts or words or experiences as compassion, justice, peace. The Jewish term "shalom" encompasses a whole lot of things. Peace with justice. There is no peace where, there is no justice. It's how you apply that in a given situation ... That's what God is concerned about. How we treat each other. What our relationships are like. Are they relationships of loving justice or, too often, you know, we cover up lack of love with elaborate social paraphernalia...

I believe that Christ reveals to us as much of the nature of God as we can see in a human being. Now that has some presuppositions to it, the major one of which is that life and death and God, the Divine and the Holy and all that, is a tremendous mystery of which anyone sees only a very small part. There is all kinds of stuff to discover that we don't know about. But as far as we are able to understand, Christ is that person who reveals to us the most about the nature of God, what God wants of us, who God is, of any human being.

Q: So was Christ God?

Phipps: No, I don't believe Christ was God.

Q; He's not part of the Trinity He's not the son of God.

Phipps: I think that's ... I'm no theologian.

Q: You're head of a Christian church, you have to be.

Phipps: No, I don't have to. I'm no theologian, but the beauty of the Trinity to me is that it recognizes various dimensions to the Christian understanding of God. If Jesus was God, there'd be no need for God in the Trinity.

Q: I guess what I'm trying to get at is, is there any truth that the United Church, or Bill Phipps, agrees with? Is there any truth that we can say: "You believe in this. This is what the United Church says, this is what the moderator says, whatever..."

Phipps: The fundamental truth to me in the biblical story is that God loves us and the world unconditionally, and part of that unconditional love is, for Christians, it was that unconditional love was poured into the person of Jesus. The whole biblical story is one of God's unconditional love. Taking people who betrayed God, who said no to God, who were unjust and converting them and turning them around. Moses would be one example. That's a huge truth as far as I'm concerned, because a lot of people want to have a conditional love of God. Part of the whole implication, to me, of the truth of God's unconditional love for the world is the freedom to try and bring justice and fail. The ethical outgrowth of God's unconditional love is just relationships in the Earth among human communities. If God loves me and everybody unconditionally, it means I can try to act justly, I can be vigorous in my engagement with the world, and fail. And God will love me. That's a pretty strong statement.

Q: Is there a heaven?

Phipps: Is there a heaven, a place? I have no idea. I believe there is.

Q: Do we all join with God in the afterlife regardless of our conduct? Does anyone get shut out? Some people get the gate in the face?

Phipps: I have no idea. But I just want to say something about unconditional love, seeing God as a loving parent. Anyone who has children knows what it is to love your child unconditionally and have heartache about your child. But we know - that's what unconditional love is. The story of the prodigal son is one of the great stories about that and there are other stories and many religious traditions.

Q: What's the worst thing that could happen to me when I die?

Phipps: The worst thing that could happen to you is that your worst fears of Dante's Inferno are actually true, that's the worst thing that could happen to you.

Q: So there actually is a hell? And it's very bad?

Phipps: I have no idea. And I don't think Jesus was that concerned about hell. I think we're concerned about life here. And the Jewish tradition wasn't that concerned about hell either. They were concerned about just relationships here. I've got enough problems, and I think most of us have enough problems, trying to live an ethical life knowing all of the ways we compromise ourselves and all of the frailties that we've got. We've got enough problems trying to live ethically and well here to have any knowledge or understanding or worry about what happens after I die. I believe there is a continuation of the spirit in some form or another, but I'd be a fool to say I know what that is or what it's going to be like.

End articles.

Postscript: Leaders unanimously approve Phipps after both these articles were published in the newspapers.

Time for a new church: Click here to find assemblies of Christians who believe in Jesus' resurrection.

Click to View

Head of church denies Resurrection of Christ!
Interview with Bill Phipp, current moderator of the United church of Canada in October 1997, shows him to be an infidel and enemy of Christ!
1965 premarital sex approved
1988 Practicing gays approved for ordination
1997 Church head denies Christ's resurrection.
Time for a new church: Click here to find assemblies of Christians who believe in Jesus' resurrection.


United Church Urges Ottawa to Recognize Same-Sex Partnerships

This article was written by officials at The United Church of Canada on Tuesday, April 1, 2003.

Toronto: In a presentation on February 13, 2003, The United Church of Canada suggested to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights that the committee should recommend to Parliament that the federal government adopt a legislative framework that provides the same civil recognition for heterosexual and homosexual couples.

In its submission to the committee, the United Church outlined its longstanding commitment to equality rights for gays and lesbians within the church and Canadian society.

  1. In 1984, The United Church of Canada affirmed our acceptance of all human beings as persons made in the image of God, regardless of their sexual orientation. In 1988, the church affirmed that all persons who profess faith in Jesus Christ, regardless of their sexual orientation, are eligible to be considered for ordered ministry. In 1992, the General Council directed that liturgical and pastoral resources for same-sex covenants be made available to congregations.
  2. In 1997, the 37th General Council passed a resolution requesting that United Church regional Conferences urge all teachers' unions and associations to provide in-service education on gay, lesbian, and bisexual issues in order to promote tolerance. To this end the United Church has recently published Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Youth Issues in Canada: Action Resources for United Church Congregations.
  3. In 1999, the United Church appeared before the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights in support of Bill C-23, the Modernization of Benefits and Obligations, as a tangible expression of the United Church's commitment to the equality of heterosexual and same-sex relationships.
  4. In 2000, the 37th General Council of the United Church affirmed that human sexual orientations, whether heterosexual or homosexual, are a gift from God and part of the marvelous diversity of creation. Each year, the United Church, which is Canada's largest Protestant denomination, blesses over 15,000 marriages in Canada. In 2000, the General Council resolved to work toward civil recognition of same-sex partnerships.

Historically, The United Church of Canada has also made various statements regarding marriage. Prior to 1980, marriage was named as a union between a woman and a man. Subsequently, it was reported at the 30th General Council in 1984 that the life and ministry of Jesus demonstrated what it means to be a full human being made in the image of God. The essential mark is the total self-giving love to the other. There is no genuine humanity apart from relationship and community, but there is more than one way to symbolize and express this reality that is pleasing to God and in keeping with God's intention for humanity.

In 1988, the General Council affirmed that all "life-long relationships" (note the omission of the term "marriage") need to be faithful, responsible, just, loving, health giving, healing, and sustaining of community and self. The implication is that these standards apply to both heterosexual and homosexual couples as the United Church has come to recognize that gay and lesbian members want to make the same life-long commitments that heterosexual members make, and to make their solemn vows with communities of faith who will support them in their commitments. Consequently, recent United Church resources for marriage preparation, Passion and Freedom (coming in summer 2003), and services, Celebrate God's Presence (2000), make no distinctions between heterosexuals and homosexuals.

As a Protestant denomination, the United Church is part of the Christian tradition that does not regard marriage a sacrament. Procreation is not a defining aspect of marriage in the United Church. Nor does the church condemn people who decide divorce is the only option for a marriage that is fraught by unhappiness. Divorced people receive the communion of the church and may remarry someone else.

Nevertheless, the United Church places an extremely high value on the seriousness of vows taken before God and in the presence of witnesses. The church urges congregations to help couples to prepare for a life together and offers counselling and enrichment courses.

The most recent policy decision by the General Council affirming the relationships of same-sex couples was in 2000. At this General Council meeting, the church adopted the policy to affirm and work toward the civil recognition of same-sex partnerships. As a result, some United Church congregations are beginning to record the services of same-sex couples in their marriage registers and forwarding these registrations to provincial governments for licensing.

In its submission, the United Church argues that many of the alleged benchmarks for confining marriage to opposite-sex couples do not bar same-sex couples.

Procreation can no longer be cited as a defining dynamic of marriage in Western society. Ironically, in Canada, we do have heterosexuals who marry with no intention, and in some cases, no ability of having children, and yet we have same-sex couples with children who cannot get married.

Others may argue that including same-sex couples undermines society's understanding of family. It is the experience of the United Church that non-traditional family forms may equally advance these family values.

Still others argue that including same-sex couples within a definition of marriage impinges on their religious freedom and understanding of marriage as an opposite-sex institution only, potentially forcing some clergy to compromise their faith and marry a same-sex couple. This is not true. The separation of Church and State in Canada means clergy are not required to marry couples when it would be contrary to the faith community's religious beliefs. One example is the refusal of the Roman Catholic Church to marry someone who is divorced.

For further information, please contact:

Program Officer
Human Rights & Reconciliation Initiatives
Justice, Global & Ecumenical Relations Unit
The United Church of Canada
3250 Bloor St. West, Suite 300
Toronto, Ontario M8X 2Y4

Phone: 416-231-5931
Voice Mail: 416-231-7680




Click Your Choice