I have been skimming through the work of Donna Schaper–the UCC/Baptist pastor in New York City who has admitted publicly to an abortion and that she considers what she did to be murder.
Here’s Donna Schaper preaching at a Good Friday Service. This was a joint service between some of her flock and members of a local synagogue.
Rev Schaper says: Christians see the message of Jesus in his life, not his death. We know Jesus as a preacher of love and tolerance.
It’s good to see a liberal who speaks her mind so openly. Many liberals cloak their real beliefs in traditional language, and would preach on Good Friday something about the cross, all the time believing, like Ms Schaper, that the cross is an irrelevance, and what really matters is Jesus’ teachings on love and tolerance. So much for the atonement then, and so much for the apostle Paul then who said, “We preach Christ and him crucified.”
I don’t mean to pick out Donna Schaper as a scapegoat, but she does make a pretty good example of the liberal ‘Christian’. A couple of questions follow: just how widespread is Ms Schaper’s form of Christianity? I expect it is pretty much par for the course now among the mainstream Protestant congregations, but I have a suspicion that an awful lot of Evangelicals also hold to the same view. I’m thinking now about the groovy, mega church, coffee bar in the foyer, purpose driven kind of Evangelicals. Isn’t the old, old story of an atonement, repentance and acceptance of Christ’s sacrificial death pretty much forgotten among them in favor of a mixture of upbeat worship, feel good workshops, self help, positive thinking and prosperity gospel? Remember I’m new to 21st century American Christianity, and am willing to take your insights. Am I right in this suspicion? If so, isn’t the main trend in American Evangelicalism just a short hop from the fully fledged liberalism of Ms Schaper and her sort?
Or am I wrong and there are still many Evangelical individuals and groups who stick to the old story of the atoning work of Christ on the cross?
By the way, I’m not picking a fight with Evos. I’m just asking. I also realize that, unfortunately, we’ve got our share of Catholic priests, bishops, nuns and monks who probably are totally on side with Ms Schaper and her ilk.