Rev Dr Gordon Moyes The Superintendent Writes
A weekly column by Rev Dr Gordon Moyes, Superintendent of Wesley Mission.
July 20th, 2003

The conflict at the Assembly in Melbourne, is not just a fight over homosexual church leaders, bad as that may be. It is a symptom of a malaise in our church. Our denomination was the third largest of the Australian churches after the Catholics and Anglicans. Today it is the fifth largest. It has been passed by the Australian Christian Church, and the Baptist Church. The Uniting Church leads in having the highest average age of church members, the largest percentage of widows and the highest percentage of Anglo-born members. The Uniting Church is like a cruise ship that left harbour well, but is sailing in ever decreasing circles without a captain. Members of the crew get together to elect a first mate. Large numbers of the passengers have jumped ship, and the rest, discontented are going along for the ride because they have few options: life outside is worse than living inside.

The Christian church does not have to be popular in society to survive, but it must be faithful to Jesus Christ. Our denomination has fallen for current fads, political correctness, and cultural captivity. Liberal Christianity is indistinguishable from a dozen humanitarian causes. The result is terminal. The social, political and sexual agenda of church officials find little support in the pews. Members of the church all over Australia are discouraged about the direction and future of the church we love. The new President, Gregor Henderson in accepting election, said: "How I'd love to say the Uniting Church has brought thousands of new converts to the faith; that we've turned around our declining numbers; that we're famous for our depth of spirituality and our biblical and theological perspicacity; that we're renowned for our effectiveness in family and youth ministry; and that we've influenced the political powers to change their policies on reconciliation, on refugees and asylum seekers, on our blind acceptance of American leadership in international affairs, and on welfare and health and employment policies." But like others who can diagnose the problems, he admitted failure but he would not attempt to prescribe a cure!

That is the problem. We need leaders who will lead; who will uphold Biblical truth and steer the ship pictured in the UCA logo. We have had too many leaders who want to please everybody and who have a desperate desire to be liked! Homosexual ministers is only part of a large scenario. I love our denomination. I will spend the rest of my life within the Uniting Church in Australia. I have no intention of leaving, but I am not content to leave it as it is! I am working to improve it, to be a true church of Jesus Christ, obedient to His will and word. But that requires a change of direction!