The discussion at Coffeehour.org that Matthew Gatheringwater started has grown like kudzu in a hothouse, and moved in many different directions. For the record, I am neither more nor less encouraged by the verve and tone. But then again, I’ve been doing this for more than half of my thirty-something life.
One term popped out, a definition of an undesirable outcome to the work the UUA might do (or, as I suspect, will talk about but substantively avoid by stonewalling neysayers.) A watered-down UCC.
And I keep wondering if “watered down UCC” is such a useful concept. Does that mean that the UCC, of all Christian churches, is the least Christian? The most dependably liberal? Or reputable but not overwhelming New England vintage? I don’t think any of these is true, or particularly desirable. Ironically, it is probably easier to be a full-bore confessing Christian (if loney) in the UUA than in the UCC, where there are more opportunities to have your faith tested. Hardly a bad things. That’s my impression anyway.
But, Christianity has at root a binary quality that doesn’t survive dilution. There are different kinds of Christian — determined largely by era and place — but Christianity isn’t like vanilla extract where more or less can be added to create a desired taste.
Hymns, stained glass, and hot-button terms do not Christianity make. A particular witness, confession, mode of servanthood, and set of relationships with God and human beings distinguish Christianity from other religions (to greater and lesser degrees) and — more from a mixed and muddled response than opposition proper — these are not shared in Unitarian Universalism. In time, you have to make a decision and stake out a path. In a Christian Unitarian or Universalist church I think it is possible to mature, but barely anywhere else in the fellowship.
By being lukewarm — by being dilute — Unitarian Universalism itself is digging its own grave. At this point I’d rather be written out and written off than be left hanging in the middle.