This belief also manifests itself in the currently popular PCUSA leadership idea in that we are “co-creators” with God. This concept is casually discussed on the PCUSA’s official web site http://www.pcusa.org/news/2013/3/4/whats-next/. The article is titled “What’s next? NEXT Church gathering explores what PC(USA) is becoming,” March 4, 2013.
Following Tate’s sermon, conference participants heard from the Rev. Paul Roberts, president-dean of Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary.
The idea that we are called to create what’s next for the church presumes that we are co-creators with God, Roberts said.
Is there such a thing as passive Christianity? he asked. Is it OK to sit around and wait for gifts from God?
Views like this ignore the more challenging aspects of our faith, Roberts said.
“We are so much more than passive recipients of the goodness of our creator,” he said.
But of what exactly are we co-creators? We must proceed with thoughtful caution, listening and being aware of economics, peace, justice and inclusivity, he said.
“Let’s not listen like we’re chillin’ in a rocking chair,” Roberts said. “Let’s listen like we’re on the edge of the seat.”
The Rev. Roberts contends that it is “we” who “are called to create what’s next for the church,” and that this belief “presumes that we are co-creators with God.” But when the Rev. Roberts explains “exactly” what it means to be “co-creators” it is once again only those concepts that align with twenty-first century elite thought, those being “economics, peace, justice and inclusivity.” The Scriptures and Confessions are absent. One is left wondering to just what these Christians are listening to obtain their information from this “co-creator God.”
Listening to the entire 45 minute talk on the Next Church website did not provide any mitigating information.
Near the talk’s end the Rev. Roberts put up this slide.
Although one definition for the phrase “not unlike” is “possessing no great dissimilarity from, but not necessarily possessing similarity to,” others simply say that it means “like.” Regardless of the intended meaning, this statement implies an understanding of both God and humanity that is utterly at odds with orthodox Christian doctrine.
Presuming yourself to be a co-creator with God implies that God has been brought down to your level or that you are elevated to God’s level, or some of both. I suspect that it’s some of both, since there’s a clear implication that not all humans have achieved this exalted state, thus implying the rising up of an elite group. However, even the wildest imaginings of these individuals can’t possibly presume attainment of the characteristics described in the Westminster Confession of Faith. Thus, for these elite Christians and God to meet as co-creators, God must necessarily descend and they ascend.
So, were a Christian with an orthodox understanding of God to engage with another Christian who believes that equality with God is something that they have grasped; can they possibly be speaking about the same entity? Were the orthodox Christian to “split the difference,” with the other Christian, could God be anything but diminished to a finite existence, at best measurably above humankind?
Can a denominational leadership that trumpets “co-creator” status with God on its official web site maintain an allegiance to God, let alone to His Word? Can individuals, who view themselves as free of Scripture’s actual words, from that cloud of witnesses who have gone before them and the vast majority of Christians who continue to believe other than they, be trusted to “co-create” that which is truly in God’s will?
I am extremely skeptical that any of this can be so. We err dangerously when we quietly assent to teaching unbound to anything other than the assertion of raw human will.
If this appraisal is correct, then there should be no mystery as to why so many people continue to exit the PCUSA. For, if god is simply what the dominant social group asserts it to be on any given day, then why bother with the pretense of “god” at all? Rather, let’s get on with the direct exercise of raw human power undiluted by wasteful pretension. Or, let’s go to a Christian community that still believes in God as an objective reality. Or, perhaps most commonly, what’s the point of Christianity at all?