At my singing lesson last night, my teacher, who is agnostic, mentioned that he had been singing in a mutual acquaintance's choir at a United Church the Sunday before. The choir, which had once been very large and very impressive, consisted of six people, singing for a congregation of twenty eight. "I think they're just holding the land and waiting right now," he said.
"The United Church is bleeding out people," I said.
"They've been losing people pretty much since they united," he said.
"It's what happens," I said. "When you stand for nothing."
"Exactly," he said. "It's about marketing." (I don't really agree with that, but let it pass for the moment.) "They try and advertise that they're lenient, but what good is that? 'Come join us and we'll let you do whatever you want!'? Why would anyone do that when they can do whatever they want anyway, and sleep in Sunday morning?"
The United Church, among other things, can't agree on the minimum amount of faith to come up wtih a creed. They are also one of the ones critics want us to be more like them: more lenient, more democratic. In matters of theology, people may demand democracy, they may want democracy, and they may like democracy, but they do not respect democracy.