The United Church of Christ, which is the most liberal of the American mainline denominations, has a history of pushing the limits of Christian orthodoxy (click here for more on that). However, in its latest move, the UCC has stunned even some members of its own denomination.
Last week, at a gathering of the denomination's national leadership, UCC President Dr. Marcy Mills announced to the world that the UCC would be changing its name to the "UCC and S." Mills informed a somewhat shocked audience that the "S" stands for "Satan."
According to Mills, "We are proud of our tradition of tolerance, openness, and willingness to change in the UCC. As we have looked over our history, we see that Satan has gotten a bit of a bad rap. Yes, he does cause problems, but he's not all bad (click). Like everyone else, he needs a second chance. Some people even believe he can be saved (click)."
Henry Weeks, also a member of the UCC leadership committee, told TBNN, "We do not judge. In fact, Jesus Himself told us not to judge (click). We can't know for certain what is in Lucifer's heart. We want to be open to all people, including the devil."
The denominational name change will become official at the annual national conference scheduled for August in San Francisco. Although a minority within the UCC appear to oppose the name change, Dr. Mills is confident that everyone will eventually rally around the name "UCC and S."
Thomas Drake, UCC spokesperson, said Monday, "We deeply desire to reach all people with the good news that if you attend a UCC church, you can find what you are looking for. You can learn that God loves you just the way you are. You can find out how to be a better person. If we as a denomination are willing to open our arms to Satan, then no one will feel rejected by us. Like Jesus, we take a stand against rejecting anyone for any reason."