It never mentions that he woke up. He was Love and most especially for the marginalized. And not just rights as in societal but more so for recognition, for respect, for equality. Please know that Progressive Christians, New Thought Christians are also given a lot of disrespect from certain other branches.
My heart goes out to you.
I hope that you will one day find forgiveness toward those who have been so horribly unloving toward you. And I wish the same thing for myself. I want to use those bad vibes to make me better and then I want to wipe that slate clean, to not keep that crap etched in my heart and mind. And I do appreciate those of you who put the effort and risk into speaking up loudly for what you believe and in defense of the marginalized.
But I appreciate those who attempt to shape it into something positive rather than a weapon, as you say. If reading the bible and following religion inspires you to be a better person, more power to you. But I am healing and moving on nonetheless and the anger and pain fades away with each year. That, for me, is enough. Galacticexplorer, I love your last paragraph. I also believe heaven and hell are fiction and I am an inclusive person. I too have been hurt by toxic Christians.
The tea party is a toxic group and they hurt people. Thank you so much for your honest post. I have this conversation with another church member all the time. And after reading your post, I now understand that I still need to continue explaining the theology I believe in. There are people who NEED to know that they are accepted and loved. Thank you for helping me to get over myself and realize having to explain my beliefs is not the worst thing in the world personality checks are always welcome. He loves you; you are His child. Thank you for your lovely comments.
We need all of the open-hearted people like you. I think I would go yet a step further full disclosure: The secular world, more and more, wants to SEE our active opposition to those perversions of the Gospel. In short, we have to put out the fire, before we can build. Thank YOU for your raw and honest perspective. I wish I could get you to speak at my church… or at the very least to my pastors. I am so moved by your words and want to tell you it is part of my mission and hope to create a world or at the very least a church that is your safe haven for acceptance and safety and love.
Thank you for taking the time to explain this. I too am sorry that Christians have hurt you so much. Hope your journey will continue to grow in joy! That makes someone think, rather than react to word progressive. Right wing, left wing ,same bird. As a non-Christian, I appreciate to sentiment, but it strikes me as only a way for progressives to pat themselves on the back. There are so many more that do care, What Is. The hurtful ones are actually the minority, and we others need to do a better job of speaking out and being supportive. You are an equal, beloved, child of God, who deserves respect, encouragement, and fellowship.
Sending spiritual hugs to you also, across the miles…. I like your comment about Christianity being hijacked. Ill intent has a long, long history. Just maybe I might be your ally. I am a Christian period. Whether I excel triumphantly or fail miserably at living this Christian life, I am still loved and accepted by the God who created me.
And I extend the same love and grace to everyone around me. Could you not simply make-up your own religion instead of co-opting one that is full of commands and condemnations? The Love of God does not. For some, true Christianity would be that the ideal way to exist would be to live, move and have our being with the heart of Jesus as our guide. A huge divide occurs in how one views the Bible. Why are there groups of Christians?
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Either you are a follower of Jesus or you are not. This is a helpful conversation, thank you. The latter implies that no one is flawed. We may not be flawed but most of us earthlings error. God gave us this magnificent gift of Free Will, to be Creators, too. And sometimes we just create crap, especially with our unloving-ness. So I like both phrases. However, are we as Christians held to a different standard—to speak out against those who publicly misrepresent Jesus and his movement? What do you think?
5 Powerful Ways to Describe Your Faith
In my opinion, no, Christians are not being held to an unfair standard. People in positions of dominance who have historically or even not-so-historically oppressed and abused a minority group should be vocal about their support of said group. That is because I am a part of a dominant culture that is still oppressing minorities. The racists around me need to know that, even though there is another white person standing beside them, that white person WILL NOT tolerate or support bigotry.
Otherwise, my very presence is a reinforcement of the harmful status-quo, whether I want it to be or not. In the same way, Christians should be very vocal about their support of LGBT people and make an effort to distance themselves clearly from bigotry. Otherwise, the many, many bigots in your ranks will see you as silent supporters. I volunteer at a Planned Parenthood clinic, escorting patients past the protesters and making sure they are safe.
Recently, while a group of about 15 peaceful protesters were there, a man came up to me, trespassed onto the property and started screaming in my face and threatening me. He then joined the other group briefly before coming back after me to yell threats again. But, the fact is, they said nothing to him while he was there. While he was threatening to harm me, they just stood by. I feel no need to qualify it. I have a question that is sort of unrelated, but where did you take this photograph? They are a free images site—their link is here: I actually checked and it is as suspected: Is it the next big bandwagon that everyone jumps onto like the Emergent Church and all the other movements that preceded it?
I believe the Bible and live for Jesus who has reached down and rescued me from my sinful nature. I wish we would all take our ideology from the book of Acts!
You are guided by social norms. Just like Baptist, Episcopalian, Roman Catholic — are man made religions who come between you and God so to do the monikers progressive and fundamentalist. Why even use Christian?
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Each person comes here as an individualized expression of God. To say that anyone that further defines themselves within an already socially created descriptor as without faith seems sort of unloving to me. And that, in essence, is what evolutionary Christianity is all about. A Christian is someone who has had a personal transaction with God which has changed their life. Maybe at 60, I have one clue and can do that one thing and finally be about Jesus….
Thanks for creating this. I think your main point applies well to most Christians. Our source texts and ancient traditions for our shared faith tell us many times and in many places that we are separated from God by sin, and that Christ, through his death and resurrection, brings us back to God. That seems really really different from just a need to be loved.
Without sin, why do we need Jesus? Without the atonement, what just God would ever kill his only son? I know you stated that you choose to emphasize the incarnation and resurrection more in your view of Christianity. When we look at the full scandal of the Gospel — of Christ, the loser and criminal who saved the world through his sacrificial death — our faith is much more rich, valuable… and honest. I like that phrase—Scandal of the Gospel. I still do really struggle with this notion that God brought his only son here solely to get killed on our behalf.
In Ancient Rome, when the people were persecuted and a struggling minority, this language was very empowering. However, white American Christians are now at the top of the world. I do also think that the Progressive Church needs to do some serious work on what it believes sin to be. Sin as a concept has changed drastically over the 5, years that we have been developing our faith, and so it continues to change now. Our God is a living God, a God who walks with us as we are transformed—and so is our text.
Our sacred text is so much more than that, and so it transforms in purpose and meaning as we transform as people of God. Thanks for this super-thoughtful response, this is a great conversation! I smiled when I read what you wrote about not reading our texts as a newspaper story, because I say that too. When we remake the scripture, I think we take the transformative, challenging power that you describe out of it by making it less threatening.
It took me a long time to come to peace with that years! It often sounds to me like the Progressive church is embracing Continuing Revelation on a lot of theological matters. This is too long — forgive me. I wish there were a different term. Can you describe it? I have a lot of concerns about Progressivism in Christianity too, but you want to know one of the main things that makes those ideas so appealing? Our crappy, unloving attitudes, and fearful responses. It tells people lot about Traditional Christianity, and guess what? So cut it out.
All are good things. Yet, Jesus Christ came to set us free from the bondages of sin and to be restored thru grace to God. If the intent is to be purposefully divisive, then success has been achieved. My church has always demonstrated the values posted. It is how I have been brought up.
The essay certainly appears to put progressive Christians above fundamental Christians and the article and follow up statements back this. The basis for the10 statements are in the Bible, which is what Christians follow. Not just progressive Christians. I disagree with the need to give Christians a new name.
However, if it makes people more comfortable speaking about God and how they can be saved by calling themselves as set apart from other Christians, then go for it.
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We both believe, that is the important point. This article seems to divide Christians and allow others to feel comfortable about what the world thinks about your beliefs. It implies that there is this large portions of Christians who are racists, sexists, bigots. There is absolutely no proof, no evidence and no real suggestion that there are any more racists, sexists and bigot in Christianity than any other identified group of people. This article is furtherance of manipulating Christians and others that conservative Christians are all of these things….
The word progressive does not add anything to these statements, accept put some of you at ease with your faith as the world might view it. I would like to point out being a Christian is not suppose to be easy. How terrible that Christianity has come to this…that we now find terms that make us more comfortable with saying it to the world. If you add the word Conservative in the space where progressive is now placed in those statements it still holds true.
So why add that word? As Christians we are striving to be Christ like not world like…and adding the term progressive is an attempt to be world like. I have been persecuted intellectually, professionally and personally for being a Christian…. But assumptions were made because to a minority and hopefully not a fast growing majority some people believe we are all those types of Christians. And reality is that there is a very small portion of our society believers and not who are bigots.
God said you will know my children by their actions…..!
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So act like a Christian and no one will ever doubt what type of Christian you are. That all being said I do not agree that God wants us to self love Statement 1. In fact he wants the complete opposite. Humility is the exact opposite of self love, the exact opposite of pride. John does not see a separation in these events. Jesus cannot be lifted up in the Resurrection without first being lifted up in the crucifixion. Likewise, the crucifixion has no meaning or purpose without the Resurrection. For John, and thus for Jesus, these are not two separate events but different ends of the same event.
So one cannot have less crucifixion and more Resurrection. To the extent one enters into the crucifixion is the extent to which they enter into the Resurrection.
How to Explain your Christian Beliefs
You may not have the theological or philosophical training to explain and defend a particular Christian doctrine, but you have reasons for the hope you have within you. It is, for example, not simply a matter of rational arguments, because the Christian faith is not solely a matter of rationality.
The Christian faith is nothing less than rational, but is so much more. In submitting to rationalism the idea that rationality is the sole and flawless diviner of truth in how you answer a question, you are signing away the outcome of the discussion before you have even started.
There are many ways of communicating at a distance: Letters, phone calls, radio and television, Instant Messaging, e-mail, Skype. But these are all only improvements on distance communication. The strongest form of communication is still face-to-face, inhabiting the same room, interacting with the same space. Beyond this even, in allowing a relationship to grow, is community — a sustained relationship that develops over many face-to-face moments, interaction with shared space, and flourishes with the insertion of other relationships.
Of this latter point C. Lewis writes in The Four Loves:. In each of my friends there is something that only some other friend can fully bring out. By myself I am not large enough to call the whole man into activity; I want other lights than my own to show all his facets. University is a wonderful and unique opportunity to develop relationships in community through which you can witness with the fullness of that relationship — the intellectual, imaginative, moral, and relational aspects — by loving the other person, humbly giving the reason for your hope, and pointing beyond yourself to the only form that is capable of expressing the fullness of the gospel: The revelation of the truth, beauty, and goodness of God through the person of the resurrected Christ, the word become flesh.
Wrestling with these issues can be very rewarding, but is also challenging and draining. You will not be able to do it on your own. Seek out support when you need it, and make sure that you have a community of Christians around you who can sustain you and accompany you and celebrate with you on your journey of faith as you accompany others.
Above all, rely not on your own strength, intelligence, wit, wisdom, and love, because they will fail you. Only by trusting in the power of Jesus and letting Him work through you will you be able to point to Him. Practicing an apologetics that seeks to love in the manner of Jesus does something beautiful: What I hope I have presented here are some pointers to a framework from which you can wrestle with developing an answer based on your gifts, talents, experience, resources, and influence.
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