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AnnieG

Respecting Diverse Christians

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'By calling ourselves progressive, we mean that we are Christians who....

Recognize the faithfulness of other people who have other names for the way to God's realm , and acknowledge that their ways are true for them, as our ways are true for us.'


Having conservative Christian relatives is a challenge for me - a reminder of a mind-set I have passed through; at times a challenge to speak out when I believe certain behaviours and beliefs are unjust.


At the same time, this acknowlegement -without judgement- that their ways are true for them, as our ways are true for us is key to understanding them; to relating to them human to human; to being able to recognize -and celebrate- that their faith has helped them to offer much to others.


It seems that another dimension of this point is recognising the diversity of understandings about the meanings of the words we use for the way to God's realm.




Annie

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Good point Annie,

 

It seems to me also that passing through that same territory helps make us more understanding of other behaviors and beliefs. In my view it is a requirement that is needed for some and some others seem to bypass that stage of journey as not needed. It reinforces to me that it is an individual journey of experience with multiple paths that appear to lead to the same end in the fullness of time.

 

Joseph

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It seems that another dimension of this point is recognising the diversity of understandings about the meanings of the words we use for the way to God's realm.
Annie

 

 

I have been thinking about this a lot lately. I'm taking some sacred scripture courses that cover a variety of religions and I often get pulled one way or another by various paths that speak a truth to me that I understand as being the path I want to walk toward God.

Religion as a finger pointing to the moon and not the moon itself.

After learning much via biblical criticism and the like, it can be hard when speaking with people who believe their conservative viewpoint but at the same time have no idea that Mark, Matthew, Luke and John are actually different versions of the Jesus story and not just four chapters. (in this last class I have met many that really had no idea there were 4 different views. They really thought each gospel told a different part of Jesus' story at different times, due to the way the gospel is read at church) --- I have to really resist the tendency to point out a misconceived belief because I'm not sure how to do that in a way that still "acknowledge that their ways are true for them".

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They really thought each gospel told a different part of Jesus' story at different times, due to the way the gospel is read at church) --- I have to really resist the tendency to point out a misconceived belief because I'm not sure how to do that in a way that still "acknowledge that their ways are true for them".

Byrch,

 

I guess there are more and less tactful ways of stating any beliefs: compare 'x makes a pretty good case for y' to 'what you say is impossible'. In my case I'm pleased to have moved beyond silence (with people I know well) to stumbling attempts to explain myself

 

Annie

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It is difficult to live with people who fear and think they are right with all the answers, yet we still have peace in our mind.

 

Do not worry

if all the candles
in the world

flicker and die.
We have the
SPARK
that starts the
FIRE.

~ Jalal ad-din Rumi
-Translated by Coleman Barks.

 

May we all find our safe and welcoming place where we can enjoy everyone even the most bitter among us. Laugh with and not at people and the world laughs with us no matter how much pain is there. Christians who build walls to keep others out are actually keeping them selves in prison. Freedom allows us to enter their kingdom, laugh and leave and go back to the place that exposes awe in everything.

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It is difficult to live with people who fear and think they are right with all the answers, yet we still have peace in our mind.

 

Do not worry

if all the candles

in the world

flicker and die.

We have the

SPARK

that starts the

FIRE.

 

~ Jalal ad-din Rumi

-Translated by Coleman Barks.

 

May we all find our safe and welcoming place where we can enjoy everyone even the most bitter among us. Laugh with and not at people and the world laughs with us no matter how much pain is there. Christians who build walls to keep others out are actually keeping them selves in prison. Freedom allows us to enter their kingdom, laugh and leave and go back to the place that exposes awe in everything.

 

Well-said, Soma.

To add more from Rumi :

This being human is a guest house.Every morning a new arrival.A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.Welcome and entertain them all!Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,who violently sweep your houseempty of its furniture,still, treat each guest honorably.He may be clearing you outfor some new delight.The dark thought, the shame, the malice,meet them at the door laughing,and invite them in.Be grateful for whoever comes,because each has been sentas a guide from beyond.

 

Jeladuddin Rumi Translated by Coleman Barks

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Annie, Thanks we need to remind each other that we get exactly what we need.

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