2 pointsNon-Progressive Christian are not allowed post in the Progressive Christianity thread. Which is fair enough. Anyway this led me to clarify for myself, if no one else, Why I am not a Progressive Christian. Progressive Christians: Point 1: Believe that following the path and teachings of Jesus can lead to an awareness and experience of the Sacred and the Oneness and Unity of all life; Not sure I believe in the Sacred. The uppercase Oneness and Unity fill me with a little trepidation, I suspect it could be pointing to something that is not really there. I can see a unity and a oneness in existence but ... Point 2: Affirm that the teachings of Jesus provide but one of many ways to experience the Sacredness and Oneness of life, and that we can draw from diverse sources of wisdom in our spiritual journey; Sacredness and Oneness of life, again the upper case. Sure the teachings attributed to Jesus might lead to the understanding the S and O of life. But I would argue it is not that we can draw from diverse sources ... we have to. Point 3: Seek community that is inclusive of ALL people, ... I have no problem with this, but the wording is strange (I thought). While the word all is in upper case atheists are not mentioned but agnostics are. Also the incentive to write this post to some degree is caused by a lack of "complete" inclusiveness. OK I understand the wish to protect parts of the community; but ... Point 4: Know that the way we behave towards one another is the fullest expression of what we believe; In a way I agree with this statement. It is a bit more complex than that. My behaviour alone is not the "fullest" expression of what I believe. Point 5: Find grace in the search for understanding and believe there is more value in questioning than in absolutes; Again not sure what is meant by grace ... but using my definition (an ease) I would agree. But I have admit I find value in reconciling the results of our searches with the scientific method. Point 6: Strive for peace and justice among all people; I have no problem with this, but it is a bit of a motherhood statement,. Point 7: Strive to protect and restore the integrity of our Earth; This brought me head to head with the free will debate. Can the Earth be any other way than it is? Now I might want it be different/cleaner/whatever but then, the universe unfolding will determine whether or not I will do anything about it Point 8: Commit to a path of life-long learning, compassion, and selfless love. Well I have had a life-long path of learning. All of us do that to some degree or another. When the universe unfolds I may or may not find compassion Selfless love? "Love your neighbour as you love yourself"? Overall this 2011 version (for me) is harder to argue against than the original eight points highlighted in the front page of the forum. Perhaps it is time to update the points to the new Eight Points? Overall I cannot call myself a Progressive Christian, though (I think) I see fairly closely eye to eye with Paul when it comes to the profane and Joseph when it comes to oneness and unity (note the lower case ) Would others like to comment on where they agree or see differences in their take on the 2011 Eight Points.
1 pointHello Romansh, I agree or sympathize with much of what you are saying. My concern is not so much the 8-points definition, which you are reconciling to. None of us have proof of the divinity aspects, or what degree divinity applies. For me, the exciting concept is convergence between the Six Jesuit Values, the UUA Seven Principles (unitarian universalists, ie humanists), and any well-done categorization of the 37 parables of Jesus and Sermon on the Mount. There is convergence which I refer to as "the real Trinity". The positive value of those principles does NOT require metaphysical connotations in Jesus, though it does not deny it either (frankly, debating/guessing is of less interest to me). Actually, I believe the UUA Principles are the finest extract of Jesus' moral teachings that can be found --- far better than my UCC creeds. And only 12% of UUA members consider themselves Christians, or believers is some degree of divinity of Jesus. So that coincides with some of your rationale as well . . . what's sacred or not. As some might know based on my earliest post, I believe "Apostle" Paul was a fraud, a canard. "Romans" is the 90-proof vodka that dominates "Christianity", the Gospels only the chaser or mixer in Paul's cocktail. And I believe the fraud evokes Matthew 7:13-23, that nearly all believers would be misled to doctrines which grew "thorns and thistles" (ie Calvinist indignation, elitism, intolerance). That passage also says Jesus ultimately returns., and on that day "Then I will declare to them, I never knew you, go away from me, you evildoers". As Gomer Pyle said, "Surprise, Surprise, Surprise". The point is, Jesus disowned what would become of the church in his name. It would be easy for me to give up on Christianity, except for my prior life as a Mormon and Southern Baptist, where I experienced the radiance of brotherly love and service in the Beehive. Qualities which also apply to the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. I believe that type of community, or agape, is the life of the era of the Didache, of the early communal church . . . and it is what maximizes what we as human beings were designed for. That does not depend upon belief or creeds or communion. While the Mormon prophet Joseph Smith turned out to be a charlatan, and there is that toxic Mormon sexuality so well dramatized in "Angels in America", I still retain much enthusiasm for the Beehive (where most of my family remains). Frankly, the UCC where I find myself now, is so atrophied and anemic that while it tries to be progressive, it is unsatisfying. It straddles both Paul and Jesus, afraid to alienate anyone. Yet back at the UUA, shucks, you hear more about Native American Totems, or Paul Bunyan, than you do Jesus. Still in terms of some creed or list, as you are reconciling to, I like how the UUA and Jesuits both parallel the teachings of Jesus, with or without the "Sacred" or "Divine". And one of the Jesuit values is about allowing for a wide diversity of faith and belief traditions. Thank you, Craig
-2 pointsPosting what one believes about God is interesting. Posting what one does not believe is a waste of space.