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Showing content with the highest reputation since 02/24/2018 in Posts

  1. 2 points
    Non-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.
  2. 1 point
    I disagree: I don't think the rules of etiquette for the site violate the teachings or the real meaning of the message of Jesus. And this house "is worthy."
  3. 1 point
    I have found what gives life meaning and thanks. And, even though I borrowed from Sisyphus and Greek myths, it's more accurate to say, "all power to you and panentheistic (or even progressive) Christian theology." Twas fun!
  4. 1 point
    Burl wrote Well I have been trying explain Burl. Perhaps as an example ... for the next fifteen seconds, Burl, choose to believe there is no God, just fifteen seconds. Apparently we can choose our beliefs?
  5. 1 point
    Hello 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
  6. 1 point
    Adding "a little bit of humor" to the mix: The issue raised pertaining to (someone's/anyone's) presumptuously ascribing his or her personal point of view and/or conclusions deriving therefrom to a collective 'we' reminded me of the joke relating to the Lone Ranger and Tonto who, according to the joke, were at one point surrounded and besieged by much greater force of hostile (colloquially called) 'Indians'. As they were running out of bullets with the Indians closing in on them, the Lone Ranger turned to Tonto and said: "We've had it, this is the end for us, Tonto!" To which Tonto replied, "What do you mean 'we', Paleface!" LOL
  7. -1 points
    Assuming (as a theoretical proposition) that there is an 'afterlife' - say that there is such a thing as 'soul' living in and through our 'earthly' 'identities', and that such 'soul' may or may not continue to 'reincarnate' in progressively more advancing or regressively deteriorating 'personalities' (I can point to passages in The New Testament, quoting Jesus, which indicate he believed in 'reincarnation' if anyone is interested, BTW) and that it eventually may or may not grow to the point where it 'immortally' lives on in spiritual realms - which 'living on' or not 'living on' is what I think Jesus references when he said things like “Whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Matthew 16:25-26), ... ... in other words IF Jesus' world-view and understanding of Life's dynamics was and is 'correct' ... THEN, conceivably at least, Paul might UNpleasantly surprised, aye what? I mean, it's fine with me that Paul (or anyone) might choose to disregard certain ('central' or 'key') teachings of Jesus, but let's all acknowledge that he is choosing to believe and set himself up as more truly 'knowing' (that is based on the facts of Life as he 'sees' these to be) than Jesus, and that in a forum on the site of a 'group' which declares at "Point 1" that "By calling ourselves progressive, we mean that we are Christians who.... Have found an approach to God through the life and teachings of Jesus.or more recently (2011) and alternately can be restated as ... 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." .. albeit said 'group' members are 'religiously' understanding and tolerant of other, even contrary, points of view. Given your clearly belonging to said 'group' and therefore (ostensibly) subscribing to Jesus' Teachings ThomasM, I can't for the life of me understand your going along with and 'second'ing! the idea that Paul may be pleasantly surprised after he 'dies'. Do you yourself really believe that there are no 'consequences' for souls depending on whether or not they have led lives 'in keeping' with what Jesus taught ? I am not saying someone has to 'identify' themselves being a 'Christian', now - Jesus never taught that! Maybe you think that Paul is (without identifying that that is what he is doing) doing what Jesus taught (about 'losing' one's 'life' for LIFE's sake"), in which case I retract my above commentary in relation to you.
  8. -1 points
    No, I said that if one assumes (i.e. believes) that Jesus (i.e. what he taught) was right, then (given such assumption) you have it 'wrong'. I was questioning whether ThomasM's saying that he thought you may be pleasantly 'surprised' was in keeping with "Point 1' of the 8 points listed as 'axiomatic' to what is being postulated as being a "Progressive Christian" philosophy and outlook - and suggested that the thought that you me UNpleasantly 'surprised' by what you experience and realize after the 'death' of your body. You are perfectly free to not subscribe to any or all of Jesus' teachings and (so), by operational definition, to not be a "Progressive Christian" (as 'defined', that is, by the "8 Point" 'manifesto'). I fully recognize and 'accept' the fact that you are not one such. My comments were addressed to ThomasM who, by implication at least, identifies himself as a "Progressive Christian", thinking that perhaps (given the way I understand Jesus' teachings) he was not being 'true' to said principles. He has since clarified that he thinks and is acting on the basis of thinking he is, which I am also fully 'accepting' of.
  9. -1 points
    That's another example of 'gap's and 'goofs' in my writing resulting from my getting 'carried away' by the intensity of my thoughts. In case it was beyond your capacity to figure out what I really meant from the context (of everything else I said), I was thinking of and relating to JosephM's statements, but only got the "M" part of it right.
  10. -1 points
    No quibble with what you have concluded and said for the reasons that you have so concluded, JosephM. I hope you 'got' the fact that I have concluded that placing the 'etiquette' you speak of on the 'altar' of whole-iness is in effect derailing the real meaning of Jesus's message and teachings to the point of being 'sacrilegious' - analogous to the way Jesus thought of and so reacted to what the money-changers were doing and the scribes and pharisees were 'administratively' endorsing in the temple. Now, I am not interested in making a 'scene' so as to 'take stage' (so to speak) as Jesus did. I just want to clearly my 'criticism(s)' as stated to be 'heard' (to whatever extent that may be 'in the cards' for, i.e. possible by, anyone here) whether their import is appreciated or not, before moving on. Here is another of Jesus' teachings which I believe (as Paul has stated all 'conclusions', even Jesus', are basically just personally arrived at 'opinions') is functionally pertinent: "And when ye come into an house, salute it. And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shale off the dust of your feet." (Matthew 10) IMO, it would be remiss for me to simply 'make peace' with those who (in my opinion) desecrate the 'truth' about Life (even is the do so 'in the name' of goodness/Christ/Life). If I thought there was a reasonable chance of my words making a positive difference here, I would stick around and keep sharing. Anyone now or in the future reading this who wishes to stay in touch with me or just 'follow' what I am up to may do so via my website.
  11. -1 points
    I didn't say they 'violated' anything. Talk about 'capacity' to comprehend! I said that Jesus' teachings and 'actions' (verbal and otherwise) indicated that he and his teachings were at variance with the notion and value of 'etiquette' so centrally placed on the 'altar' here - and thus, of course, implied that what's going on here is not in keeping with what I consider 'Christianity' (Jesus' kind at lest) to really be. IMO, everyone is 'worthy' of being spoken to and what anyone say is 'worthy' of being considered. You think I haven't listened to/hears and considered what Paul, you, Joseph et al. have said? And given you the truth (as I see it) in response because I considered (past tense, now) you 'worthy' of being 'given' the truth as I see it to do or not do with whatever you will? Regarding my putting that in the past tense, please know that what a person deems 'worth' relating to and engaging with is always a relative assessment, and that anyone/everyone with any sense of what practicality really entails, instead of aiming to just live in a nice-nice-in-relation-to-everyone feel-good 'fantasy', will choose to make 'judgment calls' as to what may or may not be 'worth' expending his or her (limited amount of) personal energy attending to, nurturing, buddying up with, etc. Thank you for engaging and thereby giving me the opportunity to (hopefully) more clearly explain what has gone into my decision to depart from this (IMO, real-meaning-of-Jesus'-teachings-ignoring, unrealistically fantasy-based) we are all 'worthy' POH-BAHs arena. This is not to say that I endorse any other 'Christian-label-using "church's" or "social movement's" value system, mind you. Just that I think that the one that's been established here will, if it just continues in its present fashion, prove to have been (past tense!) creatively dysfunctional (based on my understanding of Jesus' teachings, of course).
  12. -1 points
    Ooops, I meant to write POOH-BAHs. Here's link which will (hopefully) render the meaning of the reference "clearer": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Poobah And I would remind you of my comments regarding the value of placing 'etiquette' at the center of the 'altar' of one's 'sacred' value-scheme, as well as of the fact Jesus' verbal engagements (which I've present many examples of) weren't always nice-nice advocating but often quite rough-n-tumble, the latter as a 'way' of communicating true-to-spirit (as opposed to conventional-social-moray) truths. I am neither violating violating not derailing my decision and intention to 'exit' from your presence, thormas. I am simply 'taking' the 'baiting' comments which you address meward and using them to further my truth-sharing mission and purpose in the course of doing so. Lob some more pitches my way if that suits your purposes, man - I enjoy engaging in repartee as a medium of revelation - and I'm in no hurry to go anywhere (else) in particular ...
  13. -2 points
    Posting what one believes about God is interesting. Posting what one does not believe is a waste of space.