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Everything posted by PaulS

  1. Apologies then, as my assumption was that you believe Jesus is God. If you don't believe that, then I was mistaken. But as for your claim that I have antipathy toward Jesus - you couldn't be more wrong. My aversion is toward those who claim they are speaking out for Jesus, as you did. I have met plenty of those and I think they are arrogant and misguided to think they actually understand Jesus and all that he was and stood for. As it says and asks on the PC homepage - Progressive Christianity is an open, intelligent and collaborative approach to the Christian tradition and the life and teachings of Jesus that create pathways into an authentic and relevant religious experience. Do you find more grace in the search for meaning than in absolute certainty, in the questions rather than in the answers? Do you have religious interests and longings but cannot accept the beliefs and dogmas you associate with Christianity? Are you repelled by claims that Christianity is the “only way”? Do you find solace, meaning, or connection to the teachings and the path of Jesus of Nazareth? So when I experience one such as you that claims that are speaking out for Jesus, my concern is that nobody has all the answers and to pretend they do, is fraud. I have seen people's certainty about Jesus cause much harm. It is my hope that you aren't also responsible for this harm to others, but fear that with your certainty about what you understand about Jesus, that you indeed may be. I hope I am wrong.
  2. Wow, and you think you are the one qualified to speak for Jesus? Do you not consider that rather arrogant that you think you are necessary here for that purpose? Do you really feel God is that powerless as to let people be misdirected by this forum and as such, you might be required to intervene?
  3. I don't think it is sad at all. There is no 'mission' here and people are free to come or go. The progressivechristianity.org main site offers more in the way of a 'mission' and this resource offers a place to explore. My personal opinion is that enough gets shoved down people's throat when it comes to Christianity, so I like to think of this place as somewhere where that doesn't occur and people can relax and seek their own answers. 'Potential for real mission work' sends a shiver down my spine because that sort of thing always becomes "somebody's" version of 'mission', which I don't think is a good thing. Let God work it out eh! What you don't seem to realize is that thousands of people are reading these threads every year. There is clearly a space for people wanting to explore and read without wanting to be involved. So your measure of the number of active participants tends to cloud your assessment, in my opinion. No idea what happened to Piriripi. If he can't be mailed perhaps he has done that of his own accord? Tell me Burl - you have been an active member here for nearly 4 years. What attracts you to stay with this forum and participating?
  4. Online forums in general have been in decline since the 2000's. Forums compete with other internet applications and things like online video, social networking, advanced traffic analysis and the drive to monetize, which has transformed the landscape. Simply put, the proliferation of social media sites has caused a reduction in participation in online forums. Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest - all of these and many others are more convenient for a number of people and I think overall forums are in decline. Personally, I don't find the TCPC Facebook page as fulfilling as here and that seems to be represented by the lack of engagement there with the 22,000 or so 'likers' of that page. But that said, it seems apparent that users there want to see something and read it, but not necessarily engage or get involved. Demographically, it seems older users and retirees may be holding in there with forums, but they are in decline also. That said, this forum only had 4 or 5 active members (including 1 x Admin) when I joined 9 years ago, so it has remained relatively steady. Of course we have thousands of people each year who peruse the the threads, but which obviously choose not to participate. This forum isn't promoted or monetized in any way and our only advertising is a link that TCPC have maintained on their home page. As Admin we have discussed it but are happy to simply provide the forum for those who may find its archives of use and if there are people interested in participating here, then all the better. But unlike Samson, this is a real forum and not a myth thankfully! I'm convinced many of the users who scour the threads but don't participate in the forum are getting something from here.
  5. I'd be happy to discuss Samson with you Burl. What's your interest? As for the Dogon, there is much skepticism around the claims that these people actually understood there was a second star apart from Sirius, prior to being told about it by modern astronomers (with the telescopes available to see such a star). Check this out for a bit of counterbalance to the claims - https://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/10-01-13/
  6. I think most of us who reference Wikipedia already understood that. Glad it has caught on. And I agree, a life centred in something affirming and supportive, whether it be Jesus or another way, is why I too like progressivechristianity.org
  7. Nothing wishful about it, just observations. As the reference I provided demonstrates, Christianity is in decline across the spectrum - mainline, evangelical, fundamental, etc. I think you are giving Progressive Christianity much more credit than it deserves, and totally overlooking the statistics in the Pew research, if you think that it is responsible for this wholesale decline of Christianity. But I agree with you that few Christians care much about theology these days - I think that is largely because theology is built on a house of cards and with the science and biblical scholarship available these days, fresh minds are reconsidering the previous cultural acceptance of theology that has simply seen its day. Astonishingly, as the Pew Reserach outlines, whereas more than eight-in-ten members of the Silent Generation (those born between 1928 and 1945) describe themselves as Christians (84%), as do three-quarters of Baby Boomers (76%), in stark contrast only half of Millennials (49%) describe themselves as Christians; four-in-ten are religious “nones,” and one-in-ten Millennials identify with non-Christian faiths. Just as cultural influence saw Christianity grow, similarly cultural influence of a new age is seeing it wane. It seems you also are subject to change - you now are quoting Wikipedia yourself when a year ago you were instructing others to give it up! Last February Burl said: "And for goodness sake give up on Wikipedia.".
  8. They do say we are in the information age and I think the access that people have today to biblical scholarship is unprecedented, so I think that probably has a lot to do with changing beliefs. Not that everyone follows the scholarship, but there are enough Facebook pages, Instagram feeds and Pinterest pages to share information that 'debunks' many traditional Christian claims, so I'd be pretty confident technology is widely responsible. I also think the science of evolution is finally widely accepted by the vast majority now, which of course blows out the whole 'original sin' concept that Christianity has thrived on for so long, so I expect that has taken its toll also. I do see Christianity transforming away from 'traditions' of sin and guilt and moving toward a new version where being human is better accepted and Christianity seen as a 'way' to leading a fulfilling life, but not the 'only' way. Enter PC I guess which may in fact be holding up those 'Christian' stats just a little bit more than if only traditional choices of Christianity were available. I've read that sub-Saharan Africa will be 40% christian in the next 20-30 years and obviously there is an increase in Asia also. It will be an interesting change of world affairs as Christianity in the US continues to decline but other nations continue to grow. I also read mixed reports that Islam will be the most populous religion within 10-20 years, so it'll be interesting to see how that changes world demographics too.
  9. So any ideas as to why the huge decline in the US?
  10. Yet in Asia and Africa, Christianity is growing. Why the disparity?
  11. Whichever way you cut it, Christianity (and religious affiliation in general) is in decline in the US. Why do you think this is? Is the decline reported here a blip or do you think it is part of a more permanent trend? https://www.pewforum.org/2019/10/17/in-u-s-decline-of-christianity-continues-at-rapid-pace/
  12. Maybe one cultural reference too far - not really sure who or what Rush is, but I'll roll with it.
  13. No, I understand that. My joke was that with my beliefs, I couldn't think of a man who could possibly be 'directly appointed by God'. Clearly my humor is more cryptic than I hear it.
  14. You threw me with 'Directly appointed by God'.
  15. Burl, I don't think I have ever specifically asked you this, and am just wondering - do you consider yourself in general agreement with the 8 points? I presume you must, but had never thought to actually ask you before. Paul
  16. I think it should be noted also, that the 8 Points this forum refers to, is followed by a note by the TCPC: Notes: We’ve heard you and in our many conversations with our readership, Progressive Christian pastors, theologians, scholars, visionaries, and in our observations and studies, we have co-created this updated version of our 8 Points of Progressive Christianity. Progressive Christianity is inherently always evolving and progressing. Please take these lightly but seriously. They are not dogma, they are simply a starting point to establish conversations and a foundation of values and beliefs that we have observed Progressive Christians generally share. It’s ok if you don’t agree with all the words or all the parts. We support your authentic path. You can use these in your faith communities and with family and friends to talk about what it means to you to be a Progressive Christian in today’s world. Here is to always progressing!
  17. This obviously begs the question how somebody who believes the forum is against God can agree to the terms and conditions of joining this forum. Pipiripi, please review the forum guidelines - see link called Guidelines at top of forum page. You would of had to read these to become a member here. If you feel you cannot meet these expectations, please cease from participating here. Even with your English being only slightly less than fully fluent, I think you would understand that telling participants in this forum that they are participating in an activity that is against God, is easily considered rude and insulting. I would suggest reading the 8 points again too so that you might have a better understanding of how this forum tends to understand Progressive Christianity. You do seem to have a misunderstanding - at least as far as this forum broadly recognizes PC. Paul (As Admin)
  18. Burl, This is the last public comment I will make here as Admin because we don't want threads to start becoming debating points about why we follow the Forum rules here that we have all agreed to (unless you want to start a thread on that matter). Further comments off-topic will be deleted as we also don't want off-topic posts clogging up the thread. 2020 is a new start for all and I, as Admin, will try to help ensure we stay on track. We may only have a small active group, but we have thousands of people each year who review our threads - I'm sure one big email would be unattractive to them. Plenty of people have come before us and more will come after we are gone. I'd like them to have access to what we have been fortunate enough to have access to, you included. I hope you and others can appreciate that. This is not bullying, this is active Administration according to our own, agreed, guidelines. Paul (As Admin)
  19. Personally I prefer the 2011 version, but as I have said before: "For me the 8 Points simply 'point' to a way - they are not THE way. Like all creeds, these 8 Points don't capture all things in all ways and they still leave things to be desired. I don't see them as a tool to weed out people who some regard as not precisely fitting the mould, but more as a guideline to suggest why you may wish to participate here. After all, we aren't the only progressive christian movement in the world with all the right opinions and views, but just a tiny little corner of the universe in this current time. Progressive Christianity existed long before this forum and it's parent site coined it, but being humans we like to categorise and put things into certain boxes for convenience." I still look at the current 8 points like that and don't stress too much about it. Maybe I'm only an 80%er PC - I'm sure there are plenty of others in the world that will decide for me!
  20. Your four posts and Pipiripi's three had nothing to do with the original post. You both continued to digress even after the instruction - it's that simple. Paul (As Admin)
  21. I agree with Joseph. His post is not bullying and the world has become a pedantic and way too sensitive place if disagreeing with somebody's beliefs and explaining why, is considered bullying, intellectual or otherwise.
  22. Several posts of Thormas' and Pipiripi's have been hidden as they not in context of the original post and are better suited to Personal Message or a new thread, despite previous Admin request. Thormas & Pipripi - please adhere to Admin instructions. Paul (As Admin)
  23. I have to say, that is my sense too on the changes. I don't mind too much - I guess at the end of the day somebody has to commit to something on paper if they are trying to express to a broader audience the approximate values of the collective, and with PC being so wide and varied as it is I doubt anybody can land on a point that all will agree. When a group genuinely welcomes people from all walks and understandings of life it has to be a challenge to maintain a particular identity. I don't rely on these definitions to tell me who I am or what I have to be, but treat them more like general guidelines to respect and acknowledge.
  24. I think Pelosi did herself and the Democrats a disservice by tearing up that address. I expect it will resonate with hardcore Dem voters but I suspect swinging voters will see it as a political stunt that looked frankly, a bit immature. Yes, once again Trump was a rude pig ignoring her like that. But I suspect that was his intention all along - push her buttons until she cracks, and she did. I don't blame her, but I think it was a political mistake and politics is all that matters in this situation. Nope, it's a 3 for Nancy from me on this matter.
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