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Everything posted by fatherman

  1. fatherman

    Intercessory Prayer

    Guys, if this is already a thread, please link. I've reached a point in my path where I'm just not sure what to do with intercessory prayer. When someone asks me to pray for them, I don't want to say no, but I also just don't know what to do about it. I believe in the power of prayer, but I don't believe in giving God a shopping list of things I or other people want. I've tried and tried and it never works. What has worked for me are prayers of surrender. I also believe in praying with someone who I'm physically present with. My daughter is trying to get a job. She's already interviewed. She asked me to pray. So what do I pray? Do I pray that she gets it? Do I pray that God's will be done? Do I pray for God to be present with her? I'm just not sure that that's the way that God works. I can encourage her to put it in God's hands. I can counsel her to let go of her worries and accept that it is out of her control. But who am I to know God's "Will" for her? I cannot, and I'm not sure God really cares if she gets the job or not. The God of my understanding is a God of relationship, not choreography. Then again, my understand is so finite. Sometimes, I just do it anyway because I love people. Thoughts?
  2. fatherman

    The God User Interface

    I don't usually repost from my blog, but I'd like to have some discussion on this. In the book, The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle, the author states that he rarely uses the word "God" because it is a broken word. It has been used and abused in so many ways that it is no longer useful or helpful when discussing the infinite being in which our Universe lives. I would like to explore this idea; why it is the case and how we can move passed it. We all know what a user interface to a computer is. It's the part of a computer system that we can see, touch, click, type, and swipe. Every computer has an operating system that we can interact with through various apps; on our phones, tablets, laptops, and desktops. So why do we need a user interface (UI)? Well, a computer thinks with zeros and ones. Those are on's and off's. It's called binary. Think "bi" as in bicycle. A pair of things. UI software translates something that humans understand into something computers understand (one's and zero's) and vice versa. Although the UI is part of the software, it's really only the part by which we tell the software what we want to do and by which the computer can tell us what it needs to tell us. But under the hood is where most of the computing happens. Stay with me now! What this means is that we can only use the computer in ways that the software's UI allows us to. And we can only use the computer in ways that the software can use it. There are millions of interfaces which all serve different functions to meet our needs. Are you still with me? We're getting very close. This is where technical becomes a little inexact so that I can make my point. There are infinite combinations of one's and zero's, but a very finite combinations of the uses of a UI. We will never fully realize the entire capability of a computer. There will never be a moment in which a software engineers says "Ok guys, we're done! There is nothing left that the computes cannot do!" Perhaps you are already guessing what I'm about to say. In my analogy, God is the computer. God's abilities, knowledge, properties, forms, and interfaces are infinite and vastly incomprehensible. I was born into a Presbyterian family. I was given a particular interface to God; particular theology, particular, beliefs, particular hymns, particular symbols, names, particular buildings. In college, I became a United Methodist and my UI shifted a bit. In my 30s, I began to meditate and study other spiritual paths. I acquired different interfaces in which to relate to God. I hear people say that they can't believe in God because they don't believe in Jesus or Christianity because it just doesn't make sense to them. It doesn't work for them. I also hear people say that God is so much greater than our way of relating to him/it/she; therefore, we should shed of all of our names and traditional understanding of God as perhaps Tolle is suggesting. But the truth as I see it is that although we might glimpse the one's and zero's of God through spiritual/mystical experiences, in general we need a human construct, a user interface, to have a relationship with God. And this is where we get stuck. Think about the apps on your phone which you have deleted. Why did you delete the app? Perhaps it didn't do what you wanted it to do. Perhaps the interface was not user friendly. Now, because of this, did you ever throw away your phone? No, you found another app which made sense to you. You found a different interface into the same computer. Over the years, my understanding of God and my needs with God have changed. And over the years, my interface with God has adjusted given the changes in me, the old way of interacting with God doesn't make as much sense to me. This idea will be rejected by many religious people; people who believe that there can be only one interface to God. But the idea that there is only one way is losing traction, at least in America. The SBNR (Spiritual But Not Religious) crowd it growing, and the diverse interface idea with it. The one size fit's all God User Interface concept is shrinking. If I believed that there was only one way of interacting with God, then I might not be a Christian today, because Christians can't even agree with which God User Interface to use. Do we go through Jesus? Do we got through the Father? Do we go through the God of Grace? Do we go through the God of Judgment? The God of Purity? That's just not the way I work. I name God in the way in which I need God. Did I need the guiding hand of a father. The friendly touch of a brother. The comforting touch of a mother. The infinite mystery. A God of forgiveness. These are interfaces to the same thing. And then there are those powerful moments in which God interfaces with me in ways I do not understand or would not have expected. Also, I think that the world has fallen into the trap that God is the interface. Remember how I said that the UI is just the part of the software we can interact with and that under the hood is where all of the real computing is happening? God is infinitely greater than our understanding of him. Just the word him here is a limited way of referring to God. Mainly limited by a lack of gender-neutral pronouns for another being in the English language. If the customizable God User Interface were a common accepted idea, I believe that there would be far fewer people who feel separated from God, or who cannot believe in a God at all based on God User Interfaces which did not work for them. I will continue to play with this idea this Lent. I will be examining my interfaces with God to see if there is a way to adjust my GUI in a way that allows me to have a greater understand and a fuller relationship with the infinite being which I call God for lack of a better term.
  3. I have a topic in mind for the near future, Spiritual Health, which I would love to unpack with you and the rest.
  4. Ok. I just reread my post up there about this site and issues I've encountered and it sounded super harsh. Not my intention. This site is a wonderful place, but like any place it has its issues and so do I. No harm intended. This site "should" be whatever it happens to be and whatever people need it to be.
  5. fatherman

    Hope For Eternal Life - Why?

    FYI, I took your dad's advice today. Plenty of water! Soma, thanks for sharing part of your story. Helpful to me. For me, coming to terms with death has freed me up to live more peacefully. A while back, my son attempted suicide and I suffered tremendously with the thoughts and images of what could have happened. I remember I was hiding out under the trees by the side of my house sneaking a cigarette, hoping to find some sort of comfort. It was the only day in my life where I believed that I was living in a godless world. He was awfully silent. But I remembered something a former pastor said once. "Sometimes you have to lean into the pain in order to overcome it". I accepted my son's death with serenity in that moment. I accepted that I had no control of his living or dying. Peace dawned on me and has stuck with me through many more trials. It was a hard-earned peace, but it taught me the importance of acceptance in all of the livings and dyings of our lives.
  6. I guess I'm somewhere in between on this one. If we're talking about Christianity as defined by tradition, then yes the divinity of Christ is important in the sense that his actions as a divine being had tremendous spiritual impact on the world...as tradition dictates...and much of the scripture. It's a matter of how much of Jesus story has to be true in order to compel you to identify as a Christian. For some the Beatitudes, love, forgiveness, and social justice message is enough. For others, he has to be the son of God, redeemer of the world, and personal savior or he's nothing worth mentioning. For me, Jesus is a bit of a mystery. I don't always agree with his recorded words. I often wonder if his disciples/gospel writers even understood who is was or what he was teaching. In my prayer conversations with Jesus, I ask who he is in relationship to me and why did he choose to die the way he did. More mysteries. I'm comfortable with mysteries at this point in my life. I don't have to know what truly happened, what it means entirely, how it works. What matters to me about Jesus is that he moves me in ways that no other person has. I can't explain why, but it makes me want to be a disciple. His extra dimension to me is that his presence transcends time and place to be made manifest in my life here and now. I don't know if that's divinity or not.
  7. JosephM, thanks for all you do.
  8. To reiterate for clarity's sake, I don't perceive anyone here as being a troll at all. I think the non-theistic view here is critical in helping people feel like "hey, it's ok for me to question even the very existence of a god in the traditional sense"...which I have at important points in my life. All of this with the caveat that a person who does find meaning in the notion of a God in the traditional sense feels validated and welcomed here.
  9. fatherman

    Deleting 'god'

    This is a very interesting development and a very interesting thread. I think it is critical that we come to a God of our own understanding in order to leave behind the baggage of a God forced upon us that just isn't helping us along our paths. I think this is the notion that God is with us, not only in the form of Jesus, but in the form of our own understanding. Our understanding doesn't change God, but it does change the way we experience God (the Sacred) in our lives and I think it matters. Also, let's say that when we talk about God or the Sacred, we don't always mean the same thing. If God is some thing, then our words may point to some other thing than the next person. This is critical in understanding each other...that we not compare apples to oranges. In AA, we talk about a God of our understanding or a higher power. I think that the common core of our understandings of God stems from the concept that there can be something greater than the individual to relate to. Community, creator, inner divinity or spirit, or something nameless that we relate to that we can derive some support from. Whatever it is, it seems important that we don't make our selves the greater thing or make our egos our God. And perhaps that even works for some people. Who am I to judge?
  10. I feel Jen's frustration here. This site isn't really what it should be. But when I started posting in the early 2000s (a little before Jen did), I don't recall it being any different. I was a Christian humanist (or whatever you want to call it). I believed in a non-personal God if at all. I spent most of my energy trying to debunk essential components of Christianity. And so I fit right in. This, and people who felt beaten up by traditional Christianity, were the target audience and that hasn't changed. I changed though. I had a spiritual awakening that put me at odds with the spirit of this site. There was a small group of us who raised up issues of spirituality (Jen, myself, Alethia Rivers, and Soma.) There were many good discussions, but we were always the minority. Also, there has also almost always been a more traditional Christian who gets treated like a troll here. Nothing new here. I've attended an all progressive church which at one time posted the eight points on the wall by the sanctuary. And many of the members share the same atheistic tendencies. But many were also very spiritual and participated in prayer and meditation groups. Everybody gets along there for the most part. No one runs the show really. I think the frustration for people like me and Jen is that atheists are running the show at a Christian site. From an outside perspective, it looks like trolls have long since taken over this site. I know from the inside that that's not a fair characterization, but you have to admit that that's a reasonable conclusion. I've seen members bully on the basis of science and intellect (me included) those who's faith it spiritually, faith-based. I've been called immature for taking a spiritual approach to faith, and it has been suggested that when I "grow up", I'll see that science is the only answer. I've been accused of being mentally ill for having spiritual experiences. This is not in any way in accord with the 8 Points, and it is most certainly keeping spiritual-minded progressive Christians away from what could be a valuable experience within an accepting community. But like I said, it's not like this is new, and there's really no point in fighting it at this point. I accept that that's who were are here, and I do my best to find meaning here among you. I hope to be a participant here for many years to come.
  11. fatherman

    Hope For Eternal Life - Why?

    I'm not as orthodox as that, Burl, so I don't feel the need to debate on the subject. My belief is not dependent on scripture. I'll call it a personal belief. It's something I believe because of something that happened to a member of my family.
  12. fatherman

    Hope For Eternal Life - Why?

    I'm open to there being an afterlife. There was an uncanny occurrence in my family that was compelling enough to make me wonder. But I don't really hope for it or yearn for it. It will be just a nice surprise if there is. Christians have made it into this complicated thing with rules, qualifications, and expectations. I'm ok with closing my eyes and never opening them again. Like you said, I'll never be conscious to mourn the lack of after life.
  13. fatherman


    It's a hard balance to strike at tcpc and it always has been. You're either too Christian, too un-christian, too trollish, too superstitious, too atheist, too crazy, not intellectual enough, not educated enough, too spiritual. And we tend to let a small handful of participants set the agenda. That's just who we are and have always been. But this place has always been there for me when I needed to work stuff out and romansh has long been a part of that experience here. To be honest, I wish it were a little more friendly to theism, but I have no lack of support elsewhere for that. I don't know what spurred this thread, but I will offer up two thoughts: this place is precious to a handful of us square pegs. Our ideas are often rejected elsewhere. Let's be kind to each other and respect each others' differing paths. And every Christian should have a pain-in-the@ss atheist friend to keep them honest. Romansh is pretty good at that.
  14. fatherman

    Pc And Spiritual Gifts?

    I appreciate you point about the role reversal, and perhaps that's one of the appealing elements in feminine-centered spiritual paths. But I prefer a balance. Unfortunately, that does not exactly exist in Christianity either. The language of the faith is almost always masculine. I like Realspiritk's notion of the Father and Mother God's working together. As far as the Neopagans, yes we've had a different experience. I was viewed with suspicion at the very least, and I find it's not just with the pagans it's with anyone who has had a negative experience with Christians, which is a LOT of people. I know many of us on this forum who identify as Christians feel the need to come up with alternative words for Christian for that very reason. I stick with Christian because it's an opportunity to show someone that a Christian doesn't have to be bigoted, judgmental, condemning, and fanatical.
  15. fatherman

    Pc And Spiritual Gifts?

    For my belief in the spiritual/supernatural I've been called both mentally ill and immature on this site. But I haven't seen any of those folks for quite awhile. This site is increasingly atheist or non-spiritual or non-theistic, but they are pretty awesome folks and can really help you better discern and define your beliefs through healthy discussion. I fall out pretty progressive but I don't fit neatly into any category. In some ways I'm pretty tradition, just not in the ways that hate people or exclude people them from the church. I spent a lot of time living a new age path and participating on neo-pagan discussion boards, but I found that the people appeared to feel invaded when they found out that I was also Christian. Wiccan folks in particular didn't like the Christian aspects of me...they weren't crazy about the masculine parts of me either! I tried a traditional Christian forum recently and I kept seeing topics like "Did we coexist with the dinosaurs?" Nope, can't do it. I used to do http://www.beliefnet.com/. That's a good place for spiritual progressives...or was. You are welcome here. People will respect you, especially if you respect them. I hope you hang around. But there are very spiritual people here depending on how you define it.
  16. fatherman

    Be Awaken By Sin Don’T Feel Guilty

    Jen, As you know, I'm as much of a witness as I am a philosopher. I know that we like to talk the hypothetical to death here, but it means little to me without "generous sharing of the ups and downs" as it applies to our discussion. :-) Revelation is a dangerous tool, I agree. I have experienced revelation, but my belief is that it is primarily for me. I'm very reluctant to take on the role of prophet in the world. Those guys tend to become martyrs. ;-) David
  17. fatherman

    Be Awaken By Sin Don’T Feel Guilty

    http://tcpc.ipbhost.com/index.php?/topic/1318-from-jesus-intro-to-the-practice-of-forgiving/?hl=%2Bpractice+%2Bforgiving Jen, talk about synchronicity. Not only have I been searching for this thread this month, I used the information to quit smoking. And now I'm using it to bring my body into better general health. I used it to help my brother to deal with anxiety. I've read articles recently that support what you and J have written. There are people/events which I have struggled to forgive which go all the way back to high school. But lately, I've been making progress. I Facebook friended both of my high school bullies. All of my anger at them melted away. They did not ask for forgiveness. They may not even remember what they did to me. Or perhaps they were feeling guilty and didn't know how to bring it up with me. But I knew that if I made that small gesture, I would no longer be subject to the pain. I would be taking control. The moment the requests were accepted, my pain subsided. I forgave. Perhaps I even helped them be released from their guilt. This is known material. Forgiveness is not necessarily a process by which a person apologizes and I say that I forgive them. In my case it was an acknowledgement that we are all capable of hurting others and the scorn I felt was really only hurting me. So my forgiveness had less to do with them and more to do with me. I read the word self-compassion lately in an article about bipolar disorder. I wish I could find it again, but this is an important notion to consider. Compassion is something loving we do and feel when another is suffering or, I would add, causing suffering. People who are causing suffering are most likely suffering themselves in some way. In a way, self-compassion isn't logical. But the intent of the word is. I can judge myself which means I can have compassion for myself. I can hate myself because of what I do or how I look or whatever. So why should I not be able to have compassion for myself? I think that is where the notion of the Observer element of the mind steps in. This notion that there is a higher consciousness which can create our perception of reality. It can look down at it's own suffering man and have compassion. Given full reign, it can help the man heal from suffering. It can help cultivate forgiveness.
  18. fatherman

    Just What Does The Word Atheist Mean

    I resonate with this. I think agnosticism in the broader sense is the only honest way of handling information. I often cannot claim to know something for certain. Phrases I commonly use: I've been told that... One source whom I trust says that... In my experience... I cannot be certain, but I believe that... I heard on NPR that... I feel that... So, we have stuff that people tell us who may actually know, stuff given from a trustworthy source, stuff which I have experienced, stuff that I believe as a matter of faith, stuff that I believe because of how I feel. When I use these phrases in a conversation, I leave open the possibility for an honest, meaningful dialogue. As far as God goes, not only am I open to the possibility, I've actively engaged in a relationship with a God of my understanding. But does that mean that I know for certain? That depends on the question. Do I know that my relationship with God has had a positive effect on my life? Yes, I'm certain. Do I know that God is real? In the scope of my life, he definitely is. Can I say for certain that God is objectively real? No, I cannot. I can know what I've experienced, but I cannot say that what I've experienced is proof of the existence of God. BUT, I am open to the possibility that someone can know for certain that God exists or does not. I strongly believe that something exists, and if that is the case, I have a very limited understanding of what that truly is. I'm a Christian, so I fall in line with what many Christians believe about God, but I also believe that God exists outside of what Christians believe him to be.
  19. fatherman


    It comes and it goes. Throw something out there.
  20. fatherman

    Progressive Christian Authors?

    Roger Wosley - "Kissing Fish" He used to be a regular contributor here. BrotherRog
  21. fatherman

    A Question By A Newcomer

    BillM, the concept of worshiping Jesus is poorly supported by scripture. We are in agreement. I can see the argument, but I've never felt comfortable with it. It just doesn't ring true for me. Jesus presents himself as a signpost to a worthy object of worship. My favorite Jesus movie adaptation of the musical Jesus Christ Superstar. It is a film based on the perspective of a Gospel of Judas. It's fanciful for sure, but there's something about it that is compelling to me. In it, Jesus' followers worship him; whereas, Judas sees Jesus as an intimate friend of whom he is both enamored and deeply concerned. He does not recognize his unique divinity. But his human presence is powerful. There is something about him that makes people want to worship him. Judas and Mary sing "I don't know how to love him. I don't know why he moves me. He's a man. He's just a man. He's not a king. He's just the same as anyone I know. He scares me so." And yet they cannot deny his sway over there lives. A theme of the film is that Jesus is greatly misunderstood by his followers. They worship him, and his response is a paraphrase of his mourning for Jerusalem and of his assertion that his way is not a way of victory in the sense that they are expect but of suffering and death. There is scriptural support for this perspective. The problem with the Gospels is that Jesus was likely misunderstood and the Gospel writers might be included in this misunderstanding which brings their stories into question. A Gospel is not a history, it is a persuasive form. Each of the writers is trying to persuade a particular target audience of different points. Matthew, for example, is trying to persuade the Jews (exclusively) that Jesus is the new Moses with a new law. Rodge, you said, " But I disagree when any individual, or the web site's goals, suggest that God of a certain nature exists, because such assertions cannot be supported. " You are ever making a differentiation between personal faith witness (which is therefore not admissible as tenant of a PC website ) and verifiable "fact". The truth, as I see it, is that every aspect of any faith/religion is personal. If you insist on a objective reality which can be proven then you've eliminated the possibility of faith. We're all here with some form of faith. Faith that God doesn't exist. Faith that God does exist. Faith that doing good in the world is good for the world and for ourselves. What is good? Our country cannot even agree on what is good. It's all subjective, and all requires a decision to believe. Even science (go ahead and crucify me) requires faith. I'm trusting the scientific method to tell me something that I cannot personally verify. I can read it and choose to believe it...or not. Science evolves. It both verifies and disproves itself. I confess that I sometimes make an assertion that I'm not 100% convinced of, and that's the reason I write it here; so that I can work it out. So my assertion here is that there is no such thing as a Christianity that relies solely on verifiable truth. What say you?
  22. As part of my Lenten discipline, I've done some spiritual writing. It's been many years since I'm written here about my ideas on The Beatitudes. I've written an 8 week study on the subject, and this is the premise. This is written from a theistic perspective, my I believe the principles hold true from a non-theistic perspective. I believe that one of the reasons there is a rise in the Spiritual But No Religious (SBNR) demographic and the diminishing of traditional Christianity is because so often the focus of Christianity is not on what to do but what not to do. Whereas, what people really want is a clear path to spiritual fulfillment. This makes programs like the eight-fold path of Buddhism and the 12 steps of AA so appealing to folks. There is a clearly defined path to spiritual fulfillment which has been tried and proven millions of times. So where is the step path in Christianity? I want to suggest to you, as have many, that the Beatitudes is such a path; a path to beatitude, which means supreme blessedness or happiness. Happiness, in American culture, is a very shallow thing. It's the name of a kid's meal at McDonald's. It's the word that really means that our life is going the way we want it to. But Jesus is proposing a different kind of happiness; one that orders society and our lives in such a way that brings about something far greater than our small ideas for what will make us happy. When we talk about the teachings of Jesus, we think of the parables and his various sayings, but Jesus had a stump speech that represents the culmination of his teaching. I say stump speech because Jesus went about teaching all over the place and this may have been his go to sermon. It's most associated with a large gathering on a hill which is known as The Sermon on the Mount. Many would have heard it, and I've certainly heard it or read it many times. But it has always perplexed me a bit. Is it Jesus rewarding the people he is describing? Is it a social justice movement? Is it about socio-economics? Have a look at it. On the surface, it is a description of the social order of the Kingdom of Heaven in which the last shall be first. All of the people at the bottom of society will rise to the top. It is a charge to recognize this order by how we see people and treat people. But I think there is more to it than social justice. It is, I believe, a personal spiritual path which culminates in a beatific life.Matthew 5 New International Version (NIV) The Beatitudes He said: 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Jesus' Beatitudes provide for us eight steps to beatitude. I believe that they are ordered and build one upon the other. It is an unfolding path, from virtue to blessing, from blessing to virtue. The journey can be interpreted as: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Empty yourself and become humble, then receive a share in the responsibility for God's kingdom. "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted." Out of care for God's world, mourn for the suffering of others and you will find comfort for your suffering. "Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth." When you are comforted, become comforting to those who are suffering in your midst and you will inherit a share responsibility with God for those who are suffering. "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled." When you inherit responsibility for those who suffer, you recognize when suffering is unjust. You will not be satisfied with what is unrighteous in the world until righteousness wins and God satisfies you with it. "Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy." In being filled with righteousness and meekness, you will temper your zeal for righteousness with mercy, and in turn will be shown mercy. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God." When you receive mercy, your heart will be made pure and free from judgment and selfish intent, then you will experience the true nature of God. "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God." When you experience the true nature of God, you will have peace and will share it with the world, then you will be called a child of God. "Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." When you are called a child of God, you can withstand all manner of pressures to swerve from the path of righteousness, you will experience beatitude. The culmination of these blessings is a state of supreme blessedness and happiness. We will be given the King of Heaven. And the Kingdom of Heaven is something which is "at hand". It is happening. It is within reach of our hand through this path. And with our blessing will play our part in furthering the kingdom that Jesus has described. Beatitude is the relationship between virtues and blessings. In our virtue, God will bless us. And in our blessing we will become virtuous. Jesus' Way (as in the Way, the Truth, and the Life, or as in the original title of Christianity, The Way) teaches us that we are to become perfected in this way, but not on our own. It requires a relationship with God and a relationship with the world. Virtue and blessing flow from God, and do not exist outside of relationships. The Beatitudes, like the Commandments, are the principles for ordering a new way of living for a new society (the Kingdom of God). Just as the Commandments ordered the Chosen People, the Beatitudes order the Kingdom of God.
  23. fatherman

    The Beatitudes: An Eight-Fold Path

    This is a good visual for me. The visual I've been working with is more like a hurricane. Living the beatitudes is a process, a spin who's effects are felt wider and wider the more strongly we spin. Beatitude is a state of supreme blessedness which cannot be achieved by focusing on the self; rather, it is received by playing our part in bringing about the Kingdom of Heaven. The Beatitudes is a path which fulfills both the person and society, unlike self-help paths. The person is fulfilled when they serve the world. In Jesus' view, that is the secret to happiness or beatitude, not care of self, but care of others.
  24. fatherman

    A Question By A Newcomer

    Hey Rodge, This notion that Progressive Christianity should be something is false. What is important is that it is progressing, emerging, evolving. In order for that to happen, we must be open to change and respectful of other's ideas and beliefs. I believe the 8 points lay a foundation for this. I can believe in the "Christ of Faith" if it suits me. What makes me progressive is that I believe that you don't have to believe it at all. I do not believe that one's self-identification of Christian has to put a theistic God at the center. But I disagree with your assertion that true Progressive Christianity should not include "God and Christ". Historical Jesus' teachings very much include a relationship with God (Father, Daddy). As far as what the nature of Abba is, I think that you don't have to look much further than the use of Abba as a name for God. Jesus popularized this name for God. Jesus is saying that God is like a father. A relationship with God is like the relationship you would have with a father whom you would refer to Daddy. Of course, that may not mean the same for this day and age or to any individual. But I think this is a big change from Lord or Jehovah. I still challenge the term "The Church". I do not believe there is such a thing anymore. It's a way for people who do not got to "a" church to refer to what they perceive as a singular institution. It would be like saying "the Hospital" should stock up on more q-tips because when I went to Norman Regional Hospital, they were low.