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Tcpc Feedback: Future Steps For Tcpc And Progressive Christianity

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TCPC Feedback: Future Steps for TCPC and progressive Christianity

Hello all!

 

Part of what I'm going to be doing here in the future is periodically asking you for input into TCPC's focus and planning.

 

The following questions were given to me by TCPC's secretary and webmaster, Geoffrey Gaskins.

 

1. What are the major issues confronting progressive Christianity today?

 

2. What should TCPC’s role be in the broader progressive Christian movement?

 

3. What is TCPC’s perceived value currently? (e.g. what does TCPC do right now that you find valuable?)

 

4. How could TCPC be more responsive to the spiritual and community needs of individual affiliates/seekers?

 

Please answer in as much detail as you want. Also, if you know anyone who is interested in TCPC yet does not regularly visit our boards, this might be a good time to ask them to visit the board and give us their input!

 

Also, we constantly have new visitors so I may have to repeat these - please don't take offense and always feel free to add to your answer.

 

~ Lib

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Excellent questions. Thank you for raising these questions.

 

The questions have to do with “what is Progressive Christianity”. I note that The Progressive Christian Witness seems to have folded and with their last message in December 2006 they lifted up seven sources of Progressive Christianity of which TCPC was one. The other six sources seem to all be organized around ethics. The Christian Alliance for Progress wants to transform American politics. The Progressive Christian magazine seeks the common good. Progressive Christians Uniting supports global justice issues. The Beatitudes Society supports a prophetic witness for justice, compassion and peace. Faith Voices is concerned with values and ethical concerns. CrossLeft seeks grassroots activism. From this one may conclude that Progressive Christianity has to do with the encouragement of correct action. I think this would be an unfortunate conclusion.

 

I am reminded of Bob Funk and the Jesus Seminar and the attempt to look at what difference the “New Vision” of Jesus makes to the local Church. I remember the anger that was expressed when Borg basically said it made little difference to how he wanted to do church. I remember Spong being impressed that the priest now faced the congregation instead of the alter. Bottom line is that I am discouraged that the “Progressive Christian movement” seems largely limited to ethical concerns and has not found a way to speak to how we do church.

 

An exception to this state of affairs, although it seems to be a limited exception, has been The Center for Progressive Christianity. There seems to have been an attempt here to define Progressive Christianity within a theological history that takes more into account than correct action (not that this ignores or downplays justice issues). To me that continues to be TCPC’s role and value.

 

TCPC has provided a place for many people to come and tell us about many and varied versions of an “I” statement. “I” think, “I” feel, “I” heard from God, etc. But I see some evidence that TCPC is concerned about the “We” questions and therein lies a great potential. If we focus on question 4 and the “needs” of Progressive Christians it seems that we need someplace that will remind us that it is not all about “I” issues. Those who can not go beyond “I” statements don’t see the need and therein lies a great need for service to Liberals/Progressives who many times can’t say “We” without choking.

 

But it is more than just “We” issues. All of those other Progressive groups talk about “We” issues in terms of justice concerns. But without the larger “We” questions even the important justice concerns will not sustain the larger Progressive Christian movement. “We” are just beginning a process that could revolutionize how people see religion in our culture. Such a revolution will not come without organizations that have a vision for such a future. My hope is that the TCPC can be such an organization and help other organizations. It is a good beginning for people to see within the eight points that there is more to “We” than justice issues. The next big step is the one suggested by the Jesus Seminar---what difference does this make to our communal life? Can TCPC respond to this great need?

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Hi! I will attempt to address only one of the points raised right now. Point # 3 What is TCPC current perceived value? I started posting on TCPC several months ago, and looked around at what others were doing and took it from there as to what was appropriate for the site. I found out though that too much editorializing, and 'blogging", and posting articles really wasn't the norm. I didn't know that though and didn't realize it until Monica asked others to stop doing that. Up until that point I posted some of my own articles and got very political at times. I see my politics arising out of my core spiritual values.

 

There is going to be some overlap of politics and spirituality as it realtes to progressive spirituality. However, if TCPC wants to remain primarily a spiritutally focused website , dealing with such issues as a non-literal interpretation of srcipture, a more accepting stance towards gays and lesbians, studying contemporary thinkers such as Fox, Spong, and Borg, then so be it. I can live with that. David mentions other sites that cross over into politics, and I am involved with Crossleft. It took a while but I figured out that intensive political discussion wasn't the norm . Once TCPC does re -invent itself perhaps a mechanism to inform new members as to the parameters of discussion would be helpful.

 

Another possibility: A whole forum dealing with politics as it relates to spirituality.

 

Yet another possibility and this crosses over into Question #4: A whole forum where members can blog, post articles, and offer other links as they see fit, pitch their own web site etc. A daily 'anything goes" forum of sorts.

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As someone who's been around here for awhile (2000? 2001?), I can say that trends in our discussion shift from time to time. To imply that there is some firm set of discussion parameters (although it may feel that way to you, Jim), does not recognize the wide variety of discussion that this forum has seen. We've been political, we've been activist, we've been we, we've been me, we've been mission-focused, we've been angry, we've been peaceful.

 

The common thread, as I see it, is that we are always a platform for "working it out". This is the greatest value to me. When someone feels disenfranchised by the traditional church, they find us and see that there is an alternative. They find the freedom to express themselves. They lay it out to the Universe here. They lose, find, redefine, and rediscover their faith. When any of us undergoes a faith transition, we come here to explore it. Nothing is too "out there" for this community. We've dealt with atheism, philosophy, paganism, Hinduism, Buddhism, humanism, agnosticism, mysticism, gnosticism, New Age, witchcraft, Course in Miracles, channelling, angels, conservatism...you name it. People come and go. Faith journeys take us elsewhere.

 

I don't feel the need for this community to have a mission beyond this. You don't have to go far in your own communities to find opportunities for service, mission, activism. And when you do...come and tell us about your experience...inspire us to become active in our own faith!

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One of the biggest issues facing progressive Christianity is one of respectability and being seen as a legitimate way of experiencing the spiritual in Christianity. We have to manage to do this without "attacking" the religous right, for if we do, we become like them. We must assume the humble Christ spirit as we gain our legitimacy. There are so many "marginal" Christians who know something is wrong with traditional Christianity but they just can't put their finger on it. So they are nominally "Christian", they go to church on Easter and Christmas, and want religious funerals and weddings for their loved ones. Other than that, Sunday means nothing more than a good football day.

 

Then there are the "seekers". They like Oprah. They do a little yoga or tai chi, they like Wayne Dwyer or Marianne Williamson and" The Course in Miracles". Perhaps they have had a flirtation with Eastern religion, Buddhism or Hinduism. When their kids are growing up though it is often half heartedly back to the religion of their youth.

 

Progressive Christianity may be for both of these two different peoples described. Perhaps we are as small as filling a need in a spiritual vacuum as a grand as a quantum leap in consciousness.

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I beleve believe PC is an important bridge connecting the church to the new age spirituality which is very popular in the USA and possibly around the globe.

 

Here in the USA the New Age ideas run deep as well as traditional Christianity.

 

The 2 camps do not have nearly enough respect for each other currently and we need to work on this. I believe we can and should work on integrating core Christian beliefs and values with core New Age beliefs and values. We need to create ... no, I believe God is creating ... the new church for the new age.

 

The new church for the new age can be described in many ways. It is the Great Evolutionary Leap Forward. It is Synchronicity. It is God's "new thing." It is "the new heavens and the new earth." It is the Tao. It is the Way. It is the Jubilee. It is the Good News.

 

Christianity was born and developed because it could successfully integrate the dominant spiritual movements of the Hebrew and Greek and Roman world. The new global village situation requires a new integrating effort. It's very challenging and demanding and essential and rewarding work.

Edited by mystictrek

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Hey all. Okay, I admit it. I haven't been around for quite some time. But lo and behold, I drop in and find a thread I can't refuse. :) What I write here is informed by my current endeavors into new church development.

 

>>1. What are the major issues confronting progressive Christianity today?<<

 

I'm currently working on writing something about this, only from the perspective of active ministry to "postmoderns." I'll try to fire off some highlights from the hip.

 

Scriptural authority: When we take critical study of the texts we hold sacred seriously, we have to ask "how are they really sacred to us." I think we need to move away from a sense of "scriptural authority" and toward an understanding that the texts are the result of reflection on experience, that may or may not help us. Indeed, in various instances, may even be wrong. The texts become for us a dialogue partner that doesn't exclude other authentic dialogue partners.

 

Exclusivism: Obviously, progressives aren't very exclusivists. However, that is the perception of Christianity as a whole. Postmodern culture is both participatory and inclusive. It carries with it an intolerance of exclusivity. I think this is something that should be validated as a justice issue. Tolerance of bigotry and prejudice are the allies of bigotry and prejudice. So long as we use the rhetoric of "dialogue" to accept the "validity" of abusive spirituality, we invalidate our own perspective in the eyes of the spiritual-but-not-religious postmoderns. So, part of what we need is a strong stand against divinely ordained abusive structures.

 

Abusive theism: I know that Spong has issues with theism as a way of envisioning God. But what I've found is that postmoderns don't really care of one is a theist, panentheist, or a pantheise. The question that is paramount is (to use Crossan's phrase) "what's the character of your God?" The issue is a vision of God that is perceived as abusive to others. This too is something that we need to stand against.

 

Human sexuality: I've found that the church's stance on human sexuality actually drives people away. It makes churchy folk look petty and ignorant. When I first watched the movie Kinsey, I remember thinking that this is the key issue that the church hasn't come to terms wit h. This of course leads us back to the issue of Scriptural Authority (or lack thereof).

 

Publicity: From what I can gather, few people are aware that a progressive form of Christianity exists.

 

 

‘Nuff of that for now.

 

>>2. What should TCPC’s role be in the broader progressive Christian movement?<<

TCPC should be an active agent in the following.

~ Ideology: A very loud alternative voice that rivals the voice of pop-evangelicalism. That means taking a stand against theology and structures that promote injustice in this world. Here I think of Sam Harris’ argument (The End of Faith) that moderate religious folk are dangerous in that they validate fundamentalism as a valid “perspective.” I also think of Marc Ellis (Practicing Exile) who argues that Israel cannot truly claim to be “Jewish” as long as they ignore the Covenant’s demand (as opposed to a suggestion) for justice when it comes to the Palestinians. Yes, a strong stand would enrage traditionalists and moderates, but there are many postmoderns out there looking for a Christian alternative that is willing to take such a stand.

 

~ Organization: A promoter of and supplier for new church development. While we live in a post-Christian and post-religious world, we also live in a post-secular world. Hence, the spiritual-but-not-religious types. Tangible, official communities need to be formed that present a progressive Christian alternative. As denominations dwindle into nothingness (the natural result of a post-denominational world), something needs to be presented to take their place. What I suggest is not another form of denomination, but a network (similar to Emergent). The result would be autonomous communities taking advantage of technological advances to engage in mutual, supportive dialogue.

 

>>3. What is TCPC’s perceived value currently? (e.g. what does TCPC do right now that you find valuable?)<<

I have to speak honestly on this one since it is a feeback question, and please remember I intend no offense and certainly value the vision of TCPC. But my answer to this is that TCPC doesn’t seem to be of much value at all.

I think the forums are great, but the potential limited. Perhaps the best part is the promotion of speaking engagements. But even then, as I scan the list, I think the momentum is minimal. For TCPC to become effective, it needs to become an active, widely recognizable symbol of the Christian alternative. Some possibilities come to mind. Television specials, vodcasts, podcasts, free online articles, and anything else that gets attention and makes the message available. This also brings us back to the formation of new faith communities, which would be on the ground networks that make the TCPC symbolic presence local.

 

>>4. How could TCPC be more responsive to the spiritual and community needs of individual affiliates/seekers?<<

 

I think I’ve already answered this one by default in my above responses.

 

***********************

Well, that’s me firing from the hip. I hope what I write doesn’t ruffle feathers too much (though some ruffling is usually a good thing). Hopefully, time will allow me to hang out here more often (though I know I’ve said that before).

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TCPC Feedback: Future Steps for TCPC and progressive Christianity

Hello all!

 

1. What are the major issues confronting progressive Christianity today?

 

2. What should TCPC’s role be in the broader progressive Christian movement?

 

 

 

~ Lib

 

Lib

 

Before we can go anywhere, as a religious organization, we need to develop a concept of god that works for everyone. That is the first major issue that has to be resolved.

 

David brought up something very important about the “We” issue. Who do “We” include? Are “We” One World under god? I, a tiny partial expression of god on the circle of the rainbow of many colours, wave lengths, personalities, sizes, wants, needs, desires, etc.; have to expand my ego and become [b]I[/b], a total expression of god. “We” have to include everyone in god’s realm from the worlds perceived greatest hero to the world’s worst and most despicable criminal and political leader and everyone in between. We need to look at dysfunctional personalities as needing to be brought back, as the one who strayed, into the harmony of the “99 sheep”. “We” are god and so are “they”.

 

Jesus was not a Christian, nor did he start the Christian movement. It was started some years later in his name. He taught us the “I AM” sayings and great wisdom. We now know, however, that the wisdom he taught came from Hindu, Egyptian and Pagan ideas. Perhaps we could broaden our scope and change the name to The Centre for Progressive Religion. That way we are not seen as promoting the “We” as being only Christians. We need to invite all people to participate regardless of their religious affiliation. Inviting all people to the table of god is the Eucharist in action. Before we can progress any further we need to sort out the issue of god and the issue of who we want to be.

 

BobD

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LibC,

 

As a non churchgoer, I can't answer the questions on how PC has influenced social activism. One thing I'd really like to understand, is why progressive Christianity is perceived as threatening by fundamentalists/evangelists --the "religious right" --even by moderate traditional Christians. What exactly are the reasons for fear?

 

Also, as a member of Beliefnet since 2000, I couldn't help noticing how the PC boards have gone downhill from the first few years of enthusiasm and serious discussion, as the war in Iraq has dragged on and on. There seems to be a definite correlation between interest/support for PC, and periods of relative peace. At least from the perspective of these types of forums. I could be wrong.

 

One other thought--is the term "progressive" problematic in itself? Would Open Christianity be better?

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I think "Emergent" and "Red Letter" Christian are promising terms with some recent press and faces attached. Perhaps TCPC could support the movements of Jim Wallis and Brian McLaren.

 

Let's not worry so much about "we"... what "we" believe, what "we" support... having a "we" creates a "you" and we're back to the same old same old.

 

How about starting with what Jesus said was the sum of the law? Love God with all your heart, all your strength, and all your mind and love your neighbor as yourself. Even if they are a "fundie" :P Whoever gets those 2 down first gets to make the rest of the rules.... it won't be me. ;)

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Let's not worry so much about "we"... what "we" believe, what "we" support... having a "we" creates a "you" and we're back to the same old same old.

 

Cynthia;

 

Your point is well taken; however if the "We" includes all people on earth, there is nobody left to call "you". The problem up to now is that when anyone forms a group called "We", they always exclude somebody whom they call "you". We have to expand our egos to include every living person in the family of human beings in the "We" group. That is what Jesus meant when he said "I am God's Son" (John 10:36) or "I am in the Father and the Father is in Me." (John 14:11) He was not talking about himself, he was talking about every single human being, including himself, as being part of the One Consciousness called Me, the most powerful force in the universe also called the omniescient consciousness or the matrix - a force that we can tap if we listen to the mystic and Gnostic teachings of Jesus.

 

If Jesus was talking exclusively about himself, the would have been making himself an idol and that is a violation of the second commandment.

 

BobD

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There are" Progressive Christians" and then again there are" Progressive Christians".

 

I was intially attracted to TCPC because both my spirituality and my politics are progressive.

Both subjects are fascinating to me, especially it seems as I grow older and more cerebral.

 

I have noticed though as I talk to others and read and investigate relevant websites that the term "Progressive Christian" means very different things to different people.

 

To some "Progressive Christian" is strictly a theological term, politics doesn't enter into the picture at all. It is about 'progressive" change within the faith itself. I read James Rowe Adams interview by the Humanists and he said "..I don't think religious institutions should be attempting to influence and let alone control government" He also later said in the interview that he was apalled by Jim Wallis' book"God's Poltics". I would assume that Rev Adams would be one of the thinkers that thinks "Progressive Christian" is strictly a theological term and since Rev Adams started this site I would imagine that at its inception this site at least had some of this theme.

 

Others calling themselves "Progressive Christians" are very orthodox in their faith but their politics are "Progressive" so they are calling themselves' Progressive Christians". Some of these folks are born again Evangelicals normally associated with the religious right, but reclaiming the "social" or red letter" gospel and preaching a populist political gospel. These folks may land anywhere on the spectrum of opinions on the "hot button" issues of Gay marriage and the abortion debate. Many African American religous leaders have fit into this category of Evangelical "red letter" social gospel disciples for years and now we have Jim Wallis and Sojourners, Tony Campolo, and others loosely fitting into this category.

 

Then there are others, like myself, whose progressive faith demands progressive political change. This is not about trying to make my faith a national religion but about working for universal goals such as peace, justice, universal health care, social security, education, and so.My faith is probably very different from someone who belongs to Pax Christi or someone from the American Humanist Society but I bet we have many similar goals for the society we live in and it is our right to work for those universal goals without trying to impose our faith or our philosophy on the nation as a whole.

 

If anyone would like to share more thoughts on the "Progressive Christian" versus "Progressive Christian" terminology usage, please comment and do so.

 

As far as to what kind of site I would like, it is probably obvious that I do see social issues interfacing with faith. I cannot be an ostrich with its head stuck in the sand , debating theological niceities and sublties while my country is aflame with greed, wars, and injustice.

 

If a site that is strictly about theology is what most want, then so be it. I will probably drop by once or twice a week and see what's up.For me to give the site real passion though, I think it is about "red letter" Christianity and a radical personal spirituality that fosters a radical political perspective. Amen Brothers and Sisters.

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We have to become concerned with the ills of mankind and the release of any confining patterns that would block forward movement towards a progressive more mature outlook. Jesus as an individual and a member of society approved the involvement in good living and a just order in society. He had a feeling and a love for all and didn't associate only with Christians. He used his healing power on all kinds of people, not just his favorites or those who could give him a donation. Therefore, as Christian Progressives we should not seek to propagate any one religious doctrine or secular group, but should point to man's need for liberation from anything fixed or confining. Together Christians and non-Christians will have to look through and beyond this planet to a mysterious and inexpressible union in God's pure consciousness (the Father) in life and love.

 

Great discussion

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Soma, I really like that part about "Christian and non-Christians" looking through and beyond this planet..". We are definetly all in this together.

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"The gospel says there is no us and them."

 

Cynthia,

 

Red Letter Christians was a new one on me--I guess Jesus' quotes as the social gospel, might take the focus off issues like homosexuality, abortion, evolution etc that he never spoke on.

 

Emergent seems like a good alternative term--Marcus Borg talks about it in the 2006 book The Emergent Church.

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We are all Christians because we identify with the spiritual practices of Christ. We feed the hungry and feed Christ, inadvertly feeding ourselves. We progress spiritually by changing an injustice or helping the less fortunate, in other words we are progressing at different angles depending on our object of assistance. The progressive part is always changing because it is a moving target, but the Christian part is a constant even though we have different practices or are on different paths. As Christians we identify with the teaching of Christ even though we interpret them differently. We are all moving in an unmoving Spiritual consciousness. It is there, here, everywhere we just have to discover it. We have chosen to do that by progressing towards it by being progressive, which I liken to loving.

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Rivanna - search beliefnet for "red letter christians" - neat little article from a conference in D.C.

 

As for a rallying cry??? How about Radical Compassion?

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Somehow the term "Red Letter Christians" sounds too literal, or the red gets associated with the Republican party --just my personal quibble :-) Ironically "progressive" suggests getting further away from origins, when (as I see it) PC recovers the original spirit of the Way Christ taught.

 

About compassion, yes, helping the neighbor, whoever that means for us as individuals, in whatever ways our given abilities enable us. As you know, demonstrating compassion on internet forums can be problematic, to say the least. Even among progressive Christians, I've sometimes experienced deep distrust and resentment, no matter how benign the intentions. As Henri Nouwen said, "being present is not always the best gift to give someone. Sometimes the best thing to do is to leave and allow the spirit of God to work and become present in an entirely new way."

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Together Christians and non-Christians will have to look through and beyond this planet to a mysterious and inexpressible union in God's pure consciousness (the Father) in life and love.

 

Great discussion

 

Soma

 

As usual, you are right on the point. Christians and non-Christians includes avery single person on earth. So, as Progressive Christians we seem to have a concensus that we want to reach out to everybody. The next question is "What is the target of our progression?" I feel that that target is world harmony among both the family of man and mother earth. Would it be more appropriate to call ourselves "The Centre for Harmonizing Religion"? "Harmonizing in this title would have a double meaning. It could be considered a verb meaning action towards harmonizing all religions. It could also be considered an adjective meaning religious activities that are harmonizing.

 

You also seem to have an accurate concept of god as pure consciousness, (Father) and I would also express it as One or I. These words essentially mean the same thing, "The Kingdom of god is within us." Once we have established "harmonizing" as our objective and god as "One" with each and every human as a tiny partial expression of that god, as our base, then we can move to the next step. Two possibilities that may help towards harmonizing man are forgiveness and loving your enemies by praying for those who persecute. What do you all think? Does this seem like a good starting point?

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Bobd, I totally agree with your ideal, which brings the discovery of a new reality along with balance. As we acquire unity, we see that nothing exist in isolation so the nature of our being is unity, a unity of body, mind and spirit. Harmony can be achieved with a watchful mind and the knowledge that everything is united in God, if old fears, doubts and prejudices wear away to make room for new ideas and understanding. Unity is a concept that we must open our minds to make it effective so it can change our lives, making us aware that our bodies are in harmony with God, and His power is within. I am just saying in different words what Bobd said. God flows through every atom of our being fortifying, energizing and renewing, but we are not aware of it. Embracing and identifying with unity, instead of our minds easily opens our being to the influx of new ideas, new thoughts, new people, and the new situations that come into our experience.

This movement towards unity is progressive. Because we see this unity in God the Father which is everything, we can say we are Christians. Unite them into one and we have Progressive Christians. This makes Christianity all inclusive and not the regressive exclusive club some are trying to make it.

 

Thanks for the mental stimulus on unity.

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Okay, TCPC administrators, this is what I, Jesus, have to say.

 

Now, dear and faithful friends, I'm sure you're entirely sceptical of Jen's claims, and I'm sure you don't believe for a minute that somebody could actually be such a clear channel for me, but, you know, sometimes God steps in whether you like it or not.

 

First, let me ask you a few questions:

 

1. Do you actually believe in God? Because if you don't actually believe in God and and God's mysterious powers, then there's little point in having a professed faith in Progressive Christianity.

 

2. Do you believe in science? Because if you don't actually care to understand how matter behaves, and how quantum physics governs the universe, then there's no possibility of your moving forward into a stronger, clearer, more compassionate faith.

 

3. Do you believe that God answers prayers (some of them, at least)? Because if you don't, then you don't really believe in God, and you don't really believe in God's mysterious powers, and you don't really believe in the science which is God.

 

4. Do you believe that maybe, just maybe, God is actually trying to communicate the clear, simple truth of how to live according to the Way, and the basic problem is that most people don't want to listen because they'll have to get off their duffs and do some intentional work towards being the amazing angels-in-human-form they're all capable of being? Because if you don't believe in the phenomenal integrity and commitment to Truth shared by all souls in God's creation, then you don't actually believe in God, and you don't actually believe in God's mysterious powers, and you don't actually believe in the science which is God, and you don't actually believe in the perfectibility of humankind.

 

5. Do you believe it's actually impossible -- not improbable, but impossible -- for a person to work so hard to be in the Christ Zone that quantum communication becomes crystal clear? Because if you believe it's impossible, then nothing I say today will make an impression on you. Nothing I say will help you meet your avowed goals. And nothing -- nothing -- will change. Again.

 

6. Why in Heaven's name would God pass up such an amazing opportunity (i.e the Internet) to get a few healing ideas across to the loving but uncertain angels-in-human-form who are reading your site?

 

7. Why don't I post on any other spiritual or religious site but this one?

 

8. Why did Dostoevsky posit in his parable of the Grand Inquisitor (from the Brothers Karamazov) that miracle, mystery, and authority are the three forces yearned for by mankind?

 

9. Where are the miracles?

 

10. Do you want the miracles? Because if you do, you'd better ask yourself how you feel about the first 9 questions I asked.

 

11. Miracles take time, even when you believe.

 

12. Whether you like it or not, you are a miracle.

 

Amen. Jesus. April 29, 2007

Edited by canajan, eh?

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QUESTION 3 - What does TCPC do right now that you find valuable?

 

It exists (!!) and is accessible to me.

 

I'm not part of a worshipping community right now. By choice I stepped out of the regularity of church attendance after a long time and realise now that I don't know what I believe or if I actually believe in God anymore. That doesn't sit well with many people who know me ;) (funnily enough!!). I haven't posted for months but I visit regularly to read comments and consider bigger questions than I'm used to contemplating (from a reasonably conservative background). Some posters confuse me, some comfort me, some challenge me, some grieve me and some intrigue me, but ALL give me a sense that there is no question that dare not be asked of another, or dare not be asked of (or about) God. It is valuable to me to read the wrestling questions and thoughts posted here, only a few of which have fleetingly crossed my mind but I have been too scared or ashamed or intimadated or confused to dwell on and some I have not dared to entertain or utter out loud. I find it valuable to come and read and consider and have the freedom to post or not post. It opens up my thinking and has kept me searching or contemplating this 'thing' called God for longer than I expected, and that's valuable to me.

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TCPC Feedback: Future Steps for TCPC and progressive Christianity

Hello all!

 

Part of what I'm going to be doing here in the future is periodically asking you for input into TCPC's focus and planning.

 

The following questions were given to me by TCPC's secretary and webmaster, Geoffrey Gaskins.

 

1. What are the major issues confronting progressive Christianity today?

 

Attacks from conservatives and fundamentalists

 

 

2. What should TCPC’s role be in the broader progressive Christian movement?

 

place for dialog for progressives and friends for progressives, place for news and events that progressives would be interested in or should be aware of

 

3. What is TCPC’s perceived value currently? (e.g. what does TCPC do right now that you find valuable?)

 

connections to other progressives and progressive sites

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I apologise for coming in late. The previous posts all have merit. There is one point that I think PC should consider seriously.

 

There is a danger in any new movement of repeating the mistakes of the past - more often through association rather than by design. It would be disappointing should PC follow the traditional Church and develop, for whatever reason, a doctrin or dogmatics by whatever name. I do not see PC as exclusive - therefore no boundaries - that is - none, zip, zero. Scary? - well Jesus set no boundaries to his Love - that's should be our example.

 

But, knowing humans and our inherent weakness for developing tribal mentalities I offer a possible solution for consideration; - Process Theology.

 

I do not propose to outline what PT is all above other than to say that embracing this Theology changes the orientation of one's mind from classical, or traditional, Christinaity towards the idea of process - that creation is an on-going phenomena and GOD is present in every step. I'm not going to say any more as to do so will inevitable end up like a sales pitch. Rather, those interested should google Process Theology or Process Theory and take it from there.

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