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True Ways?

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Guest billmc

Point 2 says that, concerning the faiths of other people, progressive Christians "acknowledge that their ways are true for them, as our ways are true for us."

 

What does this mean from a practical viewpoint?

 

For instance, if other people believed that to be faithful to their understanding of the kingdom of God, it would be necessary to kill infidels (those who don't hold to their ways), would PC recognize that as a "true way?" Or if other people believed that to be faithful to their understanding of the kingdom of God, it would be necessary to occupy a particular piece of land and to mutilate their sexual organs, would PC recognize that as a "true way?" Or if other people believed that to be faithful to their understanding of the kingdom of God, all abortions should be outlawed and homosexuals should be persecuted, would PC recognize that as a "true way?"

 

Does point 2 mean that we simply recognize that others hold to their ways and allow them to do so as part of freedom of religion, or does it mean that we approve of their ways as being valid "paths to God's kingdom?"

 

Any thoughts on this?

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Not to ignore your question, TCPC has a study guide concerning point 2 that you may or may not have already read. I don't know but it can be found here,,,

 

For me from a practical standpoint, it is merely an affirmation that no one single religion has an inside track to God. And that it is wise to be open to understanding that words are often differently used to point to the same thing. Of course, as in your example, it would not be wise for anyone including someone who considered themself a PC to accept the "killing of infidels" as a true way to God. It violates many of the other 7 points. Point 2 points to something but in no way, in my view, can its words be taken accurately as an absolute declaration of context in itself. As i believe you know and have experienced, words can be made to speak according to ones own heart rather than the intent of the author.

 

Just one way of looking at the question,

Joseph

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Guest billmc

Not to ignore your question, TCPC has a study guide concerning point 2 that you may or may not have already read. I don't know but it can be found here,,,

 

Thanks for your response, Joseph, and for the link. I re-read it, as it's been a while. :)

 

For me from a practical standpoint, it is merely an affirmation that no one single religion has an inside track to God. And that it is wise to be open to understanding that words are often differently used to point to the same thing.

 

That makes sense to me. And I agree that no one single religion has an inside track to God. The study guide's focus on pluralism highlights, as you say, that we often have different words for similar concepts. And different practices that help us to experience God or the More or transcendence.

 

At the same time, and I'm not saying that I think Point 2 is wrong, pluralism does seem to suggest that all religions and all beliefs lead to God and what we call God's kingdom. IMO, there is a balance to be found between "There is only one road to Rome" and "All roads lead to Rome." :) Or I hope there is. I'm not sure where that balance is. Perhaps it is, as you have suggested, taking into account the other Points as context. Or perhaps balance is something that is not static, that needs to be continuously sought after as context changes and as we grow in wisdom.

 

There is, I believe, a need in our time for unity as perhaps never before. That does require pluralism and coming to understand others as best as we can, especially if that unity is focused on getting past the exclusivity of old religions and mindsets where, as the study guide says, certain people or people groups think they are God's favorites. Personally, I would rather be a greeter at the door than a doorkeeper. And perhaps it has been my recent meditations on the events of 9-11, but I sometimes wonder if it is truly wisest and best to throw open the doors to everyone and to try to live without borders.

 

PS - If you feel this thread better belongs in the Dialogue and Debate section, please feel free to move it there.

Edited by billmc

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Thanks for your response, Joseph, and for the link. I re-read it, as it's been a while. :)

 

 

 

That makes sense to me. And I agree that no one single religion has an inside track to God. The study guide's focus on pluralism highlights, as you say, that we often have different words for similar concepts. And different practices that help us to experience God or the More or transcendence.

 

At the same time, and I'm not saying that I think Point 2 is wrong, pluralism does seem to suggest that all religions and all beliefs lead to God and what we call God's kingdom. IMO, there is a balance to be found between "There is only one road to Rome" and "All roads lead to Rome." :) Or I hope there is. I'm not sure where that balance is. Perhaps it is, as you have suggested, taking into account the other Points as context. Or perhaps balance is something that is not static, that needs to be continuously sought after as context changes and as we grow in wisdom.

 

There is, I believe, a need in our time for unity as perhaps never before. That does require pluralism and coming to understand others as best as we can, especially if that unity is focused on getting past the exclusivity of old religions and mindsets where, as the study guide says, certain people or people groups think they are God's favorites. Personally, I would rather be a greeter at the door than a doorkeeper. And perhaps it has been my recent meditations on the events of 9-11, but I sometimes wonder if it is truly wisest and best to throw open the doors to everyone and to try to live without borders.

 

PS - If you feel this thread better belongs in the Dialogue and Debate section, please feel free to move it there.

 

Very good question Bill! My belief is to recognise other peoples ways as part of their freedom to make choices just I have my freedom to make my own choices. I believe there are may paths to God but I will not get bogged down in which paths are right and which are wrong as that is for God to decide.

 

It also comes down to our individual choices. Many of us would have different thoughts on big issues like homosexuality and abortions. I say treat everyone with love, respect and honesty and God will take care of the rest! :)

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(snip)

At the same time, and I'm not saying that I think Point 2 is wrong, pluralism does seem to suggest that all religions and all beliefs lead to God and what we call God's kingdom. IMO, there is a balance to be found between "There is only one road to Rome" and "All roads lead to Rome." smile.gif Or I hope there is. I'm not sure where that balance is. Perhaps it is, as you have suggested, taking into account the other Points as context. Or perhaps balance is something that is not static, that needs to be continuously sought after as context changes and as we grow in wisdom.

 

There is, I believe, a need in our time for unity as perhaps never before. That does require pluralism and coming to understand others as best as we can, especially if that unity is focused on getting past the exclusivity of old religions and mindsets where, as the study guide says, certain people or people groups think they are God's favorites. Personally, I would rather be a greeter at the door than a doorkeeper. And perhaps it has been my recent meditations on the events of 9-11, but I sometimes wonder if it is truly wisest and best to throw open the doors to everyone and to try to live without borders.

 

PS - If you feel this thread better belongs in the Dialogue and Debate section, please feel free to move it there.

 

Your concerns seem to me to be most valid and your understanding very much as my own. The discussion seems fine here as i see no debate. I personally do not wonder much lately which course is best or wiser but rather trust that which seems to direct my feet to stay on course. Balance does seem to me to play an important part in the journey and i would agree it is not static.

 

Joseph

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God speaks to me, and I try to listen. God also speaks to you, and you may well hear something different.

 

God may say something different to each of us, or each of us may hear the same thing differently.

 

The question of do we recognize all paths as "true" or just recognize that each believer believes their path is "true" is one of the sort that the general semantics loves to examine and play with.

 

Personally I think the question of whether or not all paths to God's Kingdom are "true" ways is one that is answerable only by God. I can easilly accept that I believe what I believe to be true is true, and can accept that you believe what you believe to be true. It remains a fact that I will continue to believe somethings are false, even if you believe them to be true.

 

As I am only a flawed human, the best I can do is to respect that you believe what you believe, I believe what I believe, and ultimately one, both or neither of us may prove to be correct in our beliefs.

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Point 2 says that, concerning the faiths of other people, progressive Christians "acknowledge that their ways are true for them, as our ways are true for us."

 

What does this mean from a practical viewpoint?

 

For instance, if other people believed that to be faithful to their understanding of the kingdom of God, it would be necessary to kill infidels (those who don't hold to their ways), would PC recognize that as a "true way?" Or if other people believed that to be faithful to their understanding of the kingdom of God, it would be necessary to occupy a particular piece of land and to mutilate their sexual organs, would PC recognize that as a "true way?" Or if other people believed that to be faithful to their understanding of the kingdom of God, all abortions should be outlawed and homosexuals should be persecuted, would PC recognize that as a "true way?"

 

Does point 2 mean that we simply recognize that others hold to their ways and allow them to do so as part of freedom of religion, or does it mean that we approve of their ways as being valid "paths to God's kingdom?"

 

Any thoughts on this?

 

 

Very good question Bill! My belief is to recognise other peoples ways as part of their freedom to make choices just I have my freedom to make my own choices. I believe there are may paths to God but I will not get bogged down in which paths are right and which are wrong as that is for God to decide.

 

It also comes down to our individual choices. Many of us would have different thoughts on big issues like homosexuality and abortions. I say treat everyone with love, respect and honesty and God will take care of the rest! :)

 

 

God speaks to me, and I try to listen. God also speaks to you, and you may well hear something different.

 

God may say something different to each of us, or each of us may hear the same thing differently.

 

The question of do we recognize all paths as "true" or just recognize that each believer believes their path is "true" is one of the sort that the general semantics loves to examine and play with.

 

Personally I think the question of whether or not all paths to God's Kingdom are "true" ways is one that is answerable only by God. I can easilly accept that I believe what I believe to be true is true, and can accept that you believe what you believe to be true. It remains a fact that I will continue to believe somethings are false, even if you believe them to be true.

 

As I am only a flawed human, the best I can do is to respect that you believe what you believe, I believe what I believe, and ultimately one, both or neither of us may prove to be correct in our beliefs.

 

This is an interesting thread!

I want to preface my post here with this: I have spent time on another forum (for the curious, city-data.com). I've seen a lot of doctrines, and a lot of people who do not tolerate anything other than their own interpretation of Scripture.

 

That said, I would say that that there are 2 basic things I believe hold much truth in, and which to me are quite "progressive:" one, that God is in our hearts. And two, that that God in point one, is Love.

Now learning more about Love is to me what it's all about. And the Scriptures (I'm open to other sources as well, why exclude them?) tell us that love "believes all things."

 

Maybe others here can correct me if I'm wrong; I think that TCPC is right on about this aspect of Love. Accepting other people in their walks, whatever they may be. That is an expression of Love, and so it is also an expression of God.

 

May The Almighty lead us all into Higher Truth in Him..

Brian

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Point 2

"By calling ourselves progressive, we mean that we are Christians who recognize the faithfulness of other people who have other names for the way to God's realm, and acknowledge that their ways are true for them, as our ways are true for us."

 

What does this mean from a practical viewpoint?

 

I think it means that there is an opportunity for conversation recognizing

 


  1.  
  2. that it is difficult to understand a belief system from the outside. A dialectical pluralist might issue an invitation, "Let's talk. I won't always think the same thoughts. Maybe one day we will have more in common. Maybe not."
     
  3. that "bad" behavior has political and legal limits. An ethical pluralist might evaluate a religion by asking, "Is it trying to create a more ethical and just world?"

 

Actually I think there is the assumption in Point 2 that the religions being considered are not overtly violent. May not.

 

Take Care

 

Dutch

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