Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
ritch81

Role Modeling-P/c Style?

Recommended Posts

I guess I'd best start this by paraphrasing Jim Bouton "I hope you don't take this personal " followed by the TV disclaimer---the following may not be suitable to all viewers.

 

In reading the 8 point credo of P/C I'm somewhat puzzled by #1 re "following the path and teaching of Jesus." To begin with, the only source documents to support his existence are the Gospels, easily the most discredited manucsripts in the annals of time. If you think that's a bit strong, read Spong. The Gospel writers are unknowns whose accounts are no better than second and third hand recollections derived from unverifiable sources. Mark, Matthew and Luke, presumably synoptic are shot through with deadly inaccuracies and contradictions. That's why when you say to follow the path and teachings of Jesus I scratch my head.

Work with me on this. Suppose I walked up to you and said, "Do you know that during WW11, Winston Churchill was a Nazi spy reporting directly to Hitler?" Justifiably you'd laugh in my face and ask "Where the hell did you hear that?" Me: "I read it in a book". You: "Who wrote it?" Me: "I dont know. '"The obvious question is, "if I asked you who wrote the New and Old Testaments you'd be obligated to respond "I don't know."

 

One quick example; Matt 10:15 "Go nowhere among the gentiles. Enter no towns of the Samaratans but rather to the lost sheep of the House of Israel." Now does that sound like someone preaching universality? Jesus was a conservative Jew whose self ordained mission was to bring fallen away Jews back to the tradional Faith. Then years later some scholar recognized the faux pas and corrected it in Matt 10:28 to read "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations. What do you think?

 

How about Matt 10:34 "Do not think I come to bring peace on earth, but with a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father and a mother against her daughter etc." I don't know, that doesn't sound like a teaching I'd want to follow.

 

In Luke, his mother Mary takes his four brothers with her up to Nazereth because she heard that he was acting "beside himself." That's a polite way of saying he sounds like he's heading off the tracks. Then when she gets there he rejects her and his brothers: "My mother and brothers are those who wish to hear the word of God and do it". ....Thanks for coming Mom.

 

I think I'd best stop here before I get too verbose. But I think you get the drift. Quoting Spong..."If you're looking for literal accuracy, you won't find it in either Testament...! To base your creed on what you select read from the Gospels, imo "Ain't quite Kosher.

 

Ritch

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We don't have any means of verifying the authorship of many ancient and pre-modern texts, I'm not sure why that means we cannot derive insights from them or follow their teachings. Obviously there are two sides to the issue of the veracity of the texts, but I'm not very interested in apologetics, as to me its beside the point. I don't see any need to attempt to strip "Christ" down to bare historical foundations. Christ to me does not pre-exist faith and practice, there is no separate 'foundation' from which we could derive the reality of Christ.

 

Peace,

Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All I can say to this is how I've positioned what Jesus supposedly said, or anything else in the bible, or from any other source, actually, in my own view of how any of it fits into my reality.

 

Whoever Jesus 'was' or might have been or what is presented through his supposed words, actions, and teachings, I have 'heard' within that a 'voice' a 'wisdom' that resonates with something deep within me and to which I've responded. It is hard to explain just what I mean when I say, it is not to belief in the actual accounts and narratives in the bible themselves, or any subjection to any "authorit" of that source, to which I respond, but to something from within them. And the same is so of any othher worldly 'source' for me. I.e., I do not blindly and without question accept what is written there, or what any others tell me it supposedly 'means', that holds any posotion of "authority" for me, but do value what I might find there to be mined as a treasure, sometime laying openly and obvious, often taking some serious mining and refining efforts to get at.

 

Bottom line, if I cannot find the nugget of gold within any of it, something that passes both my test of reason against oservation in reality, and the presence of something real and valuable in it, I must either discard it, or in some cases, just hold it aside pending further evidence and examination, as well as perhaps a further stage of my own growth and maturity. I liken that latter to such as some books and movies I encountered earlier in my life, in which I found nothing of interest, nothing to relate to, but which at some point I came back to later, and found them very interesting, very meaningful, not for that that material had changed, but that i had.

 

In some in the bible and other sources whether in written literature or even something someone has said, I may have a sense that there is something intriguing in it, something worthwhile, but that I just don't know what it is yet. In such case, more often emerges into my awareness and understanding at some later time. I feel this is very much so for me in many of what are called Jesus's "hard sayings", or as commonly encountered in very early references, "secret sayings" of Jesus. Actually, most of what we do have as Jesus's supposed words in the NT were called that, Jesus' "secret sayings." That refers not to any cult-like idea that onnly certain people were to be allowed to even hear them, but that there were "secret" (secreted, hidden) underlying meanings, which were dependent upon some attained level of understanding, as as hinted at with such as "those that have ears to hear" or "eyes to see," and "for those than can receive it."

That can sound so very occultic, gnostic, or some exclusive secret society kind of thing, and has not uncommonly been taken that way, but makes sense if considered in context of such as my example of above, of how books or moives that once made no sense to me later do. Likewise, perhaps another analogy or metaphor, as we might experience in such as math. At a time and stage of learning at which we are still working on mastering basic math, that presented in higher forms of math, algebra, trig, calculus, etc, are entirely meaningless to us, not for it is "secret knowledge" imparted only to some speically chosen few, but becasue we just aren't yet prepared with the foundation needed to comprehend it.

 

Jenell

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mike:

Thanx for the reply but I think you're missing my point. The P/C Creed requires a following of the example of Jesus; that's kind of tough when you have no valid proof as to just what his agenda was. I quoted a couple of New Testament example to support my case. Just for the record I believe that Jesus was a man...not divine. Further proof can be determined from the Lucan example. Why, if his mother was aware of his divine state would she be undertaking a long journey to Nazareth, with his four brothers, to haul him back home before he hurt himself. His conduct in this instance appears to me that he was at a point of believing his own publicity. He outright disses his family. What's so God like about that. I had a mom and two brothers who would have grabbed me by the back of the neck if I pulled a stunt like that.

You should also be aware that it was Bishop[ Spong who opened the doors to reality. Most of what I'm saying is supported by his literary works which set me on this track. You really can't be progressive if you're going to rely on folklore and myth which still puzzles the minds of a slew of respected scholars and theologians.

 

As I said earlier, don't take this personal I'm merely stating my own fix on the value of according Jesus unwarranted status.

 

Ritch

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ritch,

 

I think you might find it interesting that Bishop Spong himself is an honorary advisor here at Progressive Christianity.org. We are also the publisher of his newsletters that you may be quite fond of.. I think you will find that he has no problems with our 8 points or principles in general. (not a creed)

 

Some reading of other posts here might make you aware of what other PC';s believe or do not believe about the Bible. it might save you quite a bit of time to not have to preach to the choir so to speak. . I don';t think anyone here is missing your point but perhaps you are not yet familiar with how others here feel about the 8 points of TCPC. There are 8 subforums dedicated to those points that can be found from the main forum page.

 

Whether the Bible is accurate or not as it reads is to many not the point. The point of point #1 is that most who identify as Progressive Christians found an approach to God through the reported teachings of Jesus. Whether Jesus historically ever existed or not for many but not all is beside the point. Each finds or does not find wisdom in a particular teaching. PC here has no dogma or doctrine other than the general principles in the 8 points. I personally found an approach to God through one of the reported teachings of Jesus.That in no way obligates.one to accept all as recorded fact.

 

Joseph (as member)

.

Ritch81,

Just a friendly public note to a new member------

Your comment ....

You really can't be progressive if you are going to rely on folklore and myth which still puzzles the minds of a slew of respected scholars and theologians.

is a comment best left unsaid here as some will take it personal. Saying it should not be taken personally does not make it an impersonal remark. Please familiarize yourself with our ettiquette found HERE

 

More appropriately one could say... "In my opinion it is best not to rely on folklore and myth which still puzzles the minds of a slew of respected scholars and theologians." Why? Because here, out of respect for the view of others, we never dispute the label one wishes to call oneself whether it be Christian or Progressive or other. It has no bearing on the real point being made.

 

JosephM(as Moderator)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ritch,

Thanx for the reply but I think you're missing my point. The P/C Creed requires a following of the example of Jesus; that's kind of tough when you have no valid proof as to just what his agenda was.

 

I believe my point had everything to do with this. You're looking for bare foundations. I'm saying we needn't start there.

 

You really can't be progressive if you are going to rely on folklore and myth which still puzzles the minds of a slew of respected scholars and theologians.

 

Thanks for the lecture. I've cancelled my subsacription. You guys are just too sensitive for me

 

It is simply a matter of etiquette not to define another person's position for them. I don't rely on myth; myth relies on me.

 

Peace,

Mike

Edited by Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Joe,

Thanks for the lecture. I've cancelled my subsacription. You guys are just too sensitive for me

 

That will be fine Ritch,

 

Sorry things didn't work out for you here . Your views certainly are welcome but it does appear our guidelines are unsatisfactory to you and your un-willingness for compliance would be disruptive to this community. Our best wishes go with you on your journey.

Sincerely,

JosephM (as Admin)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×