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roymercer

Why Go To Church

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I have come to Progessive Christianity mostly through the books and videos of John Spong and Marcus Borg from having a more conservative personal theology. I continue to attend an Anglican church and feel happy there. For someone comming to PC from an atheistic or agnostic point of view there nothing in the litergy in or most hymns to attract them. Without an influx of young blood the Anglican church will be no more in thirty years. To most Progressive Christians is this a tragedy or an irrevalence.

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I think it could just be the natural order of things and change, Roy. Whether people have a religious background or not, if the Anglican Church doesn't offer enough of whatever it is those people want, then it will most likely go the way of many other institutions that simply haven't adjusted to the clients' needs. After all, it is the people who make up the church, so if those people aren't enough to keep the church going, it will naturally wither.

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Well personally, I am going to say that I think it is a tragedy. It is a tragedy because the real message of Christ is just as relevant today as ever, if not more so. If churches like the Anglican church wither and die away, I think it is sad because I think the real reason will because a lot of people simply have not opened their minds to a new understanding of what Christianity can be. If Christianity has to go, it will go. But I'd like to see it go after it gets a fair shake. Currently, it is not getting a fair shake. Fundamentalism and theistic ways of interpreting Christianity are not the only way of viewing and experiencing Christianity. For most people, I don't think they have ever known this. Christianity dying away without people having the opportunity to experience a new, vibrant way of living into it, is quite a tragedy.

 

This is all my opinion of course.

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While not from the officially sanctioned book - This is I think a accurate explanation of where Christ is:

Split a piece of wood; I am there.

Lift up the stone, and you will find me there.

 

i don't think we need churches per se for Christianity; though I agree some think they do.

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To me, the church is always evolving. Sometimes a few branch must die so nutrients can be diverted where new growth can take place. The church need not be a physical institution. It is my opinion that it is not. and i find that very refreshing.

 

Joseph

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I find this a hard question. Sure I would not like to see the church fold but when I look at its political aspects in the UK, its arguments against women bishops, its split over women ministers, its attack on gay marriage and its attempts to change the law to support it, the bar against practising gay people who are ministers, I cannot help but feel it has lost its respect with the public. I feel that as Spong says Christianity has to change or die and I feel that also means the Church of England too. The trouble is it seems to me to be very reluctant to debate change or to take it on board. There is a split hovering over it with a US led movement towards liberal/progressive theology and an African led movement towards fundamentalism and a clergy who appear unable to deal with it but suppress debate. We now have an Archbishop of Canterbury who publically has said he is against gay marriage and wants a return to fundamentalism. I also see it using the Alpha course and I know for me as a liberal this is not something that sits comfortable with me. I feel the public more and more are going to look on such views of the Church of England as an irrelevance and stop going.

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I think there is a new fundamentalism in the US if you look at the influence of neo-Calvinists done of which are part of the "emergent church" mark Driscoll comes to mind. That and people have a tendency to retreat into conservativism in uncertain times. I really don't think PC has the spiritual grounding to maintain itself. Those who will pursue this path will but if and when things get worse in the society I font think PC has the legs to stand on. Even PC on the whole is far more liberal than many very liberal emergent Christian figures. For example Marcus Borg and Brian McLaren have many things in common theologically but Borg goes beyond the evangelical notion of Jesus. Both are relevant today but move parallel with one another. Is there any talk about the work of McLaren, Rob Bell, Tony Jones, Peter Rollins and other emergent Christians here?

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We all have come here from differing inspirations and for you it seems the names you quote. If you want to start a topic about what you feel about those authors and what they mean to you then I would be interested. We would then be discussing them. What do you think?

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Guest AppepnesKal

Deleted Spam post and New member AppepnesKal.

 

JosephM

Edited by JosephM

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