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Burl

This Week's Lectionary

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Paul, why the disconnect between the site and the message board? As a moderator you should an idea of why each tends to reject the other. I would expect moderators to have an active interest in synergizing the two.

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Paul, why the disconnect between the site and the message board? As a moderator you should an idea of why each tends to reject the other. I would expect moderators to have an active interest in synergizing the two.

 

As I said last post Burl, I don't see the two as disconnected and I certainly don't think they reject one another as you imply.

 

As for my role as one of the volunteer moderators, it is not for me to drive or direct the forum. The forum is driven by its participants, so if more participants want more synergisation between the two sites, I guess they will make that happen. Rather I understand my role as simply monitoring the forum (when I can) and helping to try and ensure participants and posts adhere to the agreed principles. Maybe Joseph as Administrator could explain further?

 

Your thoughts on your Isaiah reading?

Edited by PaulS

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Burl said...

 

 

Paul, why the disconnect between the site and the message board? As a moderator you should an idea of why each tends to reject the other. I would expect moderators to have an active interest in synergizing the two.
I agree that there is a notable disconnect between the website and its message board. Why do you think that happened?

 

Burl,

 

From the main site, written by me and approved by leadership.

 

you are here: / message-boards /
Message Boards
5

di-8Z93.jpg

ProgressiveChristianity.org discussion board is an internet support community of individuals, mostly consisting of but not limited to those that embraces pluralism and the eight points of Progressive Christianity. An internet place of reaching out and encouragement to those for whom organized religion has proved ineffectual, irrelevant, or repressive, as well as to those who have given up on or are unacquainted with it. A safe place of discussion and sharing of ones views and thoughts concerning the journey or quest for truth and spiritual discovery. A place of challenging discussions where participants come to both share and learn. A community that gets away from systematized, exclusive absolutes, and where intellectual honesty is much more likely to be valued.

The discussion board welcomes all to participate, including but not limited to Conventional Christians and questioning skeptics, believers and agnostics, women and men, those of all sexual orientations and gender identities and those of all classes and abilities. Because of such a diversity of people and views, the discussion board is divided into individual forum each with its own guidelines and is strictly moderated without censorship or restriction of views yet with the requirement of mutual respect for others of differring views. A place where respect for the other and verbal behavior in discussions is more important than any view expressed. It’s a community of welcome without the bonds of having to accept the formal dogma and doctrines of man disguised as the church system, holy books, laws or rituals.

=====================================================================

I as Paul, see no real disconnect in our purpose here as defined above. I have served the membership along with other volunteers since 2009 in an effort to keep things from getting out of hand which is sometimes difficult because of the nature of people and religious discussions. I provide monthly reports to leadership who from time to time look in and are free to comment and question our policies. Lectionaries are acceptable here but participation is voluntary and in the hands of members. If they are not interested in this type of thread, it will die for lack of interest..

JosephM (as Admin)

PS I try to remember to give everyone a positive reputation point for starting a thread regardless of any personal feelings on its interest to me.

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Hi Burl

 

I appreciate having the lectionary posted.

 

It seems to me that the message of v. 17

 

learn to do good;
seek justice,
correct oppression;
bring justice to the fatherless,
plead the widow's cause

 

and the contrast of this with 'iniquity and solemn assembly'

 

is highly relevant to PC aspirations, in spite of thehuge differences in world view from the original audience of Isaiah.

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Hi Burl

 

I appreciate having the lectionary posted.

 

It seems to me that the message of v. 17

 

learn to do good;

seek justice,

correct oppression;

bring justice to the fatherless,

plead the widow's cause

 

and the contrast of this with 'iniquity and solemn assembly'

 

is highly relevant to PC aspirations, in spite of thehuge differences in world view from the original audience of Isaiah.

 

And I just want to say that I think that is the beautiful thing about much of the bible Annie (I know you weren't asking me but I felt inclined) - people can take parts of it (or all of it) and use it for inspiration or how they apply their thinking to certain matters for beneficial outcomes.

 

I could be wrong (and I'm not sure if Burl is interested in continuing the discussion) but the impression I was getting was that he was stating a lot of fact around these scripture that in my view are not fact but assumptions and interpretations. So when for instance lectionaries mean pastors who are sticking to a syllabus for consistency between churches, I question whether all of the information is presented around the scripture they are using in those lectionaries or just presenting a particular view of the scripture and leaving parishioners in the dark on much. Or worse, influencing their thinking because they are keeping relevant facts from them. No doubt my early years in fundamental Christianity and my subsequent departure effect some of how I feel about 'bible teaching' and I have to remember to keep that in perspective.

 

That's where I was going with my comments but it didn't seem to go as well as I would have liked. :) I wasn't saying people shouldn't enjoy and get inspiration from the bible but that making statements of fact about things we don't know as fact is misleading. Soemtimes I can't help but challenge such thinking. I could be overly sensitive perhaps, but I often feel like discussing the matter when people talk factually about the bible and things Christian when those things are not actually facts but interpretations and beliefs (which of course people should be free to have , but in the spirit of the forum here I would like to think they are open to discussion without us getting upset with one another).

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To me, and if I had my druthers, I would like to see the Lectionary used as some sort of Adult Christian Education. Very much simplified, this would mean considering, "What did this scripture mean to the people it was written to, and does it in any way apply to us today? If so, how and why?"

 

But, in my experience, far too often the Lectionary is approached as the Word of God (in fact, my UMC chants, "the Word of God for the people of God", after the scripture reading) and assumes that the scripture passage was written by God to and for us.

 

When the Lectionary is used in this manner, it is just a big turn off for me. I would rather search it for ancient wisdom than for trying to listen for the voice of an anthropomorphic deity.

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To me, and if I had my druthers, I would like to see the Lectionary used as some sort of Adult Christian Education. Very much simplified, this would mean considering, "What did this scripture mean to the people it was written to, and does it in any way apply to us today? If so, how and why?"

 

But, in my experience, far too often the Lectionary is approached as the Word of God (in fact, my UMC chants, "the Word of God for the people of God", after the scripture reading) and assumes that the scripture passage was written by God to and for us.

 

When the Lectionary is used in this manner, it is just a big turn off for me. I would rather search it for ancient wisdom than for trying to listen for the voice of an anthropomorphic deity.

 

This is a criticism of Scriptural interpretation, preaching and the traditions of your particular church. Very few UMC churches I have visited even use the lectionary. UMC pastors tend to select whatever inspires them at the moment.

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That's probably true, Burl. I've only been a member of 2 UMC churches in my life, so I don't have a wide breadth of experience. :) However, even when the Lectionary is not used, the approach to scripture is the same i.e. the Bible is divine product written to us today. My UCC church does not take this approach, even though they still read scripture. The difference is, the UCC would say, "This is what the Hebrews believed God was saying to them. What do we think of this?" The UMC (at least mine) would say, "This is what God said to the Hebrews. Why did He say this?" Two entirely different approaches.

 

This completely destroys any notions of the infallibility and inerrancy of the scriptures. Even if they were, in and of themselves, inerrant and infallible, there is no guarantee whatsoever that we could inerrantly and infallibly interpret them correctly.

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UMC is diverse by location. Overall it is very liberal. The deep south reflects regional attitudes.

 

Since you seem stuck there, make the best of it and get involved in committees and work to be eventually appointed as a lay representative. UMC laity is equal to clergy on policy issues, and you could make a difference.

 

PS: Google the Chicago statement on infalliblity and inerrancy in Scripture. UMC does not subscribe to this, but it essentially says inerrancy and infallibility are impossible.

Edited by Burl

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I don't mean, Burl, to paint my UMC in a totally negative light. It is a good church...for a church. We contribute to homeless shelters. We make sandwiches and meals for another shelter where people get food. We, of course, contribute to Angel Trees and School Lunch/Supplies programs. We collect clothes for those who need them in our community. We participate in Habitat for Humanity and we often have mission trips to build wells or homes in other countries. We are a Baptist's nightmare in that we often seem to be more of a social club than a place where "souls get saved" by threatening people with hellfire and brimstone. We have an invitation to join the church every Sunday, but it is more of an invitation to join what we are doing than to get someone into the "going to heaven line." And, yes, despite being a social club, we still read/study the scriptures, pray, and have sermons. It is a good church...for a church.

 

But I taught Sunday School there for a number of years and there was to much "politikin" going on. As a teacher (you wouldn't know it from my posts here now), I was more interested in just getting people to talk and share ideas instead of trying to get through a lesson to instill "truth" in them. My class wasn't for everyone because not everyone cares about the contexts of the scriptures or the history of the church and her doctrines. Some people just want a "Cliff's Notes" version of things, and that's okay. Nevertheless, I often had to try to diffuse arguments about what the UMC is doing about homosexuals or supporting political candidates or why we need both a modern and a traditional service or why we should have an acoustic piano instead of an electronic one or why the pulpit should match the pews. Sheesh. I mean, I care about people. But I tend to care more if THEY are concerned about important things, not if they have to argue over the color of the choir robes. The final straw was when I was approached over "concerns" about our pastor because he had read and mentioned "Love Wins" in a sermon. Methodists aren't even interested in the possibility that maybe everyone could be united with God? Do they know nothing about the minority report in Christianity of universalism? And these folks want me to spear-head an effort to get our pastor ousted because he was on the edge of heresy?

 

Anyway, all of this convinced me that the institution is too set in stone and resistant to new ideas or interpretations, let alone to the knowledge that UMC pastors gain in seminary. Me doing anything at my UMC now, as a nontheist, would be like Martin Luther asking to be a bishop in the Catholic Church. :P

 

So when I go now, I just sit there like a bump on a log (which is mostly what the Christian heaven will be like) and keep my mouth shut. I participate in the social stuff when I can. But the UMC, like Christianity itself, is too rooted in the paradigm that God said everything he needed to say in the past and that being a follower of Jesus is not about an adventure in being fully human, it is in trying to reclaim some kind of first or fourth century worldview of humanity, theology, and the cosmos.

Edited by BillM

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I understand. I used to be UMC but quit and joined a new, independent neighborhood church.

 

Which was planted by an ex-UMC pastor who surrendered his credentials.

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You'll probably be shock to hear *me* say this, Burl, but one of the reasons I became so disillusioned with the church (as an institution) is that because the more I read the gospels and what Jesus had to say about the kingdom of God, the more I became convinced that the koG and the church are not the same thing. I mean, there are definitely hints of the kingdom (as Jesus interpreted it) in the OT. I think he fleshed it out more with his teachings, parables, and interactions with people. Granted, the church has sometimes done some very good things. But I don't see it as a fulfillment of the koG on earth. It seems that, even at the beginning, the disciples believed the church was going to be about who had the most power, who had the best seats. That is far from what Jesus taught, IMO. I've been Baptist, Southern Baptist, Assembly of God, Bible Church, Disciples of Christ, Pentecostal, Pentecostal Holiness, Wesleyan, and UMC. I've learned a lot in each of these churches. I've had good friends there. And there have been some good times, times that I would even call holy. But I've never felt that any of them were the kingdom. As the U2 song says, "I still haven't found what I'm looking for."

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There is great benefit in meeting weekly with good, gentle, like-minded people.

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Ha ha! Nobody is "like-minded" with me, Burl. They usually either lock up or burn at the stake people who think like I do. ;)

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Ha ha! Nobody is "like-minded" with me, Burl. They usually either lock up or burn at the stake people who think like I do. ;)

I would unlock the bar and burn a few steaks.

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Hi Paul

 

 

I feel written communication is sometimes like ships passing in the night, with those on board not seeing each other's perspective or destination. And I'm talking about people living in the same era, not centuries apart!

 


 

That's where I was going with my comments but it didn't seem to go as well as I would have liked. :) I wasn't saying people shouldn't enjoy and get inspiration from the bible but that making statements of fact about things we don't know as fact is misleading. Soemtimes I can't help but challenge such thinking. I could be overly sensitive perhaps, but I often feel like discussing the matter when people talk factually about the bible and things Christian when those things are not actually facts but interpretations and beliefs (which of course people should be free to have , but in the spirit of the forum here I would like to think they are open to discussion without us getting upset with one another).

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Hi Paul

 

 

I feel written communication is sometimes like ships passing in the night, with those on board not seeing each other's perspective or destination. And I'm talking about people living in the same era, not centuries apart!

 

Too true, Annie.

 

I guess that's why positive communication and talking/debating things through can be so much more helpful.

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Luke 23:35-43English Standard Version (ESV)

 

35 And the people stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!” 36 The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine 37 and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” 38 There was also an inscription over him,[a] “This is the King of the Jews.”

 

39 One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” 40 But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

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Luke 9:51-62

 

 

9:51 When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.

 

9:52 And he sent messengers ahead of him. On their way they entered a village of the Samaritans to make ready for him;

 

9:53 but they did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem.

 

9:54 When his disciples James and John saw it, they said, "Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?"

 

9:55 But he turned and rebuked them.

 

9:56 Then they went on to another village.

 

9:57 As they were going along the road, someone said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go."

 

9:58 And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head."

 

9:59 To another he said, "Follow me." But he said, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father."

 

9:60 But Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God."

 

9:61 Another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home."

 

9:62 Jesus said to him, "No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God."

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Matthew 3:1-12. English Standard Version (ESV)

 

John the Baptist Prepares the Way

3 In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, 2 “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”[a] 3 For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said,

 

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:

‘Prepare the way of the Lord;

make his paths straight.’”

4 Now John wore a garment of camel's hair and a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. 5 Then Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan were going out to him, 6 and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.

 

7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. 9 And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. 10 Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

 

11 “I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

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The Magnificat

 

Luke 1:46b-55

 

 

1:46b "My soul magnifies the Lord,

 

1:47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

 

1:48 for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;

 

1:49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.

 

1:50 His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.

 

1:51 He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.

 

1:52 He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly;

 

1:53 he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.

 

1:54 He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy,

 

1:55 according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever."

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Matthew 1:18-25New International Version (NIV)

 

Joseph Accepts Jesus as His Son

18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about[a]: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

 

20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,[c] because he will save his people from their sins.

 

22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel[d] (which means God with us).

 

24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

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Matthew 2:13-23. New International Version (NIV)

 

The Escape to Egypt

13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. Get up, he said, take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.

 

14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: Out of Egypt I called my son.

 

16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. 17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:

 

18 A voice is heard in Ramah,

weeping and great mourning,

Rachel weeping for her children

and refusing to be comforted,

because they are no more.

The Return to Nazareth

19 After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt 20 and said, Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the childs life are dead.

 

21 So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, 23 and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets, that he would be called a Nazarene.

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Matthew 2:1-12

 

2In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2asking, Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage. 3When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; 4and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. 5They told him, In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet: 6And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel. 7Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. 8Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.

 

9When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. 11On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.

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