Jump to content

Liberation Theology


Wayseer
 Share

Recommended Posts

On a recent thread the matter of 'boundaries' was discussed. With respect to PC I argued that no such boundaries should exist. Others advocated that 'boundaries' need to be established and illustrated rather convincingly their reasoning.

 

However, I remain a skeptic.

 

I guess one needs to establish just what it is we are talking about when we say 'boundaries'. 'Boundaries' define limits and it remains to be established just what 'limits' may be involved when talking about PC.

 

I remain a skeptic as very often, all too often really, these 'limits' become a standard, they become set, they become doctrin and dogma. It seems a somewhat natural progression (note that word) of human endeavour. I mean, one cannot have limits that are fuzzy, limits that may well be argued one way or the other - that are polysemic or multifarious. No, these 'limits' need to be set in cement - they need to become 'law'.

 

In this aspect, Progressive Christianity is a contradiction is terms. To be progressive one needs to 'progress' - whatever such may mean. Does in mean 'continuous', or 'innovative', or 'developing' or just 'growing'. Christianity, on the other hand is set in cement as it were - the Nicene Creed and all that. There is no indication of 'progress' here - more about 'lack of progress'.

 

I remain a skeptic because all this talk about boundaries and doctrin and dogma and progression is really not much more than political speak for social control. We are all to be these really good boys and girls under the watchful eye of an all powerful god who, with pencil in hand, is busy keeping tabs on us for future reference. That I reject such a god may be more than obvious.

 

This god, therefore, is not all powerful as we are lead to believe - he needs a whole lot of assistance from insititutions - like churches to keep the whole thing on track by setting 'boundaries'. Very functional, very effective, very Chinese.

 

Fortunately nature does not act that way. The whole of creation would not have happened without some wayward spark - some chance mutation. Evolution would not have happened without limits being broken. We would not be here without so-called boundaries being breached. Life would not have happened without some bending of the cosmic laws. Nature does change - from quarks to humans - things do not necessarily go as they are planned. Life would not have happened without the freedom for laws to be circumvented.

 

It may well be that we, as humans, may progress beyond the present tribal affiliations which demand setting all sorts of boundaries - including how to think. The fact that we have come this far might say more about the indomitable human spirt than it does about the power of institutions.

 

As a gardener I am continually amazed at how difficult it is to kill plants. Even after the application of the most sever poisions, or the most adverse conditions, there they are shooting their little heads up some six months later. I've seen grass growing in the middle of a city footpath where everything is cemented over to a depth of six feet. 'Life', you can't beat it.

 

So, will PC, liberate us all from the bondage and limits and boundaries set by Christianity? Probably not - but it may well be worth a try.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for starting a new thread. I am sure this will be an interesting discussion.

 

My first response is philosophical even though philosophy is not my primary interest and even though there are much better philosophers than I. There are at least two ways one can view the freedom that humanity enjoys. One way is to say there is no ontological counterweight to a person’s freedom. Freedom is not in relationship to a person’s “essential” nature because there is no such thing as a person’s “essential” nature. Humans are literally free without ontological consequence.

 

The other understanding of freedom is that freedom is ontologically tied to a person’s “essential” nature. One is free to turn against one’s essential nature but in doing so one ends up being even less free because one is going against one’s “nature” and in doing so one ends up as a tragic figure who has lost contact with who they “are”.

 

Of course, this is where DavidK comes in and says, that only the Bible can tell us what our “essential” nature is according to God. I, of course, would reject that without further comment.

 

As a liberal/progressive I think that a person’s “essential” nature is discovered through experiences such as Celebration, Healing, Compassion, Gratitude, Forgiveness, and even what Borg would call following “the way of Death” (a path of transformation that is “dying” to the self and the world). I like Borg’s vision of Jesus as challenging conventional wisdom and lifting up the Kingdom as our “essential” nature. If there is such an “essential” nature we are not “free” to reject it without consequence. That consequence is here/now and not in some future “heaven”.

 

Our religious journey then becomes a matter of using our freedom to find an “essential” nature that I would suggest is beyond any concept or word to describe. It can only be experienced and even then is experienced in a finite existence when what is experienced is infinite. But again our freedom in our religious journey draws us towards something and so freedom has to do with what Tillich would call our “destiny” (Tillich uses freedom and destiny as partners in an ontological pairing).

 

If there is no such thing as I have attempted to describe then it makes no sense to me to “do Church” at all. Many post modernists have concluded that there is no such thing and all we are left with is our freedom and some sense that we had better get along somehow. If we are just trying to “get along” then there are many better organizations out there besides the Church that can do a better job of what essentially is a political task, not a theological or religious task.

 

If there is such a thing as I have tried to describe then it makes all the sense in the world to try to “do Church”. But “doing Church” is similar to any social enterprise. It is based upon relationships. Essential to any relationship is the concept of boundaries. Boundaries can be negotiated in each relationship and the persons involved in that relationship can feel that it is they who are “freely” doing the negotiation. But I would again suggest that there are some “essential” things related to relationships that are going to be “true” regardless of the negotiators. I do not think that one can negotiate away love as being the best glue that keeps a relationship going. In that sense one is not “free” to negotiate away love as the best glue for relationships.

 

Love is all about boundaries even though love may make us feel “free”. When we love someone as ourself then boundaries are necessary so that one does not end up in an abusive relationship, etc. Love also limits the choices one has when one thinks about how to relate to the loved one. Love and boundaries go together.

 

Now take all of that and apply it to a group called the Church. You have all of those relationships that need security to flourish within. Security is provided by boundaries. I think the best word for that related to the Church is “mission”. The “mission” of the Church provides a basis for relationships. If “freedom” was the only basis for relationship then there really is no security that is necessary for relationships to flourish.

 

I think my favorite “mission” statement for the Church is “to provide a safe place for Grace to happen”. We can not force Grace to happen. Grace is not something we can control. Having said that, there are circumstances that will almost guarantee that Grace will not happen. One is that religion by authoritarian doctrine. That is static and uncreative and is not inviting to Grace. But there are other ways. I’m sure we all have our favorite times/places/people/etc that seem to “invite” Grace to happen. Somehow I would like to see the Church be associated with that. To me that involves having boundaries; boundaries to hold things in and boundaries to keep things out.

 

Wayseer, you are so correct in that institutions tend to become static, unchanging and uncreative. I do think that we need to understand that “doing Church” starts with the assumption that you are trying to organize what can not be organized (Grace can not be put into organizational boxes). However, as I have tried to say there are “better” ways to invite Grace than other ways and so there is somewhat of a path to follow.

 

As far as the word “progress” is concerned I would stay away from teleological progress as the description of a religious journey. I think Grace is ultimately out of the control of space/time so I do not see a religious journey as being like the evolution journey. I would not want to use “progressive” as in “Progressive Christianity” as an evolutionary journey.

I do not think that is the essence of process theology but I welcome comment on this since I can not say I fully understand process theology.

 

Liberation theology to me is also too tied to space/time although doing Justice has a lot to do with doing Church and so I am sympathetic to the goals of Liberation theology.

 

Finally, I like your point that learning how to think is inherently tied to freedom and that we have to be on the constant look out for when organizations start to run us rather than we running the organizations. But I don’t see it in “either/or” terms (either we have complete freedom without boundaries or we have complete boundaries without freedom).

 

So what do you think (by the way you are “free” to disagree).

Edited by David
Link to comment
Share on other sites

David what a marvelous and thoughtful post. Indeed, you are way ahead of me but I'll do my best to keep up.

 

But again our freedom in our religious journey draws us towards something and so freedom has to do with what Tillich would call our “destiny” ...

 

... or towards what Pierre Teilhard de Chardin terms the Omega Point which encompasses all of GOD.

 

But how to get there? I don't think we will get there by 'doing church' - in fact I am almost assured that we won't. 'Doing church' is recycling old tribal boundaries - this is 'us' over here 'doing church' in some particular way while all those 'others' are over there 'doing church' their way. Yes, I know there are various interfaith dialogues under way across the religious divide but these too I suspect are temporary. In fact, the emergence of Interfaith Consciousness (Peter Kirkwood, 2001) and religious plurality seems to suggest that such profusion has more to do with desperation at finding something, anything, to alleviate our sense of collective loss. I'm not saying 'doing church' will suddenly become defunk, rather, there will something new in 'doing church' - and it's that 'something' I'm struggling to articulate.

 

No - the internet has blown the idea of the collective aside. 'Myspace' and 'YouTube' only illustrate, too well, the growing tensions that exist in society. I have to accept individualism - it's here and it'll stay. But is individualism such a bad thing?

 

I think my favorite “mission” statement for the Church is “to provide a safe place for Grace to happen”.

 

David, I find that I have difficulty in accepting this philosophy. I cringe when I see the cross paraded from the door through the church to its place at the front only to see the whole thing reversed at the close of the service. 'There goes God again for another week'. The 'safe haven' to which you refer is myself - my inner consciousness - and GOD remains there (well, I do try to keep HIM there) throughout every moment of every day. And this has come about not so much as politely knocking on the door of Grace and waiting for an answer, but, by a 'crash or crash through' approach. By 'crash' I mean crashing through the barriers (boundaries) erected by the Church that stops one from experiencing that Grace to its fullest. Here is individual experience (mine) at work. I am not 'religiously correct'

 

It is this aspect, this individualism, that interests me. We are individuals and we can step out of our tribal upbringing and value ourselves as separate entities (bad word, but I don't have anything else at the moment). That there is value in the diversity of individuals should be, and is, encouraged which diversity must by necessity feed back into the community - a world wide community rather than the narrow tribal boundaries as in the past. This diversity is now witnessed as an expression of world justice, environmental integrity, and a demand for human dignity.

 

You have eluded an important point - technology - and not just the internet. Borg, Spong, the Jesus Seminar have given us a new language which we can utilise to express our new found freedoms. And while I'm working my way through the ideas of process theology I am impressed by its ability to synthesize what is happening to all of us - that we are all part of the process that urges individuals towards making choices that ever creep closer to that omega point.

 

I think we are on the cusp of something new - and that's exciting if not a little daunting. I look forward to your response in due course.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I knew this would be an interesting discussion.

 

You ask “But how to get there”?

 

There is no one path. But if we can agree that we are “drawn to the Divine” we can accept plurality and different paths especially since the Divine is “beyond” any path’s ability to define it. I think that plurality means both individual and group paths.

 

You note that “The safe haven to which you refer is myself-my inner consciousness”.

 

So go with that. If there is no Church for you then there is no safe haven for a group experience. My limited experience indicates to me that it is possible however. I have been privileged to have led several alternative worship service experiences and have been a participant in others. Without those experiences I would probably share your opinion.

 

I would add that your “inner consciousness” may be understood in Jungian terms to be part of a larger consciousness so that the line between individuals/humanity/God is blurred to say the least. The challenge for the Church is through symbol and ritual to attempt to “invite” that “consciousness” (I would much prefer to use the word Grace ) . Nothing the Church can do will “force” that to happen, the best that can be done is to “invite”. I do not think that there is much “invitation” in the worship services you describe.

 

“There is value in the diversity of individuals” which feeds back into a “world wide community”

 

I agree. Diversity and pluralism keep us from “climbing our own signposts” rather than going down the road to which the signposts point. I prefer pluralism to diversity because pluralism depends upon the assumption that the Divine is the goal of all paths. Diversity makes no such claim. The goal of diversity is to “just get along” and our goals are political goals. Many UU’s have given up on religion and have become politicians.

 

“We are all part of the process that urges individuals towards making choices that ever creep closer to that omega point.”

 

I don’t think we are that far apart.

 

So what is the role of Progressive Christianity and The Progressive Christian Church? I think you may be more concerned with the former and I am more concerned with the latter. Those are not mutually exclusive concerns but there are different challenges. You can “get to” Progressive Christianity via the individual path. I can not “get to” the Church on that individual path.

 

Perhaps you are concerned with the Church but somehow see it based upon individualism. If this is what you are saying I need to hear more.

 

I remain philosophically concerned with individualism but I can’t say it much differently than I already have. I can say that I would much rather communicate with an individualist than a fundamentalist. Thanks for the discussion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another illumunating post.

 

Perhaps you are concerned with the Church but somehow see it based upon individualism. If this is what you are saying I need to hear more.

 

I remain philosophically concerned with individualism but I can’t say it much differently than I already have. I can say that I would much rather communicate with an individualist than a fundamentalist.

 

I'm thinking that the Church should be based on individualism.

 

The Church has to change direction. In my own church I note from the annual report that the parishioners would like to identified as Anglican yet they want more youth involved. The two aspirations are opposed - yet they do not understand that. Youth today are savvy - they see the shallow ritual - the habitual claptrap and petty pietism now on display - it's a turn off. I don't blame them for staying away - what has the church to offer?

 

I was at the rear of the church on Sunday when they (I did'nt) sang 'When I Survey The Wounderous Cross'. All I could see was the backs of the congregation and I had this vision of some bizarre cult belting themselves with chains while chanting Victim, Victim, Victim. They love it - playing the eternal victim. I quickly left - I just could not handle the image nor the message.

 

I know, I know - I feel desperately sorry for them too - for these eternal victims - if only they knew.

 

Yet I know there are churches that are trying new ways of worship. Here's a site ....

 

I found this at http://alternative.victas.uca.org.au/

 

 

welcome to this space

 

maybe you are here because you recognise in your own story

a greater story

one spoken since the beginning of time

by prophets, preachers and peacemakers

of God who calls all humankind to

liberation and wholeness.

 

if so, welcome to this space.

 

maybe you are here, not defined by a relationship with god

but nonetheless as someone with a deep conviction

that there is no inevitable unfolding to anyone’s life

but that our futures are yet to be written

and can be shaped by justice and compassion.

 

if so, welcome to this space.

 

maybe you are here because you have glimpsed

a moment of love that is beyond human reach

the grace that lies just beyond our finger tips

unexpected and beautiful

that transforms the ugly into breathtaking

the impossible into the real

 

if so, welcome to this space.

 

maybe you are here tired

no longer sure whether you belong

or how any of this makes a difference

struggling to remember the vision that inspired you

and to find the passion that eludes you

 

you too are welcome to this space…

 

 

My hope is that churches might find space for that space to happen.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wayseer,

 

I thank you for bringing “welcome to this space” to our discussion (I also thank you for the source which I have added to my bookmarks).

 

I believe in serendipity. To me it is more than coincidence that I met you after returning from the most recent meeting of the Jesus Seminar. As I noted in my report elsewhere the Jesus Seminar has a fundamental split. On one side is Borg, Spong and others. On the other side are Cupitt, Geering, Sheehan and others. I am wondering if you and I represent that split. That split is obviously not only important to the Jesus Seminar but it is important to Progressive Christianity, The Center for Progressive Christianity and The Progressive Christian Church.

 

What happened with the Jesus Seminar under the masterful guidance of Bob Funk is similar to what happened to the Unitarians/Universalists. Both groups had a “common enemy”. The “common enemy” of fundamentalism remains and continues to “hold” liberals/progressives together. However, many have said that “we” need more to our identity than “what we are against”. Our “common enemy” explains why we all can stay in the same room together and have great conversations but I’m not sure it is enough to “do Church”. I raise this in response to your “thinking that the Church should be based upon individualism” and the wonderful “welcome to this space”.

 

Is it more than coincidence that you are from Australia where Geering is next door? Are you more than familiar with Don Cupitt and the “Sea of Faith”? Would you call yourself a “non realist”? If so, I would love to bring those insights into the discussion.

 

I think that our discussion may represent the divide in the Jesus Seminar. That divide was symbolized recently for me when I went to one of the “Seminars on the Road” where a small Unity Church invited some “experts” on the “Word of God” to highlight a several week campaign. Sheehan shows up with his post modern song/dance and basically tells this Unity group that their “Christ Consciousness” has no ontological basis, that there is no God, and they best get on with their lives. This “Word of God” was not what the poor local pastor had envisioned and needless to say did not turn out to be the highlight of the campaign.

 

Geering, et al are remarkable thinkers and should be a part of the discussion. Geering says in “Christian Faith at the Crossroads” that the prophet for our time is Nietzsche and argues that we need to find a faith without God. The majority of UU folks have come to the same conclusion. Many of the Jesus Seminar and those UU folks would agree with you that we need to have a Church based upon individualism. You have not added that we should have a Church without God and I am wondering if you want to do that.

 

To say that a Church should be based upon individualism is not necessarily to say that the only alternative is a Church without God but let me argue in that direction. I find the Church at fault for idol worship. There is the idol of Bible. There is the idol of the Eucharist. For liberals/progressives the idol is the individual ego. That ego is the door that all must pass through in order to be accepted. There is no imagined world without the ego. Nietzsche is the appropriate prophet.

 

When Borg comes along and suggests that the idol of the ego needs to be sacrificed the people on one side of the Jesus Seminar “gulp” because there would be nothing left. For Borg, there is “everything” left. For the others there is “nothing” left.

 

I do not want the word “God” to be a boundary issue. I want all of those people who say they don’t believe in “God” to be with me in the same room. However, I do think there is a boundary issue that has to do with the ego being an idol or not being able to sacrifice the ego as Borg would suggest.

 

Now this is all interesting discussion. But how do we “do Church”? One way is to bring to the liturgy “welcome to this space”. And believe me I would want to use that wonderful poem. But I think we need to raise to our consciousness the invitation that is being made. We are welcoming Geering and others into the worship service. I think they should be there. But at the end of the day, when Bob Funk dies (the one that held us together), and we are looking around for a new leader, we may find a basic “conflict in mission” that will cause us problems. What will the Jesus Seminar do? What will we do?

 

Thanks for listening Wayseer, let me hear more.

 

David

Link to comment
Share on other sites

David-----"As I noted in my report elsewhere the Jesus Seminar has a fundamental split." A FUNDAMENTAL split? How did they get in?

 

"For liberals/progressives the idol is the individual ego. That ego is the door that all must pass through in order to be accepted. There is no imagined world without the ego. Nietzsche is the appropriate prophet." I couldn't have said this better myself! Who/What would Borg be sacrificing his idol to? This raises an interesting position, for I was under the impression you did not believe in the need for a sacrifice.

 

"I want all of those people who say they don’t believe in “God” to be with me in the same room." What about the ones that do?

 

Wayseer----- "I'm thinking that the Church should be based on individualism." You're brave enough to articulate the need for a firm foundation and boundaries from which to grow and execise freedom. Yet still not reaching the point of knowledge that we cannot depend on ourselves to provide them.

Even though you may see "Victim, Victim, Victim", I don't believe Biblical Christians are in a victim mentality. They certainly should not be. It runs counter to the Gospel.

 

Well, so much for the 'pot shots'. I do seriously try to see your perspective when it comes to Christianity, and your brushing so much with 'idol'. You flounder around the same questions and problems as anyone else, but haven't really taken any more time to think it through. I assume that is why the logic is so 'blurred'.

 

The church today is woefully behind in being able to speak to the culture around it, there is no doubt. And much of what is being said seems meaningless, because it is in a 'different language'. That is why Wayseer was so upset in Church, and seeing only victims. He could not understand, no matter how hard he tried. And they probably couldn't understand him, either.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

David - your post has once more challenged my thinking in several ways. Thank you - your comments have addressed many issues floating around in the labyrinth that is called my mind.

 

To begin. I have not heard of Cupitt or Geering or Sheehan until you mention their names. So on that score I have to claim ignorance. As for 'non realist' I don't know - sounds a bit like an oxymoron - so I can't help you there either.

 

But the rest of your post has challenged me in many ways.

 

I am now beginning to understand - the divide. I think I see where you are coming from - and, I agee. To 'do church' in a particular way as a reaction to a perceived threat, ie fundamentalism, seems a not so constructive choice - an unholy alliance perhaps. It seems somewhat defensive. However, I do not pretend to understand American politics but I am led to believe that fundamentalism has a lot to do with getting elected in the US. So I can see where opposition to fundamentalism become mixed us with the ways one might 'do church'.

 

I am not a big fan of Nietzsche and from the little I've read of him, some time ago now, I had the distinct impression he was more muddled that anyone else I had read. So I have put his ideas politely aside and moved on. But the 'song and dance' routine has no ontological base other than itself - and perhaps this is the point you are making and one that I am too dense to otherwise identify.

 

But let me pick you up on this -

 

To say that a Church should be based upon individualism is not necessarily to say that the only alternative is a Church without God but let me argue in that direction. I find the Church at fault for idol worship. There is the idol of Bible. There is the idol of the Eucharist.

 

What then is an 'idol'? The 'church' may itself be an idol. I see nothing wrong with idols per se. Buddhism is full of idols. The object of your discussion here is that 'idol' mean 'God'. What you are inherently doing is claiming to know how each of us think - that we are using idols as gods. But what is the difference between my cross hanging on my bedroom wall and the fridge magnet that says 'Do it now before it's too late' - both are symbols pointing to other realities. So I see nothing wrong with the ego per se - in fact, if we have not developed our ego we will never become truly human. The problem may well be that the importance of the ego beyond that point is rather exaggerated. Individualism is not necessarily the same thing as an inflated or exaggerated ego. You can have individualism without trumping in with an ego.

 

So, if Borg is saying one must check their 'individualism' at door of the church then I have some problems with that assertion - indeed, what would be left to 'do church'? Who was it that wrote 'Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time' if it was not Borg?

 

I am having alittle difficulty in understanding you - I don't know if i"m any near where you are going - I hope so, but if I missed the point that is more likely my thick skull.

 

So, how do we 'do church'? I think that is the question of our time. Perhaps it has been made all the more confusing with what appears a continual bifurcation underway - just too much to choice from.

 

I might rail against my Church - perhaps there is some justification. The Church has universally claimed throughout its history that it knew best for me. But in the end it is I who must make peace with God. No one can do this for me, not even the Church - in fact to do so diminishes me as an individual in God's creation.

 

Let me relate my experience. Borg and Spong and Crossan and Armstrong have all contributed to the wealth of knowledge we more humble servants have at our disposal - for which I thank them all. But, at the end of the day what am I left with? Did you see 'Last Temptation of Christ'? One scene impacted on me - it was the scene between Jesus and Paul. After their argument Paul tells Jesus, 'I'm glad I met you Jesus of Nazareth. Now I can forget all about you'. And Burton L. Mack in his 'The Lost Gospel The Book of Q' ends his critique, 'So goodbye Q'. So, I might say 'goodbye' to Spong and Borg and Crossan et al - 'Thank you for the journey and your friendship along the way. I can stand now - I can make it one my on'. (I hasten to add - I am not suggesting we end our friendship here - I'm just trying to illustrate a point).

 

So my church is there with a wide embrace. Somethimes that embrace is rather smothering and I fight to get air. But on the whole, like a Grandmother, she waits patiently for her grandchild to grow up. That's the frustrating part - growing up. I may not agree with everything that goes on in church so I may well turn to my other friend - the 'net.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To begin. I have not heard of Cupitt or Geering or Sheehan until you mention their names. So on that score I have to claim ignorance. As for 'non realist' I don't know - sounds a bit like an oxymoron - so I can't help you there either.

Well so much for my belief in serendipity. Sort of like my “theology of baseball”---says more about me than what I am trying to describe. I’m sorry for trying to “put you in a box” which is obviously why we should be wary of boundary making.

 

I appreciate that you respond to “how to do Church” with a story about your garden and that you respond to “boundary making” with a thought about your Grandmother waiting for the kids to grow up.

 

Your response on “idols” is helpful. To me an “idol” is an exaggerated symbol. So I would agree with you that egotism is exaggerated individualism. The symbol for how we understand with stories about gardens and grandmothers is our “individual consciousness”. However, I would suggest that this “individualism” is a symbol for something larger, a larger consciousness in Jungian terms. To exaggerate the importance of that “individualism” is to go to egotism and make that individual experience the final destination.

 

I do think that we can not go beyond our individualness in “how we know” most of what we know. There is much that we know that is forever linked to that individualness. However, the Divine lies just beyond the borderline of that individualness. In that sense being able to “stand on your own” without others is what Tillich would call “courage” and that “courage” takes us to “being”. However, Being or the Divine is just beyond the borderline of that individualness.

 

I think we need to think about Borg’s “way of death” to bring into focus the individual ego and its relationship to the Divine. I think there is a “Zen” dynamic involved here that involves “losing” the ego without “trying” (because the “trying” is tied to the ego). I think that happens by Grace because it “happens to us”. We do not “make it happen” because “making it happen” would involve the ego. Although Grace does happen to individuals I think that Grace is often associated with our relationships to others and Grace happens within those group relations often helped by symbols and rituals. Those may help us not focus on the ego that "trys so hard".

 

All that “happens to us” is not Grace. We seem to be “wired” to understand when Grace happens. Grace seems to be associated with Gratitude, Celebration, Healing, Compassion, Acceptance and ????

 

So if “Grace happens”, but it does not happen because we “make it happen”, how to we “do Church”? Again, to me the most we can do is create a safe place, a safe place for Gratitude, etc. To me that is all about boundaries; boundaries to keep some things in and boundaries to keep other things out.

 

I have argued in a discussion related to Point 4 on this message board that it is important for Progressive Christians to think about excluding those that exclude. It is difficult for progressives to think about the possibility of excluding at all. If it is considered, then it may be considered for the purpose of protecting our mission and excluding those that would exclude because of a basic mission to include. That is “boundary making” that can sometimes be accepted by progressives.

 

However, my thinking goes further and my thinking makes progressives nervous. My concerns are based upon my experience in liberal/progressive organizations. My most recent experience at the Jesus Seminar saw Brandon Scott question Borg on how his statement that to be Christian means to “Center in God” and “Change the World” had any meaning. To Scott it had no meaning because God had no meaning that Borg could relate in terms understandable to Scott. Therefore to “Change the World” on that basis became presumptuous. This is similar in my mind to what has happened to the Unitarian Universalists in our US culture. All of the liberals got together against a common enemy of fundamentalism and then found out much later that there is a basic “conflict in mission”. There is the difficulty in communication across this divide of liberals as there is between progressives and fundamentalists.

 

Yet the ironic thing is that liberals/progressives basically agree on much about “how you know”. So it is more than just a “common enemy” that keeps us together. We all basically agree on much about epistemology. Yet when it comes right up to that borderline of individualness some can cross that borderline and some can not. Some will add to that basic epistemology a “religious” knowing that is not based upon individualness. This “religious knowing” is not about “self understanding” which is obviously important, but “self understanding” is not sufficient for many liberals.

 

Having said this I would never have been able to experience “alternative worship” if it had not been for the UU world. It was the UU world that gave me the freedom to design worship and experience worship outside the “boxes” created by mainstream denominations. So that remarkable freedom “outside” the boundaries created by mainstream denominations led to the “religious knowing” that I am talking about. Yes, I agree that this is paradoxical to say the least.

 

It was that UU world that helped me understand the “borderline” or “boundary” between Brandon Scott and Borg. So I think that we must protect freedom as a doctrine and as an environment in which to do any form of Church. And we need to have freedom to continue to change how we do Church. However, we can not ignore that boundary between Scott and Borg. How do you deal with that “boundary” as you “do Church”?

 

That is the question I am working on while being frustrated with liberals/progressives who can not even exclude those that exclude. That is why you see so many progressive churches dealing with “self help” classes and “self understanding” classes and sermons that focus on the “self”. That falls in line with where all liberals/progressives can agree. It does not however dare bring up that “borderline”, let alone dare cross that “borderline”. Congregants are not exposed to “religious knowing” as being any different than the “knowing” that goes on at a university. And since the university does it much better, why go to Church?

 

The “mission” has to do with what is thought possible. If it is not possible to “Center in God” then a mission related to that is pointless. If it is possible then boundary creation becomes important based upon mission even though what we are talking about is just beyond the borderline. TCPC is not the Church but TCPC is talking about what the Church should be talking about. In that sense TCPC also needs to be concerned with boundaries. If we are talking about a mission similar to a university (like the “pursuit of truth”) then boundaries appropriate for a university mission should be our focus.

 

Well there may be a boundary to this discussion Wayseer. Let me know of any additional thoughts that you have or if you wake up in the middle of the night with a desire to do some boundary creation!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

David - where to start - you have provided much that requires a thoughtful response - you have raised many issues here. I hope I can do some justice.

 

After reading your post a number of times my initial response is - are not boundaries arbitrary? Before we can inscribe boundaries on a map or in law they must first appear in our mind. I find I have boundaries with respect to my present position with the institutionalised Church. On one hand I have the boundaries incribed by the Church - the Creed for example. This boundaries cuts directly across my own boundary of my own rational thinking process. These boundaries in turn are intersected with the boundaries imposed by experience on one hand and the voice of scholars on the other.

 

On one hand I am asked to suspend my rational thinking by accepting a Creed that asks me to believe that which my exerpience tells me is improbable, to say the least. While I am walking this fine line I have to accommodate what many inform me is a complete reversal of the way I have 'experienced' Church - that there is something more to know which I have hitherto been in ignorance. And then there is God, or Being, who you note lies just beyond the borderline of my individuality - another boundary.

 

What if I have all this wrong? What if there is some mechanism that I can utilise to 'manage' these apparent, and contradictory, boundaries? What if these boundaries do not in fact exist (except in my mind)?

 

I say all this because I have yet another boundary - a geographic one - I don't live in Minneapolis - my range of options concerning 'doing church' is limited. I have to accept what is on offer locally. I can access the web and talk with many people but that is not 'doing church' - I need the experience of the collective. Thus, I have made the decision to reaffirm my membership of the Anglican fellowship. I have done so not so much in what the Church says I must or must not believe, but on the acceptance that borderlines exist more in my mind than anywhere else.

 

So, where does that leave us in our discussion?

 

Perhaps we are not all that different to those who were the followers of 'The Way' following the death of their leader, Jesus. This vacuum was eventually filled with Paul who took the whole movement off in a direction it had not thought possible. I am not sufficiently skilled in predicting what the future may hold for Christianity, by whatever shade or hue it is practiced. But I have a sense that there is something new in the offering. And, on this score I think Borg, Funk, Spong and others have done their work - they have pulled the covers off and exposed what may lie underneath. That this has been unsettling may be an understatement but I don't think they really did anything that was not otherwise experienced at an individual level - they gave voice to that which was hitherto silent. And, again, had not Jesus, and Paul, done something similar - given us a new language to describe that which God means. Is that not 'doing church' - giving language to God? Is not that 'centering on God?

 

I have found I can balance these apparent conflicting boundaries by reversing my thinking. I have been focusing on the metaphysics - the theology. My journey started by looking more seriously at the wisdom literature - that which is without metaphysics. Interesting I have found this focus resonates with Alfred North Whitehead work (Process Theology) and also in a little book I picked up a little while ago, 'Anglicanism'. The wisdom literature, and I speak generally here, rebel against facile solutions - 'just believe'. They advocate a more practical approach - an approach that in many ways is similar to Buddhism. (I am familiar with Tibetan Buddhism rather than Zen). This process, there's that word again, has more to do with recognising the place karma, or cause and effect, plays in one's life. Make 'good' choices and 'good' things are more likely to follow. Having establish a more virtuous behaviour pattern then one is more likely to let go of the ego by recognising how much exaggerated importance one places on 'attachments' whether such attachments are things or ideas.

 

I get the idea from your post that the problem you see is perhaps more politics than anything else. I seems, from my position some many thousands of kilometers from your shores, that politics plays an overtly important aspect in American's lives. Might it be doing so here? A teacher of the law asked Jesus a question which was more political than practical - 'What must I do to receive eternal life'? Jesus' answer was a story - the Good Samaritan. But the teacher still wanted to demonstrate his point to which Jesus said, paraphrasing, 'You heard the story, you get the picture. Stop arguing and go and do the same'. Perhaps I should do likewise - maybe that is 'doing church'. Maybe.

 

As always I am interested in your thoughts yet I don't know if I have made all that much sense in this discussion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Finding a Boundary would establish a line that divides and for this reason I am sure that the scholars are wrong when they try to impose certain logic jumps instead of looking at the evidence.

 

To assume that the Bible is innerrant is a condition of thinking that puts Science and Theology on the same plane. The flaw is in the beginning the origins.

 

With no boundaries there is infinity and infinity can not be created so while the Earth is created with the Heavens being our Atmosphere the Heavens are not found as a place cloud like expansive or defined other than those atmospheres also created to evlolve into life affirming bodies that work together.

 

The Question that I'm asking is simple, did GOD create the Universe? A follow up would be, is GOD universal?

 

From beginning to end GOD is and always will be...

 

How do planets and solar systems get created? How does a Galaxy form?

 

Where are we in relation to the center of the Universe?

 

Where is the focal point?

 

If matter always existed and the energy of the Universe could be a constant then all matter is at the mercy of the energy creating a constant state of flux.

 

Now explain how objects in constant motion remain in the same relative or static position so that the wisdom of the ages can be written in the night sky?

 

Hmmm? I wonder if I crossed any boundaries? I'll have to come back to this post, thread or book to reconcile my words and works...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I get the idea from your post that the problem you see is perhaps more politics than anything else. I seems, from my position some many thousands of kilometers from your shores, that politics plays an overtly important aspect in American's lives. Might it be doing so here? A teacher of the law asked Jesus a question which was more political than practical - 'What must I do to receive eternal life'? Jesus' answer was a story - the Good Samaritan. But the teacher still wanted to demonstrate his point to which Jesus said, paraphrasing, 'You heard the story, you get the picture. Stop arguing and go and do the same'. Perhaps I should do likewise - maybe that is 'doing church'. Maybe.

I agree that I see the problem as being about politics (your comment about this being American is interesting and may be a good observation although I am going to make a different response). To me “doing Church” is the art of politics. Politics is the art of bringing people together for a mission. If that mission is about “Centering in God” then all of a sudden politics is dealing with something that can not be organized. Yet if we want to “get together” we can not avoid politics.

 

The only question in my mind is whether liberals/progressives see the object of the political process as trying to organize what can not be organized. If we agree with most of the UU folks and many in the Jesus Seminar that liberals should give up on “Centering in God” because the word God has no reference to anything real then the related politics takes on a different mission. That mission is still very, very important. That mission would have to do with confirming the inherent worth/dignity of all persons, with justice issues, with educational issues (that “self understanding” that is so important), etc. If there is nothing real associated with the word God, then we should all become part of the political process called UU or called by other names such as the United Way, etc. The political process then is all about organizing Good Samaritans for good deeds.

 

My argument is that we can not know ourselves by ourselves. We can not learn about love by loving ourselves. If “Centering on God” is something other than “Centering on Yourself” then you can not do that when the focus of your whole world is on a "self" even if that "self" is involved in good deeds with other "selfs" as the Good Samaritan story can be read. My “end” to that story is that something politically has to be done so that the characters in that story learn to live together according to their “essential” nature. We not only can not learn to love by loving ourselves we can not create a loving environment by ourselves. That environment is inherently tied to politics.

 

You could argue that Jesus never formed a religion or organized a political party in opposition to Caesar. I would argue that there are signs that Jesus did this with the tools available to him in his culture. So although I would agree that the Kingdom can not be organized I think that the Kingdom speaks to all organization. I think that Jesus would support the Church if he lived today (I see that because I see Spong as a “Jesus prophet” for our time).

 

Are boundaries arbitrary? Well yes and no. It is the freedom issue. Do we have complete freedom if there is a “destiny” related to our being? If there is no “essential nature” to our existence then we are indeed completely free. If there is an “essential nature” then we are not free to reject that nature and when we go against that nature we end up being less free. Boundaries that point towards that nature may help us, but boundaries made even with good intentions may hurt us. That is the art of politics. That is the art of “doing Church”.

 

If you think that you can and you want to work outside of all boundaries then I would encourage you to do that. I wish you well in that attempt. I don’t think it will work but heck I’ve been wrong before. All I would ask is that you not poor water on those of us who are attempting to “do Church” in better ways which to me is all about boundary sensitivity.

 

Happy Easter. So ask me why I am posting here rather than being in Church.

Edited by David
Link to comment
Share on other sites

GreatWhiteBuffalo,

 

I have no idea what you are talking about. I’m sure part of that is me. But your posts are many times like a shot from a shotgun spraying sentences all over the page. Could I suggest just a bit more focus?

 

I have to admit that I am wary of you because I am wary of anyone who does not grant marriage recognition to gays/lesbians. There may be some boundary issues here. Let me know how the subject of boundaries is important to you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

All I would ask is that you not poor water on those of us who are attempting to “do Church” in better ways which to me is all about boundary sensitivity.

 

David - it has not been my intention to 'pour water' on anyone. I am mystified that might think so. My concern was with the act of 'boundary setting' arguing that perhaps in that act of setting those boundaries one inevitable excludes those who might somewhat feel unfairly judged.

 

I take your point that 'doing church' is an act of compromise - otherwise all there would be would be lots of churches with a membership on one. That we are a collective means that some sort of accommodating process has been entered into. Valid points.

 

I guess the question then is an age old one - how far am I willing to compromise? I guess this is what you meant when you write -

 

My “end” to that story is that something politically has to be done so that the characters in that story learn to live together according to their “essential” nature. We not only can not learn to love by loving ourselves we can not create a loving environment by ourselves. That environment is inherently tied to politics.

 

Fair comment.

 

My concern is that there seems to be some learned necessity to set boundaries - I would like to see a broard church. I'm wondering if we, as humans, have reached this point yet. Probably not. Which is the point you make about ego and individualism - that which keeps us estranged from such collectivism. We all like to cling to our ton of cabbages. (Old Sufi story about learning to swim. Many look for swimming teachers which will teach us how to swim but only if we carry our pack of prejudices - i.e. cabbages. The story demonstrates the ridiculousness of learning to swim with a ton of cabbages strapped to our back - but that is what we more often do).

 

So in view of our inhibited progress I have to concede your point - that boundaries are inevitable.

 

Indeed, a Happy Easter to you too. OK, I'll play alone - why does church take 24 hours of your day? Playing hooky?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wayseer,

 

I have very much enjoyed our discussion and thank you for your patience in listening and for your ability to respond.

 

My “pouring water” comment I think has to do with my general frustration and not with you. However, I think that we do have a different vision as to our “destiny”. If I understand you correctly you think that our “destiny” is to be able to live without boundaries. This goal is not attainable right now but as a goal it provides a guide to “where we want to be” versus “where we are”. This kind of thinking is certainly “religious”. It is like lifting up the goal of loving everyone knowing that there is a gap between “where we want to be” versus “where we are”.

 

If this is your thinking I am not sure about the goal/our destiny. It may have to do with what I can imagine. I can imagine loving everyone even though that is probably impossible. I can not imagine a “boundary less” existence. I have a more positive view of boundaries—they are not just necessary because of our imperfect world. I see boundaries as related to our ontological nature with freedom on one hand and our “essential nature” on the other. My goal would be to bring harmony to freedom/destiny so that they are in perfect balance---again, impossible but the goal helps define "progress".

 

It may be that in that mystical state of union with the Divine there is no meaning to freedom versus destiny. But in that union there is also no sense of a “goal”. To me as long as we are in the world of “progressing towards a goal” we will be in the freedom/destiny dynamic and boundaries will be a positive thing. I see a worthy goal of “loving everyone” rather than a “boundary less existence”. As I have tried to argue “loving” is related to boundaries (Would you argue that if everyone loved everyone we would not need boundaries? If so, I think you mistake love for freedom? We may have reached our boundary with that discussion?)

 

I continue to think that we are not that far apart and I would enjoy “doing Church” in your company if I ever was in Australia. If you ever come to the US look me up.

 

David

 

PS I really did “do Church” on Easter. I enjoyed the Palm Sunday service from Christ Community Church in Minnesota with their DVD service. With the DVD I am a week behind and will enjoy the Easter service next week. Although it is not the same as “being there” it is a better option than being frustrated by the normal baggage associated with “why he is risen”. I would encourage all progressives without a Church to check out this service by Christ Community Church for those of us in the desert.

Edited by David
Link to comment
Share on other sites

David - I agree - we are not far apart. Indeed, how could we be?

 

Yes, I gain a sense of frustration which perhaps reflects my own frustrations in not adequately working out where I might fit into the scheme of things. If anything, this thread has help me to identify some of the issues and I am indebted to your understanding and tolerance in allowed me to do just that.

 

I'm probably the idealist - and the finisher - everything has to be neat and tidy at the end. Both are essentially unrealistic - but there you go - that's me.

 

But I think we both - you and me - are needed to show the way and steady the ship. Balance needs to be maintained even while charting new horizons.

 

In this respect I think I can do something which I would not have thought possible a few weeks ago - I can say goodbye to Spong, Borg and the Jesus Seminar. I thank them for their insights but in the end it is the story which holds good - it is the story which fuels the creative energy - which gives substance to that of which we can only see darkly - not historical accuracy (which is probably an oxymoron anyway). That story is bigger and wider than Jesus - it embraces the whole of humanity - the whole of creation. Whether women can be Bishops, or homosexuality is a sin, or the Pope is infallible, or the way we 'do church' are but sign posts pointing backwards - from whence we have come - they do not show the way ahead. I'm nor sure of that way but I'm willing to live on the edge - if nothing else one gets to feel the wind in their hair.

 

So, sometime in the furture you will probably see me hereabouts limping badly, in need of support - that's when the ship come in handy. But I doubt I'll get to the US. I exist on a small pension and live rather frugally I'm afraid (apart from my computer, which is the only thing of any value I own). Such is not to be broadcast these days - someone actually enjoying living with less - not good form to unnecessarily frighten the horses.

 

So I will 'do church' in the Anglican manner - not because it meets all the criteria, but because it is there - white ants in the roof and all. The ritiual I can criticise from any which way but in the end there is nothing here that is half as threatening as I thought. You know, boundaries do exist but only in the mind. I can live with the story of Jesus as opposed to Jesus - in fact the story makes more sense to me now than it has at any time in the past. Maybe that's just age cathing up.

Edited by Wayseer
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi David,

 

GreatWhiteBuffalo,

 

I have no idea what you are talking about. I’m sure part of that is me. But your posts are many times like a shot from a shotgun spraying sentences all over the page. Could I suggest just a bit more focus?

 

I have to admit that I am wary of you because I am wary of anyone who does not grant marriage recognition to gays/lesbians. There may be some boundary issues here. Let me know how the subject of boundaries is important to you.

 

 

This is going to be my last post for this session tonight, I replied to this once before and it wasn't accepted...

 

You are asking me to be more focussed when indeed I am trying to be included in the conversation and maybe with a different thought a bit of enlightenment if others are interested, just something more to add. Let's establish a beginning or a foundation, I know a lot about foundations and footers...

 

So there is another sentence like a shotgun blast I hear you, and I know I'm a bit short of having boundaries, in fact I don't like boundaries when people are prevented free movement and that is a great segway into your second question.

 

Being wary of me, because of a definitional framework problem, I espouse that marriage is reserved for a woman and a man and you say that people of the same gender should be entitled to that same title and I say that another title is better suited. I have defined civil union as the equal right that the liberal movement is trying to acquire. I would take the conversation much further by asking what will the last generation to live on earth look like, I'm asking you to use your immagination and think that at some future point it will be illegal for a man and a woman to get married, only same gendered couples can be united and our species then goes extinct. It is a silly hypothesis, but none the less in order to fix our world and the domestic issues that have violated so many relationships we have to get a new beginning and that requires men and women to work together. People have to want to work together and in the end multiple partner and same gender relationships could end up being diminished, not eliminated but certainly not a prolific as they are currently. As for having the same rights certainly, I know what it is like to be treated unfairly and discriminated against, that should not happen to anyone, first we need to teach people to love each other differences and all. The main thing is not to violate each others mind.

 

Is this the end of the world? Is this the last generation? There are many ways that we could eliminate mankind from existence, shall we count the ways, or can we come to terms?

 

Forward movement would be much better than stagnation...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Gary,

 

You replied once before but it was not accepted?

Why not? Who is controlling your access to posting?

I would say that is a boundary that you need to understand.

What is the reason for that boundary?

 

I understand you do not like boundaries.

Yet you set up a boundary for gay/lesbian couples.

Where did this boundary come from?

I do not understand how same sex marriage threatens our world.

Why is this boundary important to you when other boundaries are not?

 

What boundaries do you find to be a problem?

 

Can you see any positive reasons for having boundaries?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is an interesting conversation, but I don't think it is about liberation theology, an area of religious inquiry and exchange with very specific characteristics. Among those are the following:

 

God has a “preferential option for the poor.” God loves us all, but has a particular and specific concern for those with the least. Therefore, God expects us to share that concern and act on it. At its center, Liberation Theology is about action.

 

Approach the Bible with a “hermeneutic of suspicion.” This means that how we read the Bible depends on our own background and biases. Therefore we always have to be aware of the possibility of “spin” when we, or others, are interpreting it.

 

This leads to the “hermeneutic circle.” It goes something like this: 1) we read a passage from the Bible, having already engaged in a specific action. 2) Based on our own perspective (see above) we interpret what we have read. 3) Based on that interpretation we engage in some new action with regard to other people. 4) Based on that experience we return to the Bible with fresh insights.

 

Religious Base Communities (Comunidades Ecclesial de Base, or CEBs) are small groups (up to 20 or so) of people in the same location who meet together to read and discuss the Bible. They gain knowledge and insight by relating what they read to their daily lives and sharing their experiences with one another.

 

Liberation theology has its roots in Latin America, and from that perspective I recommend the following books:

 

Boff, Leonardo, Church: Charism and Power, New York: Crossroad, 1984

_______, Ecclisiogenesis, Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1986

Boff, Clodovis and George V. Pixley, The Bible, the Church, and the Poor, Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1989

Brown, Robert McAfee Theology in a New Key: Responding to Liberation Themes, Philadelphia: Westminster, 1978

_______, Unexpected News: Reading the Bible with Third World Eyes, Philadelphia: Westminster, 1984

_______, Spirituality and Liberation: Overcoming the Great Fallacy, Philadelphia: Westminster, 1988

_______, Gustavo Gutiérrez: An Introduction to Liberation Theology, Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1990

________, Liberation Theology: An Introductory Guide, Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox, 1993

Friere, Paolo, and Antonio Faundez, Learning to Question: A Pedagogy of Liberation, New York: Continuum, 1989

Gutiérrez, Gustavo, A Theology of Liberation, Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1973–The “original text” on Liberation Theology

_______, We Drink from our Own Wells, Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1984–This book is more spiritual in its approach

_______, The Truth Shall Make you Free, Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1990

Míguez Bonino, José, Toward a Christian Political Ethics, Philadelphia: Fortress, 1983

Segundo, Juan Luis, The Liberation of Theology, Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1976

Sobrino, Jon, Christology at the Crossroads, Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1978

_______, The True Church and the Poor, Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1985

 

There are other works on feminist and ethnic theologies that include the following:

 

Cone, James H., God of the Oppressed, San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1975–Liberation Theology from a black scholar’s perspective.

Harrison, Beverly Wildung, Making the Connections (Carol S. Robb, Ed.)

Reuther, Rosemary Radford, To Change the World, New York: Crossroad, 1981

_______(Ed.), Religion and Sexism, New York: Simon & Schuster

Other relevant authors include Jim Wallis, and Daniel Berrigan for general themes; Gayraud S. Wilmore, James H. Cone, Andrew Young, and Cornel West for Black Liberation; Elizabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, Virginia Mollenkott, and Letty M. Russell for Feminist Liberation; Roy I Sano, Asian-American; Vine Deloria, Jr., Native American; and Cesar Chavez, Hispanic American.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is an interesting conversation, but I don't think it is about liberation theology, an area of religious inquiry and exchange with very specific characteristics.

You are technically correct. I think that this conversation was so named to support "liberation" from boundaries. The conversation (I think) is about boundaries. If you have some input on that I would like to hear it. You may want to start a new conversation on Liberation Theology as properly defined by you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does the site block access to other forums outside of the debate forum for those who are not progressive? Or is it simply a courtesy that those who are conservative do not post in other areas?

I don't know what Gary is talking about.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm going to reply inside the quotes so don't skim the quotes too fast... I'm only doing this to expedite my reply it shouldn't make too much of a difference or be anymore difficult to read I hope...

 

Hi Gary,

 

You replied once before but it was not accepted? - Yes, I have been blocked from participating in several sites Beliefnet was one where my posts were removed or prevented not that I wrote anything wrong it was a prejudice by the moderator, they can stop or block your activity in a variety of ways and they don't even have to let you know that they are doing it... Like driving I have no right, it is a privilege and my privilege to post was revoked.

 

Why not? Who is controlling your access to posting? - See above, it would be the moderator or moderators I get put on limited access and denied the right to participate, by asking me questions you have opened a door for me to be here and communicate with all of you, a privilege that can be revoked at any time.

 

I would say that is a boundary that you need to understand.

What is the reason for that boundary? -

 

They perceive that I will harm their community so they have put up boundaries and blocked me from having access to communicate with them. Does this sound like one reaching out to be loved and the loves then run away? Kind of like a sad love story where people have followed the wrong path? Imagine the pain of GOD reaching out to humanity and they turned away with their own interpretations refusing to truly love GOD... Tears fall from the sky... Fire and Rain, emotional pain and people refuse to listen and see the many words lost unread and unheard because people were prevented from speaking or communicating or they chose not to say a word. The love that was lost the energy or power to be, removed or cast out, the one true GOD denied so that others could profit and deceive the masses.

 

I understand you do not like boundaries.

Yet you set up a boundary for gay/lesbian couples.

Where did this boundary come from? - You say I have set up a boundary, I say that it is a definitional frame work a problem on your end over words and terms. A moral code is established and this is written on the heart and in the mind there is only one way to communicate clearly and that is to be able to define an item properly, one term, one word, one definition... Define for me Civil Liberty and Civil Right... The way that I see it we have two phrases with two different words that mean the exact same thing, what we have is the ability to create confussion when talking to each other, is confussion good?

 

I do not understand how same sex marriage threatens our world.

Why is this boundary important to you when other boundaries are not? - See above, the point is that Same sex unions are civil contracts for defining the same relationships that men and women enjoy as when men and women come together as a couple married two as one the only caveat is that the wedding should be binding for the purpose of the couple to procreate. If from the onset of the relationship you are not binding yourself to another for the purpose of procreation then you should be honest in defining your relationship as a civil union. Now the civil union should not be any different in status such as economic or benefit a civil union should be no less glamourous than a marriage. I do not make a difference in my thinking as to one being favored over the other in the sight of GOD but I do see GOD communicating with us in specific terms, knowing one from the other and we are to be honest with each other and GOD.

 

What boundaries do you find to be a problem? - Boundaries that prevent the truth from being exposed...

 

Can you see any positive reasons for having boundaries? - I would write to you about the justice of GOD and that would mean that if a boundary prevents the truth from being known or told and if only one side of the story is presented and a question is asked only as a statement not really permitted an answer then the boundary is negative in nature. Do I have rules and expectations? Yes, are they a form of boundary? Yes and No... We certainly could write a book about right and wrongs...

 

 

Does the site block access to other forums outside of the debate forum for those who are not progressive? - This site has blocked my access to it on many occassions... For months maybe nearly a year I was not even allowed to log in...

 

Or is it simply a courtesy that those who are conservative do not post in other areas? - I don't know about this...

 

 

I don't know what Gary is talking about. - See above, not being allowed to log in or not being allowed to post, I've had quite a time submitting many posts that wouldn't get posted, so I've written a lot and I've lost a lot that I've written, one thing that the founder of Microsoft encouraged in their literature was to save, save, save... Sometimes that is easier said than done... All I can really say is that little things add up in the end...
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

terms of service