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As An Inclusive Tcpc Community


JosephM
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Some have written me and remarked that we need to be less restrictive on what we allow in the debate area. That always brings me back to the question of what are we as an inclusive TCPC Community really here for?

 

Is is to continue to rehash old arguments against the very things that we may have progressed from?

Or is it to fulfill the mission of TCPC? And what is that mission?

 

Currently that mission states:

 

 

The mission of The Center for Progressive Christianity is:

 

» To reach out 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.

 

» To uphold evangelism as an agent of justice and peace.

 

» To give a strong voice both in the churches and the public arena to the advocates of progressive Christianity .

 

» To support those who embrace the search, not certainty.

 

Currently, we are working to fulfill our mission by:

 

» Creating open and welcoming communities of faith. We are developing strategies for evangelism that do not assume the absolute superiority of Christianity so that we do not contribute to the worlds tragic divisions.

 

» Reclaiming the symbols of our faith. We are finding effective means to be heard and to influence the behavior of the churches.

 

» Building an international network of progressive Christians. We are working with independent networks in other countries to provide support for people, especially the isolated, who hold to the principles that we believe are central to the Gospel.

 

» Being a constructive force for social and environmental justice and peace in the world. We are finding allies in the struggle to bring social and environmental justice and peace to all people, especially those who have been oppressed and powerless.

 

Although Progressive Christianity has a history preceding TCPC:

TCPC has made an effort to spell out what we mean by progressive Christianity as an organization with our Eight Points, it seems to me there are at least four components that are essential to anyone who considers themselves a Progressive Christian today:

* to see oneself as a "follower of Jesus" or Jesus' teachings rather than believer in a creed;

* to recognize that Christianity is not the only way;

* to search the great mysteries of life with an open theology and an intellectual integrity;

* to recognize that ecology and social justice are interlinked and part of your faith;

* and to understand that gays, lesbians, transgenders and bi-sexuals are full participants in our world as a natural part of God's creation.

 

 

Since we allow all faiths to participate here, it seems to me, whatever one considers themselves to be, we must abide by the mission statement and respect for the eight points. One does not have to agree with them as that would be in opposition to point 4 of the eight points but it seems to me it would be needless on TCPC's part, instead of working to fulfill its mission to spend time re-debating the very organized religions that have to it proved ineffectual, irrelevant, or repressive. It seems to me that would be non-progressive in nature.

 

Having differing views seems to me NOT to be the problem here and growth to me seems to come more not just in more knowledge of theology or the universe but in mutual compassion for all. Perhaps, expressing YOUR view as differing from another is acceptable but calling another view wrong, however you see it, to me does not lend to TCPC's mission. We are all on our own path even though we share much in common.

 

The same goes for putting down those considered Fundamental Christians or other religions. It serves no purpose of TCPC's mission. At the same time TCPC is not looking for Fundamental Christians who just want to argue and rehash old dogma and theology. That also to me serves no TCPC purpose. If anyone on this site is not interested in progressiveness, regardless of your religion or beliefs, if you participate actively just to preach your view or convert or prove your point, this site will serve you no purpose and eventually you will be asked to leave. Progressive usually infers moving forward into new territory, and encouraging unity and the search. Perhaps those who want to takes us backwards from the mission should understand that we as a site are not interested in that which we have already found to be ineffectual, irrelevant or repressive. In my view, TCPC'S mission as stated above does not include telling another their religion is inferior or wrong. There is no understanding gained from such an exchange.

 

What are your views?

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Hi Joseph,

I would agree with you. Robust debate in a respectful manner is NOT derision and name-calling. I once had a debate with an atheist on facebook who accused all people of faith as being beneath his contempt and mentally impaired. I politely told him that I totally respect his right to be an atheist, that I did not hold him in any contempt for having opposing views to mine and I respected his passion for asking the questions he was asking. All I required was for him to treat me with the same amount of respect. And you know what, to a degree, we got there! Anyway, I believe that the progressive message, and the eight points above, is, at it's heart, about inclusion and respect and compassion for ALL. To treat anyone with words which are not inlcusive, respectful and compassionate seems, to me, to be contrary to what the TCPC is all about. But maybe I am just a guy who enjoys debate, not conflict!

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Debates are with people of opposing views contending to vanquish their opponant. It is verbal combat. Who is to be decided victor is by the superiority of argument and supporting evidence.

 

Debates generally need some rules in order for them to be meaningful and fair. Since so much of what has been presented on these pages encourages disorder when there is a conflict of ideas, may I suggest either one of two alternatives. First; simply do away with debate altogether. Any contention will not be acceptable.

 

Second; move debate to its own page and/or set up simple debate rules which will allow for healthy debate and at the same time discourage untoward behavior. For example: In this very basic strategy, when the debatable question is presented to the moderator (which could be one of the 8 pts), members post when they have something to say. (posts should take no longer than 6 minutes to read) The second time they have something to say, they must acknowledge they have already participated once. When they post a third time, they do so acknowledging they have participated twice before. After a member has participated three times, he or she cannot share again as long as any other members have any remaining posts with something to add to the discussion. The moderator would monitor the number of entries and would set a time limit for any additional members to use their remaining posts or enter the debate before anyone who has posted their three could post a fourth. This would stop anyone from monopolizing the boards or wasting their post on the insignificant or insult. It would by the four post limit rule reduce whatever insults could be made anyway.

Members will both avoid and ignore insult. Everyone will have an opinion that will be best ignored on the thread in debate.

Any dialogue about the debate should be on another thread or in private to avoid confusion on the debate thread.

 

The members will decide in private, on their own, any winner or loser of the debate. No winner or loser will be decided or publically announced by anyone. Arguments from the debate may be used in other debates. There can be set, a time limit for the particular topic to be addressed again.

 

It is exactly right that there are not to be attacks on the person. However, in debates where ones ideas or beliefs are being intellectually dismembered, there may very well be a feeling of personal defeat where it is often difficult for someone who's reasoning has failed in reality to not scream "foul". That's bad form and no amount of moderator influence/interference can stop that. Both sides must remember to stay open-minded to the truth, which always prevails. That's our consolation.

 

Anyway, that is something the moderator will have to decide upon, as well as the final details. Thanks for the opportunity to present this concept.

 

Dk

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Greetings davidk,

Some questions for you....

Why does there have to be a winner and loser in a debate? Do you believe if we did implement such a debate as you propose or suggest that it would be in line with the published mission of TCPC above?

 

My dictionary defines debate as follows:

debate

 

Noun1. a discussion 2. a formal discussion, as in a parliament, in which opposing arguments are put forward Verb[-bating, -bated] 1. to discuss (something) formally 2. to consider (possible courses of action) [Old French debatre]

 

In your view, does making a winner and loser add to or subtract from unity or neither? or ?

Also I would be interested in your view on my original questions in this topic heading, In your view, What are we here for? And specifically if you wouldn't mind sharing, what do you see as your purpose here or what do you hope to accomplish or benefit from your particpation?

 

These same questions though addressed to you are also open to everyone else.

Joseph

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There are no places (I can find) where a progressive Christian can go and have an open dialogue, discussion, debate with other progressive Christians. There is no place where someone who is interested in learning about progressive Christianity can go. I would like to see the TCPC be such a place. If someone is a fundamentalist/conservative they have plenty of secular and religious forums on which to express themselves. I would like to see TCPC's entire board be a place for people who are Progressive Christians or who are interested in learning about various expressions of progressive Christianity.

 

For debate (which is generally fruitless) they can go to beliefnet.

 

David explains very well why being a Progressive Christian and being inclusive does not mean having to put up with the complete disrespect and disruption that goes on here. For a refresher go here:

 

http://tcpc.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=1346

 

 

I don't believe this forum will grow until this happens. People come and go. Those of us who go, go because this forum is not meeting our needs. It is not meeting our needs because people who are not interested in learning about Progressive Christianity and are not themselves Progressive Christians are allowed to take over the board.

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Joseph,

I know it is anathematic for some to recognize that there are winners or losers in debates or contests. This is not to be misunderstood and for that very reason I made the clear suggestion for there to be no public declaration from anyone, to say whether such a debate on these boards should be considered as won or lost.

Quite frankly, it is quite unreasonable to think the members won't actually form an opinion for or against a superior or inferior argument, creating a winner and a loser. But, in the words of the all powerful moderator ;) : "Those opinions would be best kept to oneself."

 

Personally, while I believe it would be perfectly consistent for TCPC not to declare a winner or loser in debate, I believe that is antithetical to the final purposes of real debate.

 

The other point, I believe the best one, of which I wish to remind you is that those rules as presented would prevent anyone from dominating a debate if by nothing else than to restrict the sheer volume of possible posts from any one individual.

---

 

I'm inquisitive. I grew up in progressive churches. I can still be sympathetic with them. However, in total, the church leadership were not able to answer and became rather intolerant of my searching questions about "being", right and wrong, and how we can know things. Their intolerance stirred me to ask more probing questions. It almost appeared they were fearful in their avoidance, so I moved on. I came upon this particular website, quite by accident. Reading what had become the typical inclusiveness and toleranceness(sic) of other such religion/faith/Buddhist/etc websites, I presented some of my thoughts and beliefs on this site and began asking questions while trying to explain my answers to the questions of others. I have been both pleased and discouraged by the reception, but not disappointed.

 

If this format is to continue to be a part of TCPC's ministry, I would simply encourage them to open-mindedly address religion and the world. If the ministry wishes to continue to spread their Progressive system of belief, they should be willing to answer some of the real questions religion has to face in order to be relevant. I do consider anyone wishing to participate on the TCPC site should at the very least respect a minimum of decorum; which should include the avoidance of hypersensitivity toward those that have a different opinion and also avoiding the delivery of wanton insult to those that do. That, as you have so adeptly reminded us, "is not productive." It is that challenge of judgement that I pray for you about the most.

 

In a note: (1)debate: 1a. a fight or fighting b quarrel, contention, strife; 2 a contention by means of words or arguments: strife in argument; spec: the formal discussion, argumentation, and resolution of a motion before a legislative assembly or other public deliberative assembly according to the rules of parliamentary procedure

(2) ... 1 to engage in combat or strife 2a to contend in words; dispute b to discuss or examine a question by considering or stating different arguments 3 to participate in a debate or other public disputation 4 to reflect upon a question or problem before deciding.

Edited by davidk
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The "winner-loser" zero sum game perspective began to diminish 25 years ago. It raises it's ugly head from time to time when it pits Christian against Muslim as 'superior' versus 'inferior'. Some people think we are here to do Holy War and some think we are here to do Holy Peace ... BUT NO religion OWNS the patent rights to either view. We are all God's children, and God did not create such a marvelous diversity without reason.

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There are no places (I can find) where a progressive Christian can go and have an open dialogue, discussion, debate with other progressive Christians. There is no place where someone who is interested in learning about progressive Christianity can go. I would like to see the TCPC be such a place. If someone is a fundamentalist/conservative they have plenty of secular and religious forums on which to express themselves. I would like to see TCPC's entire board be a place for people who are Progressive Christians or who are interested in learning about various expressions of progressive Christianity.

 

For debate (which is generally fruitless) they can go to beliefnet.

 

David explains very well why being a Progressive Christian and being inclusive does not mean having to put up with the complete disrespect and disruption that goes on here. For a refresher go here:

 

http://tcpc.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=1346

 

 

I don't believe this forum will grow until this happens. People come and go. Those of us who go, go because this forum is not meeting our needs. It is not meeting our needs because people who are not interested in learning about Progressive Christianity and are not themselves Progressive Christians are allowed to take over the board.

I agree. The only thing that I would add is what I tried to point out in the discussion that you lifted up. Without ignoring the importance of personal respect it is not so much a matter of personal respect as it is a respect for Progressive Christianity.

 

I am looking for that place also.

 

If anyone finds it please share.

Edited by David
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There are no places (I can find) where a progressive Christian can go and have an open dialogue, discussion, debate with other progressive Christians. There is no place where someone who is interested in learning about progressive Christianity can go. I would like to see the TCPC be such a place. If someone is a fundamentalist/conservative they have plenty of secular and religious forums on which to express themselves. I would like to see TCPC's entire board be a place for people who are Progressive Christians or who are interested in learning about various expressions of progressive Christianity.

 

For debate (which is generally fruitless) they can go to beliefnet.

 

David explains very well why being a Progressive Christian and being inclusive does not mean having to put up with the complete disrespect and disruption that goes on here. For a refresher go here:

 

http://tcpc.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=1346

 

 

I don't believe this forum will grow until this happens. People come and go. Those of us who go, go because this forum is not meeting our needs. It is not meeting our needs because people who are not interested in learning about Progressive Christianity and are not themselves Progressive Christians are allowed to take over the board.

 

OA,

Thanks for the link to David's post. Somehow I had never read that one. It does create some interesting questions. But of course the way I see it, we are an extension of TCPC.org and the principle of Point 4, though it makes things a bit more difficult to manage, is part of the heart and soul of TCPC and its affiliated churches.

 

I do think you are correct that in the past there has been much friction and much of that is due in part to a lack of moderation. I am of the opinion that growth comes from our challenges. It is a challenge to peacefully exist and respect those of sometimes significantly differing views. In my view, It is necessary if we as a species are to survive. We must somehow get pass those boundaries. We know the way but it is at times most difficult.

 

We do have a place on this board where those who do agree in principle on the 8 points can post without interference from those who do not agree. I think it has failed in the past only because of no assigned leadership/enforcement of guidelines. Perhaps things are improving and will continue to do so.

 

Now the debate area, it is necessary if we are to be inclusive but that doesn't mean we have to define debate as fighting as was displayed in Davidk's post debate definition above. As minosocal pointed out so well...

 

The "winner-loser" zero sum game perspective began to diminish 25 years ago. It raises it's ugly head from time to time when it pits Christian against Muslim as 'superior' versus 'inferior'. Some people think we are here to do Holy War and some think we are here to do Holy Peace ... BUT NO religion OWNS the patent rights to either view. We are all God's children, and God did not create such a marvelous diversity without reason.

 

I for one, would agree totally with his statement but I would not be so arrogant to agree that everyone must agree. Perhaps others may not. yet we have made it very clear in the present guidelines that there can even in the debate area be no bashing or disrespect shown to other religions. David make a good point in the post you pointed to when he said....

I think this approach is related to pluralism. Pluralism is not based upon the desire to include everyone, even those that reject pluralism. Pluralism demands a basic acceptance of pluralistic thinking.

So then we can in effect say, we are inclusive to the point that others also must have this same interest. Without it, in my view, inclusion and survival is not possible. That's why it is important to first try to understand the others purpose in wanting to be a part of TCPC even though of a different religious persuasion. As David said " Pluralism demands a basic acceptance of pluralistic thinking" I think we have had many others here such as Tariki who was a Pure Land Buddhist who shared that thinking and many others also. So I would think Point 4 is valid when viewed in that perspective.

 

We are here more in the debate area to understand and question each other's views without patent rights or insisting we are 'right' and the other is 'wrong'. In my experience people don't learn by being told they are wrong. To me it seems they learn when another view is presented that perhaps 'fertilizes a seed planted within them' . There seems to me to be no winners in war. Perhaps we all need to learn to have our view rejected by others respectfully without it raising our emotions to a point of unconscious irrationality. Just another thought.

 

Joseph

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Davidk,

 

In response to your post, I hear what you are saying but share a different meaning for debate in the context of TCPC. I guess it would be more dialog that I have suggested here rather than debate per your definition.

 

I could be incorrect in my perception but It seems to me you might personally be more interested in theology and 'correct belief' whereas TCPC in principle is more focused on "the compassionate path". If I am incorrect in my perception feel free to correct me as I can't speak for you, and it was only a perception I had.

 

As David pointed out in his "can we rebuild after deconstruction" thread, emphasis was on what is deeper than 'correct belief'. In my view that is more in line with TCPC thinking as an organization though I do not purport to be an official spokesman and am just expressing my view and understanding from study of the mission and 8 points of TCPC.

 

Joseph

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I will repeat again: This is no place for conservatives or fundamentalists. This forum will NOT grow so long as they are allowed here. They have no interest in dialogue only in disruption. They have shown this repeatedly. They have not respected the boundaries of staying in the debate forum nor do they have any thing to add to debate. Most of here come from that background and could do a better job of relaying their points. There is no need to hear the points we have already held and soundly rejected. I'm still not sure why this is so hard for the powers-that-be to understand.

 

Inclusive does not mean we allow those who are hateful to stay around. Jesus was inclusive, but his inclusiveness was limited to two types of people: Those who were excluded by society (tax collectors, prostitutes, blind people, women, children, etc. ) and those who repented of their exclusiveness. Jesus is not recorded as having been inclusive of those who continued to exclude the powerless. If the tcpc is going to following the teachings of Jesus then there is not need for them to include those people either. When certain "members" repent of their sin of exclusiveness than I will welcome them with open arms. In the meantime everyone should be reminded to ignore the trolls. This is an adage I've seen on all the forums I've been on that have had these kinds of problems.

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I will repeat again: This is no place for conservatives or fundamentalists. This forum will NOT grow so long as they are allowed here. They have no interest in dialogue only in disruption. They have shown this repeatedly. They have not respected the boundaries of staying in the debate forum nor do they have any thing to add to debate. Most of here come from that background and could do a better job of relaying their points. There is no need to hear the points we have already held and soundly rejected. I'm still not sure why this is so hard for the powers-that-be to understand.

 

OA,

What you suggest here in your first sentence seems to me to say that we are not inclusive of conservatives or fundamentalists. Point 4 which I have expanded on to keep up with TCPC.org would seem to me to disagree with you. I agree that it is a challenge to co-exist peacefully with certain people and that boundaries have been allowed in the past to be violated, however, the past is past and here we are in the present and I see no violations at this time.

 

Inclusive does not mean we allow those who are hateful to stay around. Jesus was inclusive, but his inclusiveness was limited to two types of people: Those who were excluded by society (tax collectors, prostitutes, blind people, women, children, etc. ) and those who repented of their exclusiveness. Jesus is not recorded as having been inclusive of those who continued to exclude the powerless. If the tcpc is going to following the teachings of Jesus then there is not need for them to include those people either. When certain "members" repent of their sin of exclusiveness than I will welcome them with open arms. In the meantime everyone should be reminded to ignore the trolls. This is an adage I've seen on all the forums I've been on that have had these kinds of problems.

 

Could not agree with you more that inclusiveness does not mean we as a community have to tolerate those who are hateful or consistently disrespectful to our person or core beliefs. The same, of course, goes for those in our community that identify themselves as PC's but are hateful of those who do not share our beliefs. We seek a balance whereby we can peacefully co-exist in a diverse community. That there have been problems, I certainly would not deny. But that we exclude people based on their beliefs in my view, even if one labels them fundamental, is in opposition to the principle of point 4. IMO Behavior must be the relevant factor in exclusion.

Just something for you to consider.

 

Joseph

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I will repeat again: This is no place for conservatives or fundamentalists. This forum will NOT grow so long as they are allowed here. They have no interest in dialogue only in disruption. They have shown this repeatedly. They have not respected the boundaries of staying in the debate forum nor do they have any thing to add to debate. Most of here come from that background and could do a better job of relaying their points. There is no need to hear the points we have already held and soundly rejected. I'm still not sure why this is so hard for the powers-that-be to understand.

 

Inclusive does not mean we allow those who are hateful to stay around. Jesus was inclusive, but his inclusiveness was limited to two types of people: Those who were excluded by society (tax collectors, prostitutes, blind people, women, children, etc. ) and those who repented of their exclusiveness. Jesus is not recorded as having been inclusive of those who continued to exclude the powerless. If the tcpc is going to following the teachings of Jesus then there is not need for them to include those people either. When certain "members" repent of their sin of exclusiveness than I will welcome them with open arms. In the meantime everyone should be reminded to ignore the trolls. This is an adage I've seen on all the forums I've been on that have had these kinds of problems.

 

Exclusiveness seems (to me at least) to be a degradation of the core concept of group loyalty combined with an abuse of power. TCPC has a "president" and a hierarchy but promotes egalitarianism and pluralism. The real question arises when useful concepts become distorted for other purposes. Jesus reacted to an environment where, as often happens, those with power abused the less powerful. The priests ate the best part of sacrificial offerings and the church taxed the poor to gain ownership of their land.

 

For myself, the message begins here:

 

Isa 3:15 -

 

"What do you mean by crushing my people, by grinding the face of the poor? says the Lord God of hosts."

 

This verse does not need to apply only to the poor. Simply substitute "marginalized" for "poor" and and you get a popular 'postmodern' statement. Postmodern before postmodern, I just love it.

Edited by minsocal
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OA,

What you suggest here in your first sentence seems to me to say that we are not inclusive of conservatives or fundamentalists. Point 4 which I have expanded on to keep up with TCPC.org would seem to me to disagree with you. I agree that it is a challenge to co-exist peacefully with certain people and that boundaries have been allowed in the past to be violated, however, the past is past and here we are in the present and I see no violations at this time.

 

That is exactly what I am saying. TCPC disagrees because they are not thinking critically. They think they have to include everyone. An intelligent discussion might help them understand that. Has the offender repented of his hatefulness to people of the GLBT community? I haven't seen it and I'm sure there would be much rejoicing if he did. In which case there is no place for him here.

 

 

Could not agree with you more that inclusiveness does not mean we as a community have to tolerate those who are hateful or consistently disrespectful to our person or core beliefs.

 

This is not about me. This is about others. It isn't about beliefs it is about actions toward people who are marganilized. In this case, people of the LGBT community.

 

The same, of course, goes for those in our community that identify themselves as PC's but are hateful of those who do not share our beliefs.

 

You still don't seem to get it. This community is for people who are interested in or consider themselves progressives. If you hold the above beliefs than you should consider going to beliefnet. There you can have all the fun with fundamentalists and conservatives that you want.

 

 

We seek a balance whereby we can peacefully co-exist in a diverse community. That there have been problems, I certainly would not deny.

This is not a place for a diverse community as far as including people who are hateful toward those who are oppressed. Again, I refer you to beliefnet.

 

But that we exclude people based on their beliefs in my view, even if one labels them fundamental, is in opposition to the principle of point 4. IMO Behavior must be the relevant factor in exclusion.

 

It is not fundamental, it is fundamentalist. The behavior of certain "members" is well documented. It continues. In your effort to play to all sides you diminish those people who are here for a safe haven. We cannot have it both ways. It seems you would exclude Jesus because his behavior toward those who were oppressors would certainly render him bannable.

Just something to consider.

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I will repeat again: This is no place for conservatives or fundamentalists. This forum will NOT grow so long as they are allowed here. They have no interest in dialogue only in disruption. They have shown this repeatedly. They have not respected the boundaries of staying in the debate forum nor do they have any thing to add to debate. Most of here come from that background and could do a better job of relaying their points. There is no need to hear the points we have already held and soundly rejected. I'm still not sure why this is so hard for the powers-that-be to understand.

 

Inclusive does not mean we allow those who are hateful to stay around. Jesus was inclusive, but his inclusiveness was limited to two types of people: Those who were excluded by society (tax collectors, prostitutes, blind people, women, children, etc. ) and those who repented of their exclusiveness. Jesus is not recorded as having been inclusive of those who continued to exclude the powerless. If the tcpc is going to following the teachings of Jesus then there is not need for them to include those people either. When certain "members" repent of their sin of exclusiveness than I will welcome them with open arms. In the meantime everyone should be reminded to ignore the trolls. This is an adage I've seen on all the forums I've been on that have had these kinds of problems.

 

My church is "inclusive" in that they would never turn anyone away. But, some come there who are conservative and fundamentalist. They end up leaving on their own accord because the church does not fit their belief system. We had a strange case two years ago. A man started attending services weekly and seemed to connect with the community. He attended a class I was teaching on Christian ethics and was responding very favorably until I mentioned the fact that I was gay. I'll not soon forget the look on his face. The night before he had been to a dinner sponsored by the church and had lectured the group on the evils of homosexuality (he didn't even know that five members of the dinner party were gay). We never saw him again.

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That is exactly what I am saying. TCPC disagrees because they are not thinking critically. They think they have to include everyone. An intelligent discussion might help them understand that. Has the offender repented of his hatefulness to people of the GLBT community? I haven't seen it and I'm sure there would be much rejoicing if he did. In which case there is no place for him here.

 

Thank you for the clarification. We are on the same wavelength even if I do not concur. I have seen no repeated offenses since any warnings or suspensions. and any members who have not heeded their warnings have been banned. Personally, I am not looking for a formal apology. Perhaps, change is all that repentance requires. Perhaps we should rejoice or give it some time?

 

 

You still don't seem to get it. This community is for people who are interested in or consider themselves progressives. If you hold the above beliefs than you should consider going to beliefnet. There you can have all the fun with fundamentalists and conservatives that you want.

 

 

OA, Perhaps I don't. I am doing my best as Moderator/Admin2 to manage this board in accordance with TCPC.org 's mission and definitions. This board is supported and maintained by them with me as a member of their team. I am quite satisfied that they are pleased with the job I am doing and feel progress is being made. Why would I consider going elsewhere? I am satisfied with the direction in which we are in the process of heading. To me this is not a game of fun as you might suppose. Perhaps it would be good if you would have patience with me and give me some time.

 

This is not a place for a diverse community as far as including people who are hateful toward those who are oppressed. Again, I refer you to beliefnet.

 

I would not disagree. But at the present I see no one that was warned being hateful. Also that goes both ways. PC's are not to be hateful of others with differing views. The past is past and this is of course is a new day and forgiveness is foremost in my heart.

There is no need to refer me elsewhere more than once. I hear you.

 

 

It is not fundamental, it is fundamentalist. The behavior of certain "members" is well documented. It continues. In your effort to play to all sides you diminish those people who are here for a safe haven. We cannot have it both ways. It seems you would exclude Jesus because his behavior toward those who were oppressors would certainly render him bannable.

Just something to consider.

 

Thank you, I stand corrected, it is fundamentalist. The past behavior may be well documented but I'm sure there were violations on the part of many people because of lack of moderation. People have been PM'ed and I see real change. Perhaps it will continue. If not, proper action will assuredly be taken. The guidelines are applicable both for progressives and guests alike.

 

Love in Christ,

Joseph (Moderator/Admin2)

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Calling this “TCPC community” inclusive needs further explanation. As the “excluded one” that is my testimony.

 

This “TCPC community” is a community based upon speech. As a forum where people come to “speak” the inclusion/exclusion is done based upon speech. So just how inclusive is this community?

 

Compared to those who are U.S. citizens this community is very exclusive. In other words based upon the U.S. Constitution what is acceptable as speech in the U.S. is much, much more inclusive than this community. In the U.S. speech does not even have to be civil in order to be accepted.

 

Going one step further, compared to many other organizations or places for speech this community of ours is very exclusive. In those other places speech is expected to only be “civil” to be accepted. Within this community speech is not only expected to be “civil” it is expected to make others feel “comfortable”. My speech evidently made one or more persons feel “uncomfortable” and so I was excluded. That speech is there for all to see so one can compare words such as “silly” with “bigot” or “like Dick Cheney” or any other words that may or may not make one feel “uncomfortable”. The point is that within this progression we have gone from being very inclusive to very exclusive.

 

Some may argue that this community is held to a “higher standard”. That may be but it has to be noted that any “higher standard” makes the community more exclusive. So OA is correct that one really needs to look at how the word “inclusive” is being used. Jesus was “inclusive” but he sure made some people “uncomfortable” to the point that he got crucified.

 

There may be good reasons for exclusion such as that “higher standard”. I have suggested in the discussion lifted up by OA that a “higher standard” for me would be pluralism. I have suggested exclusion based upon the “mission” of pluralism. The “mission” would naturally include/exclude in an open, honest and non-personal way.

 

OA and I have suggested another “higher standard”. Exclusion may be good if it provides a safe place for Progressive Christians to speak to each other. If this were to be accepted it would become a “mission” for us. In doing so that “mission” would include/exclude people. It would be open and honest and would not be “personal” in the sense that we would be excluding a “group”. If one were a part of that “group” that was being excluded then it would not be “personal” (just as we now exclude all of those U. S. citizens who have a very low standard of “speech” that need only be accepted by the U.S. constitution).

 

Recent history here shows that a person who seemed to me to be someone who was not supportive of PC but who “did not have a problem with the 8 points” was allowed to participate in the “protected” part of the forum. So it wasn’t the fact that this person obviously rejected pluralism, the exclusion was based upon “uncomfortable speech” as was the case for me. The conclusion is that if he had not made this “uncomfortable speech” he would still be here posting in the “protected” area. This “inclusive community” is not the “safe” place that I am looking for when that can happen so easily.

Edited by David
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Well, Joseph,

 

The debate format I had suggested was, just that, a suggestion. By the way, "my" definition of debate had been taken from a Webster's (unabridged) International Dictionary. Not that it makes any difference.

 

Debate can certainly be handled any number of ways and developing a consensus in itself generates some vigorous debate.

---

Interestingly enough, I believe 'correct belief' is the compassionate path.

It's not that I think your perception was wrong, just not thoroughly thought through. (don't you just love alliteration?)

 

David's posts show a bright guy, I think he's over complicated it and there's a lot I could address that I differ with, but I think he's asking the right questions, and he's presented a thoughtful premise.

 

I could be wrong but in what it seems he premised in his first paragraph of part 2, he emphasizes that we need to search for the 'deeper' something that cannot be deconstructed, which seems a clear implication taken from part 1, Post #1, para. 1, and where together they insist we deconstruct everything in order to have that which cannot be further deconstructed and which will be enough for all else to be constructed upon.

 

"Deeper somethings" are the universal truths that define all of reality.

"Correct belief" is conforming to reality.

 

Christian philosophy offers the only 'deeper something' that cannot be deconstructed, believing in it is correct.

---

 

If I'm not mistaken there are certain threads available on the TCPC site, apart from the debate and dialogue threads, that have been exclusively set aside for the inclusive(sic) Progressive Christian.

---

 

The moderator has been consistent in pointing out that this should be a forum of faith shared, governed by the TCPC 8 points and it's mission statement.

 

While no member has been unanimously agreed with yet, how is to to be decided who to ban? Is it the person whose faith has been disagreed with the most? Do you expel the one whose repression is considered so irrelevant that you may consider them expendable? No doubt someone could argue that's compassionate.

 

It has been properly made known there is a certain distance between fundamental and fundamentalist(m). And consider that people can have a very fundamentalist attitude while adhering to the fundamental "...components that are essential to anyone who considers themselves a Progressive Christian".- Fred Plummer

---

 

When one leaves the impression that TCPC is not behaving like TCPC should on these boards, and since no one remotely connected with TCPC, other than our moderator, has posted; it can be clearly understood that the impression was not a very well cloaked reference of a personal displeasure about the moderators affect on these boards.

 

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(snip)

 

Recent history here shows that a person who seemed to me to be someone who was not supportive of PC but who “did not have a problem with the 8 points” was allowed to participate in the “protected” part of the forum. So it wasn’t the fact that this person obviously rejected pluralism, the exclusion was based upon “uncomfortable speech” as was the case for me. The conclusion is that if he had not made this “uncomfortable speech” he would still be here posting in the “protected” area. This “inclusive community” is not the “safe” place that I am looking for when that can happen so easily.

 

It seems to me that the conclusion of this statement may not be be taking into consideration a couple points. If a person says he/she fits under the umbrella of TCPC 8 points yet demonstrates by his/her words and speech over time that they indeed in practice do not agree or take an exception to a point, they would NOT still be posting in the "protected area". This is the job of the Moderator. Such judgments, of course, require careful consideration and patience so as not to be hasty. Perhaps this is not as safe a place as you would like to see it. But I would propose this "protected area" is a far cry more protected than it was 2 months ago and as we work out details I am confident this site will support a community both diverse and progressive where compassion reigns over differing beliefs or views. Those who are uncomfortable with our guidelines and administrative efforts to keep things in line with TCPC 's mission and 8 points will probably leave of their own accord as minsocal pointed out in his post concerning his church.

 

I would like to thank all those who contributed to this thread and welcome any additional views. Maintaining such a site as this, is no easy task, and in the end, all cannot be satisfied. With such differing views all I can do is weight the comments in line with the mission and eight points and do what what I feel makes the most sense and with the cooperation of all members try to make this a more comfortable board for all members without violating the principles TCPC is founded on.

 

Joseph

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Well, Joseph,

 

The debate format I had suggested was, just that, a suggestion. By the way, "my" definition of debate had been taken from a Webster's (unabridged) International Dictionary. Not that it makes any difference.

 

Debate can certainly be handled any number of ways and developing a consensus in itself generates some vigorous debate.

 

Yes Davidk, I was aware you weren't making up your own definition. It is simply one that presently does not interest the mission statement or agree in principle with all of the 8 points of TCPC.

 

 

---

Interestingly enough, I believe 'correct belief' is the compassionate path.

It's not that I think your perception was wrong, just not thoroughly thought through. (don't you just love alliteration?)

 

After all this is the debate section and you are entitled not to agree and also to express your very civil view. I honor that principle and thank you for your perception.

 

(snip)

 

If I'm not mistaken there are certain threads available on the TCPC site, apart from the debate and dialogue threads, that have been exclusively set aside for the inclusive(sic) Progressive Christian.

---

 

Yes.

 

The moderator has been consistent in pointing out that this should be a forum of faith shared, governed by the TCPC 8 points and it's mission statement.

 

While no member has been unanimously agreed with yet, how is to to be decided who to ban? Is it the person whose faith has been disagreed with the most? Do you expel the one whose repression is considered so irrelevant that you may consider them expendable? No doubt someone could argue that's compassionate.

 

Members are banned only after repeated warnings , mostly by private messages. The decision is made by the Moderator and Administrator given that authority by TCPC.org's leadership. It is my personal belief and intention that no person has or will be banned for their beliefs or views but banned only on their refusal to abide by the standards set by TCPC which are in guidelines, points and mission statement and administered by the Administrator of this site which presently has been entrusted to me with certain limitations restricted to ADMIN2 of which I am assigned.

 

It has been properly made known there is a certain distance between fundamental and fundamentalist(m). And consider that people can have a very fundamentalist attitude while adhering to the fundamental "...components that are essential to anyone who considers themselves a Progressive Christian".- Fred Plummer

---

 

Thanks for pointing that out. Personally I do not like labeling people and I am in concurrence with what you have quoted.

 

When one leaves the impression that TCPC is not behaving like TCPC should on these boards, and since no one remotely connected with TCPC, other than our moderator, has posted; it can be clearly understood that the impression was not a very well cloaked reference of a personal displeasure about the moderators affect on these boards.

 

Perhaps. Members here are indeed entitled to their view and I am not so naive to believe that all are pleased with the job I am doing and am well aware of those who are not. As long as public comments don't resort to name calling or other inappropriate behavior, disagreement with tolerance and respect for the other is a most beneficial exercise no matter to whom it is directed.

 

Thanks for your comments davidk,

Joseph

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My church is "inclusive" in that they would never turn anyone away. But, some come there who are conservative and fundamentalist. They end up leaving on their own accord because the church does not fit their belief system. We had a strange case two years ago. A man started attending services weekly and seemed to connect with the community. He attended a class I was teaching on Christian ethics and was responding very favorably until I mentioned the fact that I was gay. I'll not soon forget the look on his face. The night before he had been to a dinner sponsored by the church and had lectured the group on the evils of homosexuality (he didn't even know that five members of the dinner party were gay). We never saw him again.

The local Baptist church in my town also advertises that they “welcome all people”. I am sure that everyone there would agree with you that their church “does not turn anyone away”. But what happens is just exactly what happened in your church. A newcomer will eventually find out whether they do or do not “belong”. A Church that really includes Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgender persons by making them leaders and pastors will not be “welcoming” to those who want to exclude them from leadership or even membership. There is just no way to invite those persons into leadership and exclude them at the same time. Some “group” is not going to be happy. Certainly we all can be “good neighbors” and “try to get along” but true welcoming for “all people” is just not possible.

 

I have seen cases that you describe. I actually think it works more often from the other direction. Persons who want to be accepted based upon sexual identity are drawn to progressive churches even if those churches do not reflect the Biblical Truth that they know. Those people stay based upon the fact that the local Baptist church does not accept them. But when it comes time to call a pastor that “split” within the congregation shows up.

 

I actually like the typical “extravagant welcome” that many Churches advertise. But I also think that those Churches owe it not only to themselves but also potential members to be very public about those missions that divide. I see some of these “non denominational” groups out there hiding behind a vague “positive” message that appeals to a broad base. A person really has to dig for a while to see that these are Assembly of God related groups. There is joint responsibility here. The individual Church needs to take a very public and published responsibility for missions that will obviously exclude and the individual needs to try to find out as soon as possible whether they will “belong” or not. Both of those goals can be helped by clear and public messages about missions which are much more than "we won't turn anyone away".

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It seems to me that the conclusion of this statement may not be be taking into consideration a couple points. If a person says he/she fits under the umbrella of TCPC 8 points yet demonstrates by his/her words and speech over time that they indeed in practice do not agree or take an exception to a point, they would NOT still be posting in the "protected area". This is the job of the Moderator. Such judgments, of course, require careful consideration and patience so as not to be hasty. Perhaps this is not as safe a place as you would like to see it. But I would propose this "protected area" is a far cry more protected than it was 2 months ago and as we work out details I am confident this site will support a community both diverse and progressive where compassion reigns over differing beliefs or views. Those who are uncomfortable with our guidelines and administrative efforts to keep things in line with TCPC 's mission and 8 points will probably leave of their own accord as minsocal pointed out in his post concerning his church.

 

I would like to thank all those who contributed to this thread and welcome any additional views. Maintaining such a site as this, is no easy task, and in the end, all cannot be satisfied. With such differing views all I can do is weight the comments in line with the mission and eight points and do what what I feel makes the most sense and with the cooperation of all members try to make this a more comfortable board for all members without violating the principles TCPC is founded on.

 

Joseph

Some people come waving flags that tell us what they are all about. My neighbor raised a confederate flag on Obama’s inauguration day. That message seemed clear to me and I did not have to wait for him to speak one word in order to understand it. Now if someone is not so demonstrative then obviously giving the “benefit of the doubt” is always best.

 

I agree that being a moderator is a very difficult task. Perhaps it would be good to set up some kind of “interim” thing before a person is allowed to post in the protected area. Perhaps we should ask people to respond to points 2, 4 and 6 before they are allowed to post in the protected area. Maybe there are better ideas about an “interim” thing.

 

Because of past experience here I tend to agree with OA that even the debate area be eliminated. I wonder how much there is “value added” by having a debate area. But if TCPC wants to have an area for that then I can live with that and just not debate those with whom it seems futile. I just have to find some way of not reading the posts of those who want to continue those debates on forever.

Edited by David
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I was on an email list thats intent was to create a safe place for people. On this list newbies were moderated and their emails would not appear until a moderator had approved it. After a certain number of posts they would go unmoderated unless an issue came up. This allowed the moderators to create a safety net for the already existing members.

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Some people come waving flags that tell us what they are all about. My neighbor raised a confederate flag on Obama's inauguration day. That message seemed clear to me and I did not have to wait for him to speak one word in order to understand it. Now if someone is not so demonstrative then obviously giving the "benefit of the doubt" is always best.

 

Perhaps I am a bit slower to be as certain about the meaning of some displays and see no harm in extending privileges on a persons word prior to finding out otherwise. Regardless, no harm was done to the protected area and I think we are not so fragile that we cannot weather a few minor incidents or storms that can be promptly corrected.

 

I agree that being a moderator is a very difficult task. Perhaps it would be good to set up some kind of "interim" thing before a person is allowed to post in the protected area. Perhaps we should ask people to respond to points 2, 4 and 6 before they are allowed to post in the protected area. Maybe there are better ideas about an "interim" thing.

 

That is a consideration as there are tools to do such as that within the IPB Message board administrative panel.

 

Because of past experience here I tend to agree with OA that even the debate area be eliminated. I wonder how much there is "value added" by having a debate area. But if TCPC wants to have an area for that then I can live with that and just not debate those with whom it seems futile. I just have to find some way of not reading the posts of those who want to continue those debates on forever.

 

Should you decide that you personally do not want to have access to the debate area so you do not have to read those posts, that is a permission tool I also have access to in my control panel and would be happy to accommodate you or anyone else if I am PM'ed of that request.

 

Joseph (Moderator/Admin2)

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It has been properly made known there is a certain distance between fundamental and fundamentalist(m). And consider that people can have a very fundamentalist attitude while adhering to the fundamental "...components that are essential to anyone who considers themselves a Progressive Christian".- Fred Plummer

 

Having heard Pastor Fred speak to this issue as my Pastor for a number of years I think I have a good idea what he is talking about. I don't think he has changed his mind, but could you please provide the full source?

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