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Is It Time For Us To Be More Visual And Vocal?


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Please forgive me (and redirect me) if this is already being addressed elsewhere on these message boards but I am dismayed by some of the bizarre manifestations coming from our siblings on the right since Bush "earned" (?!?) his "capital" in last month's (mock)election!



Is it time for us to be more visual and vocal?


Love and light,


Edited by migrjo
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Personally, I don't believe that had Kerry been elected that the world would be much better. But then again, my primary concerns on this question are theological ones rather than political ones.


Theologically speaking, American Christianity needs to put a visible, public face on the progressive alternative. Currently, the popular conception of what it is to be a Christian (in both belief and practice) comes from tele-evangelists. Therefore, Christianity has already been discredited in the minds of many as a viable religious path into the heart of God.


A major question in this is, how should we publicly relate to neo-fundamentalism? Should we decry it as a pretender to the Christian lineage? Do we accept it as a valid expression of Christianity? Such questions are all the more important since a "fundamentalist" phase seems to be a very natural stage in human faith development (see James Fowler's, Stages of Faith; it is called the "mythic-literal" stage, which corresponds with pre-adoloscent development).


So, I think there are distinct theological and missional reasons to publically assert our legitimate Christian identity. The big question is, how do we do it?

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Those last insights are spot on. I too have considered our fundamentalist friends and churches as being at a different spot in the stages (or more nicely, "places") of faith.


While I'm glad that the Church has many ways of being and doing church (ranging from silent Quaker meetings to charismatic Pentecostalist revivals), it is indeed very frustrating to know that so many of my fellow Christians in the U.S. currently lean toward the conservative evangelical and even fundamentalist side of things.


I generally perceive them as fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, but they don't always return the favor.


I too am torn between adopting a bold adversarial "right vs. wrong" stance on this or simply trying to do a better job of conveying our progressive perspective. As a liberal, I'd like to believe that with enough education and information, our case will sell itself. However, the "other side" tends to present this tension in a warlike adversarial manner and unless they are willing to employ a more moderate, tolerant, and reasoned approach to all of this, we'll likely never make progress toward our goals without resorting to the same tactics.


Quite a conundrum...


I don't believe that the means justify the ends, but this said, I do feel that we can all do a far better job of publically and passionately articulating our convictions without resorting to nasty ad hominem rhetoric.


The late, great Sen. Paul Wellstone of MN had a beautiful mindset re: the political realm that we might do well to consider. He didn't consider Senators or consituents on "the other side of the aisle" as being "the enemy", rather, he saw them, and treated them, as "potential converts to his perspective" and he sought to foster as much common ground as possible.


As the old saying puts it, "you can attract more flies with honey than with spit."

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“Who Speaks For God?” Series at Minnehaha, UMC, in Minneapolis, MN Jan. 9, 16, 23, and 30. Revs. John Darlington and Bruce Bjork are hosting a January series at Minnehaha UMC entitled "Who Speaks For God?" The focus of the four Sundays is on the building of a morals platform for progressive United Methodists and the community-at-large that is in contra-distinction to the set-in-stone "moral values" agenda of the "Christian Right." The topic for the first workshop in the series on Jan. 9 is: Have We Progressives Lost Our Voice? A Time to Be Silent and a Time to Make Noise.


The schedule for Sunday, Jan. 9 is:


Sermons (at worship) at 9 a.m. (traditional) and 11:15 a.m. (contemporary)

Question and Answer from 10:15 a.m. to 11:10 a.m.

Work sessions from 2 to 4 p.m.

Potluck and Program from 5 to 7 p.m.


Guest speakers to-be-announced.


Contact John Darlington at john@minnehaha.org or (612) 721-6231 or Bruce Bjork at (612) 721-8687, ext. 567 with questions.



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