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Current E-Bulletin From Progressivechristianity.org (Tcpc)


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It is regrettable when people feel they have to dissociate themselves from the term Christian because they think it’s been usurped by right wing extremists. Seems like a defeatist stance. Personally I’d just as soon refer to myself as a Unitarian (or Universalist), or even secular humanist, if someone says Christian and means fundamentalist / evangelist.

 

It’s not clear whether Anne Rice was rejecting Catholicism (again) or Christianity per se, but it probably had alot to do with her son being condemned for homosexuality. This outrage I can certainly understand.

 

Michael Rowe wrote in the Huffington Post, that for Rice and many others, Christianity is identified with “a body of believers who no longer represent anything of what we believe, and indeed represent the very opposite of what Christ's teachings are.” It’s as if the Pharisees simply changed their name and remained the same exclusivist, racist, misogynist group that Jesus condemned for their so-called purity codes.

 

related but slightly off topic –

 

This forum has been consistently respectful, open, egalitarian – but the past couple of years it seems that women drop out after one or two posts. why is this? has TCPC become The Center for Patriarchal Chauvinism? The moderators are always welcoming toward women who join; I’m just lamenting that there isn’t more of a balance of male/female voices. It’s a lonely feeling --imagine if it were the reverse, and you were the only man speaking on a board that was 99% posts by women. Fred Plumer once said that most internet discussions, even liberal ones, are male dominated, but still...

Edited by rivanna
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Sorry if I sounded a bit harsh in that post...

 

One thing implied by Fred Plumer’s article is that progressives would do better to define what Christianity means to them, rather than reject the term as if it were hijacked by fundamentalists.

 

Also what Plumer says about church leaders was striking –

 

“Sometimes the battles are over LBGT issues and other times it may be about politics. But far more often, the conflict is rooted in theology and ideology. Frankly, with rare exceptions, clergy cannot freely teach what they learned in seminary or more importantly, what they have come to believe about their own understanding of the Christian religion, the bible or their faith. The resultant message is often mixed or muddled and almost always without passion.

 

The good news is that… the Anne Rice event is stirring things up and people are reading, writing and hopefully having serious conversations in their homes and in their churches. Maybe this will be an opportunity for more church leaders and people in the pews to have honest dialogue about the meaning of Christianity in the 21st century.”

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Hi Rivanna I posted my own "harshie" as it were in another thread last week. It happens. I hear you on the lack of women regulars, and I don't really know what to say, especially being male myself and still somewhat new here.

 

Sorry if I sounded a bit harsh in that post...

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Also what Plumer says about church leaders was striking –

 

“Sometimes the battles are over LBGT issues and other times it may be about politics. But far more often, the conflict is rooted in theology and ideology. Frankly, with rare exceptions, clergy cannot freely teach what they learned in seminary or more importantly, what they have come to believe about their own understanding of the Christian religion, the bible or their faith. The resultant message is often mixed or muddled and almost always without passion.

 

+1. And while I hear Plumer about our calling to take responsibility as PCs for at least trying to turn the situation around, make no mistake it can be a hard, lonely road. In our town, for example, even (of all places) the local UCC congregation is at least majority fundamentalist, and institutionally supports religious right causes. They're good, kind people who do their best by the light they have, but they have fixed ideas about what a proper Christian is. And they don't, to my own understanding, understand how these ideas can hurt people.

Edited by ParSal190
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The January 2011 article "How Far are We Willing to Go?" by fred Plumer, TCPC president can be found HERE.

 

AND.....

 

The February 2011 E- Bulletin

 

 

"Can There Be a Big Tent for Christianity?"

 

 

 

Reflections on the Emerging Church and the Big Tent Christianity Conference in Phoenix, AZ by Fred Plumer, TCPC president.

 

can be found HERE.

 

 

Joseph

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