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Progressive Christianity In Sweden

Neon Genesis

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There was an interesting article awhile back about the state of Christianity in Sweden: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/28/us/28beliefs.html According to the article, most of the people in Sweden self-identified as Christians but they believed in a higher power, didn't attend church frequently, and believed in the positive teachings of Jesus, but seemed to either reject or be unaware of the negative aspects of religion and religion for the Swedes seems to be more of a traditional heritage where infant baptism is treated like a big party that celebrates the birth of a child rather than a form of childhood indoctrination for original sin. Sweden has an official state church but it seems to only exist for the sake of tradition and has no real government authority. The government itself seems to be very secular yet Sweden is one of the most peaceful nations in the world in spite of its secularism. In Sweden most of the people even consider the question of asking if you believe in God to be a silly question in itself to bring up. The people there either seem to believe in God or not but nobody makes a big deal about it either way. There's very few extremists in Sweden and the people seem to get along without much religious persecution. Why do you think progressive Christianity has been able to catch on in European nations like Sweden but seems unable to catch on in the U.S.? If Sweden is a prediction of what must happen to Christianity for progressive Christianity to catch on, do you think Christianity will have to find a way to survive without the church as a major part of Christian's daily lives? Do you think there is a way to progress to the point where Sweden is while still intergrating the church as an important part of Christianity or do you think the church is an out-dated asapect of Christianity that needs to go for Christianity to thrive?

Edited by Neon Genesis
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I would not go so far to say that the church is superfluous. I think wherever people are serious about their practice there is going to be a need for community, and the church is nothing more than the community, communion, of Christians. And without that community I would say Christianity is non-existing and is relegated to a tradition of the past.


I know very little about Sweden but if a secular government and society is working for them I think it's great. Obviously America's disposition is very different, we're very hung up with religious questions. On the one side this is not good, because it can lead to irrational political action, policy choices, etc, which would be avoided if people just looked at situations and issues without religious prejudice. On the other side, and in almost the same way, it can be argued that it is good, since we are always involved in questions of ethics and morality. Yet so is Sweden, one would assume, so that argument may not hold much weight. Ultimately a government represents the character of the people I would say, so if Sweden's society is secular, then, as you note, the people generally have 'gotten over' a traditional religious worldview. Americans still tend to be very concerned. I think ultimately, if Western civilization continues to grow and strengthen, we are all ultimately headed toward a society that is secular in form. Individuals may be religious - I'm religious. But for heaven's sake I don't want my government being religious. People, whether secular or religious, want to be able to live their lives as they see fit, and this can only happen in a secular government and society.


My question is, if people in Sweden generally do not care much about religious issues or topics, is that progressive Christianity or is that just plain secularism?


Peace to you,


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