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Can We Take A Moment To Laugh At Ourselves?


fatherman
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Church of the Open Arms Mission Statement

 


  •  
  • We are a Christian-like community who is dedicated to not offending anyone by action, word, or deed (except for conservative, fair-skinned Christians).
  • We welcome and affirm all people, persons, and peoples of color, gay/lesbian/bisexual/trans-gendered (conservative or liberal), and persons and peoples of other religions or cultural origins. We welcome conservative, fair-skinned Christians to try the Baptist down the street or the anti-intellectual, Jesus-loving, hand-waving mega-church off the interstate that quadrupled it’s membership last year.
  • We are devoted to the endless debate and study of the possible existence of a Divine Presence who we may or may not choose to call G-d, Mother, Creative Force, Loving Presence, etc.
  • We are intentionally inclusive of all language for God, except Father and King, because some persons in the world have been abused by fathers and because we live in a democracy (and both are masculine and therefore exclusive of women).
  • We believe in the study of both the Hebrew and Christian scriptures for the purposes of disproving the existence of the supernatural in any form.
  • We believe that G-d created us as intelligent persons who are educated enough to rationalize our way around sin and the need for G-d’s loving grace.
  • We believe in the Buddha, the Dalai Lama, Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, and John Shelby Spong. Oh, and Jesus, as he pertains to one of the afore mentioned.
  • We believe, above all, that the use of screens, singing of praise music, the waving of hands, and the use of non-African drums in a worship service is an abomination unto the Lord God Almighty, and that those churches that do shall be judged harshly with the eternal fires of Hell.
  • GAYS WELCOME!!!!
  • Also, African Americans welcome, but just be prepared, the service is not as exciting as what you’re used to except during Black History month.

All services end with the singing of our congregational anthem “Imagine” by John Lennon.

(David Wilson-Burns, author, attends a very progressive United Methodist Church and just has to laugh sometimes)

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Must admit, these days, I'm finding it more and more difficult to take time out to take myself seriously...

 

:D

 

(Just at a slight tangent, a story I've always loved.......a man was looking for a good church to attend and he happened to enter one in which the congregation and the preacher were reading from their prayer book. They were saying..."We have left undone those things which we ought to have done, and we have done those things which we ought not to have done." The man dropped into a seat and sighed with relief as he said to himself, "Thank goodness, I've found my crowd at last.")

Edited by tariki
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Are cynics welcome?

 

steve

 

depends what you are cynical about. I can say that I'm feeling pretty cynical about the direction of my real church, and that I'm not feeling all that welcome. However, my Pollyanna views on God and Jesus (let's call them post-critical) aren't either. Underneath it all, is a deep desire to worship God and know Jesus within my church community. But my church community is so into living the questions that we really struggle to surrender our seeking long enough to just take a moment to experience God together in a corporate act of worship.

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I am reminded of a story I once read about a Sunday School lesson on "the Pharisee and the Publican." The teacher reads to story to the children, after which she asks them to bow their heads, and close their eyes, and she prays, "we thank thee Lord that we are not like the Pharisee." There is also something about a mote and a beam that comes to mind.

 

On the other hand, there is some real bad stuff that goes on. In the PC(USA), there is a group called the Presbyterian Laymen, Inc. They are fond of bringing charges against people (particularly clergy) for their lack of orthodoxy, and for condemning people who support movements that the Laymen don't approve of. In particular, for the last few years they like to come after those who support LGBT rights. So for congregations like the one I belong to that call themselves More Light Churches, while recognizing that we shouldn't take ourselves too seriously or think ill of those we disagree with, it can be hard to be generous toward those who, in earlier times, would have burned us at the stake.

 

Don

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I am reminded of a story I once read about a Sunday School lesson on "the Pharisee and the Publican." The teacher reads to story to the children, after which she asks them to bow their heads, and close their eyes, and she prays, "we thank thee Lord that we are not like the Pharisee." There is also something about a mote and a beam that comes to mind.

 

On the other hand, there is some real bad stuff that goes on. In the PC(USA), there is a group called the Presbyterian Laymen, Inc. They are fond of bringing charges against people (particularly clergy) for their lack of orthodoxy, and for condemning people who support movements that the Laymen don't approve of. In particular, for the last few years they like to come after those who support LGBT rights. So for congregations like the one I belong to that call themselves More Light Churches, while recognizing that we shouldn't take ourselves too seriously or think ill of those we disagree with, it can be hard to be generous toward those who, in earlier times, would have burned us at the stake.

 

Don

 

I'm familiar with the More Light movement. The Methodists have the Reconciling movement which is similar. My church is a Reconciling church, which I support 100%. And it is difficult to be gracious to our opponents, but it's also easy to be smug. And it's easy to demonize. And it's easy to put the focus on the issues instead of on the Christ.

 

I find it interesting, also, that my church doesn't have a problem respecting the conservative beliefs held by people of other cultures and races and religions...but have no tolerance for those most like them that are conservative.

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I find it interesting, also, that my church doesn't have a problem respecting the conservative beliefs held by people of other cultures and races and religions...but have no tolerance for those most like them that are conservative.

 

Excellent point.

 

George

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I find it interesting, also, that my church doesn't have a problem respecting the conservative beliefs held by people of other cultures and races and religions...but have no tolerance for those most like them that are conservative.

 

Do we expect more out of our friends?

 

steve

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