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Progressive Or Regressive?


stv2k
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In this thread we can ask about how Progressive Christianity, ( 8 steps) are supportive or defies the scriptures. how are these 8 steps in support or defiance of Jesus teachings. how (from a traditionalist viewpoints) these 8 steps are in support of traditional viewpoints and what of them could be considered "radical". Would Progressive Christianity be support of all faith groups regardless of their actions by notions of faith they put forth? what about cults? what seperates Progressive Christianity from the many cults? does Progressive Christianity deny the resurrection of Christ? does Progresive Christianity teach the resurrection of Christ?does Progressive Christianity understand the concept of Messiah, accept that Christ is Messiah to the entire world , salvation for the sinner , and that Jesus was the one that the Moses, the prophets and the Psalms spoke about, and if not, who do they consider whom they were speaking of in reference to the Messiah, as Jesus claims this, and speaks of those before him were thieves and robbers , and warns that after him, others will take this claim and not to follow them. (correct me if im wrong on these loose references)

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Steve,

 

Many of your questions are already answered within the section covering the 8 Points (not steps) of TCPC.

 

While the tone of your post seems a bit more than just questions, and i have moved it from the progressive area to here since you have not identified yourself as agreeing in principle to the 8 points as specified in that area guidelines, members are as always free to respond here in the debate and dialog section. Please read the guidelines at the top of the page if you have not already.

 

Thanks for your cooperation,

JosephM (as Moderator)

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Steve,

 

Many of your questions are already answered within the section covering the 8 Points (not steps) of TCPC.

 

While the tone of your post seems a bit more than just questions, and i have moved it from the progressive area to here since you have not identified yourself as agreeing in principle to the 8 points as specified in that area guidelines, members are as always free to respond here in the debate and dialog section. Please read the guidelines at the top of the page if you have not already.

 

Thanks for your cooperation,

JosephM (as Moderator)

i dont identify myself as anything but a Christian, i am not a Catholic, i am not a Anglican, I am not a UCC, I am not a baptist, i am a Christian, and i belong to all denominations and houses of God regardless of what men teach in them time to time.

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i dont identify myself as anything but a Christian, i am not a Catholic, i am not a Anglican, I am not a UCC, I am not a baptist, i am a Christian, and i belong to all denominations and houses of God regardless of what men teach in them time to time.

 

I truly and genuinely appreciate the sentiment here. Humanity specializes in creating distinctions that divide and separate in very unfortunate ways. Claims for unity and universality are always important in the fight against those tendencies.

 

However, I think it's also important that one acknowledge the divisions we have in front of us. In a weakly analogous situation, there is a decent about of research on how a rhetoric of "color-blindness" actually perpetuates racism in the United States.

 

To be clear, I am not saying that racism and church fracturing are the same; I just used it because it's an example where a desire to remove a problematic set of divisions & distinctions (racism) became counter-productive because it didn't take empirical reality into account enough.

 

Respectfully, I think you may be doing the same thing. I do not believe you can belong to all denominations. Questions about how church services, or how and why God loves you - questions that are very direct and can't be accused of "navel gazing" - are answered in dramatically different ways depending on the Christian denomination/sect. Paradoxically, of course, we can all still be brothers and sisters in Christ. But it is important to recognize those distinctions.

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John 10 "The Good Shepherd and His Sheep “Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2 The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” 6 Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.

7 Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.[a] They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."

 

Simply put, sheep know their shepherd. They hear the voice, the calling inside and hurry to the shepherd. If a sheep does not recognize the call inside it runs in fear. Jesus is warning us, that there are many who try to take the place of the real shepherd. Obviously, anyone who climbs over the fence instead of coming through the gate is a fraud but real sheep know the shepherd to which they belong.

 

For each of us who believe that we belong to Jesus Christ, we need to learn as much as we can about him and ourselves so that our minds are not fooled by cheap imitations. James 1:26 “If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless.”

Throughout history there have been Christian leaders who have attempted to lead God’s sheep astray. The rapture that people have talked about like there was no tomorrow is a good example. Our best defense is to know Jesus internally, to know the sound of his voice that speaks to us constantly about love so we will not be confused by people who are attempting to create a counterfeit Jesus. If we follow a counterfeit Jesus, we become counterfeit Christians that no longer act in the way of love.

The description of a genuine sheep is in Acts 2:47 “Praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” Jesus contrasts those who enter through the gate and those who do not. Those who have legitimate business and authorization enter in the proper fashion, while those without blessing use underhanded means. These thieves and robbers do not have in mind the good of the sheep but rather selfish ends of their own. The shepherd is recognized and his entrance is natural, out in the open, without forcing. He/she has an open heart and mind. Jesus entered the world in this way.

 

Steve, I feel you can answer your own questions if you truly know Christ within and if you are not inclined to react with -fear, anxiety and unbelief. Look forward to your answers Soma

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(Deleted redundant copy of previous post to conservve space.There is no need to copy entire previous posts when they are long... JosephM)

 

i dont know what naval gazing is (for other poster), the questions are to provoke thought.

===

what in your opinion is a counterfiet Jesus? do you believe he was Gods only begotten son? do you know which passage relates to his claim as "good shepard"? and i am curious, who was the 'all that came before me..." he was refering too?

 

44And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.

(Luke 24:44)

 

 

46For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me.

47But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?

(John 5:46-47)

 

------

Edited by JosephM
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Steve,

 

It seems to me some of your questions would disappear if you better understood some basics about progressive Christianity. You will find the absence of specific doctrine and dogma in the 8 points of progressive Christianity at TCPC. That is because there is no real official position or standard doctrine on teachings such as the resurrection, whether Jesus was a man or literally God in the flesh, whether he was messiah for the entire world, the infallibility of the Bible as God's word, doctrines of heaven and hell and some other issues you might address. This is not to say that they are ignored or that progressive authors have not expounded their views and published books on these issues but rather that it is always left up to the individual to determine his or her own specific beliefs for oneself. PC is more a journey or search for understanding than of beliefs in a set of dictated absolutes.The things we hold in common are the general principles found in the 8 points. Whether these points are supported or defied by your particular interpretation of the Bible writings is a view that you are free to conclude for yourself. Most PC's here in agreement with the 8 points feel they are in a sense self-evident and in line with what they believe Jesus really taught. You are free to believe otherwise but to be respectful of their right to come to possibly different conclusions than yourself. Perhaps that helps answer some of your questions at least in a general way.

 

Joseph

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Removed last post redundant quote for space.. JM

 

i understand what you are saying, but what of the issue that it is Christs ministry, not ours, and he addressing these things and instruct his disciples (who chose to be) accordingly. If it is Christian, surely we should respect Christs desires of his disciples if we are to be one.

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Steve,

 

It seems to me if you understood or read the posts, you would not still ask that question. (Note in your above posts you continue to call the 8 points "steps" even after you were corrected in a previous post above) Obviously, from your posts, you seem to be a fundamental Christian accepting every word of the Bible as what Jesus literally said. Most all here are already familiar with that preaching and do not accept it in its totality as God's word. If you will do a search you will find threads that answer your questions. If you are here to try to teach or convert others back to where they started and progressed from, you are regressing and are on the wrong forum. You are welcome to respectfully share your view but please be courteous enough to research first with our search function so you can better ask questions or express your agreement or disagreement with a single point at a time. It would avoid much confusion.

 

JosephM (as Moderator)

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If it is Christian, surely we should respect Christs desires of his disciples if we are to be one.

Can you give some specific examples?

 

From my position the conservative Christian church has done a really poor job of this and progressives are working to do a better job.

 

steve

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Having read all the eight points of TCPC, I don't see how any of them would be in defiance of "traditional" Christianity. Surely "traditional" Christians believe that following the teachings of Jesus leads to an awareness and experience of the sacred like in point 1? Even if you believe Christianity is the one true path to salvation, that doesn't mean you can't draw inspiration and admiration from other religious paths like in point 2. Likewise, even if you believe Christianity is the true path to salvation, that doesn't mean you can't be tolerant of other people's faiths and people of no faith and work together with them on social justice issues you have common ground with them on. Point 4 is entirely consistent with the teachings of "traditional" Christianity which teaches that faith without good works is dead. I don't really see how point 5 is against the spirit of the Protestant reformation. Surely "traditional" Christians believe in striving for peace and justice for all people like in point 6? Likewise, unless environmentalism is a sin, I don't see a problem with point 7 and I don't see how committing yourself to a path of love and compassion like in point 8 defies "traditional" Christianity. As stated earlier in the thread, the 8 points of TCPC are not a doctrinal creed but are merely guide points for how we should treat one another. Most fanatical religious cults do not commit themselves to a path of love and compassion or are inclusive of others. I'm not a mod so I can't speak for the forums rules but if a fanatical religious cult came here to be destructive, I don't think they would receive warm welcomes. Though I think we should treat victims of religious cults who seek help with kindness and love. On the question of is progressive Christianity a cult, if we go by the broad definition of the word cult, the word cult just means any system of ritual practice, so by that definition, all religions are "cults."

Edited by Neon Genesis
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this post can address a couple of comment here.

 

lets look at the simple issue of some of the steps and how it relates to Christs ministry

 

Point 6

By calling ourselves progressive, we mean we find more grace in the search for understanding than we do in dogmatic certainty - more value in questioning than in absolutes.

 

----And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.(Mark 1:15)

 

----Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;(John 17:20)

 

----Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.(John 4:22)

 

----23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth." 25 The woman said, "I know that Messiah" (called Christ) "is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us." 26 Then Jesus declared, "I who speak to you am he." (John 4:23-26)

 

----18And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

 

19Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

 

20Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

(Matthew 28:20)

 

---Afterward he appeared to the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.(mark 16:14)

 

----27Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.

 

28And Thomas answered and said unto him, My LORD and my God. (John 20:27-28)

 

----- 29Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.(John 20:29)

 

----

 

so as you can see, there is a level of certainity that is in Christs words, Gods words, as it is his will to hear his son, there is answers to questions why would you not want them when it is Gods will you hear them.

 

what i am also getting at it seems there is a sense in some circles that it is wrong to engage the aspect of Christs ministry that involves the "teaching of all nations" and "all things whatsoever i have commanded you" "by their words, believe in me"..... i have heard it said by some (not in regards to PC specifally ) "we dont tell people what to believe", but that negates Christs ministry in regards to him being the Messiah and his commission to his disciples. in a sense, some may be choosing not to follow Christ, but retaining some of his teachings, those they choose, much like as if they think they can go down a grocery aisle and only throw what they choose into the basket rather than all thats on the list....(type of thing, very loose analogy)

Edited by JosephM
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Point 2

By calling ourselves progressive, we mean that we are Christians who recognize the faithfulness of other people who have other names for the way to God's realm, and acknowledge that their ways are true for them, as our ways are true for us.

 

 

---- but what if theyre way is one that is not of God but rather they have been decieved, what if they engage in human sacrifice, for example. was theyre 'way' true? Jesus said , I am the way truth and life, as a Messiah, giving Gods word, it is for all Humans , the world, the truth about God, so now we have a light, the bible speaks about false Gods, false ways. So is the Bible lying? are we wrong to repeant and believe the gospels and to teach the Kingdom and the Messiah's truth, is this not what he asks of his disciples. are the scriptures not good for rebuking and correcting? and by way of political correctness do we put people in jeopardy by dismissing Christs teaching and our call to share his ministry?

Edited by stv2k
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Yet Jesus himself prayed for God to pass the cup from him so he wouldn't have to die and his last words when he died was Jesus doubting God's love for him when he asked why God had forsaken him, so is Jesus going to hell for having doubts? As I've already said and you seem to have ignored, a fanatical religious cult that practices human sacrifice does not commit themselves to love and compassion as in point 8. On the flip side, the bible and religious fundamentalism has been used to justify the slaughter of Jews who were blamed for murdering God and the Jewish Holocaust is the most horrific religious-fueled human sacrifice caused in the name of Christianity in all of history.

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Jesus was reciting psalms when he asked "why have you forsaken me."....it was not from a doubt.

 

lets look at some scripture and we can see how God promised that he would not forsaken men, so, we can consider in relation to 'i thirst' and spirit being given to the world, that God forsook him as he gave his only begotten son. Jesus knew, but recited , not doubt but affirming.

 

---

16For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.

(Psalm 22:16)

 

1My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?

(Psalm 22:1)

 

46And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

(Matthew 27:46)

 

14I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.

(Psalm 22:14)

 

17When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the LORD will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them.

18I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.

(Isaiah 41:17-18)

 

 

 

28After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.

29Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth.

30When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

(John 19:28-30)

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what do you think about those verses i posted regarding "forsaken" and "thirst" (it is my loose understanding at this point that it was part of the fulfillments)

 

----

37In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.

38He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

39(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

(John 8:37-39)

 

PS why are my posts being screened? is this religeous censorship?

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On the flip side, the bible and religious fundamentalism has been used to justify the slaughter of Jews who were blamed for murdering God and the Jewish Holocaust is the most horrific religious-fueled human sacrifice caused in the name of Christianity in all of history.

 

I agree that the Holocaust was one of the most horrific human sacrifices in history. And, it was perpetrated by those who were Christians. But, it was not done "in the name of Christianity." It was racism gone wild. There was no religious test; the test was race. No one was allowed to convert. No one was allowed to disclaim their religion. An atheist Jew would be slaughtered along side the most pious.

 

George

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Certainly racism played a major role in WWII and I'm not trying to say religion was the sole cause of WWII but the bible and the claim that the Jews committed deicide was used as a justification for the Holocaust. Hitler himself was a devout Catholic who was heavily inspired by the antisemitism of Martin Luther and the Nazis wore belts that said "God with us" on them. Here's one of Hitler's quote on the role his faith played in the Holocaust:

"My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison. To-day, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow my self to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice… And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows . For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people." –Adolf Hitler, in a speech on 12 April 1922 (Norman H. Baynes, ed. The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, April 1922-August 1939, Vol. 1 of 2, pp. 19-20, Oxford University Press, 1942)
Edited by Neon Genesis
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In this thread we can ask about how Progressive Christianity, ( 8 steps) are supportive or defies the scriptures. how are these 8 steps in support or defiance of Jesus teachings...

 

Steve,

 

I find most of the folks in this forum are true seekers of wisdom and understanding. The 8 Points (not steps - I think you are, perhaps, intentionally misstating it as some sort of commentary?) seem very reasonable and sound.

 

I am probably the most "defiant" forum member toward the deification of the Bible. I don't worship it or consider it anything other than a collection of religious musings by a mostly patriarchal group of ancient Jews.

 

As far as the so-called "teachings of Jesus," the 8 points are as accurate a picture of the elusive Jesus as any other commentary I've read.

 

So; what's your angle? After reading some of your other posts in this Fora, I gather you take issue with Progressive Christianity. Fair enough.

 

However, I think you will be greatly disappointed in your quest for affirmation or confrontation.

 

NORM

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Certainly racism played a major role in WWII and I'm not trying to say religion was the sole cause of WWII but the bible and the claim that the Jews committed deicide was used as a justification for the Holocaust.

 

The Holocaust was qualitatively (and quantitatively) different from the Inquisition. The Holocaust was racism. The Inquisition was religious. In the Inquisition, religion was the test: Jews were allowed to convert and live. In the Holocaust the sole test was race: A Jew (genetically) could be an atheist and still be executed. The Inquisition was perpetrated by the Catholic Church. The Holocaust, to my knowledge, although condoned by some church leaders, had no official church sanction.

 

I think that the Inquisition, although on the surface religious, also had underlining elements of xenophobia. Jews who converted 'coversos' were still treated with suspicion.

 

George

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I agree that the Holocaust was one of the most horrific human sacrifices in history. And, it was perpetrated by those who were Christians. But, it was not done "in the name of Christianity." It was racism gone wild. There was no religious test; the test was race. No one was allowed to convert. No one was allowed to disclaim their religion. An atheist Jew would be slaughtered along side the most pious.

 

George

 

the nazi's were not a Christian organization, if it would be associated to anything it would be pageanism, Christian would not do such things, maybe false professed Christians maybe, which some in the world are, they talk the talk but do they walk the walk, loving one another doesnt only happen when everyone is faking a smile towards on another.

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The Holocaust was qualitatively (and quantitatively) different from the Inquisition. The Holocaust was racism. The Inquisition was religious. In the Inquisition, religion was the test: Jews were allowed to convert and live. In the Holocaust the sole test was race: A Jew (genetically) could be an atheist and still be executed. The Inquisition was perpetrated by the Catholic Church. The Holocaust, to my knowledge, although condoned by some church leaders, had no official church sanction.

 

I think that the Inquisition, although on the surface religious, also had underlining elements of xenophobia. Jews who converted 'coversos' were still treated with suspicion.

 

George

 

I agree with your analysis here, George.

 

As to your point about Conversos; my Jewish grandfather and his siblings were orphaned in the early 1900s, and when they were sent to various orphanages throughout the country (it was routine back then to split siblings up), someone apparently deemed it appropriate to "convert" the children to Christianity. We discovered his Jewish ancestry after his death when we obtained the original birth certificate from New York, as it listed parent's religion as "Jew."

 

Interestingly, my grandfather never mentioned the fact that he was Jewish to anyone in our family. He always told everyone that he was an Atheist. Nor, did any of his brothers or sisters seem to know. We have to conclude, then, that the orphanage decided it was in their best interest to "shield" them from the truth. All of the siblings' birth memorandums (not the originals) have an empty blank where the religion of the parents was supposed to be. The orphanages were Catholic or Protestant. My grandfather was raised in a Christian (Lutheran, I think) orphanage and baptized as such.

 

NORM

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