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Article On Progressive Christianity


soma
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I wrote this to submit to a magazine and would like your comments. Good , bad and indifferent Thanks soma

 

Today there exists a division between Progressive Christians and their brothers the Fundamentalist on the question of the role of man in the universe. This question is not just for philosophy and theology but for science as well. To answer this question I will have to expand on the traditional boundaries of Christianity.

Progressive Christians see Christ’s physical relationship with mankind as a unity between love of God and love of the world while fundamentalist see only the love of God. Jesus Christ the Progressive’s savior sees God everywhere through an increased interior vision of unity in an increased consciousness that I will refer to as Christ consciousness. This mysterious gift of consciousness in our existence is the grace that gets us past the perception of multiplicity. Christ consciousness brings real consistency to the world and sweeps away all differences so Progressive Christians can accept the Fundamentalist and other religions while laboriously expanding their own consciousness with their love and selfless actions. Their thrust is not from a church organization below, but from an attraction above in the pure consciousness of Jesus Christ. Progressive Christians are not resigned to lead a double life between a church’s dogma and the divine experience in the all-encompassing love of Christ. Ultimately the uniting force of Christian charity will unify everyone on a deeper level because the unconditional love of Jesus will prevail. This is an external method to discover the interior consciousness to become like Christ with a more developed consciousness that brings greater love along with internal and external unity and awareness. Christ consciousness transfers one to a higher level that can be compared to the boiling of a liquid and where injection of energy suddenly changes the liquid into a gas. We can see this as consciousness develops in evolution from instinct to thought. Critical points are reached in evolution, rungs on a ladder climbed expanding awareness and consciousness towards a higher all pervading consciousness. This upward “coiling” towards a greater pure consciousness in humans I call Christ consciousness. Science has shown evolution to be an ascent towards man and his reflective consciousness while Progressive Christianity is trying to show through Christ an ascent to God the Father or pure consciousness. This ascent brings greater unity, happiness and love because Jesus had a more advanced perception, a greater love and consciousness so he can show us the way and the light. He said,” "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (From the NIV Bible, John 14:6)"

Without a greater love, unity, and consciousness as Jesus had in Christ consciousness then the pure consciousness of the Father can’t be experienced. He gives us a new mind-set and a new concept of life, which helps us form a new humanity on the individual and community level for Christians and non-Christians. This is Progressive Christianity a belief that helps us transcend biological evolution and start spiritual evolution. Jesus said, "I am the light and the way and it is only through me that my Father's kingdom can be attained." Jesus was a man, and Christ was the perfect man. Christ consciousness is perfect. The Christ way is to lay aside our fears, doubts and worries so we can enter into a silent, peaceful contemplation of pure consciousness. Pure consciousness is within us and is perfect and because it is perfect, it destroys our doubts and fears, and casts out all uncertainty and disbelief. We must let go of everything, drop every fear from our minds, and enter into inner communion with the Father in pure consciousness. Now, from pure consciousness we draw full, complete and perfect joy, which causes us to surrender to the Father then God can remove every mental obstruction to peace because we surrender all confusion, doubt, condemnation and judgment to Him. Because the Soul is higher than the mind and more than the body, all conflicts can be removed and healed without effort, both in the mind and the body. The Christ way governs the activities of our life leading us to fulfillment with joy, love, unity, happiness and success. There are many paths to perfection. The way of Jesus Christ is the path to perfection that I chose, but I realize that there are many paths to perfection as there are individuals, thus we have the Progressives and the Fundamentalist, but the only way is through the light of perfection. There are many candles giving off warmth and lighting other candles so I think Jesus was saying it is only through perfection that one experiences the kingdom of pure consciousness.

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some initial remarks:

1. You've chosen to employ rather male-centric language - which isn't very "progressive" IMO.

2. You have presented A form of progressive Christianity, but you've stated things in such a way that a reader might think that you have presented progressive Christianity in and of itself; i.e. objectively and definitively. The way you've described things is a bit too "new agey" and "gnostic" for me - but I'm sure what you've stated there works for many others.

3. I'm not sure that "pefection" is the central key to Christianity; rather, IMO, it's about flawed humans accepting Grace that empowers us to rise to our better selves.

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Soma:

Thank you for sharing the article!

 

I found your position very close to the thinking to be found in "A Course in Miracles" which I am currently exploring in some depth with one serious difference: While you establish man as "Separated from his Creator with Jesus as the means to an "At-One-ment" with God, the Course denies this emphatically as an invention of the ego of man.Man was never separated from his Creator, and is not today.This position gets one into the "new ageness, and "gnosticness" Brother Rog decries.I don't!

 

Jeep

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Jeep is mistaken. What strikes me as "new agey" isn't the notion that we were never seperated from God (which I also believe), but rather it's the overly cerebral and vapid language; e.g. "fulfillment with joy, love, unity, happiness and success"; the "kingdom of pure consciousness", etc.

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Indeed. And one of my main peeves about New Age thought is it's hyper-individualism. Its focus is upon "personal fulfillment" and "self-actualization" which is hardly what Christianity is primarily about. Such perspectives miss the important social and corporate nature of salvation and God's kingdom.

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Is speaking New Age wrong when we talk about Christ? ;) I feel if God is beyond our individual mind there would be many ways to describe Him. Social change is important, but a society is made up of individuals so if we develop the individual we develop society. Spiritual progress social change. Jeep I like you post that we are always with God. I see God as an ocean of pure consciousness and us as cups of that water floating in the ocean. Our ego being the cup. Tha water in the cup is the same as the ocean, but the ego separates us. Is that similar to the course on miracles, sounds interesting. Brother Rog keep up the good work to make our society better, God knows we need improvement. Thanks for the post

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Well generally speaking the New Age is known for intense concern re the individual and low concern for the rest of humanity. They lack the radical social justice concepts that most Progressives and liberals are aware of.

 

I don't think that the terms themselves are wrong. I sometimes feel that when you put in a lot of "kingdom of pure consciousness", the meaning of what you write becomes blurry. What does that mean exactly?

 

" feel if God is beyond our individual mind there would be many ways to describe Him."

That is more descriptive and I feel I know more what you actually mean.

 

I also wonder, with BroRog why you chose a masculine language to talk about God and humanity. He (vs Creator, S/He, etc) and mankind (vs humanity, humankind, people, etc.).

 

 

--des

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Thanks , I have noticed that now that you pointed it out. I will probably have to rewrite it a few times. I just rewrote it already changing some of the sexiest language and dropping consciousness a couple of times with different descriptions.

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Here is the rewrite. Please give comments. I will rewrite again if necessary.

 

Today, there exists a division between Christians and their brothers and sisters the Fundamentalist on the question of the role of humans in the universe. This question is not just for philosophy and theology but for science as well. To answer this question I will have to expand on the traditional boundaries of Christianity.

 

Christians who are progressive see Christ’s physical relationship with people as a unity between love of God and love of the world while Fundamentalist see only the love of God. Jesus Christ the Progressive’s savior sees God everywhere through an increased interior vision of unity and an increased consciousness that I will refer to as Christ consciousness. This mysterious gift in our existence is the grace that gets us past the perception of multiplicity so one truly loves another as oneself. Christ consciousness brings real consistency to the world and sweeps away all differences so Progressive Christians can accept the Fundamentalist and other religions while laboriously expanding their own consciousness with their love and selfless actions.

 

The thrust is not from a church organization below, but from an attraction above in the expanded thought of Jesus Christ. Progressive Christians do not have to be resigned to lead a double life between a church’s dogma and their spiritual experience in the all-encompassing love of Christ because ultimately the uniting force of Christ consciousness helps them see that God is everywhere and in all people. Their charity and work to make society better unifies Progressive Christians on a deeper level. The unconditional love of Jesus prevails and one can see it in the charity and service being redered. The Progressive Christians see God in the world and in humanity so God is everywhere. By helping other people who are poor or less fortunate they are serving God. This external method of selfless service helps one discover the interior vision and motive of Jesus. It makes people more like Christ by developing the unit consciousness, bringing greater love along with an internal and external awareness of unity.

 

Christ consciousness transfers one to a higher level that can be compared to the boiling of a liquid, where injection of energy suddenly changes the liquid into a gas. We can see this as consciousness develops in evolution from the act of instinct to the act of thought. Critical points are reached in evolution, rungs on a ladder climbed expanding awareness and consciousness towards a higher all pervading consciousness. This upward “coiling” towards a greater intelligence in humans I would call Christ consciousness. Science has shown evolution to be an ascent towards man and his reflective consciousness while Progressive Christianity is trying to show through Christ an ascent to God the Father. This ascent brings greater unity, happiness and love because Jesus had a more advanced perception, a greater love and consciousness so he can show us the way and the light.

 

Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (From the NIV Bible, John 14:6)” A greater love, unity, and consciousness like Jesus has presents us with an ideal to follow. Christ consciousness allows people to experience God in everything, therefore the need to serve, act and cooperate with everything. He gives us a new mind-set and a new concept of life, which helps us form a new humanity on the individual and community level for Christians and non-Christians. This is a new concept, a belief that helps one transcend biological evolution and start spiritual evolution. This causes a social evolution because as the individual progresses so does society. Progressive Christianity is therefore a path to spiritual progress and social change.

 

Jesus said, "I am the light and the way and it is only through me that my Father's kingdom can be attained." Jesus was a man, and Christ was the perfect man so some refer to Jesus Christ as the God man. Christ consciousness is perfect. The Christ way is to lay aside our fears, doubts and worries so we can enter into a silent, peaceful contemplation God. God is everywhere so He is within us and is perfect so our doubts and fears our destroyed, and all uncertainty and disbelief cast out. Christ consciousness helps one to let go, to drop every fear, and to enter into inner communion with God and our fellow beings. A Progressive Christian serves others because by doing this God is also being served. This path to development is individual and collective. It is collective because we are all developing or progressing to the same Almighty Power. For example, we are sitting on a beach watching the sunset. I see a path from the sun reflecting off the ocean directed to me. I call this the Christian or Christ way, but the person next to me sees a different path reflecting off the water, and that path is called something else. A Progressive Christian accepts both paths because they are directed to the same sun, the same light or Almighty Power. A Fundamental Christian would have difficulty with another path to God.

 

All Christians draw full, complete and perfect joy from Christ because He helps us remove all mental obstructions to peace. All confusion, doubt, condemnation and judgments are surrendered to God. The Soul is higher than the mind and more than the body so all conflicts can be removed and healed without effort, both in the mind and the body. The Christ way governs the activities of life leading all Christians to fulfillment with joy, love, unity, happiness and success. The Progressive Christian sees many paths to God depending on the individual, but the Fundamentalist sees only one. The Progressive Christian serves God by serving humanity and his community while the Fundamentalist serves God by preaching. The way of Jesus Christ is a path that Progressive Christians have chosen, but they realize that there are many paths as there are individuals, thus Christianity has the Progressives and the Fundamentalist who believe in only one path. Jesus said He is the only way, which is through the light of harmony and unity. That means serving others because that is a part of unity. There are many candles giving off warmth and lighting other candles so I think Jesus was saying it is only through perfecting, serving, and developing that one experiences the kingdom of the Almighty.

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Soma,

 

I dig it so much, that if my ass were bigger I'd tattoo it there for safe keeping :o ...but I don't think it represents the "Progressive Christian" perspective. The notion of consciousness outside of the rational brain is generally received with skepticism by progressives. Intellect is the higher consciousness for progressive Christians. Progressives are generally about the business of the journey of Christ-like life in a very physical/rational way. A progressive gets close to God by poring over the writings of Bishop Spong, camping, protesting war, and building low-cost housing in Nicaragua. :P tee hee hee hee (shh!!!!)

 

I'm not sure what the label for the perspective you are describing is (New Age, Mystic, Christ Consciousness). And although it represents the perspective of many of us here, it is not representative of Progressive Christianity.

 

Maybe you should just consider removing the word "Progressive" from your article. I don't know...what do you guys think? What other word would be better?

Edited by fatherman
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LOL Fatherman! I am going to have that image forever burned in my brain!

 

Soma,

 

The article is beautiful. I can feel the love and peace just flow off of it.

 

Like fatherman, I wonder if another term besides Progressive Christianity might not be better?

 

The Christ Way popped into my head as I was reading it. Just a thought.

 

Aletheia

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