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Good Morning, God Bless And Goodnight.


renebarrow
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Writing at 5.25am from Borneo in South East Asia, I found myself on the TCPC website.

 

Obviously, I should be asleep right now, but hey, here I am introducing myself when I'm throwing a Christmas party in about 12 hours.

 

Anyway, to cut my introduction short...I am...

 

1. Male

2. Immoral

3. Universalist

4. An ex-Evangelical missionary and theological student.

5. A musician/singer.

6. One of those people that experience God/Numinous/who-cares-what-you-call-it, it's-there-whatever-it-is.

7. 32

 

Anyway, after the last few years of debating on whether I was a Christian or not, and whether i really believed in a 'God', I decided recently, based on TCPC's NEW 8 point thingamy that I could probably call myself a Christian again, albeit a Progressive one.

 

The points I had the most difficulty with were:

 

1. Have found an approach to God through the life and teachings of Jesus.

= Believe that following the path and teachings of Jesus can lead to an awareness and experience of the Sacred and the Oneness and Unity of all life

- I wasn't sure if i even believed in 'God' anymore, because of the definition I assumed (i.e. Supreme Being) but describing it as the Sacred/Oneness/Unity, made it a whole lot easier. Although, yes I do still believe in a personal being who communicates with seemingly few in an obvious manner, I don't believe that personal being wants us to worship and bow down to it, nor do I believe it is Supreme and more important than the rest of us. (My Dad recently said that he defined God as, 'an intelligence behind everything', which if that is the case, I can accept even if others don't)

8. Recognize that being followers of Jesus is costly, and entails selfless love, conscientious resistance to evil, and renunciation of privilege.

= Commit to a path of life-long learning, compassion, and selfless love.

- Couldn't take the renunciation of privilege thing. I'm not an ascetic and I don't believe in vows of poverty. I like being relatively selfish, and living for my own happiness thank you very much. I lived most of my life trying to save the world, so now I'd rather just try to save myself. I understand compassion because I've gone through enough crap over the last few years to feel the pain of suffering. I've paid my dues, and I'm not ready to commit to anything except making my life happy.

Still...there are a couple of things that I'd like to make a difference in some day, that are actually selfless. I want to help stand up for the human rights of homosexuals, giving them a place where they feel secure, accepted and welcomed, and I also want to somehow fight against child sexual exploitation. That's the only thing in life that makes me really angry. When a person's freedom is taken away from them by force and they are helpless to defend themselves...there is NOTHING they can do. I really want to beat up those jerks who do things like that. (even though I also believe it is all part of the plan that they commit those cruel acts, I also believe it is part of the plan that I would respond even if it means using pain to stop others from generating even more pain).

My current hope for the future here in Borneo is that I can start a Progressive Christian Fellowship with a Black Gospel Style Choir...although I already know that if I did, all the other Christian communities would condemn us as immoral sinners who go against the Word of God.

Ok, that's it from me...just to let you know that I'm here.

Rene Barrow

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Rene,

A great big welcome to you.....

Thanks for the wonderful, open, honest, and thoughtful introduction. I wish you much success in your hopes for the future in work in Borneo and social justice. May you find great peace and inner joy in your endeavors and continued journey to the same. Hoping to hear more as you find time to contribute to the discussions here for our mutual benefit.

 

Joseph

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