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I Feel I Am Progressive Christian


BeachOfEden
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I feel I am a Progressive Christian. I feel that i agree with the TCPC 8 points and That i uphold their view that all races, sexes and orientations should be treated equal, and i feel that conservative churches do not uphold this. But listening to a number of individuals perspectives here..and start wondering if by the majority's view amoung Progressive Christians here, my views may not be Progressive. I believe in all of TCPC social justice views. As I have stated here, I do NOT concure with the Conservative Christians at all that there exist a single copy of the Bible today, regardless of tranlation that is "without" error.

 

However, I don;t believe that all the mircles in the Bible were or are just 'myths.' I don;t try and push this belief on mine on anyone, but in honesty if you throw all the mircles out the window and say that the resurrection of Christ was just a myth than I see that faith itself a reduced down to a myth. If Christ was not raised from the grave and cannot raise others than Christ basically becomes just a nice guy who died long ago and if Christ never was raised up and is not alive today then how can he be "The relm to God."?

 

So does all of this mean that I really am NOT a Progressive Christian? I thought that Progressive christianity was different than liberal Christianity? Has this assumption on my part been in error?

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My general thoughts are that, when the rubber hits the road, "progressive" is a relative term. In a sense, one has to identify whether one is progressive based on one's particular context. Also, in the high-brow theological, high towers of the academy sort of way, the term would probably mean something than what it would "on the street." Therefore, I guess that you are the only one who can answer that. If you identify the 8 Points as symbolic of what it is to be a progressive Christian and you identify with those 8 Points, then I'd say you would have a claim to being a progressive Christian.

 

When I post on things like progressives and post-evangelicals, I generally talk about it from a more "academic" perspective. In trying to identify differences, I like to think that I'm helping people identity and wrestle with a variety of issues. Not always does that work I guess. Sometimes, the talk about differences can too often overwhelm the similarities that are shared. The common identity that it vital gets lost.

 

Bottom line: You seem to identify as a progressive. So, in my mind there's nothing wrong with saying you are one. If nothing else, you can be a unique one.

 

Besides, we like you here. So, whatever you decide, we'll still claim you as one of our own.

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"Besides, we like you here. So, whatever you decide, we'll still claim you as one of our own."

 

Thanks!:) I like EVERYONE here! What I Love about TCPC is that everyone ones theological terms and views may differ yet everyone believes in social justice for all, does not claim they are right and everyone else is wrong, and everyone here ven agrees that one imperfect person ( which is everyone) claims their interpretations are without flaw. I also appreciate that we all come from different conservative faith group backgrounds and yet we all share the same progressive faith journey. :)

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Beach, I don't think there is any progressive litmus testing being done. I woudln't be surprised if not all progressives don't buy all 8 points.I would guess there are differences on political positions, for example, I think that a progressive could be against abortion and still be progressive. I do not believe that everyone here would agree that there was no literal resurrection (I am speaking of progressives).

 

There is no progressive "hell" where people who don't agree with us on every single doctrinal point go. And as far as doctrine, most liberal/progressive denominations don't really have a set doctrine.

 

If you identify yourself as "progressive", I have no problem with that. I would not have a problem with you giving your views on some of these things at all.

 

As for the difference between liberal and progressive, this is a new one for me. I always thought I was a liberal. I think the difference is that there has been some attempt made to discuss "spiritual" concerns as well as social justice (social gospel) ones. I'm guessing that many liberals would consider themselves progressive. They, like me, just never heard of the distinction.

 

Also I do think there is something of a spectrum on these things. One could be very progressive actually practicing alternative religious practices (on another thread someone mentioned Zen ), does not believe in any sort of trinity, or even any sort of resurrection etc.

To someone who would be fairly conservative in some ways believing in the literal trinity and most standard doctrine, but believes in tolerance/welcome of/to other belief systems and social gospel. I would still consider the later to be a progressive.

 

Besides as Xian says, "we like you". And there are people on this board that aren't even remotely progressive and they stay if they are polite.

 

--des

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I agree with what has been written - esp. using progressive, evangelical, etc. as labels to give a shorthand explanation of a general perspective. The primary characteristic of a progressive in my mind is the willingness to give other perspectives respect, compassion, and, perhaps even, a fair chance to influence or enhance your own path. I'll paraphrase something I read the other day - a path is not laid out. A path is created by walking. As a progressive, I celebrate our diversity instead of judging it... work on my plank... know that my views have changed dramatically in the past and that I could not have predicted that - therefore, it may happen again... believe that doctrine is not the primary goal... know, beyond knowing, that God is big and good and inclusive.

 

Ultimately, I believe that we all walk this walk alone - each of us and God. It is nice to have people to walk with for a while... I enjoy that about this board.

 

Don't fall into our cultural trap of us vs them... things that divide are of people, not God.

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Just want to add another voice of encouragement and agreement here.

 

What makes a progressive a progressive, in my view, is a willingness to dig deeply and entertain alternate views. We don't all have to hold the same views in order to be progressive.

 

I read through the 8 points and though I don't have them in front of me right this minute, I'm pretty sure I agreed with all of them. They are broad enough to include all sorts of folks under the banner "Christian", and that appealed to me very much. You certainly belong here as much as the rest of us do, and as someone else pointed out, we do like having you around :)

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Beach-

I'm posting as an outsider, in a way, since I don't hold to several of the 8 points and disagree with a good portion of what is written here. I realize, however, that I am a guest on a "progressive" board, and try to respect that when I write.

 

In a larger sense your question relates, I think, to all Christians...progressive, conservative, evangelical, southern baptist, etc. You pick the label. The question is, "What is really important?" That I relate more to the "label" or qualifying part (progressive, conservative, baptist, liberal, etc) or the "christian" part. For me, although I fall into the conservative, evangelical camp, my devotion is completely to Christ, not the camp. If I'm challenged on this board or somewhere else in an idea that goes against the view of my camp, and seems to me to be more like Christ as revealed in the Bible, I'm breaking with my camp. Every time. That's why even though I read a great deal of Christian books, I do so with caution. I never want to elevate the authors I like (Franklin Graham, Jim Cymbala, etc. in my view, possibly Campolo, Spong, Borg in yours) over the Bible. Because they are all human, and have feet of clay, despite their best intentions.

 

A friend heard an exchange at a Baptist church where a guy (deacon, elder or something) disagreed with what was being discussed. As he protested, someone said, "Brother Smith, that is in contradiction with what the Bible says on this matter." He replied, " I don't care what the Bible says, it's not in the Baptist Book of Order!"

 

There's an example of a guy who has clearly put "camp" over Christ, IMO......

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"If you identify yourself as "progressive", I have no problem with that. I would not have a problem with you giving your views on some of these things at all."

 

I think I will do this, and I think the best way is for me to do a review on this Progressive Christian book I just got through reading called, Ten Wrong Things I Learned From A Conservative Church.

 

I'll go over his basic 10 Beliefs that he points out that his former conservative church (First Baptist church and Southern Baptists Church) taught that he feels in in error, and everything is mentions inbetween that spoke to me. This, I think would be a good way to discuss my views cause these 10 beliefs discuss such things as social jsutice that the conservative churches ignore, and also discusees the resurrection and the mircles in the Bible. The likeness between the quthor's discription of First Baptist and Southern Baptists hardass man-made rules and my own former JW upbringing is remarkable to me! But I have often voiced in the past HOW MUCH ALIKE i have found Southern Baptists and Assembly of God's fundamentalism to JW's, and this books proves this all the more! It's really amazing to me!

 

"As for the difference between liberal and progressive, this is a new one for me. I always thought I was a liberal. I think the difference is that there has been some attempt made to discuss "spiritual" concerns as well as social justice (social gospel) ones. I'm guessing that many liberals would consider themselves progressive. They, like me, just never heard of the distinction."

 

I HAVE meet at least 2 to maybe 5 people who discribe themselves as "Progressive Christians" here and on Beliefnet who DO believe in the resurrection....but I never personally found this on Liberal christian sites like Christian UUs...

 

"Also I do think there is something of a spectrum on these things. One could be very progressive actually practicing alternative religious practices (on another thread someone mentioned Zen ), does not believe in any sort of trinity, or even any sort of resurrection etc.

 

To someone who would be fairly conservative in some ways believing in the literal trinity and most standard doctrine, but believes in tolerance/welcome of/to other belief systems and social gospel. I would still consider the later to be a progressive."

 

I agree 100% :)

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I would be surprised if you could get 2 progressive Christians to agree about every single tenet of their faith. It's just the way we are. :D

 

Some of your views are "progressive", some of your views are probably "moderate". I would think that would make you more at home in a progressive atmosphere as opposed to a more conservative one.

 

No one with a progressive faith would or should ever tell you that you are NOT a Christian because of your views. However, many moderates and conservatives would be likely to tell you that you are NOT a Christian because of your views.

 

I, for one, am glad you're here. :D

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  • 6 months later...

I considered myself very liberal when I was in seminary. To go to seminary and actually learn something was an act of liberalism. However, my beliefs are much more liberal now then they were then. It is all a matter of perspective. So if you consider yourself a progressive then you are.

 

THink of it this way: If you think you have it all figured out then you are a conservative. If you know you still have stuff to learn you are a liberal.

 

I use the two interchangeable which may be incorrect...

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THink of it this way:  If you think you have it all figured out then you are a conservative.  If you know you still have stuff to learn you are a liberal. 

Oh yeah, nobody's ever heard of a know-it-all liberal.

 

Ok, how about perhaps a distinction that isn't so judgmental, and might be a little closer to reality. A conservative generally looks to some person, group, event, etc. in the past as being definitive for some belief or practice, and tends to regard current ideological fads with a high degree of suspicion. A liberal, on the other hand, generally looks at current and future states, and regards the past with a high degree of suspicion.

 

The reality, of course, is that there are great ideas and shitty ones in the past, present, and future. Everybody has something useful to say.

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Ok, how about perhaps a distinction that isn't so judgmental, and might be a little closer to reality.  A conservative generally looks to some person, group, event, etc. in the past as being definitive for some belief or practice, and tends to regard current ideological fads with a high degree of suspicion.  A liberal, on the other hand, generally looks at current and future states, and regards the past with a high degree of suspicion.

 

The reality, of course, is that there are great ideas and shitty ones in the past, present, and future.  Everybody has something useful to say.

 

Okay, Fred, if you want to wade into the realm of reality, let's haul out the brain science. A conservative is a person who over-relies on the anterior cingulate gyrus and the amygada of the brain, and who, as a result, is unable to learn from his/her mistakes, is perfectionistic and possibly obsessive (lending a "counting and cleaning" style to this person's religious experience), is uncompromising, fearful of spontaneity, and quick to blame other people for his/her own mistakes. Such a person doesn't use "whole brain thinking". I venture to say that a person such as this has fewer useful things to say that will change society for the better than, say, a person who does use "whole brain thinking" -- a person who is able to think creatively and intuitively (temporal lobes), objectively (basal ganglia combined with pre-frontal cortex), compassionately (very strong output in the gamma brain wave range), and is able to learn from his/her mistakes (proper use of the anterior cingulate).

 

I'm with Beach on this one.

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Okay, Fred, if you want to wade into the realm of reality, let's haul out the brain science. A conservative is a person who over-relies on the anterior cingulate gyrus and the amygada of the brain, and who, as a result, is unable to learn from his/her mistakes, is perfectionistic and possibly obsessive (lending a "counting and cleaning" style to this person's religious experience), is uncompromising, fearful of spontaneity, and quick to blame other people for his/her own mistakes. Such a person doesn't use "whole brain thinking". I venture to say that a person such as this has fewer useful things to say that will change society for the better than, say, a person who does use "whole brain thinking" -- a person who is able to think creatively and intuitively (temporal lobes), objectively (basal ganglia combined with pre-frontal cortex), compassionately (very strong output in the gamma brain wave range), and is able to learn from his/her mistakes (proper use of the anterior cingulate).

 

Uuummmmm......Huh?

 

Jen (Is that who we are today?) Your stunning intelligence is so superior to the rest of us here, it boggles the mind. Of course, perhaps I'm just playing with half of mine, according to your science. (My wife might claim "half" is being generous)

 

Please continue to teach and astound us.

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A conservative is a person who over-relies on the anterior cingulate gyrus and the amygada of the brain, and who, as a result, is unable to learn from his/her mistakes, is perfectionistic and possibly obsessive (lending a "counting and cleaning" style to this person's religious experience), is uncompromising, fearful of spontaneity, and quick to blame other people for his/her own mistakes.

Thanks so much for enlightening me on this. I'll make sure to let my poor, unfortunate conservative acquaintances know that their brains are deficient. I just hope they'll be able to understand what I'm saying when I speak to them.

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Surely God has given each of us a pair of ruby slippers, because surely a loving God would want to give each and every person an equal opportunity to find divine peace. I can think of only one place where God can stash such a pair of ruby slippers, and that place is the human brain, where you do all your thinking and feel all your feelings and make all your choices. A.k.a. the Kingdom within.

 

Jen

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Children, Children, please stop the bickering.

A complex system (ie christianity-conservative and progressive) CANNOT survive, flourish and grow by having it's parts attack each other.

We learn from the past, we shape and create possible new tomorrows, we progress TOGETHER into it.

Of course, one definition of learning from the past is to learn the lessons that history has to teach us. But then there's the possibilty (probability?) that history has been defined for the past few hundred years, at least in the western sphere of understanding, based upon the determination of which white guy wins the argument over the event(s) being considered, and then gets to write the history. Determining the factual essence of historical events is ALWAYS the battleground upon which truth is shaped and flourishes to feed the future. It's our way.

For instance, let's think about the sequence of events leading to our open-ended commitment in Iraq. Do all of you believe that the corporate and government propaganda fed to us through the media, and which led us into what appears to really be another Vietnam, was based upon factual evidence? And just what is factuial evidence anymore?

In this interconnected world of new realities, facts are distorted and spun out of shape into other realities almost as soon as they are known and become news. Then the internecine bickering erupts in earnest. But all involved make a living doing it, so it's ok by American values.

This is all signaling something important to us that we all should recognize.

When a complex system, such as Christianity lapses into regularized patterns that are predictable and regular, we are observing what is known as "opaque repetition" which inevitably leads to the cessation of meaningful activity and progress of the system forward through time. This is regression. This is the antethesis of "transparent change" that is the hallmark of progression into the future of something new and viable. ALL natural systems operate this way.

Our hearts do, our brains do, our highway systems do, the earth's weather systems do, the solar system does. It is nature and it's reflections at it's essence, and to try to control outcomes over the long haul only leads to larger and more catastrophic systemic failures in the future. We can continue to bicker endlessly over the illusions of the past, but it is all at the eventual risk of catastrophic failures that affect us all, just because we are ALL so interconnected these days

The New Orleans dike-pumping- canal system was designed to withstand a category 3 storm. The city and the Army engineers took the risk and did not sufficiently upgrade its integrity over the decades. Along comes a category 4 storm and the rest IS history.

For myself, I've got two cousins in Gulfport that my parents and I are REAL concerned about. We've heard nothing, but that's understandable owing to the devastation there. God has a way of sending us messages that are unmistakable in their importance when they arrive. We've been bickering over past illusions for too long. I think it's time to start dealing with the real threats to our collective futures. But as I am composing this rant Soop Dogg and Lee Iacocca are trying to sell me a Chrysler while they're playing golf. UGH!!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  A conservative is a person who over-relies on the anterior cingulate gyrus and the amygada of the brain, and who, as a result, is unable to learn from his/her mistakes, is perfectionistic and possibly obsessive (lending a "counting and cleaning" style to this person's religious experience), is uncompromising, fearful of spontaneity, and quick to blame other people for his/her own mistakes.  Such a person doesn't use "whole brain thinking".  I venture to say that a person such as this has fewer useful things to say that will change society for the better than, say, a person who does use "whole brain thinking" -- a person who is able to think creatively and intuitively (temporal lobes), objectively (basal ganglia combined with pre-frontal cortex), compassionately (very strong output in the gamma brain wave range), and is able to learn from his/her mistakes (proper use of the anterior cingulate).

 

Well, ok then........you just described me! Most people call me very creative, because I am. But, hmmmm.......may of these attributes (flaws?) are spot on. I don't like this. If I did I wouldn't be on this board. Is there any hope for me????? I am not being sarcastic as I see that some bickering has been going on and do not wish to add to it. :unsure:

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But as I am composing this rant Soop Dogg and Lee Iacocca are trying to sell me a Chrysler while they're playing golf. UGH!!!!! 

 

...but don't you just love Snoops outfit?!

 

Actually I see where canajan is going with this whole brain thingy. I too believe that our transformation is not only "spiritual" but physiological as well, just as I believe that our transformations effect the transformation of the Land and of all Creation. But I do not believe that the hardware is the "ruby slipper" and to suggest that all "conservatives" have less evolved minds than do all "liberals"...this is absurd and naive. Jesus said that "the Son of Man has no place to rest his head". There isn't a position in which any of us remain safe for long...and be glad of this, because change is the only stability there is. Awareness is the vehicle of transformation and maintaining "positions" hinder awareness. How can you grow if you've already found the perfect fit? You will either burst your seams or begin to smell...

 

lily

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Thanks, Lily, for correcting my Snoop spelling. When I get angry I tend to type and edit carelessly. See how bad emotions (which assist in the imprinting of negative long-term memories in your brain with help from the amygdala) mess up your brain?

Not only is his outfit really BOSS ( the pastels are SOOO anti-establishment in the country club environment), but the rims on his golf cart are to DIE FOR! ;)

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