Jump to content

How Do You 'practice' Progressive Christianity?


jonnyb
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi,

 

not wanting this to get into a debate about how one 'should' practice progressive christianity, I just am interested in how different individuals express their form of christianity day to day.

 

So far for me, progressive christianity has been more about studying it than 'doing' it. I want to change that now and am looking at what being a follower of christ should mean in my life.

 

so.... how do you 'do' your christianity?

 

volunteering?

social action?

meditation? study? prayer?

 

thanks

Jonny

Edited by jonnyb
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Johnny,

 

I am, like you, just starting out in this new world of Christianity. For me, so far, it has been more of a change in attitude in my daily life. I feel much more patient and calm around other people, which I hope shows. I am also playing more with my kids. One other thing, I am getting into the habit of praying before I eat. I don't make a big public show of it, just pause, bow my head, and say a quick thanks to God.

 

Derek.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For me, so far, it has been more of a change in attitude in my daily life. I feel much more patient and calm around other people, which I hope shows.

 

I had a friend who was an indifferent, not very observant, Christian, but essentially a good guy. I didn't see him for several years after he moved to another city. When I went to visit him, he had become more much serious about religion (Episcopalian) and had become an almost different person in the ways you describe. He was patient (like in traffic), very considerate of strangers, calm, etc. It was an amazing transformation.

 

George

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As i have indicated elsewhere...

To me, Progressive Christianity is not a religion but a dynamic and living way or path of relating to life and our relationship with God. A way whose foundation was introduced to me by the reported teachings of Jesus without the bonds of having to accept the formal dogma and doctrines of man disguised as the church system, holy books, laws or rituals. A path that allows for a diversity of writings, words, interpretations, logic, reasoning and changeable conclusions without rejection based on ones present personal interpretation. A spiritual journey or quest that retains the potential to be ever progressing in God on an individual basis all the while adhering to basic principles in line with the simplicity of the reported teachings of love and inclusiveness of but not limited to Jesus and expressed in general as the 8 points of PC.

 

Basically it is more a way a life than a practice to me and more spontaneous but of course has elements that include volunteering, social actions, doing what i can for the environment and less fortunate and meditation in the form of watching the mind.

 

Joseph

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My "practice" primarily involves reading, learning, being open to new/different ideas, and reflecting on how I want to to grow and change myself. This forum has given me many opportunities for learning and growth. Sometimes it involves challenges to some entrenched ideas I had that simply do not fit in this emerging paradigm. Often I will come across a concept that either doesn't "ring true" or "strikes a chord" with me. When this happens, i spend some time investigating it to see if/where it fits into my own spiritual journey. Sometimes I accept it, sometimes I don't. Either way, for me, its about the process of change & growth.

  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like this question, and I've enjoyed reading everyone's responses.

 

"Practice" for me consists of a few things: Bible study, prayer/meditation, community service (in a variety of forms), asking questions, being kind and loving, and searching for ... well, searching, anyway.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I choose to practice living, with elements of PC brought to my mind often. Not in a WWJD sense, but from a place where I think Jesus was on to something when he said love God and love your neighbour - that's all you need to do to live a life worth living. My 'loving God' is simply living my life to the full - as Spong says "live fully, love wastefully", and my 'love thy neighbour' is a balance between being a good Dad and husband, putting my neighbours bins out, trying to save the world from poverty, injustice, famine & malnutrition, and sexual exploitation (that's just my morning :) ) and trying to be a 'good' person - empathy for others, kindness, help where I can, etc.

 

I think just being mindful of who we are in life, what we do, and how we do it, is enough.

 

Mind you, that's all a lot easier said than done. Maybe it's more inspiration than practice!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I try to live and love in the moment. There are so many thoughts that want to interupt this love afair with life so I must witness and be aware of everything. The practice is difficult to juggle doing the dishes and pay the bills at the same time. The dishes are easier, the warm water is relaxing. Paying the bills is easy during the payoffs because of my love affair with basketball, but just a boring chore when not.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i loved reading all of your responses!

 

Joseph - totally with you. maybe 'practice' wasn't the right word.

 

I have found that meditating on verses that i like has an impact on my day. If i have the verse about being 'slow to anger, quick to listen' fresh in my head, then i will certainly think twice about how i respond to certain situations.

I'm applying for a volunteering post, too. these are things i didnt really pursue while i was a traditional christian. I think that because I have shed the thought that being a christian means 'are you saved or not', I have started to ask, what does it mean to follow christ?

 

thanks

looking forward to any more responses

Edited by jonnyb
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good Morning...

 

I have found that my Faith is to be lived because, without doing so, I would simply be a hypocrite. My own Journey must include the practice of deep exploration of my motives and an understanding of the source of what I claim to be my convictions. For example, my dedication to peace and non-violence would be just a nice idea if I didn't understand that peace and non-violence are the Way of God. I therefore do not vote for politicians that support war and violence, reject any form of violence and war as entertainment, and support mass peaceful demonstrations and boycotts against the military, taxes used for war and violence instead of food, shelter, and medical care for those most in need. Cluttering my life up with wants, ambitions, opinions on things that just don't matter, and any persuit of more than what I need in my life just to live is a distraction from my persuit of living my Faith. Such things lead to what Quakers call an 'cumbered' life. I have also begun the habit of not explaining myself unless asked and view this post with an eye to my own motivation. This is a process that is a life-long unfolding for me, not an event. I would be content to live in a small cabin or in a one room apartment, but I don't think my wife would go for that. :P

Edited by Quaker Way
  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Greetings, I am a new member but an old (40+ years) advocate and practitioner of a new Christianity. For the last 10 years I've been working with a group - Realistic Living - ( RealisticLiving.org ) which has been experimenting with a meaningful approach to small group Christian practice - Christian Resurgence Circles. We advocate that small groups of progressive Christians (6 to 12 persons) gather weekly to study, sing, meditate, share, and discuss. The leadership in these groups is shared. Circles can meet in homes or a room at a local church or anywhere. We have developed a meeting outline for such a group. A Christian Resurgence Circle is not intended to reinforce or teach a set of religious beliefs. It is rather about practicing thoughtful, joyful and response-able living in the here and now. My wife and I are now trying to organize such a circle here in Portland. We did organize such a group when we lived in Colorado. What do you think about this form and experiment in a New Christian Practice? Grace and Peace, Houston

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Hugo. as i said on your introduction thread, I love this idea. I'd be interested to know how a group like this is put together. Do the people already know each other or is it advertised? how do you put across that the group is christian but not about traditional beliefs and doctrine?

thanks

Jonny

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi, Houston,

 

would you call what you are doing part of the house church movement?

 

Dutch

Yes, I think this approach is part of a broad house church movement but it does not come from the "emerging church" groups. When I was involved with the ecumenical institute in the 60's and 70's we used the term house church. The structure I described is an evolution of some of this institute's work. The basic approach is that a serious Christian particdipates in a regular small group and also maintains a solitary practice of some sort - which could be prayer, reading, Buddhist meditation etc. Ciao, Houston
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Jonny, First, I think discussing Christian Practice is very important. Buddhism is all about a practice - both individually (meditation) and in a group (sangha). A Christian practice at least structurally is no different. Buddhists seek to be awake and present to Reality - so do Progressive Christians. We can utilize our tradition of indepth study, singing, metaphoricdal translation of scripture, and an honest sharing among friends - all in a group setting. We also profit from individual meditation, prayer, silence, etc. We should utilize Buddhist meditation techniques. I am sure there are some powerful contemplative Spirit traditions that were developed by historic Christians in Ireland. At any rate, a small Christian group (we call it a Christian Resurgence Circle) is about being present to life, to Reality, to the issues of our time, and not about reinforcing a set of beliefs. The best way to organize such a group is to invite people that you know have a similar interest to an initial gathering and discuss the idea of trying such a group by meeting weekly for three months. You can find some more ideas at Realisticliving.org. These are some ideas. The Next Chrsitianity is about experimenting with new forms. Peace, HHM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

terms of service