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Jesus As Savior & Progressive Christians


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I'll probably have a better answer after reading some posts, but for now, I would say that I view Jesus as God in human form. I believe that God created us, it doesn't make sense to me that we would need to be saved from Him. So, not savior in the sense of died for our sins, but savior in the sense that God came to earth to help/show/guide us.

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I think that if you asked 12 different progressives you might get 13 answers. :-)

But I basically agree with Cynthia. I think the place that we differ the most with conservative Christians-- is that we see Jesus not as "personal Lord and savior" but savior in the sense

that Cynthia describes.

 

I'm not sure I believe Jesus to be "God", but perhaps something like the most complete and perfect God in humanity that has been. (God is in all of us, in my view-- but we often don't act that way, and perhaps aren't able to act that way. This would be panentheistic--vs pantheist. God is IN everything but God is NOT everything.)

 

I also believe that Jesus is Savior for all, even who don't know his name or believe-- but only to the extent that they follow the greatest commandment: Love their neighbor as themselves and Love God with all their hearts and minds (even if they were to use another name for God or divide God up into multiple god aspects).

 

I don't consider Jesus only a prophet, but he was the most prophetic voice as well.

And I don't consider Jesus only a teacher, but I think he was the best teacher. (I think the word teacher means to guide to, or something).

 

--des

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Here are my thoughts re: Jesus and Salvation:

 

Jesus is the Jewish Messiah promised to Israel in the Old Testament (but not the "knight in shining armor/Rambo" type that most were expecting). He taught, modeled, and invited us to "live abundantly" in intimate relation with God and each other instead of being in bondage to the ways of the world/empire. Christians are called to follow and imitate these radical, transformative, and life-giving ways of Christ (to claim Jesus as Lord of their lives instead of other worldly forces & powers), and to invite others to do the same.

 

Good works accompany faith. If one’s faith is real & authentic, then one can’t help but respond by engaging in service to persons and a world in need (not that doing good works is required for salvation, but rather, if one is saved, good works are a natural "fruit"). Jesus modeled and lived-out a truly liberating way of life – the "Way of the Cross" - the way of humble, sacrificial self-giving and nonviolent direct action. By living such a life, Jesus proved that it is in fact possible for other humans to live this way as well. After His execution, many of His followers had profound and moving experiences of the "Risen Christ" (seeing Jesus in the breaking of bread shared with strangers; in the midst of persons gathered in His name, etc.) in their lives giving them the sense that Jesus truly is Lord and that He and His mission Live on!

 

Salvation is by God’s grace and can be received by us with or without our awareness. Persons who are aware of this make the decision to accept the free gift of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus and all that He meant in their lives. Even before Jesus was executed, He provided atonement (at-one-ment – reconnection with God and social reacceptance) to hurting souls via His gracious interaction in their lives. People are saved from the ways of the world and for the ways of God’s Kingdom when they accept and live-out this truth. Salvation is both Personal and Societal, and it is experienced Here and Now and also later in Heaven (or the Fully Realized Kingdom of God; i.e. when all - or a critical mass - of the world's people live lives faithful to God).

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: ) Thanks for your kind words.... but as with all of my beliefs, this is still a work in progress. How I'd state this 10 years from now might be rather different.

 

Let's keep on keepin' on, progressively in Christ.

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"I'm not sure I believe Jesus to be "God", but perhaps something like the most complete and perfect God in humanity that has been."

 

I don;t believe that Jesus was nor is God either. Rather than believing that Jesus was the incarnation of God, I say I believe that Jesus was and is the highest reflection of God's personality.

 

"I also believe that Jesus is Savior for all, even who don't know his name or believe-- but only to the extent that they follow the greatest commandment: Love their neighbor as themselves and Love God with all their hearts and minds (even if they were to use another name for God or divide God up into multiple god aspects)."

 

Good point I would also agree. The Golden Rule MUST come first even above our own doctrinal views.:)

 

"Good works accompany faith. If one’s faith is real & authentic, then one can’t help but respond by engaging in service to persons and a world in need (not that doing good works is required for salvation, but rather, if one is saved, good works are a natural "fruit"). Jesus modeled and lived-out a truly liberating way of life – the "Way of the Cross" - the way of humble, sacrificial self-giving and nonviolent direct action. By living such a life, Jesus proved that it is in fact possible for other humans to live this way as well. After His execution, many of His followers had profound and moving experiences of the "Risen Christ" (seeing Jesus in the breaking of bread shared with strangers; in the midst of persons gathered in His name, etc.) in their lives giving them the sense that Jesus truly is Lord and that He and His mission Live on!"

 

I really like that BR, about the faith and works. I think I will try and reremeber that quote. Faith should motivate helping one another 'naturally', like you said and NOT that people be motivated by the sermons of "An Angry God." In other words, faith should not be motivated by morbid fear tactict teachings..hellfire threats or end of the world.

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While I accept the orthodox doctrine that Jesus was fully Human and fully Divine, I tend to focus more upon Jesus' humanity.

 

I love the old saying that "Jesus is all of God that could fit into a human being."I also like the metaphor of Jesus being a clear window that we can see God through; i.e. by studying about Jesus' life, teachings, agendas, priorities, emotions, and who He associated with, we have keen glimpses into God's character, nature, agendas, and concerns.

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I appreciate the definition of "salvation" as occuring when a "critical mass" of people live their lives centered on God. The change that would occur from reaching this critical mass would create the Kingdom of God here on earth. Jesus provided the perfect example of FAITH balanced with WORKS.

 

As Cynthia said, we don't need to be saved FROM God. I also don't think we need to be saved from creation as if it's evil or fallen. Everything was created just as it was supposed to be, but humans have kinda mucked it up. :rolleyes:

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Salvation is both Personal and Societal, and it is experienced Here and Now and also later in Heaven (or the Fully Realized Kingdom of God; i.e. when all - or a critical mass - of the world's people live lives faithful to God).

 

BR, I very much like your whole set of comments (and most everythign else you post as well). I did want to say that I didn't intend to imply that salvation is not at all personal. What I meant is that it is not only, primarily personal, as when Fundamentalists say, "Jesus Christ is my personal Lord and Savior". That is that He came for me in some actual personal way.

It is personal because I am part of humanity-- and since I am part of it, that includes me.

So that's how I think it is personal.

 

 

 

--des

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  • 2 weeks later...

Do I regard Jesus as a/my savior?

 

Jack Miles has identified a whole series of concepts of God in the Hebrew Bible, but the distinction that I find most meaningful is the Master/Servant dichotomy.

 

If one regards God as one's Master, one will ask: "What can/should I do for God?" Many Jews and Christians would respond that the answer is found in the Bible--e.g., the Law of the Hebrew Bible, the law of love implicit in the Good Samaritan parable, revelation etc.

 

If one regards God as one's Servant, one will ask: "What can/should God do for me?" And petitionary prayer is associated with this stance.

 

Note that to speak of Jesus as a Savior is to perceive him as a being who does things for people, so that one makes a Servant of Jesus. In effect, Jesus becomes a "cosmic bellhop" (as someone once said regarding a concept of God).

 

The Master concept of God involves respect/reverence for God; the Servant concept of God is blasphemous. Given the association of the Savior concept with the Servant concept, it also is blasphemous. Needless to say, I do not regard Jesus as a/my savior!

 

Evidently Christianity borrowed the savior concept (as it borrowed most of its theology) from the Mysteries that were popular throughout the Mediterranean Basin during Jesus's day. What Christianity did was to take various ideas from stories associated with Mysteries (e.g., virgin birth, resurrection, etc.) and make them into a theology with Jesus at the center. I am looking forward to David Ulansey's forthcoming book on Mithraism and the development of Christianity, hoping that he will shed more light on this matter.

 

One might say that Philo attempted to "paganize" Judaism, but had little impact on Judaism. And that, on the other hand, the founders of Christianity attempted to create a Judaized version of paganism, and succeeded. Given what the founders of Christianity were trying to do, it is not surprising that Christianity emerged as a religion that had little in common with the various Jesus movements (Burton Mack has identified 6) that arose immediately after Jesus's death. For whereas the Jesus movements were attempting to continue the religion of Jesus (each developing its own interpretation), Christianity emerged as a religion basically about Jesus. Given that Jesus's orientation was clearly to orthopraxy, it is ironic that a heresy--Christianity--arose as the ostensible continuer of Jesus's religion. Why do I say a heresy? Because orthodoxy, by its very nature, is heretical in this context (given Jesus's orientation to orthopraxy).

 

Several decades ago Charles Guignebert (in The Christ) made the astute observation that had not Christianity developed as it did, likely we would not have any knowledge of Jesus today--for the various Jesus movements would have simply died out "naturally." (As it was, they were helped to extinction by those in the the orthodox camp!) Ironically, if one values Jesus, this means that one should not regret that the initial Jesus movements all disappeared; for had not Christianity risen instead, today Jesus would not even be a footnote in any of our books.

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Evidently Christianity borrowed the savior concept (as it borrowed most of its theology) from the Mysteries that were popular throughout the Mediterranean Basin during Jesus's day. What Christianity did was to take various ideas from stories associated with Mysteries (e.g., virgin birth, resurrection, etc.) and make them into a theology with Jesus at the center. I am looking forward to David Ulansey's forthcoming book on Mithraism and the development of Christianity, hoping that he will shed more light on this matter.

 

I've started reading "The Pagan Christ" by Tom Harpur. He looks at the astonishing similarities between Christianity and many pagan religions including Egyptian and Mithraism. His contention is that the early church took the mythological and esoteric elements of these pagan religions and literalized them. They then attempted to destroy the evidence of their plagerism.

 

At first I found this concept somewhat disturbing. However if this theme is repeated in many different religions it is obviously a very powerful spiritual metaphor.

 

I would be very interested in hearing what others think of this idea.

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When I posted my piece (under act5367), I was not aware of the Harpur book. After BrotherInChrist has finished reading it, I hope that he posts a review of it.

 

Besides Ulansey’s forthcoming book, there is another related one, I’ve discovered: The Mysteries of Mithras: The Pagan Belief that Shaped the Christian World, by Payam Nabarz (due out in July, published by Inner Traditions International). Thus, it appears that we are finally getting some valuable information pertinent to Christianity’s origins.

 

I was first exposed to the possibility that Christianity had its origins in the Mysteries about 25 years ago. Since then, I have been searching for more information, but little has been available. Six years ago Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy published their The Jesus Mysteries–a book that contains a wealth of valuable material, but is marred by their strange thesis that Jesus never existed! The books that are now coming out may help clarify matters.

 

I think it useful to distinguish between Christians and Jesuans in thinking about the early period (which may reflect the fact that I spent my teen years attending a Conservative Baptist church with my parents). Those early groups that attempted to continue Jesus’s ministry/religion I refer to as Jesuans; because different individuals arrived at different interpretations, different Jesuan groups arose.

 

Groups that, rather, developed religions that emphasized beliefs about Jesus I refer to as Christians. (I assume that rituals were developed by both Jesuans and Christians, with each developing its own rituals.) I would add that what the various Christian groups did was to take stories associated with the Mysteries, and use them as the basis for developing theologies with Jesus as the center; this is where the concepts of virgin birth, savior, resurrection, etc. came from. But although the Mysteries themselves had not been belief oriented and, instead, had had an experiential orientation, few if any of the Christian groups developed such an orientation. Rather, their orientation was to correct belief and ritual related to elements of that belief.

 

Needless to say, given that we now know a few things about some of the early groups (Ebionites, people of Q, Naassenes, etc.), it is obvious that the book of Acts has little historical value. (By the way, I am currently reading a book on the Naassenes by Mark Gaffney.) A question that arises is when did Christian groups arise relative to Jesuan ones. Burton Mack (in his Who Wrote the New Testament?) suggests (see his chart on p. 311) that the initial “christ cult” group developed from a Gospel of Thomas group in northern Syria. I, however, lean toward the possibility that Christian and Jesuan groups developed at about the same time. I would hypothesize, e.g., that some Jewish Theraputae from Alexandria were present in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus’s crucifixion and, hearing rumors of Jesus’s “appearances,” interpreted this as a resurrection–an idea common to virtually all of the Mysteries. They then hit on the idea of creating a Jewish Mystery which, being based on a real person, would have the chance of spreading rapidly–attracting not only pagans, but Jews, thereby erasing barriers between the two groups. My ideas here are, of course, purely speculative, but–who knows–perhaps they will turn out to have some merit.

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Marcus Borg says: "As Christians, we see in Jesus what God is like, what a life full of God is like." That is the description that best describes who Jesus is for me.

 

With the "Savior" thing, a person could explore the different atonement theories maybe. I don't think anybody mentioned that yet? That can be a pretty complicated subject to research. But at one time I didn't even know that there were different atonement theories out there. I just knew the one "substitutional," or Jesus as literal sacrifice.

 

ComradeInChrist mentioned Savior as powerful spiritual metaphor. I think that is true. I'm sure Joseph Campbell has explored that in his books. "Thou Art That" to name one specifically.

 

Also, I think "Cosmic Christ" might be another related/similar term a person could research.

 

I remember reading an Erhman book on this topic of Christians borrowing from other religions of the day. He had a description of what you would assume is Jesus, but at the end he said it was a description of Apollonius of Tyana. That really made me stop and think. Reference: "The New Testament A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings 2nd Edition, By Bart D. Ehrman (c. 2000).

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WindDancer,

 

Nice avatar!

 

Thou Art That is really quite good. If you haven't read it yet, I'd say it's well worth it.

 

Ahh, Bart Ehrman. I have really grown to like him. I haven't read his books, but (thanks you XianAnarchist) I have purchased a few hundred dollars worth of courses from here:

 

Link: The Teaching Company

 

Check under the religion section. He has lots of stuff there. Watch for sales. Stuff is usally 50-75% off! :D

 

Aletheia

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"With the "Savior" thing, a person could explore the different atonement theories maybe. I don't think anybody mentioned that yet?"

 

Someone mentioned the Fundamental vision of Christ as Savior being like a waiter at Denny's. My vision of Jesus as Savior is like a gurdian. Any other positive ideas on Jesus as Savior?

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FYI..

 

[PDF] Penal substitution and the possibility of unconditional hospitality

File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat

... Marjorie Suchocki makes a similar point when she argues that ... the traditional Christus Victor theme of the atonement. Ian Gillman has ...

http://journals.cambridge.org/article_S003...036930603001224

 

Luther Memorial Church Library

... Christus Victor: an historical study of the three ideas of atonement, Atonement

... 248.3 Suc, Suchocki, Marjorie, In God's Presence : Theological ...

http://www.luthermem.org/library/books.html -

 

[PDF] 1 Updated January 2005 Primary Sources: Books Published Albin ...

File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - View as HTML

... William M. "Sanctification and the Christus Victor Motif in Wesleyan ...

Suchocki, Marjorie Hewitt. "Coming Home: Wesley, Whitehead, and Women. ...

http://www.ats.wilmore.ky.us/ news/publications/wesley/entire.pdf -

 

Divinity ... a conversation with Marjorie / by Marjorie Hewitt Suchocki. ... W478 2004 Held by: DIVINITY Title: The glory of the atonement : biblical, ...

http://divinity.library.vanderbilt.edu/kcl.../kclrct0804.htm -

 

"The Disabled God ... the traditional substitutionary and sacrificial approaches to atonement are ... Cooper and Suchocki also maintain that the process does not control God. ... http://members.iinet.net.au/~srcperth/ward.htm -

 

[PDF] 1 Albin, Thomas A., and Oliver A. Beckerlegge, eds. Charles ...

File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - View as HTML

... Greathouse, William M. "Sanctification and the Christus Victor Motif in ...

Suchocki, Marjorie Hewitt. "Coming Home: Wesley, Whitehead, and Women." The ...http://www.oxford-institute.org/pdfs/WebBibCollins6-13-02.pdf -

 

Reclaiming women’s part in redeeming

... a feminist thinker like Marjorie Suchocki) shows how ... of victory over death, the ‘Christus Victor’ symbol of ... the predominant means of atonement, suppose we ... http://www.womanpriest.org/theology/grey1.htm

 

Review of "The Nonviolent Atonement"

... His "narrative Christus victor" vision of atonement exonerates God from the... rehabilitates the fundamentals of classic Christus victor atonement, ...

http://www.westmont.edu/~work/articles/nonviolent.html -

 

jason clark: Vicarious Atonement vs. Christus Victor

... links to weblogs that reference Vicarious Atonement vs. Christus Victor : ...

application of Narratinve Christus Victor in Nonviolent Atonement by J. ...

http://emergent.typepad.com/jasonclark/ 2004/12/vicarious_atone.html

 

Christus Victor: An Historical Study of the Three Main Types

of the Idea of Atonement by Gustaf Aulen, AG Herber.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detai...l/-/1592443303/

 

Trinity Journal: The Nonviolent Atonement

... his own atonement motif here, which he terms "narrative Christus Victor. ...

of Christendom's atonement motifs, Christus Victor is removed from history. ...

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/ mi_qa3803/is_200310/ai_n9314460

 

The Ministry of Reconciliation

... view of the Atonement which is summed up in such phrases as Christus Victor,

... Atonement: an Anselmian response to Aulén's Christus victor," Canadian ...

http://www.prayerbook.ca/crouse/ writings/atonement_and_sacrifice.htm -

 

Rotten Tomatoes Forums - Vicarious Atonement vs. Christus Victor

Rotten Tomatoes discussion forums, the most popular film discussion forums online.

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/vine/showthr...ad.php?t=393678

 

Christus Victor : Gustaf Aulen

... Gustaf Aulen's classic work, 'Christus Victor', has long been a standard text

on the atonement. Aulen applies "history of ideas' methodology to ...

http://store.discerningreader.com/chviguau.html

 

Atonement, Anabaptist Theology of

... Often, however, discussions of atonement focus on the meaning of Jesus' death.

... and Christus Victor theories also appear in Anabaptist writers. ...

http://www.mhsc.ca/encyclopedia/contents/A86.html -

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Hmm.. looks like some of the links above don't work so well:

---------

Try these:

 

Reclaiming women’s part in redeeming

... a feminist thinker like Marjorie Suchocki) shows how ... of victory over death, the ‘Christus Victor’ symbol of ... the predominant means of atonement, suppose we ... http://www.womanpriest.org/theology/grey1.htm

 

Review of "The Nonviolent Atonement"

... His "narrative Christus victor" vision of atonement exonerates God from the... rehabilitates the fundamentals of classic Christus victor atonement, ...

http://www.westmont.edu/~work/articles/nonviolent.html -

 

jason clark: Vicarious Atonement vs. Christus Victor

... links to weblogs that reference Vicarious Atonement vs. Christus Victor : ...

application of Narratinve Christus Victor in Nonviolent Atonement by J. ...

http://emergent.typepad.com/jasonclark/200...ious_atone.html

 

Christus Victor: An Historical Study of the Three Main Types

of the Idea of Atonement by Gustaf Aulen, AG Herber.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detai...l/-/1592443303/

 

Trinity Journal: The Nonviolent Atonement

... his own atonement motif here, which he terms "narrative Christus Victor. ... of Christendom's atonement motifs, Christus Victor is removed from history. ...

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/ mi_qa3803/is_200310/ai_n9314460

 

The Ministry of Reconciliation

... view of the Atonement which is summed up in such phrases as Christus Victor,

... Atonement: an Anselmian response to Aulén's Christus victor," Canadian ...

http://www.prayerbook.ca/crouse/writings/a...d_sacrifice.htm -

 

Christus Victor : Gustaf Aulen

... Gustaf Aulen's classic work, 'Christus Victor', has long been a standard text

on the atonement. Aulen applies "history of ideas' methodology to ...

http://store.discerningreader.com/chviguau.html

 

Atonement, Anabaptist Theology of

... Often, however, discussions of atonement focus on the meaning of Jesus' death.

... and Christus Victor theories also appear in Anabaptist writers. ...

http://www.mhsc.ca/encyclopedia/contents/A86.html -

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  • 2 weeks later...

What Jesus Wouldn't Do

 

By Jim Wallis, AlterNet. Posted March 9, 2005.

 

Excerpt: Much of the religious right's agenda is in direct contradiction to Christ's own teachings – and most devout Christians know it.

 

Editor's Note: The following is an edited excerpt from Jim Wallis' new book, God's Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It (Harper San Francisco).

 

The politics of Jesus is a problem for the religious right.

 

In Matthew’s 25th chapter, Jesus speaks of the hungry, the homeless, the stranger, prisoners, and the sick and promises he will challenge all his followers on the judgment day with these words, “As you have done to the least of these, you have done to me.” James Forbes, the pastor of Riverside Church in New York City, concludes from that text that, “Nobody gets to heaven without a letter of reference from the poor!” How many of America’s most famous television preachers could produce the letter?

 

The hardest saying of Jesus and perhaps the most controversial in our post–Sept. 11 world must be: “Love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you.” Let’s be honest: How many churches in the United States have heard sermons preached from either of these Jesus texts in the years since America was viciously attacked on that world-changing September morning in 2001? Shouldn’t we at least have a debate about what the words of Jesus mean in the new world of terrorist threats and pre-emptive wars?

 

Christ commands us to not only see the splinter in our adversary’s eye but also the beams in our own, which often obstruct our own vision. To name the face of evil in the brutality of terrorist attacks is good theology, but to say they are evil and we are good is bad theology that can lead to dangerous foreign policy. Christ instructs us to love our enemies, which does not mean a submission to their hostile agendas or domination, but does mean treating them as human beings also created in the image of God and respecting their human rights as adversaries and even as prisoners. The words of Jesus are either authoritative for Christians, or they are not. And they are not set aside by the very real threats of terrorism. The threat of terrorism does not overturn Christian ethics.

 

The issue here is not partisan politics, and there are no easy political solutions. The governing party has increasingly struck a religious tone in an aggressive foreign policy that seems much more nationalist than Christian, while the opposition party has offered more confusion than clarity. In any election we choose between very imperfect choices. Yet it is always important to examine what is at stake prayerfully and theologically.

 

This examination among evangelicals became clear in the 2004 Evangelical Call to Civic Responsibility, an unprecedented call to social action from the National Association of Evangelicals. In contrast to the Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson era, evangelicals are now showing moral leadership in the fight against global poverty, HIV/AIDS, human trafficking, and sustainability of God’s earth.

 

These changes represent both a reaction against overt partisanship and a desire to apply Christian ethics to a broader set of issues. Many people of faith have grown weary of the religious right’s attempts to narrow the moral litmus test to abortion and gay marriage. For example, when likely voters were asked in a 2004 poll whether they would rather hear a candidate’s position on poverty or on gay marriage, 75 percent chose poverty. Only 17 percent chose gay marriage. Any serious reading of the Bible points toward poverty as a religious issue, and candidates should always be asked by Christian voters how they will treat “the least of these.” Stewardship of God’s earth is clearly a question of Christian ethics. Truth telling is also a religious issue that should be applied to a candidate’s rationales for war, tax cuts, or any other policy, as is humility in avoiding the language of “righteous empire,” which too easily confuses the roles of God, church, and nation.

 

War, of course, is also a deeply theological matter. The near unanimous opinion of religious leaders worldwide that the Iraq war failed to fit “just war” criteria is an issue for many Christians, especially as the warnings from religious leaders have proved prophetically and tragically accurate. The “plagues of war,” as the pope has referred to the continuing problems in Iraq, are in part a consequence of a “Christian president” simply not listening to the counsel of religious leaders who tried to speak to the White House. What has happened to the “consistent ethic of life,” suggested by Catholic social teaching, which speaks against abortion, capital punishment, poverty, war, and a range of human rights abuses too often selectively respected by pro-life advocates?

 

The religious right’s grip on public debates about values has been driven in part by a media that continues to give airtime to the loudest religious voices, rather than the most representative, leaving millions of Christians and other people of faith without a say in the values debate. But this is starting to change as progressive and prophetic faith voices are speaking out with a confidence and moral urgency not seen for 25 years. Mobilized by human suffering in many places, groups motivated by religious social conscience (including many evangelicals not defined by the religious right) have hit a new stride in efforts to combat poverty, destructive wars, human rights violations, pandemics like HIV/AIDS, and genocide in places like Sudan.

 

In politics, the best interest of the country is served when the prophetic voice of religion is heard—challenging both right and left from consistent moral ground. The evangelical Christians of the 19th century combined revivalism with social reform and helped lead movements for abolition and women’s suffrage—not to mention the faith-based movement that directly preceded the rise of the religious right, namely the American civil rights movement led by the black churches.

 

The truth is that most of the important movements for social change in America have been fueled by religion—progressive religion. The stark moral challenges of our time have once again begun to awaken this prophetic tradition. As the religious Right loses influence, nothing could be better for the health of both church and society than a return of the moral center that anchors our nation in a common humanity. If you listen, these voices can be heard rising again.

 

Jim Wallis is the editor of Sojourners magazine.

 

http://www.alternet.org/story/21428/

Edited by BrotherRog
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  • 2 weeks later...

Greetings All

 

I am new to the discussion and this forum and will progressively introduce myself (as that seems appropriate) as we go on...if that is okay?

 

My current understanding of Christ Jesus centers around his role as a "Son of Light", a role assumed by others in pre-christian religions and mythologies, "born of a mortal woman and of Immortal Spirit", who is transformed through sacrifice from mortal flesh to Eternal Spirit. Our salvation comes from realizing and accepting that this role is offered to us, as we too are of "flesh" and "spirit", born of a woman AND of Immortal Spirit. We too are the Sons of God.

 

Christ Jesus as the "first-born", the pattern Son, the Mediator between God and the whole of creation, demonstrates both the salvation of the soul of man (i tend to a belief in a tripartite salvation: salvation of spirit by grace, a salvation of soul which is "worked out in fear and trembling", and a salvation of body (which includes the Land) , and THE paradigm of mankinds ultimate role and purpose within the unfolding of Fate/Gods Will (my use of Fate/Gods Will is deliberate, as Fate gives to Gods Will the ineffable quality that I mean). We too are called in Christ to occupy our Sonship; to become mediators and transparent vessels of Gods Unfolding Purpose.

 

Jesus Christ demonstrated in his life, death, and resurrection the pivotal ie crucial, crux, cross position Humanity occupies in this GREAT BIG UNFOLDING SHOW we call LIFE. Our purpose is found in Him and His purpose is realized in and through us. That is how he saves us and the whole of creation, "which groans as it awaits the manifestation of the sons of God". Or that is how it seems to me now. :blink:

 

Thank you for allowing me to join this discussion. I've been spending a great deal of time in discussion with Pagan Reconstructionists, as I am interested in pre-christian thought and mythologies and find much of it instructive to my faith in many interesting ways, but the freedom to speak AS a christian is hard-won and often embittered, as I'm sure most of you know all too well, and so it is nice to feel at home.

 

~lily

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I've seen Brian McLaren's name pop up a few times on different posts, and I thougt this topic would be an appropriate one to bring him up. Do most of you consider him to be "progressive?"

 

I ask because I checked his church's website out, and this is what I came across under the "beliefs" section:

 

We believe that all people are created with dignity and value in the image of God, to live in a vital relationship with God. However, through our sin (failing to live by God´s moral standards), we break our intended relationship with God and we experience the destructive consequences of that broken relationship, spiritually and socially, in this life and beyond. However, God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to rescue us from those consequences and to restore our broken relationships with God and others, through Christ´s death on the cross, a perfect act of redemption for each of us. Salvation comes to people on the basis of God´s grace through their faith in Jesus alone. They receive the free gift of forgiveness and are spiritually reborn through repenting of their sin and believing in Jesus Christ

 

This would not seem to jibe with some of you and your beliefs, I would think. While the methods seem to be contemporary, much of the stuff on the website appears pretty evangelical/conservative.

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