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First of all Raven, your posts always make me chuckle a little - you have a way with words.

 

Secondly, and I'm sorry if this appears to be off topic, but the turn-the-other-check with a smile attitude is great and commendable. However, for me, I think that this "shut and smile" and not letting something get to us is why liberals, especially religious liberals, get overlooked, outshouted, outvoted. If we don't stand up and SAY something, no matter how much we live like Christians ought to live, I think we're doing outselves a disservice. After all, Jesus didn't turn away with a smile on his face when the temple was turned into a market place with the priests taking advantage of the poor. No, the accounts tell us he drove the merchants out with a whip and overturned the money tables. Whether or not its factual, its true. Jesus was activity calling the conservatives out for their behavior. He even called one a "white-washed tomb", meaning he was clean and fresh on the outside but dead and rotting on the inside. Just something to consider.

Edited by Yvonne
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Yvonne,

 

I see no value in confronting fundamentalists over benign aspects of their beliefs in such things as salvation. (If I were certain of the truth in these matters, maybe I would feel differently.) They have arrived at a belief system that is compatible with their psychological, social and intellectual needs. No harm, no foul.

 

However, if they are espousing positions that are harmful to others such as racism, homophobia, sexism or the like dressed up as theology, I think we do have a right, maybe an obligation, to object recognizing that it might result in severing the relationship.

 

Also, I think it is very appropriate, possibly advisable, to inform them that we don't agree with their beliefs and ask that this subject not be brought up as it will only harm the relationship.

 

George

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However, for me, I think that this "shut and smile" and not letting something get to us is why liberals, especially religious liberals, get overlooked, outshouted, outvoted. If we don't stand up and SAY something, no matter how much we live like Christians ought to live, I think we're doing outselves a disservice.

 

Yvonne,

 

That is an interesting statement and one way to look at it, You already know how i view it but i would be interested to hear and understand....

How do you see religious liberals getting overlooked and for what?

What good do you think will come from outshouting the other ? Will it change their mind or have another practical benefit?

What do you mean by being outvoted and is that somehow unfair?

Why do you feel is it a disservice to live what you consider "like Christians ought to live" without being openly critical of the other who you believe is not? (other than the quote you used of Jesus which you said may or may not be factual )

 

Thanks in advance for any response,

Joseph

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First of all, I'm not talking about confronting every conservative and every conversation - I'm talking picking the "battles" as it were. Joseph, I can't help but notice that conservations (both political and religious) are extremely vocal about absolutely everything. And, like my dad always said "the squeaky wheel gets the oil". I feel, in certain personal situations, that in order to be true to who I am and my own spirituality it is vital that I speak up. I think too many times we (liberals, progressive, etc) tend to not speak up. I had been searching the Web for anything and everything to affirm what i was thinking as I started to grow into a progressive. I never heard of the term "progressive Christianity" until I stumbled across the tcpc page by accident one day.

 

I can see by other comments that I am alone in how i feel. But I cannot help but think of how Jesus didn't let people shut his mouth. Yes, we are to live like Jesus lived, but I think we have to speak up. It seems to me, if the historical Jesus was gathering crowds around him to speak (even to tell parables), that must have really ticked off the authorities. (Well, according to the gospels, it made the authorities mad enough to crucify him.) Every time Jesus speaks in the gospels, he almost always calls authorities to account for themselves, implicity or explicity. Lastly, he doesn't let the "little guy" get away with much either. Look what he said to the Samaritan woman at the well, or Peter, "get behind me Satan". Whether we take these accounts as "factual" or truth, we tend to think of Jesus as being all sweetness and light, but let's face it, Jesus WAS a subversive. He had a thing or two to say to even those closest to him. It seems to me we (progressives) need to be more vocal, more obvious, more, well, subversive.

 

I know this will get many comments, picking apart each word or sentence but I don't know exactly how to express my thoughts in this - and I feel strongly about it (obviously). I really do not care if anyone else agrees with me. For me, this is about my own integrity and being true to my own beliefs.

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I know this will get many comments, picking apart each word or sentence but I don't know exactly how to express my thoughts in this - and I feel strongly about it (obviously). I really do not care if anyone else agrees with me. For me, this is about my own integrity and being true to my own beliefs.

 

Before I finished reading your post, I thought of commenting on the concept of integrity. It is seldom discussed. One of the few who give the concept extensive consideration is the psychologist D. M. Schnarch. He states that integrity means saying "This is who I am, and this is what I believe. I do not expect you to believe as I do (Schnarch, 1992)." He adds that this is learned skill that is essential to self realization. In the end, it often leads to healthier relationships.

 

Yvonne, you are in good company. I would add that there are Progrressive Christian congregations that follow this same idea. They speak out clearly and sometime face bitter reactions. I have seen it, beeen in the midst of it.

 

Myron

 

(edit for spelling )

Edited by minsocal
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Yvonne,

 

Thanks for your additional clarifications. It is certainly okay with me that you view it the way you have chosen. And as Myron said, i agree you are not alone among progressives. . I guess i am just not as concerned as it is recorded Jesus was, from the writings we have, that he wouldn't " let the "little guy" get away with much either". I just don't personally see that as my function on this earth now but i realize it may be the function of others. Each of us have to follow what we see as our path and i respect your right to see it differently.

 

Thanks again,

Joseph

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It seems to me that Jesus had the biggest impact 'standing up for himself' when he silently went to his death. He didn't seem too concerned with trying to convince anybody else that he was right and they were wrong. If ever there was a time to stand up for your beliefs, one might have thought this would be the time, yet it seems he generally allowed his life to speak for itself regardless of whether he was overlooked, out shouted or outvoted.

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It seems to me that Jesus had the biggest impact 'standing up for himself' when he silently went to his death. He didn't seem too concerned with trying to convince anybody else that he was right and they were wrong. If ever there was a time to stand up for your beliefs, one might have thought this would be the time, yet it seems he generally allowed his life to speak for itself regardless of whether he was overlooked, out shouted or outvoted.

 

Quite right of course PaulS, being put to death silently spoke volumes. But the reason for him being put to death was his voice and teachings being heard at the higher levels of authority in his location. He was a threat to that governing authority, who he challenged quite openly in the last week, which was a very "sensitive" time to be doing so.

 

Regards

 

Paul

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Quite right of course PaulS, being put to death silently spoke volumes. But the reason for him being put to death was his voice and teachings being heard at the higher levels of authority in his location. He was a threat to that governing authority, who he challenged quite openly in the last week, which was a very "sensitive" time to be doing so.

 

Regards

 

Paul

 

No doubt Jesus had opinions and wanted to share his message, but I don't picture him as one who would argue the point. He had his bit to say and then left it up to the hearer to put words into action. Yes, he continually spoke up about poor leadership by authorities, and I believe he would encourage us to do so, but i don't think he lost too much sleep over people who thought he was living his life wrong.

 

So I guess my way of thinking is by all means speak out or even challenge others if you like, but at the end of the day if somebody has their mind made up that they hold the truth and won't consider your opinion or argument, better off to let it be. I'd rather save my energy for better things.

 

Cheers

Paul

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I grew up with the idea that "actions speak louder than words". However, words in the right time and place, are effective actions. It is time we get beyond 2,500 years of nit picking and get down reality. Sorry for being so blunt, but I think the times are urgent to move beyond ancient arguments.

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I agree. The hearer must be open to what is being said to take it on board, and it is so often not the case during debate; often both parties remain fixed in their position, or give only a little. I suppose ego gets in the way on occasion, amongst other things.

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I'm not sure what ancient arguments you may be referring to Myron. Is your view that Jesus' example has no reference in today's modern times? As you rightly point out, words in thr right time and place are effective actions, and Jesus would appear to know this. Am I missing something?

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I'm not sure what ancient arguments you may be referring to Myron. Is your view that Jesus' example has no reference in today's modern times? As you rightly point out, words in thr right time and place are effective actions, and Jesus would appear to know this. Am I missing something?

 

The ancient arguments I am talking about diverted attention away from the teachings of Jesus in favor of the status quo. Jesus did not talk about mind-body dualism. He did not talk about free will. He did not talk about Neo-Platonism. He did not talk about philosophy in general (to my knowledge). He talked about doing, he talked about caring. I do not think Jesus had a theology ... my opinion.

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Thanks for that Myron, I get your point now, although I wouldn't be surprised if Jesus did discuss and debate a variety of philosophies and opinions in his developing years before morphing into the Jesus who knew his stuff at 33yrs.

 

I guess in relation to this post and where it came from, Jesus had a strong view of how things should be and wasn't backwards in coming forward. Whether he'd shut up and smile or vehemently debate those who were of the opinion he was going to hell for wrong belief and would tell him so, is of course definitively unanswerable, but for me personally I just can't see Jesus caring or getting his feathers ruffled by people he'd believe we're mistaken about his beliefs.

 

Of course, I could be wrong.

 

(I was almost wrong once when I thought I was wrong but I wasn't !)

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Yvonne,

 

Thanks for this post. It's interesting to me, given what I have endured this week with my super-fundy relatives visiting. Talk about wanting to stop the smiling! Yikes!

 

I think there is a time and place for it. I think there's nothing wrong with letting people ramble on if they're not hurting anything. However, if someone is getting in your face, or causing harm to you or to other people, then standing by and saying nothing out of fear of being offensive does nothing.

 

One of my favourite teachers in high school had a poster on the wall that said, "To sin by silence when we should protest makes cowards out of men." (I forget whose quote that is. Jefferson? Maybe?) I think this concept can be applied, with care, at correct instances.

 

For example - I wouldn't ever go out of my way to tell my fundy relatives what I think of their interpretations and the way they live. They have the right to live as they choose, same as me. However, if they ever step foot in our home and start telling us that we're going to hell, or that we're sinners, or whatever, there will be no shut and smile - only shut the door. There's polite, and then there's too polite - and that's coming from a Canadian, by the way.

 

For the most part, I believe in and support political correctness; sometimes I feel like it's gone too far though. "Live and let live" only works if people actually let each other live. I don't care what other people do, as long as it isn't harmful. (Of course, defining "harmful" in a way that pleases everyone is a great way to get into trouble, but that's my two cents on it.)

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