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Why Label As Christian?


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My impression is that Progressive Christianity is mostly a label rather than an actual organization or community. So that impression leads me to ask - why the name? Most Christians would not accept PC as a form of Christianity. What is the purpose of calling PC "Christianity"?


Here are some of my thoughts:

(1) Labeling as Christian makes PC more welcoming to Christians as they lose faith.

(2) Labeling as Christian makes PC more acceptable to friends and family who are still Christian.

(3) Labeling as Christian made more sense in PC's earlier days and simply continues through inertia.

(4) Labeling as Christian is sensible because PCs go to Christian churches, value Christian morality, etc.

(5) Labeling as Christian is sensible because PCs believe that Christ is a spiritual reality of some kind.

Edited by overcast
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According to whats recorded in the NT (Acts), the followers of Jesus were first called Christians in Antioch (an ancient Greek city).

I agree with your above thoughts. It is just a label which originally was applied to followers of the teachings of Jesus. However, the word Christ in the Greek meant anointed which in the root words meant in a sense as "to be smeared together with God." (The noun χριστος (christos), meaning anointed, comes from the Greek verb χριω (chrio), meaning to smear or anoint:) It's a title rather than a last name as commonly used by Christians. Should read Jesus the Christ. And that smearing together is what followers were seeking as John 17:21 is recorded that Jesus said in a prayer to the Father... I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one


In my view, people seem to want to identify with a label so why not PC as a name ? .... which as i have previously written.....

" To me, Progressive Christianity is not a religion but a dynamic (progressive) 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."




PS To me, i would add the purpose in calling PC, Christianity, is because the original word reflect the PC journey and the one whose teachings led us to this path.

Edited by JosephM
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A couple of interesting posts, I thought.


I am glad there is a semantic reason as well as the pragmatic reasons highlighted by Overcast.


Based on the little bit of reading (and study by others) John 17:21 and 10:30 were unlikey to have been uttered by Jesus, but added by later authors. This in of itself is no big deal, but I can't help but have sense of irony here.


It is almost as though the Christian author is promoting a pantheistic viewpoint on Jesus's behalf.



Edited by romansh
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Thanks for the replies. :)


A few years ago, I saw a light in a dream that I understood to be Jesus along with other ideas about salvation, forgiveness, etc.

- my imagination?

- some other creator that I mistakenly associated with Jesus due to similar character traits?


Other things besides the dream make me wonder about Jesus too. The problem is that Christianity seems to be nothing special.


Oh well, I'm a bit jaded now anyway.

Edited by overcast
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When I was in India I tried to learn the sitar, but couldn't get the (no beat) even though I enjoy the music and learned how to clap the no beat. The philosophies I studied in different religions filled the gaps for me in my Christianity that through human interactions let me down. My parents kicked me out of the family and disowned me and in High School, my junior year the Catholic school I went to kicked me out so I was set free. I returned and reconciled with my parents and returned to Christianity to expand on what was very restricting and limiting, I feel Christian leaders are not versed on the spiritual experience so interpret everything literally protecting their beliefs and gains on the physical plane. I am into the Absolute Reality, but feel Christ is one of the tangential points that can make it easier to go beyond the pull material gravity and experience the pure consciousness. I use the label Christianity so Christians will open their walled compound that imprisons them and let me in. They think they are keeping others out of their exclusive club, but they are limiting their own growth. The Christian spiritual path suits me even though I agree with Ghandhi who said, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

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"The problem is that Christianity seems to be nothing special."


What's special about Christianity is that it's a story about a god who is all powerful, all knowing, the creator of all, and yet was willing to become like one of us in order to know us, to show us what love is, to suffer with us, to laugh with us, to be fragile and finite, and to die for us. What other religion has a god like that? Now, if you look to Christ as a wisdom tradition, then I can see why you might take that perspective. Jesus taught stuff that other wise people have taught.


Don't misunderstand me.I don't think you have to believe this theology to be a Christian. The important thing is that you live your life as Christ did. Serve the world. Love the world. Forgive each other. At the end of the day with any religion or belief system, you have to ask yourself "Does it make me more loving?"

Edited by fatherman
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