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As a new Christian I'd love to read some perspectives on your beliefs as progressives:

 

1. Do you believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour?

2. What are your views on hell, eternal damnation, and demons?

3. What do you think about homosexuality?

4. Do you believe God created the earth in six literal days?

 

I'll add some more later if they come to me, thanks!

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Hi HayleyMay,

 

Progressive Christians are not bound by dogma or doctrine. Since each is on an individual journey of discovery, as they question, study , reason and review their experiences in light of new knowledge, scientific and otherwise. You may find a variety of views that have probably been and may still be in flux and evolving over time.

 

Speaking for myself,

 

1. I view Jesus as one of the great teachers of his time. I have no way of knowing but i believe from some of his reported teachings that were recorded in the Bible that he attained oneness or a unity connection with God which all can share in.

 

2. To me, heaven and hell are states of mind/spirit rather than physical places. If they were physical, they certainly wouldn't be eternal in my view. Demons? I don't know any.

 

3. I don't think about homosexuality. I know some homosexuals pretty well and they seem quite loving and caring individuals from my experience. I don't know why they are homosexuals or why i am not and i find no reason in me to judge them or myself in the matter.

 

4. No

 

Joseph

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While I might be "progressive" I don't particularly label myself as Christian.

So bearing that in mind:

 

1. Do you believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour?

For me we have to separate Jesus from Christ. The first is (I think probably) a historical character, though there are strong arguments against a Jesus character. The second is a myth and here I use the word myth positively, in the Campbellian sense. It would appear much that is ascribed to Jesus is added by later scribes and it is difficult to differentiate history from myth. Anyway the Christian myth is to be taken as metaphor.

 

2. What are your views on hell, eternal damnation, and demons?

Absolutely not. The Campbellian interpretation of eternity is not some really long time off into the future but now ... which goes on for a really long time. It is as Joseph suggests the state on of mind we find ourselves in now. Demons? Not come across any myself, and those few people who seemed to believe in them are normally either mentally ill or are steeped heavily in their religious world view.

 

3. What do you think about homosexuality?

Yep it exists, in humans and the mammalian world. But I do think some of the more traditional Christians have succumbed to their cultural fears.

 

4. Do you believe God created the earth in six literal days?

There is a vast amount of evidence against the Biblical proposition from a variety of scientific disciplines. I think the hypothesis can be safely dismissed until there is some actual evidence from outside of literal interpretations of the Bible. By the way ... you should define (I think) what you mean by God?

Edited by romansh
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Thank you for your replies! As of the moment I'm not entirely sure what I believe, except from the fact that I invited Jesus into my heart not so long ago to be my God. Almost everything else is open to evaluation. I'm trying to understand my own beliefs and where they fit in the Christian continuum.

 

Are there progressives who believe Jesus literally rose from the dead to save us from a fallen world? Is that a valid belief?

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Are there progressives who believe Jesus literally rose from the dead to save us from a fallen world? Is that a valid belief?

 

Tell me what are your axioms (assumptions) and I will give you my opinion as to whether your belief is valid.

 

Having said that we should also test our assumptions for their validity, don't you think?

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Thank you for your replies! As of the moment I'm not entirely sure what I believe, except from the fact that I invited Jesus into my heart not so long ago to be my God. Almost everything else is open to evaluation. I'm trying to understand my own beliefs and where they fit in the Christian continuum.

 

Are there progressives who believe Jesus literally rose from the dead to save us from a fallen world? Is that a valid belief?

HayleyMay,

 

The best i can recall, i have not yet met one who identifies as a PC that said they hold that belief but there may be some. As far as being a "valid" belief meaning : having a sound basis in logic or fact; reasonable or cogent , i would view it as not valid. As far as valid meaning : acceptable or authoritative, if one considers the Bible as such (valid and authoritative), yes, in my view, it could then be considered valid if one holds that belief. That however is not a belief that i hold as reasonable under scrutiny.

 

Joseph

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Thank you both. My beliefs have swayed over the past couple of days. I believe in a man named Jesus existed, apart from that I don't know what else I believe, I'm not sure I'd label myself as progressive Christian but your posts have certainly been illuminating.

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Thank you both. My beliefs have swayed over the past couple of days. I believe in a man named Jesus existed, apart from that I don't know what else I believe, I'm not sure I'd label myself as progressive Christian but your posts have certainly been illuminating.

 

HayleyMay,

 

This Thread may be of helpful interest to you. What Progressive Christianity means to you.

Also you may wish to review the 8 points of PC as that is what most PC's have in common and may give you a better insight into progressive Christianity.

 

Joseph

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Thank you for your replies! As of the moment I'm not entirely sure what I believe, except from the fact that I invited Jesus into my heart not so long ago to be my God. Almost everything else is open to evaluation. I'm trying to understand my own beliefs and where they fit in the Christian continuum.

 

Are there progressives who believe Jesus literally rose from the dead to save us from a fallen world? Is that a valid belief?

 

Hi HayleyMay,

 

It's good of you to come onto this site and share your thoughts and questions. I hope you'll be able to find some of the answers you're looking for as you seek to build a relationship with God.

 

One of the important things I've learned over the years as person of faith is that each person has a unique way of experiencing God's presence in his or her life, so although it's important to share experiences of faith and trust with others, it's also important to cherish your own relationship with God and not allow others to draw you into comparisons. God is the one who knows you best (even better than you know yourself most days!) so God knows best how to communicate with you in subtle ways and help guide you towards being the person you most want to be.

 

As with any loving relationship, it takes time, patience, and a willingness to learn from each other to build a strong and trusting connection. So ask lots and lots of questions. God never rejects the learning process, even when it's filled with potholes, obstacles, U-turns, and misplaced maps. (I mention all the obstacles along the way because I know from personal experience that asking God to show you what Divine Love means will take your life down some very unexpected pathways!)

 

If it feels to you as if Jesus' teachings have something important to say to you (even without the bits about dying and saving the world), then maybe there's a map you can follow towards his understanding of God, the good soul, healing, love, forgiveness, and empathy.

 

Be patient and brave, because it always takes time. God is very patient, too, though, so don't worry that God will judge you if you don't figure everything out right away!

 

God bless,

Jen

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HayleyMay,

 

This Thread may be of helpful interest to you. What Progressive Christianity means to you.

Also you may wish to review the 8 points of PC as that is what most PC's have in common and may give you a better insight into progressive Christianity.

 

Joseph

 

Thank you. I feel like this forum may have a few things to teach me. Looking forward to reading and participating in more threads!

 

Just an aside, would you regard progressive Christianity as being the same as liberal Christianity, or different?

Edited by HayleyMay
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Thank you so much realspiritik, your post was very uplifting. Do you believe in sin? The idea of sin makes me want to try and be perfect- which is impossible. Beating myself up for human nature seems antithesis to me.

 

I believe God is a loving God, my beliefs about Jesus sway back and forth. I'm mostly Christian to please my Christian family, though I want to know where exactly I stand in my own beliefs, which may take time.

 


 

Edited by HayleyMay
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Thank you. I feel like this forum may have a few things to teach me. Looking forward to reading and participating in more threads!

 

Just an aside, would you regard progressive Christianity as being the same as liberal Christianity, or different?

 

HayleyMay,

 

Some people use the 2 terms synonymously. Some have changed their self label to progressive from liberal because some mainline churches speak derogatory of liberal Christianity. There may be in some minds differences but personally, i don't like getting hung up on labels because i think individual beliefs are more complex than any single group of consonants and vowels can convey. Words of course have their usefulness but personally i prefer not to be boxed in by such.

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Hi HayleyMay, great to hear from you. I believe God in a loving God, too. I'm a Christian despite the fact that my parents raised my sister and me to be more like pragmatic secular humanists than anything else. My 92 year old Dad and I have agreed not to talk about faith because, well, we can't agree on anything to do with God or the soul.

 

It's interesting that you ask about sin. One of the reasons my Dad rejected the idea of faith was because he associates strict, judgmental, religious rules about sin with his strict, judgmental Anglican upbringing. He saw that it's wrong to judge and punish other people for being creative or spontaneous or passionate about their purpose in non-religious ways. So, for example, my sister and I weren't raised to consider homosexuality a sin. For us, sexual orientation was just a normal part of life and the human experience, not something "bad" or "sinful." So that was a great gift to us as we were growing up.

 

On the other hand, my Dad has never been able to see that religion and faith are two different aspects of the human experience. He conflates the two and insists that religion and faith are basically the same thing.

 

I've met people who are very devout in religious terms (always going to church, always following the rules) but haven't a drop of faith in them (that is, they have no relationship with God). I've met people who are deeply filled with faith, but reject all forms of organized religion because they see only the harms that have so often been created -- or, at the very least, amplified -- by organized religion. (One of the biggest harms comes from religious doctrines about the nature of sin.)

 

Somewhere in the middle, it's possible to be a person who has deep faith and who also sees the benefits of belonging to a religious community -- if it's a responsible, loving, inclusive, and open-minded religious community.

 

So I personally don't believe in the idea of sin as it's taught in many Christian congregations (and in certain other religious denominations, as well). I think human beings sometimes make mistakes. I think human beings sometimes make really dreadful mistakes. I think all human beings have times when they're confused or irritated or upset or lonely. For me, that's not imperfection and that's not sin. It's instead an important and necessary part of the journey of being a human being.

 

If you read back through some older threads on TCPC, you may discover along the way that I personally see a lot of problems in the Christian teachings that come from Paul rather than from Jesus. The traditional teachings on sin that we're familiar with in the Western branch of Christian orthodoxy come from Paul and Paul's followers. But Paul's teachings on sin weren't at all the same as Jesus' teachings on the human experience of being "perfectly imperfect."

 

In other words, it's possible to set aside Paul's teachings on sin, stick to Jesus' teachings on relationship with God (who forgives every mistake we make, even when we make the really dreadful ones), and still call yourself a Christian -- all while sleeping the calm and peaceful sleep of those who truly love God.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Jen

Edited by Realspiritik
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Hayley,

 

For context, I am nearly 48 years old. I was raised in a Christian family and asked Jesus into my heart at about 13 years of age. Then at around 18 years of age I started to experience cognitive dissonance - that is the the things that I had been taught about God and Jesus did not seem to make sense in the world as I began to experience it as a young adult.

 

Mostly I rejected the notion of God and Jesus until I hit my forties and began to question my previous decisions and re-evaluated what I had been taught.

 

So in short, my answers to your questions are:

 

1. I don't believe we need a Lord or Saviour other than if a person can help us lead a better life. To that end many of the the teachings that we associate with Jesus seem valid to me (I think a lot has been added to scripture that was most likely not of Jesus). But I must say that I think there are also many other valid teachings found in the likes of the Buddha, in Hinduism, and in humanism.

 

2. I cannot possibly imagine an all-loving God and eternal damnation, hell or tormenting demons. I myself am a father and the last thing I could imagine is allowing my children to suffer, let alone for eternity, because they didn't believe what I wanted them to believe. I think hell is a man-made institution and does not exist in any afterlife - if there is one.

 

3. Homosexuality - it exists. It is genetic. They are people just like you and me who love and let love. Sure, they are a minority of human beings, but so are left handers! It's not an issue for me and I wish we would treat them like every other human being.

 

4. I accept the science that proves evolution. I think it is ludicrous to believe in a 'young earth' or that somehow a 'God' created this earth in 6 literal days - it makes no modern sense but I can understand people +2000 years ago thinking this way.

 

For what it's worth I think Christianity can offer much in the way of community, support, encouragement and direction in life. However I do not believe it is the only way to live a good life or that we have to believe certain things or otherwise we will receive an eternal spanking of the bum!

 

I wish you well on this journey we call life and hope this forum helps you with the trip.

 

Cheers

Paul

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"1. Do you believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour?
2. What are your views on hell, eternal damnation, and demons?
3. What do you think about homosexuality?
4. Do you believe God created the earth in six literal days?"

 

Haylee, Welcome and salutations to the Divinity within you. I like your Christianity and your mind reaching out for the Divinity within the soul.

 

1. I feel Christ is my Saviour because I chose him as my concrete representative of the abstract, all pervasive consciousness of God. It seems he has guided me to mature Christians, atheist and many spiritual teachers from other religions that have made me a better Christian.

 

2. Hell and fear are great selling points, but they are only obstacles to the present moment heaven that is all around us, all the time. It is sad that Christians leaders give more time to Satan and hell than their saviour.

 

3 I am not a homosexual, but I have many friends who are good Christians and compassionate individuals who are homosexual. Jesus hung around these people who were rejected and stood up for them as their insights are sometimes more powerful than the Christians who hate them.

 

4.God in my view is Eternity which is a multidimensional unity so encompasses time. Humans invented time watching cycles which is linear where one thing happens after another. In Eternity everything happens at the same time.

 

5. Jesus was human and God so I feel he rose from the human instincts, a way of behaving, thinking, or feeling that is not learned : a natural desire or tendency that makes you want to act in a particular way, these are not sins. I feel Christianity with their compulsions and guilt about sin actually drive people to sin because what we think about is what we are drawn to.

 

Many churches preach that Jesus was saying that salvation is only attainable through Jesus making Christianity an exclusive institution, but most Biblical theologians disagree with this premise. What Jesus said has universal meaning beyond the narrow interpretation used to get followers, it is not about religion or disregarding other faiths, but just a declaration to observe and learn how to live. “I am the way, and the truth, and the life,” a way is a path or a lane to be followed, not a religion so Jesus is saying for us to observe him and how he lives. The life of Jesus demonstrates how to live in order to remember who we are in the present that we are the light, the truth and the way in the same way Christ lived and is living now.
Jesus is "the way," a metaphor that needs to be applied to our life where it becomes conscious that the Jesus’ way leads to death and triumph, a path of death leading to resurrection. Resurrection is a revitalization that gives us guidance, a way, direction and involvement with a break that opens many opportunities to start over. We don’t just find it written in the pages of the Bible, but in the leaves that appear at spring time after a long winter because it is a spiritual practice of a conscious participation in life by way of death. Our strength and power does not come from what we are doing, but from what we have stopped doing, overcome, died and buried giving wings to our mind to once again experience the ecstasy of a force already within us, a love forgotten and remembered. Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” (John 12:24)

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  • 1 month later...

As a new Christian I'd love to read some perspectives on your beliefs as progressives:

 

1. Do you believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour?

2. What are your views on hell, eternal damnation, and demons?

3. What do you think about homosexuality?

4. Do you believe God created the earth in six literal days?

 

I'll add some more later if they come to me, thanks!

1) Yes, Jesus Christ is my Lord and Saviour.

 

2) Hell is an incinerator. The spirit is disposed of as unworthy of continuance. Scripture describes hell as eternal, but the idea of eternal life in hell is just not there. That all comes from Milton and Danté, not the bible. Any kind of eternality is only for the saved. I have heard many believable stories of demons from well-educated health professionals but demons are beyond my understanding. They are definitely seperate from psychiatric conditions.

 

3) Homosexuality has been around since forever. The Christian Church has traditionally been a safe haven for all sinners, including homosexuals and know-it-alls. The current fracas is not because of homosexuality but because of egos, money, conceit and false pride on all sides.

 

4) Six literal days is a silly idea as days were not even created until the fourth day per Genesis. Genesis reveals that God created the world in a sequential and logical order, and that He stopped to evaluate his creation regularly. God could have created everything in one grand gesture, but did not. He took incremental steps, and regularly stood back to evaluate His work before proceeding.

Edited by Burl
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Thank you for your replies! As of the moment I'm not entirely sure what I believe, except from the fact that I invited Jesus into my heart not so long ago to be my God. Almost everything else is open to evaluation. I'm trying to understand my own beliefs and where they fit in the Christian continuum.

 

Are there progressives who believe Jesus literally rose from the dead to save us from a fallen world? Is that a valid belief?

Yep. He did it.

 

Really, how would one prove to any sane person that life extended beyond the grave unless they actually did it? An Aramaic Ouija board? I would want to see it proven.

 

And would anyone trying to push a new Jewish sect hang their credibility on such a wild postulate? That would be just begging for rejection, and whatever one thinks about early Christians they were not stupid.

Edited by Burl
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