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Revised 8 points


Burl
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15 hours ago, Burl said:

Just noticed the 8 points were revised in January.  Much cleaner and more direct.

https://progressivechristianity.org/resources/updated-8-points-of-progressive-christianity/

Thanks Burl,

In a different section of the main organization they include this note which is important  but was left off the original page you referenced. Paul found it and copied in another related thread in another forum here. It reads....

"Notes: We’ve heard you and in our many conversations with our readership, Progressive Christian pastors, theologians, scholars, visionaries, and in our observations and studies, we have co-created this updated version of our 8 Points of Progressive Christianity. Progressive Christianity is inherently always evolving and progressing. Please take these lightly but seriously. They are not dogma, they are simply a starting point to establish conversations and a foundation of values and beliefs that we have observed Progressive Christians generally share. It’s ok if you don’t agree with all the words or all the parts. We support your authentic path. You can use these in your faith communities and with family and friends to talk about what it means to you to be a Progressive Christian in today’s world. Here is to always progressing!"

 

... and can be found here ---> https://progressivechristianity.org/the-8-points/

 

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On 2/10/2020 at 8:34 AM, Burl said:

Just noticed the 8 points were revised in January.  Much cleaner and more direct.

https://progressivechristianity.org/resources/updated-8-points-of-progressive-christianity/

Burl,

I don't think I have ever specifically asked you this, and am just wondering - do you consider yourself in general agreement with the 8 points?  I presume you must, but had never thought to actually ask you before.

Paul

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48 minutes ago, PaulS said:

Burl,

I don't think I have ever specifically asked you this, and am just wondering - do you consider yourself in general agreement with the 8 points?  I presume you must, but had never thought to actually ask you before.

Paul

I am.  I could nitpick but I am in general agreement.

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  • 3 weeks later...

So maybe I'm nit-picking or something a bit similar here, but two words in the 8 points have made me uncomfortable and caused me to question. The first word is in point 4:

"4. Know that the way we behave towards one another and Earth is the fullest expression of what we believe, therefore we vow to walk as Jesus might have walked in this world with radical compassion, inclusion, and bravery to confront and positively change the injustices we experience as well as those we see others experiencing;"

The word is "inclusion". From the New Testament we get Paul saying, "Don't be yoked to unbelievers." I don't have a problem with "unbelievers" per-say, and have even found many non-believers to be better "Christians", and better people, than many Christians are. However, there are certain people/persons that I do have trouble being "yoked" to. Among them are; child-abusers, bullies, terrorists/intimidators, and a slew of other stuff and categories along these kinds of lines.

The other word is in point 8:

8. Commit to a path of life-long learning, compassion, and selfless love on this journey toward a personally authentic and meaningful faith.

The word here is "selfless". I've tried this, and have done this for decades and more. It didn't work out or work for me at all. From the writings of Paul in the New Testament we get, "Always hold others as better than yourself". . . . However, also in the New Testament, we have Jesus quoted as saying, "Love your good neighbor as equal to yourself". . .  . . The difference here is between "better than yourself" and "equal to yourself". . . . Since I've changed my thinking and perspective on this, things have gone a good pace better for me. . . Also if I'm going to choose between the words of Paul and the words of Jesus, where they differ, I think I almost if not always choose those of Jesus, as far as this/these things are concerned.

Thanks for reading. Any comments or questions are welcome. Thanks

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49 minutes ago, Elen1107 said:

So maybe I'm nit-picking or something a bit similar here, but two words in the 8 points have made me uncomfortable and caused me to question. The first word is in point 4:

"4. Know that the way we behave towards one another and Earth is the fullest expression of what we believe, therefore we vow to walk as Jesus might have walked in this world with radical compassion, inclusion, and bravery to confront and positively change the injustices we experience as well as those we see others experiencing;"

The word is "inclusion". From the New Testament we get Paul saying, "Don't be yoked to unbelievers." I don't have a problem with "unbelievers" per-say, and have even found many non-believers to be better "Christians", and better people, than many Christians are. However, there are certain people/persons that I do have trouble being "yoked" to. Among them are; child-abusers, bullies, terrorists/intimidators, and a slew of other stuff and categories along these kinds of lines.

The other word is in point 8:

8. Commit to a path of life-long learning, compassion, and selfless love on this journey toward a personally authentic and meaningful faith.

The word here is "selfless". I've tried this, and have done this for decades and more. It didn't work out or work for me at all. From the writings of Paul in the New Testament we get, "Always hold others as better than yourself". . . . However, also in the New Testament, we have Jesus quoted as saying, "Love your good neighbor as equal to yourself". . .  . . The difference here is between "better than yourself" and "equal to yourself". . . . Since I've changed my thinking and perspective on this, things have gone a good pace better for me. . . Also if I'm going to choose between the words of Paul and the words of Jesus, where they differ, I think I almost if not always choose those of Jesus, as far as this/these things are concerned.

Thanks for reading. Any comments or questions are welcome. Thanks

Good points.

There is, I believe, a distinction in inclusion of the person and accepting their actions. I know the two meld together many times but, for example, with bullies it seems that they were bullied also or they might suffer from low self-esteem or they have an addiction or perhaps they are just 'screwed up.'  So is the act of bullying freely chosen or are they 'in bondage' to some real degree?  The Christian, I believe, is called to express (and be) love/agape/compassionate concern for the other, including the bully but that doesn't mean that she can't speak against the actions of the bully or confront the bully or perhaps even stand against the bully as a person who is harming others - while also being able and willing to welcome them back once they change their actions.

As an aside, I too know people who are 'better people' than some Christians and I also know Christians who are also among the best that the world has to offer. However I always though it was not the one who said "Lord, Lord (or who followed a certain religion or philosophy) but the one who does the will of the Father" and that will is to love  (in the Christian belief). 

As for selfless I haven't really though too much on the difference between Paul and Jesus since both, for me, speak of going out from self on behalf of the other (be they equal or better in the moment). 

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8 hours ago, Elen1107 said:

So maybe I'm nit-picking or something a bit similar here, but two words in the 8 points have made me uncomfortable and caused me to question. The first word is in point 4:

"4. Know that the way we behave towards one another and Earth is the fullest expression of what we believe, therefore we vow to walk as Jesus might have walked in this world with radical compassion, inclusion, and bravery to confront and positively change the injustices we experience as well as those we see others experiencing;"

The word is "inclusion". From the New Testament we get Paul saying, "Don't be yoked to unbelievers." I don't have a problem with "unbelievers" per-say, and have even found many non-believers to be better "Christians", and better people, than many Christians are. However, there are certain people/persons that I do have trouble being "yoked" to. Among them are; child-abusers, bullies, terrorists/intimidators, and a slew of other stuff and categories along these kinds of lines.

The other word is in point 8:

8. Commit to a path of life-long learning, compassion, and selfless love on this journey toward a personally authentic and meaningful faith.

The word here is "selfless". I've tried this, and have done this for decades and more. It didn't work out or work for me at all. From the writings of Paul in the New Testament we get, "Always hold others as better than yourself". . . . However, also in the New Testament, we have Jesus quoted as saying, "Love your good neighbor as equal to yourself". . .  . . The difference here is between "better than yourself" and "equal to yourself". . . . Since I've changed my thinking and perspective on this, things have gone a good pace better for me. . . Also if I'm going to choose between the words of Paul and the words of Jesus, where they differ, I think I almost if not always choose those of Jesus, as far as this/these things are concerned.

Thanks for reading. Any comments or questions are welcome. Thanks

Personally, I don't interpret 'inclusion' as meaning we have to accept other people's harmful actions and behaviors.  We can include them in our community, if they are willing to be included, but their inclusion also includes responsibilities on their part.  We can accept a person without the need to necessarily tolerate their actions or behavior, particularly where such is harmful to the community.  'Inclusion' to me doesn't mean we don't take action against another's harmful actions or poor behaviour.

As for selfless love - I agree with you.  The Point itself doesn't bother me too much as I regard it more as something to aim for, but I don't read it as something that MUST be adhered too/achieved.  'Selfless love' is one of those aspirations, but sometimes I think we all we need to put ourselves first in our lives.

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Ellen,

I don't think that point 4 being inclusive means to be yoked together. There are actions that are unacceptable to us that are perpetrated by others and it seems to me that wisdom dictates we should have compassion for them and are not to hate them , yet neither are we to allow their choices to go without consequences. For example, If a person i know is a compulsive liar i forgive them and hold no ill will against them but at the same time i would choose not to be close friends with them and take whatever communication there my be from them with a grain of salt.  Behavior always speaks louder than words and we are admonished to love and forgive and be as innocent as doves but wise as serpents in our dealings with others. Mat 10:16

 Inclusive means "containing (a specified element) as part of a whole".  We accept and include all people as part of the whole without malice or prejudice against them excluding none yet we still choose not to yoke (join together) ourselves to those who would harm us or others.

Joseph

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7 hours ago, thormas said:

Good points.

There is, I believe, a distinction in inclusion of the person and accepting their actions. I know the two meld together many times but, for example, with bullies it seems that they were bullied also or they might suffer from low self-esteem or they have an addiction or perhaps they are just 'screwed up.'  So is the act of bullying freely chosen or are they 'in bondage' to some real degree?  The Christian, I believe, is called to express (and be) love/agape/compassionate concern for the other, including the bully but that doesn't mean that she can't speak against the actions of the bully or confront the bully or perhaps even stand against the bully as a person who is harming others - while also being able and willing to welcome them back once they change their actions.

As an aside, I too know people who are 'better people' than some Christians and I also know Christians who are also among the best that the world has to offer. However I always though it was not the one who said "Lord, Lord (or who followed a certain religion or philosophy) but the one who does the will of the Father" and that will is to love  (in the Christian belief). 

As for selfless I haven't really though too much on the difference between Paul and Jesus since both, for me, speak of going out from self on behalf of the other (be they equal or better in the moment). 

Concerning your first paragraph, what first comes to mind for me is; maybe it depends on how big the bully is and if they are bigger than you. There are some things that a person simply cannot handle and cope with. The word 'bigotry' means or is about 'who's the biggest'. Somepeople are just wired or conditioned or geared up this way. I've also wondered if it's something that comes from our prehumen past. Other primates do this sort of thing and are about 'who's the biggest' and the alpha male and female kind of stuff. Myself, I pretty much believe in evolution into Christ, & perhaps even with a bit of reincarnation mixed in. I'm not saying other people have to see things this way, it's just the best I can figure with the info I've got. I don't believe that people had to know that the earth was round in order to be "saved". Like wise I don't think that they/we have to know exactly how we were "created". Myself, I feel like I need to be "saved" from my primordial or prehumen or evolutionary mixed-up-ness, rather than some kind of "original sin". [ I've encountered a few other people that think this way too, one of whom is John Shelby Spong, who says, "We are still evolving".]

Concerning your second paragraph, what I mean or meant to say about "better people" is not that some people are "better" than others per-say, but that some people 'act' better than other people. Whether they are actually "better" or not is another kind of question.

All this being said, I don't think you can ask people to deal with the un-deal-with-able or tolerate the intolerable, even as Christians. Somethings are just plain out of a person's league and out of their ability to cope with or handle.

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1 hour ago, PaulS said:

Personally, I don't interpret 'inclusion' as meaning we have to accept other people's harmful actions and behaviors.  We can include them in our community, if they are willing to be included, but their inclusion also includes responsibilities on their part.  We can accept a person without the need to necessarily tolerate their actions or behavior, particularly where such is harmful to the community.  'Inclusion' to me doesn't mean we don't take action against another's harmful actions or poor behaviour.

As for selfless love - I agree with you.  The Point itself doesn't bother me too much as I regard it more as something to aim for, but I don't read it as something that MUST be adhered too/achieved.  'Selfless love' is one of those aspirations, but sometimes I think we all we need to put ourselves first in our lives.

Concerning your first paragraph, what do you consider to be "harmful to the community"?

I think that I, myself disagree with your statement that "we all need to put ourselves first in our lives". Being I Christian I've kind of decided to go with putting God/The Great Spirit/ Higher Power etc. first and my GOOD neighbor and myself 2nd and as equals, (with an emphasis here on the word 'good'). I will however, after a hard or heavy day of doing stuff, I do put my feet up and have a cup of tea and just take care of and focus a bit on myself for a while.

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20 minutes ago, JosephM said:

Ellen,

I don't think that point 4 being inclusive means to be yoked together. There are actions that are unacceptable to us that are perpetrated by others and it seems to me that wisdom dictates we should have compassion for them and are not to hate them , yet neither are we to allow their choices to go without consequences. For example, If a person i know is a compulsive liar i forgive them and hold no ill will against them but at the same time i would choose not to be close friends with them and take whatever communication there my be from them with a grain of salt.  Behavior always speaks louder than words and we are admonished to love and forgive and be as innocent as doves but wise as serpents in our dealings with others. Mat 10:16

 Inclusive means "containing (a specified element) as part of a whole".  We accept and include all people as part of the whole without malice or prejudice against them excluding none yet we still choose not to yoke (join together) ourselves to those who would harm us or others.

Joseph

There's a lot of stuff in Christianity about "forgiveness". There's also a good deal about "repentance" and making amends and "paying back the last penny". & also about "confession" and apologizing. Where exactly "forgiveness" and these four other things balance and equal out is a deep and another question. It depends on which verses one reads in the NT and what is fair and upright in the long run. 

These are perhaps ideas for another thread.

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5 hours ago, Elen1107 said:

Concerning your first paragraph, what do you consider to be "harmful to the community"?

I use the term as a representation of our existence and who/what we are involved with.  For me, community can range from a hermit living in the forest through to the community of the Universe.  Most usually I am thinking of community as family or close friends, local area, state, nation, and planet earth.  All different levels of community, but all community nonetheless.  So things that can harm others and our environment, whilst recognising there needs to be a balance, are what I say are harmful to our community.  And I don’t think the list is set in concrete but rather is fluid depending on where we are at in our development and evolution as that community.  I hope that answers you and that you aren’t asking for a specific list per se.

Quote

I think that I, myself disagree with your statement that "we all need to put ourselves first in our lives". Being I Christian I've kind of decided to go with putting God/The Great Spirit/ Higher Power etc. first and my GOOD neighbor and myself 2nd and as equals, (with an emphasis here on the word 'good'). I will however, after a hard or heavy day of doing stuff, I do put my feet up and have a cup of tea and just take care of and focus a bit on myself for a while.

Personally, I'm not convinced that there is a Higher Power to put first.  Perhaps our 'best self' is as close as I can come to at this point (which simultaneously I believe is a personal judgement call). 

When I say that sometimes "we all need to put ourselves first in our lives" I think of things like your example - taking some time out for ourselves for rest and recuperation even though there are perhaps other people that could do with our unrelenting assistance.  That seems like a practical (and sensible) example of putting one's self ahead of others. 

A dramatic example might be feeding ourselves food rather than feeding it to another - as a result they die but we live.   There are children starving to death in other countries - do you think we are doing everything humanly possibly as individuals to correct this, or are we perhaps approaching it more from a balanced perspective and being prepared to assist in addressing it whilst not jeopardizing our own well-being entirely.  What I mean is that often we may put ourselves first simply from the practical perspective that if we were to try and be everything to everybody then perhaps there'd be nothing left of 'us'.  Does that make any sense?

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On 3/2/2020 at 9:23 PM, PaulS said:

I use the term as a representation of our existence and who/what we are involved with.  For me, community can range from a hermit living in the forest through to the community of the Universe.  Most usually I am thinking of community as family or close friends, local area, state, nation, and planet earth.  All different levels of community, but all community nonetheless.  So things that can harm others and our environment, whilst recognising there needs to be a balance, are what I say are harmful to our community.  And I don’t think the list is set in concrete but rather is fluid depending on where we are at in our development and evolution as that community.  I hope that answers you and that you aren’t asking for a specific list per se.

Personally, I'm not convinced that there is a Higher Power to put first.  Perhaps our 'best self' is as close as I can come to at this point (which simultaneously I believe is a personal judgement call). 

When I say that sometimes "we all need to put ourselves first in our lives" I think of things like your example - taking some time out for ourselves for rest and recuperation even though there are perhaps other people that could do with our unrelenting assistance.  That seems like a practical (and sensible) example of putting one's self ahead of others. 

A dramatic example might be feeding ourselves food rather than feeding it to another - as a result they die but we live.   There are children starving to death in other countries - do you think we are doing everything humanly possibly as individuals to correct this, or are we perhaps approaching it more from a balanced perspective and being prepared to assist in addressing it whilst not jeopardizing our own well-being entirely.  What I mean is that often we may put ourselves first simply from the practical perspective that if we were to try and be everything to everybody then perhaps there'd be nothing left of 'us'.  Does that make any sense?

Concerning your first paragraph; Do you think that hurting an individual is hurting the community?

Concerning your second paragraph, (requoted here): "Personally, I'm not convinced that there is a Higher Power to put first.  Perhaps our 'best self' is as close as I can come to at this point (which simultaneously I believe is a personal judgement call). " . . . . . . .  Myself, I wasn't sure there was any such thing as a "Higher Power" for several decades of my own adult life. What I had in it's place was 'higher principals", I guess in a way one could say that 'higher principals' or 'truths' were my "higher power". I eventually came to feel that there was a "higher power" involved in these higher principals or truths.  I myself also believe that these things also relate to and intertwine with what you call "our best self".

Concerning your third paragraph: (requoted again here):"When I say that sometimes "we all need to put ourselves first in our lives" I think of things like your example - taking some time out for ourselves for rest and recuperation even though there are perhaps other people that could do with our unrelenting assistance.  That seems like a practical (and sensible) example of putting one's self ahead of others. " . . . . . . . .  . I can understand and agree with much of what you are saying. Where you say, "...there are perhaps other people that could do with our unrelenting assistance." I've met these kinds of  people on a personal level, and it always seems to be a one way street with nothing given back in return. It can and has facilitated total and complete burn out for the person/people doing all the giving and giving of assistance. Perhaps this is a good topic for another thread.

Concerning your forth paragraph: (requoted again): "A dramatic example might be feeding ourselves food rather than feeding it to another - as a result they die but we live.   There are children starving to death in other countries - do you think we are doing everything humanly possibly as individuals to correct this, or are we perhaps approaching it more from a balanced perspective and being prepared to assist in addressing it whilst not jeopardizing our own well-being entirely.  What I mean is that often we may put ourselves first simply from the practical perspective that if we were to try and be everything to everybody then perhaps there'd be nothing left of 'us'.  Does that make any sense?" . . . . . . . . . Yeah, this does make sense and on more than one level. It reminds me of the "Give a person a fish and they eat for a day. Teach a person to fish and they eat for a lifetime", saying that has been going around for a while now. People who have, (something) are getting tired of giving and giving and giving and in a way, it only seems to make things worse. Together they create a kind of dependency that even seems to make things worse and even make the dependent party less able to do things and apply what are now more lost skills, on their own.  . . . I've recently viewed a number of articles and videos on things like 'The Greening of the Deserts" or near deserts; sustainable agriculture/'Permaculture' that doesn't deplete the soil; and things like the Netherlands being like the 2nd or 3rd largest food producer in the entire world, (the Netherlands is a pretty small/tiny country itself and does have a real and formidable winter, so in a way this really does say something). . . If you are interested I can share some of these links with you. . . . I've tried to share and make known some of these ideas to the people who could make use of them or who it seems could really use them, but I'm just one little person and with out a format or a forum that gets them noticed or paid attention to too much. . . I am 'giving' or donating my time (which I don't have that much of) to these things in a real way, but I don't actually know how much good I'm doing or if it's having any real effect. 

 

Can I ask how you divide the 'quote' option from another person's post into more than one 'quote block''? I've tried doing it, and it starts looking like I'm editing someone else's quote, so I stopped doing it. Thanks if you have the time to explain how one does that, (if not that's ok). Thanks.

 

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Give a person a fish and they eat for a day.  

Teach a person to fish and they will spend half their paycheck on bait, tackle and boat payments.

*

Selflessness is not self-neglect or charity.  In Christianity it is replacing your thinking with the mind of Christ.  This is sanctification: working on Christian principles until they are internalized.

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2 hours ago, Burl said:

Selflessness is not self-neglect ......

I totally agree. Having that cup of tea and putting your feet up after a long day or even an easy day is necessary and restorative. Such care or love of self is not selfish.

Would life be worth living without tea? It is the nectar of the gods! Isn't it in one of the gospels that Jesus loved english breakfast tea?

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9 minutes ago, thormas said:

I totally agree. Having that cup of tea and putting your feet up after a long day or even an easy day is necessary and restorative. Such care or love of self is not selfish.

Would life be worth living without tea? It is the nectar of the gods! Isn't it in one of the gospels that Jesus loved english breakfast tea?

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On 3/2/2020 at 8:33 PM, Elen1107 said:

I'd like to say that I really do agree with everything else that's in the '8 Points' in a good and positive way,... It's just those two words.

Thanks

Just to explain  the one word in a different way ...... Inclusion includes people with different beliefs but is not inclusive of harmful actions. Hence the statement in that point that behavior is the fullest expression of what we believe. On this site stating your belief will not get you excluded from the community because we are inclusive of differing beliefs but not behavior such as being disrespectful to others or verbal attacks or violating our compassionate post guidelines.    That will get one excluded. One could argue we are excluding someone for their beliefs because they believe insulting others is okay or justified. However, it is the action, not the belief that would get one excluded. That's why it is best to leave somethings unsaid at times even though we might feel it is true or that we are justified in saying it.

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12 hours ago, Elen1107 said:

Concerning your first paragraph; Do you think that hurting an individual is hurting the community?

It definitely can be.  I don't think there is a golden rule that one shouldn't hurt an individual to protect a community for instance, but if I thnik I understand what you're asking then yes, I think hurting an individual can weaken and harm a community also.

12 hours ago, Elen1107 said:

Concerning your second paragraph, (requoted here): "Personally, I'm not convinced that there is a Higher Power to put first.  Perhaps our 'best self' is as close as I can come to at this point (which simultaneously I believe is a personal judgement call). " . . . . . . .  Myself, I wasn't sure there was any such thing as a "Higher Power" for several decades of my own adult life. What I had in it's place was 'higher principals", I guess in a way one could say that 'higher principals' or 'truths' were my "higher power". I eventually came to feel that there was a "higher power" involved in these higher principals or truths.  I myself also believe that these things also relate to and intertwine with what you call "our best self".

I wonder if our higher self is just us thinking a certain way which we regard as 'better' than other ways we know we could think.  Is that just the chemicals in our brain working or is there 'something else' - who can say (well I know plenty can, but what I mean is that this is probably something that has been thought about since we started walking upright).

12 hours ago, Elen1107 said:

Concerning your third paragraph: (requoted again here):"When I say that sometimes "we all need to put ourselves first in our lives" I think of things like your example - taking some time out for ourselves for rest and recuperation even though there are perhaps other people that could do with our unrelenting assistance.  That seems like a practical (and sensible) example of putting one's self ahead of others. " . . . . . . . .  . I can understand and agree with much of what you are saying. Where you say, "...there are perhaps other people that could do with our unrelenting assistance." I've met these kinds of  people on a personal level, and it always seems to be a one way street with nothing given back in return. It can and has facilitated total and complete burn out for the person/people doing all the giving and giving of assistance. Perhaps this is a good topic for another thread.

Yes, there are those - I've experienced my fair share.  I had more in mind though people who can't help themselves and of which we can't simply do enough for, because to do more for them would mean our suffering would become worse than theirs.  So to me, there is a limit, or else we would simply be trading places with them.

12 hours ago, Elen1107 said:

Concerning your forth paragraph: (requoted again): "A dramatic example might be feeding ourselves food rather than feeding it to another - as a result they die but we live.   There are children starving to death in other countries - do you think we are doing everything humanly possibly as individuals to correct this, or are we perhaps approaching it more from a balanced perspective and being prepared to assist in addressing it whilst not jeopardizing our own well-being entirely.  What I mean is that often we may put ourselves first simply from the practical perspective that if we were to try and be everything to everybody then perhaps there'd be nothing left of 'us'.  Does that make any sense?" . . . . . . . . . Yeah, this does make sense and on more than one level. It reminds me of the "Give a person a fish and they eat for a day. Teach a person to fish and they eat for a lifetime", saying that has been going around for a while now. People who have, (something) are getting tired of giving and giving and giving and in a way, it only seems to make things worse. Together they create a kind of dependency that even seems to make things worse and even make the dependent party less able to do things and apply what are now more lost skills, on their own.  . . . I've recently viewed a number of articles and videos on things like 'The Greening of the Deserts" or near deserts; sustainable agriculture/'Permaculture' that doesn't deplete the soil; and things like the Netherlands being like the 2nd or 3rd largest food producer in the entire world, (the Netherlands is a pretty small/tiny country itself and does have a real and formidable winter, so in a way this really does say something). . . If you are interested I can share some of these links with you. . . . I've tried to share and make known some of these ideas to the people who could make use of them or who it seems could really use them, but I'm just one little person and with out a format or a forum that gets them noticed or paid attention to too much. . . I am 'giving' or donating my time (which I don't have that much of) to these things in a real way, but I don't actually know how much good I'm doing or if it's having any real effect. 

So I am in no way criticizing what people do or don't, can or can't do.  Just making the point that we naturally apply a limit on our 'charity' (money, effort, time, etc) because unless we did, we would cease to exist ourselves.  Essentially to give 'everything' would mean we basically end up swapping ourselves for their situation.

12 hours ago, Elen1107 said:

Can I ask how you divide the 'quote' option from another person's post into more than one 'quote block''? I've tried doing it, and it starts looking like I'm editing someone else's quote, so I stopped doing it. Thanks if you have the time to explain how one does that, (if not that's ok). Thanks.

I see you've had a few answers - I just usually hit the 'Quote' button at the bottom of a post.  It drops it into a new post field that one can edit by hitting enter twice, after a paragraph.  That seems to then create a 'gap' that I can type into that recognizes my writings as different to the quote.

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On 3/4/2020 at 5:19 PM, JosephM said:

Just to explain  the one word in a different way ...... Inclusion includes people with different beliefs but is not inclusive of harmful actions. Hence the statement in that point that behavior is the fullest expression of what we believe. On this site stating your belief will not get you excluded from the community because we are inclusive of differing beliefs but not behavior such as being disrespectful to others or verbal attacks or violating our compassionate post guidelines.    That will get one excluded. One could argue we are excluding someone for their beliefs because they believe insulting others is okay or justified. However, it is the action, not the belief that would get one excluded. That's why it is best to leave somethings unsaid at times even though we might feel it is true or that we are justified in saying it.

This is a tricky subject, I guess it always has been. 

One kind of gets into a corner where one feels that another person or people's beliefs really are harming other people, and sometimes in a big way too. 

Beliefs are the kind of thing that can spread, (if we let them). It's something I've been like at least half thinking about a good deal lately, but I don't know if I'm ready to articulate the thoughts and put them into words. Perhaps in the next month or so I'll be able to.

It calls to mind an argument I once witnessed between a Catholic and a Lutheran. It was quite "heated" and they both were like 'I'm right and you're wrong, I have the truth and you don't'. I came down with a simple statement about the American 1st Amendment and religious freedom. They were both quite happy with and in agreement with this, and the argument stopped and everyone was friends again.

Thing is I can remember getting in an argumentative attitude myself with Christian fundamentalists, (perhaps in a way like J. S. Spong does on this/these subjects. He has been kind of a 'mentor' for me on this sort of thing). Sometimes I really do believe that believing and saying that God, the 'One True God', requires an innocent, human, blood, life and death sacrifice in order to forgive human sin is a really harmful concept and is a false, and slanderous, and defamatory, and wrong depiction of God. (I could get more into this, but perhaps at another time).

Now when it comes to things like; religious cannibalism, beheadings, child sacrifice, child marriage or x with children of any kind, death for apostasy or religious criticism, etc. ... There have been times that I've actually thought about throwing our 1st Amendment right out the window, which in actuality I am not at all ready to do.

One could say, ok, you can worship your 'cannibal god', but you can't actually practice cannibalism. . . But this doesn't really set right with me either. Thing is, if one spreads this belief or anyone of these beliefs, the point comes in time where these things start spilling over into actions. If people start yammering on about how 'we believe in slavery, but don't actually practice slavery', the point can soo much more easily come where slavery again becomes a practice, even world wide practice. Seems to me this is true for all these negative practices and idologies.

Thanks for reading

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On 3/4/2020 at 11:31 PM, PaulS said:

It definitely can be.  I don't think there is a golden rule that one shouldn't hurt an individual to protect a community for instance, but if I thnik I understand what you're asking then yes, I think hurting an individual can weaken and harm a community also.

I can't help but think of harm that happens inside families. One can say that this just effects the family or the individual in the family, but I myself don't really think so. It ends up spilling out into the community, and into the next generation(s). Harm to one is harm to all, and in a certain sense, 'the individual is the community'. . . The rights of the individual are the rights of the community, and if people do something or somethings to one person or group of people, they are inevitably going to end up doing it to other people, and  more and more people, and then it ends up spilling over into the community and it affects the whole community and all of life and living in general . . . . . ? . . . . . . (yeah, I guess I really think this might be the case and the way of things).

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I wonder if our higher self is just us thinking a certain way which we regard as 'better' than other ways we know we could think.  Is that just the chemicals in our brain working or is there 'something else' - who can say (well I know plenty can, but what I mean is that this is probably something that has been thought about since we started walking upright).

This is really interesting. Do the "chemicals in our brains" effect the way we think, or does the way we think effect the "chemicals in our brains"? . . . Or is it both?..Or is it "something else" … and is this God/Higher Power/ Higher Presence, or is it me? . . . and which is happening when and under what circumstances? . .  (could get into this more, but like you say, "plenty can" and it's a question people have probably been asking a for a long time,... could we be ready to answer the question now? . . . don't know).

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Yes, there are those - I've experienced my fair share.  I had more in mind though people who can't help themselves and of which we can't simply do enough for, because to do more for them would mean our suffering would become worse than theirs.  So to me, there is a limit, or else we would simply be trading places with them.

Yeah, I do know what you are saying here.

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So I am in no way criticizing what people do or don't, can or can't do.  Just making the point that we naturally apply a limit on our 'charity' (money, effort, time, etc) because unless we did, we would cease to exist ourselves.  Essentially to give 'everything' would mean we basically end up swapping ourselves for their situation.

I definitely know what you are saying here.

I do know one person who has said to me that she would give another her last pair of shoes, or coat, or something else of necessity, even if she didn't 'know' that she had a way of getting another one. She said that she just 'knows' that God would find a way of providing her with another one.

Myself, I don't have this kind of faith or sense of overall security. The faith of "the lilies of the fields" or "of a fisherman" is hard to come by, and even harder to maintain. I'm not too good at volunteering to "cease to exist" myself, and perhaps like yourself, don't feel like I should be expected or asked to do this sort of thing.

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I see you've had a few answers - I just usually hit the 'Quote' button at the bottom of a post.  It drops it into a new post field that one can edit by hitting enter twice, after a paragraph.  That seems to then create a 'gap' that I can type into that recognizes my writings as different to the quote.

Thanks, this has really helped me in writing this post. Thanks and Thanks for reading.

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7 hours ago, Elen1107 said:

It calls to mind an argument I once witnessed between a Catholic and a Lutheran. It was quite "heated" and they both were like 'I'm right and you're wrong, I have the truth and you don't'. I came down with a simple statement about the American 1st Amendment and religious freedom. They were both quite happy with and in agreement with this, and the argument stopped and everyone was friends again.

This is exactly what inclusiveness means. Communicating ones belief is part of inclusiveness but when it comes to the point of i am right and you are wrong a line is drawn. It has become personal. Getting personal will get one excluded. At that point  sometimes some thoughts are better left unsaid.

 

7 hours ago, Elen1107 said:

One could say, ok, you can worship your 'cannibal god', but you can't actually practice cannibalism. . . But this doesn't really set right with me either. Thing is, if one spreads this belief or anyone of these beliefs, the point comes in time where these things start spilling over into actions. If people start yammering on about how 'we believe in slavery, but don't actually practice slavery', the point can soo much more easily come where slavery again becomes a practice, even world wide practice. Seems to me this is true for all these negative practices and idologies.

Well, that seems to be the risk we take with the first amendment and to live in peace with others. To me, in my view, the alternative is not acceptable.  Beliefs are allowed to be communicated and one can state their opposing belief in response but if it reaches the point of calling names, insulting or getting personal to me it crosses the line of inclusion here and in progressive Christianity in general. I will listen to a person who believes in slavery and his /her reason/s why,  perhaps ask questions to better understand their thinking,  perhaps point out a few things they might consider which may alter their thinking, and then drop it. Why argue and escalate into something personal?(rhetorical)  It will not serve anything except to further alienate us and end an opportunity of reconciliation to a peaceful existence. In my view, the moment we become argumentative we may find our self crossing into irrational and unproductive territory.

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