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Just introducing myself: I'm a theologically conservative Mere Christian married to a witch (and I mean that literally). I'm presently working out a paradigm shift in my life which seems to be sending me in a definitely progressive direction. At least as concerns how my faith interacts with the world. I can agree with most of the 8 points (the one about diversity of truth may be a challenge. I can agree to that as a social stand, but not necessarily as a metaphysical one).

 

What caused the change? Attending a pagan gathering with my wife and hearing a speaker talk about the threat of the Theocratic Right. Plus, I got finally sick of President Bush ("This guy calls himself a Christian !?") then following up. Plus, the biggy was realizing the key to how I relate to the world should be guided by . . . "Do unto others . . . " (duh!). My wife has become even more radicalized. Interesting. Jus as I was fearing that our religious differences were giving us less and less in common, we wind up standing side by side politically. Holy Spirit, anyone?

 

I attend a Vineyard Fellowship where I'm a lay leader, have two grown (both over 6'4", I do mean grown) and make my living working for the federal government. I'm working through this whole thing by forums such as this and reading (just got a couple of classic books on Liberation Theology and a book on Queers interpreting Scripture). As someone who was hip deep in the Great ECUSA Implosion of 2003 this is quite a change. As someone who's politics border on anarchism (www.jesusradicals.com) I probably won't have any trouble with the politics, but will be wrestling mightily with the theology.

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Just introducing myself: I'm a theologically conservative Mere Christian married to a witch (and I mean that literally). I'm presently working out a paradigm shift in my life which seems to be sending me in a definitely progressive direction. At least as concerns how my faith interacts with the world. I can agree with most of the 8 points (the one about diversity of truth may be a challenge. I can agree to that as a social stand, but not necessarily as a metaphysical one).

 

What caused the change? Attending a pagan gathering with my wife and hearing a speaker talk about the threat of the Theocratic Right. Plus, I got finally sick of President Bush ("This guy calls himself a Christian !?") then following up. Plus, the biggy was realizing the key to how I relate to the world should be guided by . . . "Do unto others . . . " (duh!). My wife has become even more radicalized. Interesting. Jus as I was fearing that our religious differences were giving us less and less in common, we wind up standing side by side politically. Holy Spirit, anyone?

 

I attend a Vineyard Fellowship where I'm a lay leader, have two grown (both over 6'4", I do mean grown) and make my living working for the federal government. I'm working through this whole thing by forums such as this and reading (just got a couple of classic books on Liberation Theology and a book on Queers interpreting Scripture). As someone who was hip deep in the Great ECUSA Implosion of 2003 this is quite a change. As someone who's politics border on anarchism (www.jesusradicals.com) I probably won't have any trouble with the politics, but will be wrestling mightily with the theology.

 

 

 

As a new member here, I hope to hear your opinions. I look forward to your insights.

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For several minutes, I thought your screen name was AsiansTraveller. Oh, that's nice, somebody Asian. And your avatar definitely looks like someone from the Vineyard. Oh wait a minute, Aslans, oh I get it. No harm done, just a reminder that we don't know as much as we think we know, which was a big part of that upset flow mentioned.

 

I am either a liberal charismatic or a charismatic liberal or Christian, not otherwise specified, but that last one really leaves people unprepared for who I am. Even charismatic liberal doesn't capture the fact that my life has been run by charismatic gifts. I don't speak in tongues. When I'm in the Spirit, I speak in English. That's really hard to explain to people who grew up in a liberal church as I did.

 

If you run across something I wrote where I mention having attended charismatic churches, that's the Vineyard, various ones, from 1994 to 2004. I attended liberal churches, too, at the same time, for fellowship with people like me, and conservative churches, to see if I can stand them. I can't. I was baptized in the Vineyard in 1995. There was a prophecy. So few know they can take such things seriously. The details of that are even more private than that God tells me to do things, but I've finally become completely open about that. Maybe I'll tell people everything eventually, maybe not. I trust God. He'll tell me what's best.

 

There is some variety of people here. Some like me have come and gone and come and gone and come again. Times change. I hope you'll use this site however you like.

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Sounds like you're riding in the same boat I am: we don't fit in any boxes. I'm a theologically orthodox, politcally anarchistic Christian married to a practicing Wiccan, attending a small Vineyard Fellowship and most of whose friends are liberal neopagans.

 

whew!

 

I have worked in more conservative venues, mostly because they write better than many liberals. (yeah, a strange motivation, I know). Or maybe I was searching for some sort of certainty.

 

I haven't had any of the giftings of the Spirit as you have, most of my talents seem to be intellectual and rhetorical, but I have had people in church come up to me with prophetic words before. And they've all been right on target: exactly what I needed to hear at the time. The part of me that likes clear rational thnking often butts heads with the part of me that wants to believe and experience the numinous. A lot of more liberally oriented folks may have trouble with the supernatural, but I don't, I've seen it work. God does communicate with me. Not in the sort of clear messages he gives others, but in a more subtle way, the "still small voice" that I often don't realize I've heard until I look back.

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Sounds like you're riding in the same boat I am: we don't fit in any boxes. I'm a theologically orthodox, politcally anarchistic Christian married to a practicing Wiccan, attending a small Vineyard Fellowship and most of whose friends are liberal neopagans.

 

whew!

 

I have worked in more conservative venues, mostly because they write better than many liberals. (yeah, a strange motivation, I know). Or maybe I was searching for some sort of certainty.

 

I haven't had any of the giftings of the Spirit as you have, most of my talents seem to be intellectual and rhetorical, but I have had people in church come up to me with prophetic words before. And they've all been right on target: exactly what I needed to hear at the time. The part of me that likes clear rational thnking often butts heads with the part of me that wants to believe and experience the numinous. A lot of more liberally oriented folks may have trouble with the supernatural, but I don't, I've seen it work. God does communicate with me. Not in the sort of clear messages he gives others, but in a more subtle way, the "still small voice" that I often don't realize I've heard until I look back.

 

 

 

I work from the other side of your experience. However, I am skeptical of my skepticism. I am looking at religious experience, including Christian experience, from naturalistic points-of-view at this time. That is where I am at the moment. Yet, I understand your remarks. Good to hear you voice them.

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Hey, I'm new too, and I must say, your situation is definitely unique in my book.

 

I enjoy hearing other people's perspectives on topics because it helps me to clarify my own. I appreciate each individual's approach and background that brings someone to their present state of mind. Sometimes I wonder there are not more "interpretations" to these belief systems all things considered.

 

Tell me about your paradigm shift if you are willing/interested. Was it painful, exhilerating? Was it tipped by some kind of event or circumstance in your life? Or was it gradual and creeped up on you before you realized how much you had changed?

 

Caleb

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It's still ongoing. My wife and I have become more aware and active in political issues, especially as concerns religious freedom (I think you can understand why). This has required me to examine a lot of my basic assumptions. Not so much about my faith in Christ, but the outward form it takes. Especially issues of how one deals with non-Christians and, for want of a better word, sinners. I have been, at least internally, fairly judgemental (although outwardly polite and fair) based on my certainty about what is right or wrong.

 

I'm finding that I need to adjust this. Not that I doubt there is right and wrong, but in finding that how I believe God relates to a deals with the sinner is shifting. Part of that is finally letting sink in an otherwise obvious concept: if I am a sinner, like others (and I've always accepted that intellectually) and I think God loves me, forgives me and puts up with me . . . well then, what does that mean about others? It means that God loves them and works with them even if their lives are imperfect and sloppy just like mine.

 

Part of this insight came, believe it or not, from watching a recent movie "Clerks II" and a previous movie by the same director: "Dogma". Both movies are full of people, imperfect, sloppy, messy and doing the best they can. Especially in "Dogma" you are presented with a world of people through whom God is working, even though they are, yes, sloppy and imperfect (just like the people in the Bible, as a matter of fact).

 

I'm dealing with shifting from a fairly bookish, worldview of clear cut categories, into a world view of messy reality. How does God work with us now? What do I do with this? How do I live this? First answer: with a lot of forgiveness, compassion and humility (something I may have been short on, at least intellectually). Plus an emphasis on, oh what was that line . . . ? Oh yeah, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

 

Feels like I've gone a long way to come back to a place that's been right next door.

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Have you read anything by Mike Yaconelli? His most recent book before he died is called "Messy Spirituality" and he really embodies a weird, screwy Christianity because it bucks all definitions and standards as far as the "rest of us" are concerned. But his passion and his intent are clear and his slow and steady determination is obvious.

 

My wife and I have grown apart theologically and sometimes that has translated into differences in other areas of our marriage. We have both improved vastly in our comfort levels allowing the other to think and say things as each of us sees and believes.

 

I am wondering how your growth has impacted your relationship with your wife.

 

If I may be so bold....

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Just introducing myself: I'm a theologically conservative Mere Christian married to a witch (and I mean that literally). I'm presently working out a paradigm shift in my life which seems to be sending me in a definitely progressive direction. At least as concerns how my faith interacts with the world. I can agree with most of the 8 points (the one about diversity of truth may be a challenge. I can agree to that as a social stand, but not necessarily as a metaphysical one).

 

What caused the change? Attending a pagan gathering with my wife and hearing a speaker talk about the threat of the Theocratic Right. Plus, I got finally sick of President Bush ("This guy calls himself a Christian !?") then following up. Plus, the biggy was realizing the key to how I relate to the world should be guided by . . . "Do unto others . . . " (duh!). My wife has become even more radicalized. Interesting. Jus as I was fearing that our religious differences were giving us less and less in common, we wind up standing side by side politically. Holy Spirit, anyone?

 

I attend a Vineyard Fellowship where I'm a lay leader, have two grown (both over 6'4", I do mean grown) and make my living working for the federal government. I'm working through this whole thing by forums such as this and reading (just got a couple of classic books on Liberation Theology and a book on Queers interpreting Scripture). As someone who was hip deep in the Great ECUSA Implosion of 2003 this is quite a change. As someone who's politics border on anarchism (www.jesusradicals.com) I probably won't have any trouble with the politics, but will be wrestling mightily with the theology.

 

Welcome here! good to have you!

A book suggestion for you Shane Claiborne's book "Irresistable Revolution"

From reading your post, I think you will enjoy it.

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Have you read anything by Mike Yaconelli? His most recent book before he died is called "Messy Spirituality" and he really embodies a weird, screwy Christianity because it bucks all definitions and standards as far as the "rest of us" are concerned. But his passion and his intent are clear and his slow and steady determination is obvious.

 

My wife and I have grown apart theologically and sometimes that has translated into differences in other areas of our marriage. We have both improved vastly in our comfort levels allowing the other to think and say things as each of us sees and believes.

 

I am wondering how your growth has impacted your relationship with your wife.

 

If I may be so bold....

 

I have read Mike Yaconelli, wonderful stuff. His books (Plus "Wittenburg Door Magazine" have been of great help. My wife and I are also very wide apart theologically, but less and less socially and, certainly now, much closer in terms of politics and our interests in political activity. Interesting, just as I was starting to worry about our theological differences, this shift comes on and brings us closer together on other matters.

 

But above all, our relationship is primary: before politics, theology, anything. There is a way in which our relationship is the foundation of my spirituality and thus can't be threatened by any changes in "mere theology".

 

A book suggestion for you Shane Claiborne's book "Irresistable Revolution"

 

I read it and loved it. It was very challenging and a little daunting to see what he did with his life and the courage and dedication with which he followed his calling. Makes me a little ashamed at how hesitant my discipleship has been. It's that sort of "I'm doing it simply because Jesus said so." that is so rare and yet so life changing.

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