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Topic: Progressive Christianity

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Subject: Progressive Christianity
Date Posted: 11/16/2008 8:53 PM ET
Member Since: 9/28/2005
Posts: 226
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I have recently discovered this movement which essentially states that while progressive Christians find an approach to God through Jesus, they recognize that others' have found their own way to God and that their ways are true to them as our ways our true to us.  All my life I have felt like a square peg trying desperately to fit into a round hole.  I currently attend a very conservative church where this faithview would be considered heretical.  I've been to a Unitarian church where the beliefs and attitudes fell too far along the opposite end of the spectrum, and their was not much tolerance or acceptance for people who were "God" focused.  I feel very isolated and wish that there was a place where I could explore faith and spirituality with those who share this point of view.  How about you?  Are there any other Christians here at PBS who consider themselves progressive?  Do you have a church and or place where you can discuss your views and the impact they have on the way you live your life.  Do you feel like maybe you are stuck in the closet like I am? Any thoughts welcome.  Thanks.  SUsan 

Date Posted: 11/17/2008 12:13 PM ET
Member Since: 3/10/2006
Posts: 2,819
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Susan,

I belong to a very progressive chuch - Episcopalian. But of course there are plenty of conservative Episcopalian churches out there, as any denomination. My church's progressiveness evolved out of a few things - namely, where we live (very liberal), but also who our pastor is as well - and I don't mean that he preaches politics from the pulpit, but moreso his personal background (civil rights activist, pacifist), and that he too views other religions just as equally as Christianity.  (He once said he failed missionary work because he lived in India for two years and fell in love with Hinduism!).  We also open our arms to the LGBT community.  To me, this is the best kind of Christianity - freedom of open thought (including questioning the Bible), the true sense of love thy neighbor and a focus on the tenets of Jesus that resonate strongest with me - helping the poor, equality, etc.

I hope you can find something to your liking.  There are a handful of Unitarians here who could probably speak better to your expectations there - I think each Unitarian congregation could be pretty different, just like others.

 

Date Posted: 11/17/2008 8:00 PM ET
Member Since: 7/5/2006
Posts: 4,669
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I belong to a very progressive church to.  We're part of two denominations- UCC & DoC (Disciples of christ).  I like the DoC cause there are no creeds or "oaths", and the people are the ones that lead the church and worship.  Our church is very very open to all people and their beliefs, but is still "god centered"... but at the same time we use practices, prayers, and theology from a broad spectrum of religions and cultures. 

L. G. (L)
Date Posted: 11/18/2008 1:32 AM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2005
Posts: 12,412
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Susan wrote:  I've been to a Unitarian church where the beliefs and attitudes fell too far along the opposite end of the spectrum, and their was not much tolerance or acceptance for people who were "God" focused.

Sorry to hear that!  If you ever get the chance to try a different UU church, be aware that not all are the same.  I have attended a few that were definitely more Christian-oriented.

ETA:  Just had a thought - you might want to find a contemporary Quaker church.  They are similar to the Christian-leaning UU churches.  They very definitely have a Christ-centered message.

 

 

 



Last Edited on: 11/18/08 1:34 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/18/2008 6:19 PM ET
Member Since: 11/24/2005
Posts: 5,638
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Last Edited on: 2/21/10 10:43 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 11/18/2008 7:18 PM ET
Member Since: 9/28/2005
Posts: 226
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Thanks to all for your feedback, info. and encouragement.  I've recently found a Methodist church with members who are progressive leaning.  My area is pretty conservative; only 1 UU church and no Quakers.  It would just be wonderful to be able to explore and discuss faith issues openly and without censure.  Maybe this new church will be the place.  Now I"m off to try that Belief-o-matic quiz. 

Date Posted: 3/6/2009 2:40 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2008
Posts: 340
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I know this is an old post, but if you are interested in progressive Christianity, you may be interested in books by Marcus Borg or John Shelby Spong.  Spong goes a little far for me, but all in all, it's comforting for me to know that other people are thinking about these things too.

One of my favorite books is Gilead, and though it is not a book dealing with progressive Christianity, there was one small part that spoke to me.  There are a couple of women discussing hell in literal biblical terms.  The narrator is a minister who doesn't take the idea of hell so literally.  He basically says it can still be scary without being ridiculous.  That's what I need.  I need my religion not to be ridiculous.