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Curious - What is Progressive Christianity? - Page 8

post #141 of 194
I'll check out that book club! I sent a friend request too!!!!

If anyone wants to be facebook friends, you can find me under Kimberly G Skinner, my current pic is of a VERY cute little girl sitting in the snow.

(ETA- profile pic tends to change from time to time!)
post #142 of 194
Originally Posted by MyLittleWonders View Post
I want to read up on other cultures' and religions' flood stories (from what I have read/been told, there are many out there). I wonder if the story is more of one of hope - just when things seem so bleak, when it feels as if there is no good left in the world, there is always someone, somewhere who is getting things right? I definitely do not see it as something God wrote for us - but I do see it as a story told by the Israelites/ancient Hebrews about God. So, maybe getting beyond the whole "God killed everything except what was on the ark" literalness of it (which admittedly for me is hard - Borg and McLaren are helping me greatly in this area), we can see it from the "what does this story tell me about how people/I see God." In other words, if the writer is a descendent of Noah (which theoretically we all are according to the story ), what does it tell us about how God see us. From that perspective, it's a story of redemption. We are both those killed by the flood and those redeemed by the ark. It is a story of the stripping away of that which turns us away from God and a story of that which draws us closer to him. In the midst of the crud and corruption of daily life; in the midst of the screw-ups we make as people; in the middle of what seems to be an unredeemable world, we all have that something in us that says, "Yes, I too am redeemable." The rain and flood is what strips us of all that has separated us from God; the ark is God's hand not letting go of us. We are being cleansed and protected at the same time. We are redeemable. Every day. I don't know ... that is where I am right now with it.
This is very interesting. I'm still thinking about this.
post #143 of 194
Okay okay, I'm off to google Philip Gulley!!!

So, Christianity is not really "my thing". It can sometimes make me feel close to God. I have an idea about God and the world and I am totally cool with it. I like hearing/reading/talking about ideas and usually add them to mine. What I am looking for is a community and because of this thread and the authors listed here I am able to accept my childhood church (well a VERY progressive one) as my community. What I am struggling with, however, is how to raise my son. Still can't quite get there. Especially since I don't see how actually getting up and going to church is ever going to work for this family. We are slow and we like our mornings. Having that precious family time to me is more important than going to church BUT if you don't GO to church how on earth do you get the community. See my little problem. I want to have my cake and eat it too!!!! I am still interested in trying out a UU and a Liberal Quaker but it just doesn't fit our life right now.

So back to the issue of how to raise my son spiritually. I know that is it more about who I am than anything else. For this reason I want to make sure I am living my life the way I really mean too...nonviolent, generous, helping others etc. I see us having many many conversations his whole life and this is probably more important than anything. I want him to know about different religions as a matter of education. I don't want to "brainwash" him into anything and children are so impressionable and literal minded that I see that as a hard task. I want to somehow communicate to him this beautiful feeling about God that I have but it seems hard to communicate something so abstract to a child. Maybe children need something a little more concrete. But what? and then how can you be sure to help them grow from it when they are ready. Deep questions and I don't feel like I'm doing a great job expressing myself. Anybody else think about what/how to raise her children spiritually?
post #144 of 194
Thread Starter 
i think about this a lot, and have a few suggestions/ideas. will post more later though - nak!
post #145 of 194
I think about how to raise my child spiritually very very often!

I also sometimes ponder the (possible) relationship with how people are raised and how they perceive God. And their views on parenting, if they are adults, and their views of God.
post #146 of 194
I have been trying to catch up on this thread for the past two days now. There is so so much to think about.

I was raised Catholic. I am semi-practicing now, but a lot of what you ladies are talking about really jives with what I believe. It is so hard to break free from the "label" though, if you know what I mean.

I'll be catching up more and looking at the links that have been posted.
post #147 of 194
I only read the first and last pages, so it may have already been discussed and if so, I'm sorry to be repetitive! But the Unity Church is a progressive Christianity church, and while they are all different, you may find one near you that fits the bill!
post #148 of 194
Thread Starter 
seekingtruth - you know, i've been really interested in the unity church for a few months now. i've never been sure about how it fits in with christianity, but from what i've read, i think i could be into it. do you attend one? there is one in my area (well, they use a non-church space) and i might check it out someday.
post #149 of 194
I attend a Unity Church and Love it! I was raised catholic. I like how Unity blends multiple religious/spiritual ideas. I have been to a Quaker church and a UU church. For me Unity just fit!
post #150 of 194
Thread Starter 
for the unity-churchers: how much does the unity church focus on the new agey stuff, like science of mind, power of thought, etc.? i'm not opposed to it, just curious.
post #151 of 194
Thread Starter 
i love this thread, definitely wanna keep going, but i also started a unity thread.
post #152 of 194
Hey, Puff

I'll be watching your other thread about Unity. I have just been doing some reading about it and it seems cool. All of the beliefs jive well with me. I am realizing that I find myself resistant to more modern kinds of prayers and services. Not sure why. Not just Unity, other things too. The way I was raised, habit, personal preference. Not sure but I always have a hard time getting down with more modern expressions of faith. Not all but some. I am exploring why this is and am going to try to be more open. For this reason I wonder if a Unity service would move me there, ya know. I would love to find out though. I liked the daily word.
post #153 of 194
Thread Starter 
harmony - i think that's okay. we learn a certain vocabulary and sort of ritual through our early experiences, and we may feel most comfortable with it, even if our beliefs change. the traditional practices may still resonate within your heart, and if you are following them in a way that is in harmony (ha!) with your beliefs, i think it's great, really. my mom, for example, was raised catholic, then lapsed. she has recently started attending again, even though she is pretty much a universalist and doesn't think the sacraments are necessary - the rites and the liturgy speak to her spirit, and she has reconciled that with her own faith. for her and for you, god has always been present, even when you learned those faith practices with bases you may no longer accept. when you engage in those practices, you are engaging with god, who has always been with you. you can, therefore, do these things, sing these songs, make these movements, and so forth, with a deeper meaning now, because of the growth you have made, spiritually. does that make any sense? like, i sometimes find myself mentally singing or even actually humming some very christian songs i learned in high school, when i went with some friends to an evangelical church. things about jesus dying for our sins, and so forth. and while i don't think i ever actually believed that particular doctrine, i *was* "filled with the holy spirit" when i sang them - the experience of god was very, very real. so i no longer fight the songs, even if the words themselves do not mean what they once meant to me. they take me back to rich spiritual experiences, the essence of which was god-centered, and i imagine they always will.
post #154 of 194
Very well said, puffnstuff! I know Bishop Spong is criticized for participating in the liturgies and sacraments of his church, when he is open about his non-theistic beliefs. Marcus Borg speaks to this as well in his book, which I really appreciated. I am still moved by holy communion, even though my understanding of what happened when Jesus was crucified has changed.
post #155 of 194
Right on, Puff! Right on!
post #156 of 194
So I'm probably at the other end of the spectrum in child rearing as my kids are teenagers. For most of their lives they attended church every Sunday but when I had my "crisis" of belief a couple years back, we stopped going to church. They were relieved!

I know they learned some good lessons while attending Sunday School. They also learned somethings that I now wouldn't care for them to know ; exclusivity of Chrisitan concerning salvation, how to get to heaven, etc. Those lessons haven't stuck.

I think it's good for kids to have community while growing up. How to achieve that? I'm still working on it for myself! I know I want it, I just can't seem to find others, besides you all, who I can connect with on a spiritual level. If some of my church friends, who I still "see" on facebook, knew that I was reading the likes of Spong and Borg, they would be aghast.

I personally found churches often take away from family time. There are a lot of volunteer needs and opportunities for growth within the church. In order to find that community for yourself in the church, its helps to get involved but often that takes away from precious time with family.

I think if I were to do it over again, knowing what I know now, I would try to foster community with people who I have things in common with. Share family meals with others - the widows, the lonely. Find a place to serve together. Some of the volunteers in my ministry with teen moms bring their young children along. Do things together as a family. I would homeschool Sunday School. We did this for awhile - I would often share with my teens something powerful I had read from a book I was reading. With young children - tell stories, teach respect and honor.

Know what I remember best about my own church years growing up as a child? The potluck dinners and the coffee hours after church That's when relationships were nurtured.
post #157 of 194
Suzukimom, this is so interesting. Yes for me too my best church memories are pancake suppers, Christmas Carol parties, cooking for the homeless etc. Maybe it will work out in some way. A light went on in my head when you said "homeschool Sunday School". I am pretty set on homeschooling but never put it together with "Sunday school". What an idea?! I like your ideas for fostering community. Thanks for giving me a lot to think about.
post #158 of 194
Thread Starter 
hi all,

baby is on a rampage, so i probably can't write much, but i wanted to say i alluded to religion today while talking with my husband. this is a true breakthrough. i told him i was reading a book by a jesuit (john dear) and how he's involved in this non-violent movement and how a lot of people are talking about jesus being a model/teacher, rather than divine, and how christianity can or even should be about living a life based on teaching and lives like his, looking for other examples like gandhi, the buddha, MLK, etc., and it was a bit whirlwind, but it was good to get it out a bit. i don't think he really gave what i was saying much consideration, but it's okay. it's weird, though...i've been thinking about honesty in my life and i think the real reason i don't talk about religion, work, babies...is because i don't want to know for sure that he and i are on different pages. like, totally different pages. but it's funny, because after i talked a bit about the john dear book and this "new" christianity, i was *also* able to say, straightforwardly in conversation, that i hope to have another child someday. i know this may seem like simple stuff to a lot of people, but it's not for me. i'm trying to live more honestly, though. to BE, in spong's trifecta. and it's happening. and then, as if to say "hey, it's not all you doing stuff; there's Something Else" i got home to some very good financial news. WOW!
post #159 of 194
Hey Puff, Congrats on having a breakthrough with your husband. I understand that that is no small thing. I like what you are saying about living more honestly in all areas of your life. I am too

Anybody make it to any church today? We did not. We did play outside for a nice long time. That counts in my world

I am waiting for the Borg book The Last Week: What the Gospels Really Teach about Jesus's Last Days in Jerusalem from the library. I thought it would be a good Lent book but we will see if I even get it before Easter. I am putting some Spong on my list. I am sitting right next to Borg's Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time. It was just sitting there on the library shelves, what a shock. I haven't cracked it yet though. I've been in more of a The Nanny Returns reading place lately. I know I know.
post #160 of 194
No church here but that's been our usual state of affairs except for Easter and Christmas. I can't believe we've become Christmas/Easter people but until our 16 year old leaves the nest in 18 months or so, we won't start seriously looking for a new spiritual community.

I finished Spong's A New Christianity for a New Worldthis weekend. Now I'm reading Not for Sale, a book about the big moral issue for the 21 century, the trafficking and slavery of millions of people, mainly children, throughout the world.
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