When Progressive Christianity 'Nukes the Fridge'



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Hmmm... What is Progressive Christianity?

Progressive Christians tend to emphasize Jesus' teachings and example, rather [more] than his death. Instead, Jesus taught us to live and to love as he did, to love God and our neighbor (Matthew 22:37-39), to love one another as he loved us (John 15:12), and to love our enemies (Matthew 5:43-44).

Consistent with that view, Christ's early followers were not called Christians, but were called people of the Way (Matthew 22:16: Acts 9:2; 24:14). This name was in recognition that Christ had come to show them the way of life, joy, love, peace, fullness, meaningfulness, etc.

Progressives are more likely to emphasize that they are followers of the Way of Christ. Another way to express this is that they are not so much followers of a religion "about" Christ as they are adherents to the religion "of" Christ.

- Kalen Fristad

Christians in the Wesleyan tradition embrace both the gospel of Jesus and the gospel about Jesus. They embrace both his life and teaching and the truth and liberation of his redeeming death and resurrection.

- Steven Manskar

Progressive United Methodists - All Really Are Welcome!
Through the power of God's Holy Spirit, may we live, love, and act in ways that build the Beloved Community of Jesus Christ for ALL people.

John JP Patterson more than 7 years ago

I don't know, but...

...couldn't one say with equal merit, that Jesus "nuked the fridge" of post-Babylonian Exile Judaism? Think about it. Returning to their homeland under the leadership of Zerabubel (a too often ignored figure in the liturgy, IMHO) they became not unlike the Likudniks of modern Israel - militaristic, aggressive, and committed severely to their form of political correctness. The Sanhedrin, High Priests, Pharisees, and Sadducees (spelling?) were anxious to get the dude executed because he threatened their besieged worldview. His radical inclusiveness was exactly what they didn't like at all.

Answering the begged question of "does political ideology drive theology or vice versa?" is a no-win situation. The fact is both drive each other with equal regularity. Conservative Christianity is no less guilty - I would say more - of being more motivated by politics that the progressive sort. That is what leads to situations such as that in 2004 of a young man in an anecdote who went to a service at a well known fundamentalist megachurch (mumble mumble Second Baptist in Houston) in 2004 who happened to have a John Kerry for President sticker on his truck, only to be confronted in the parking lot by members there who told him "You are not a Christian." In my experience, progressive Christians tend to be as a rule much more tolerant of diverse viewpoints than the right wing are.

As for the Trinity, it's not Biblical. It's a rationalization to justify itself, created by those who sought to create a new state religion to replace the GraecoRoman pantheon of gods and goddesses. I don't deny it, but I don't emphasize it either. It's not the be all and end all. It's an obscure configuration that developed along with the theory of Mary as intercessor to an angry God-King, the Roman Catholic theory that the bread and wine become the actual blood and body of Christ, and the replacement of the local pagan deities with the pantheon of saints. It's not much to stand on as if besieged like the Alamo's defenders in 1836.

George Nixon Shuler more than 7 years ago