Hearty Heresy

Another Group of Heretics I Like
October 29, 2007, 3:01 pm
Filed under: Christianity, God, Hell, Heresy, Jesus, Religion, Theology, Uncategorized

Every once in awhile I stumble upon a group of Christians who do a wonderful job of articulating what I would call the true Gospel of Jesus. One such group is The Center for Progressive Christianity, which offers “an approach to Christianity that is inclusive, innovative, and informed.” What do they mean by that? Well, here are their 8 points, which they say are designed “to present an inviting expression of a particular approach to the practice of Christianity.”

By calling ourselves progressive, we mean that we are Christians who…

  1. have found an approach to God through the life and teachings of Jesus.
  2. recognize the faithfulness of other people who have other names for the way to God’s realm, and acknowledge that their ways are true for them, as our ways are true for us.
  3. understand the sharing of bread and wine in Jesus’ name to be a representation of an ancient vision of God’s feast for all peoples.
  4. invite all people to participate in our community and worship life without insisting that they become like us in order to be acceptable (including but not limited to):
    *believers and agnostics,
    * conventional Christians and questioning skeptics,
    * women and men,
    * those of all sexual orientations and gender identities,
    * those of all races and cultures,
    * those of all classes and abilities,
    * those who hope for a better world and those who have lost hope;
    * without imposing on them the necessity of becoming like us.
  5. know that the way we behave toward one another and toward other people is the fullest expression of what we believe.
  6. find more grace in the search for meaning than in absolute certainty, in the questions than in the answers.
  7. form ourselves into communities dedicated to equipping one another for the work we feel called to do: striving for peace and justice among all people, protecting and restoring the integrity of all God’s creation, and bringing hope to those Jesus called the least of his sisters and brothers.
  8. recognize that being followers of Jesus is costly, and entails selfless love, conscientious resistance to evil, and renunciation of privilege.

I’m not sure if there’s an expression of Christianity that I could find that would be any more in sync with what I believe about Jesus. I am sure that these 8 points would probably be considered heretical by Brand Xians and condemn these folks to eternal torment. Too bad.


4 Comments so far
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It’s point number two that tends to make the “correct” Christians get angry. But I think points one and eight get a lot closer to what Jesus taught and meant than most “correct” doctrines. Especially the cost aspect, because to me, that’s the whole point of the Gospel. By accepting Jesus’ challenge, you are making yourself a target to all the evil and injustice out there, because you refuse to turn a blind eye and rush forward to challenge it.

Comment by OneSmallStep

“By accepting Jesus’ challenge, you are making yourself a target to all the evil and injustice out there, because you refuse to turn a blind eye and rush forward to challenge it.” Well said, OSS. I couldn’t agree with you more. Thanks for the comment.

Comment by heartyheretic

The Center for Progressive Christianity’s web site has an online directory of churches that agree to affiliate with them, and I have used that directory as a starting point for identifying what churches I would consider attending. My experience has been that the churches that affiliate with the TCPC are actually progressive to varying degrees, and some are more orthodox than others. But it is still a good starting point for us heretics. 🙂

Comment by Mystical Seeker

I noticed the online directory, too. I think churches actually have to pay TCPC a little to be an affiliate, so I’d guess that they probably took the process seriously. I definitely agree that it’s a great place to start if one’s looking for a progressive congregation. Thanks, MS!

Comment by heartyheretic

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