I did not grow up a progressive Christian. I grew up a conservative Christian. I do not disparage that; it is part of my life that I fully embrace and is part of my journey. I suspect this is true…
Ironically, when I believed Jesus was God I didn’t take him seriously. But when I let him be an imperfect, but courageous and compassionate human being, I discovered a compelling interest in becoming like him.
Do we want the suffering servant Messiah of the Gospels? Or do we prefer the vengeful, conquering general of Revelation 19? The Messianic image we are drawn to reveals a great deal about what is in our hearts.
I’m not sure any of us really become so God-like and divested of ego that we don’t get offended. So the question is: What are we going to do about it?
I share the concern of conservative Christians for the unborn. Pro-life means that all life (at all developmental stages) should be honored, respected and valued. But when did the unborn become more valuable than the born, especially those born into tragic life circumstances?
Jesus offers us a model of how we might struggle with our sacred texts and bring our own personal, intuitive, common-sense experience of God to bear on our interpretation and application of scripture.
I hope more Christians will see that the boxes in which they have confined God are way too small to inspire an expansive and gracious vision that would motivate and empower them to love others the way God “so loves the world.”
In post-Constantinian Christianity emphasis on living out the values of Jesus and walking in the way of Jesus were replaced with an emphasis on holding to right beliefs about Jesus. The contrasting emphasis was so stark it was like two different religions.
If Christianity is to be a force for good in the world by helping to heal our deep psychic, personal brokenness, to restore estranged relationships often marked by betrayal and contempt, to transform us into more loving, compassionate persons who care for others, then Western Christianity, and American Christianity in particular, must undergo a new reformation.