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Progressive but orthodox

Discussion in 'Non-denominational' started by Eftsoon, Jun 14, 2021.

  1. Eftsoon

    Eftsoon Active Member

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    This isn't a thing, but I'm wondering if there are any of you who hold many progressive ideas (politically/spiritually) but are still grounded in Nicene Christianity? Have you found a church home? Do you feel out of place in traditional churches?
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2021
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  2. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis Evangelical Catholic of the Augsburg Confession

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    Deleted, as I didn't notice this was the non-denom board, and thus I do not wish to overstep my bounds as a guest of this board.

    -CryptoLutheran
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2021
  3. Sketcher

    Sketcher Born Imperishable

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    I'm not, but there are and have been people at my church who are definitely further to the left than I am.
     
  4. Tigger45

    Tigger45 Adherent of the Augsburg confession Supporter

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    I tend to pick politics and politicians from both sides of the aisle. I thank God that I found a church that is traditional yet doesn’t feed it’s political views from the pulpit.
     
  5. Eftsoon

    Eftsoon Active Member

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    I'd like to hear what you have to say. If you don't feel comfortable, you could PM perhaps?
     
  6. PloverWing

    PloverWing Episcopalian

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    I'm Episcopalian, not non-denominational, so I'll just post this once, and then we can continue the discussion privately if you're interested.

    I consider myself progressive on ethical issues and also grounded in Nicene Christianity. My parish priest similarly holds a combination of progressive ethics and orthodox/Nicene theology. I think the two fit together quite well. My church is a traditional church (in the sense of having roots that go back to the Reformation and earlier), and I do not feel out of place at all; it has been a good church home for me.
     
  7. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis Evangelical Catholic of the Augsburg Confession

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    I'm comfortable, I just didn't want to step on any toes since I'm Lutheran and not non-denom.

    But as for my experience: my politics and theology both underwent significant changes in my early 20's. I was raised in a solidly conservative and Evangelical environment. My elementary school was run by a small independent Baptist church, my family attended a non-charismatic Evangelical non-denom church. Without providing the full story, the short version is my family was, for all intents and purposes, excommunicated and shunned by our church, and so we had to find somewhere else to worship. We ended up finding the local Foursquare church that was, at the time, meeting every Sunday at the local YMCA.

    Also, for the short version, it never really occurred to me to question or challenge anything I had been taught in those Christian circles which I trusted. But it was actually people from my church that I ultimately took an interest in reading Church History, that initial spark eventually led me to a lot of reading, a lot of study, and a lot of research. I began reading the Bible a lot more, I taught myself the Greek alphabet while a senior in high school to make it easier for me to (with lots of aids) look at the Greek of the New Testament. I began reading the writings of the Apostolic Fathers, learning more about the early centuries of the Church.

    That, along with engaging with people in conversation and debate, both in person and online, helped me recognize massive areas of knowledge I lacked. It also brought challenges to ideas I had which had never been challenged, and thus found myself beginning to test the things I believed against Scripture, and looking to the historic writings of the Fathers, the Creeds, and major theologians and churchmen down through the centuries for commentary, critique, and also affirmation--if I saw something in the Bible, and it turns out that literally everyone from Ignatius to Martin Luther to John Wesley understood the Scriptures the same way, I found I could be reasonably confident I was reading Scripture rightly.

    With that also came bigger, deeper questions: What does it mean for me to be a faithful follower of Jesus? What does it mean to be a Christian right now, in how I relate to my friends, neighbors, or even to my government, or to people who want to hurt me? What does this being a Christian thing actually about anyway?

    As my theology moved toward the historic and orthodox norm, the theological building blocks moving around presented the need to connect theoretical faith to applicable faith. If, for example, the point of being a Christian isn't to get to heaven when I die, but instead the point is to follow Jesus in how I live in relation to my neighbor, that now means the focus of Christian discipleship changes radically. Christian discipleship no longer is about how holy or pious I am (or more accurately, pretend to be), but rather about how I, mercifully forgiven sinner that I am, am now afforded the opportunity to actually take seriously St. Paul who says, "To live is Christ and to die is gain." The cross which I bear in this world in the service of Christ is not a cross to be carried up the golden ladder to glorious mansions above, but instead is carried before the world, before all my neighbors, in love.

    And this then results in this sort of question: How can I best serve my neighbor in the name of Jesus Christ my God and Lord, to take seriously all of the Lord's words to us in His commandments: You shall love your neighbor as yourself, and do unto others as you would have them do unto you. His command that I not retaliate, but to love--even when it hurts or kills us. "To endure the cross is not a tragedy; it is the suffering which is the fruit of an exclusive allegiance to Jesus Christ." (Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship)

    If any act of kindness can, in the name and by the authority of our Lord Jesus, be fruitful for the kingdom of God--why wouldn't we choose this? Why should we indulge the lusts of our flesh seeking after the glories of a fallen worldly kingdom--a kingdom in ruin, crumbling to dust--that fallen and ruined kingdom of the world which Christ destroyed when He tore hell apart and put death to death. If by embracing the stranger, even the hostile stranger who wishes me harm, then in Jesus' name the kingdom has come, why wouldn't we do this? If our Most Holy Master is in every hungry helpless mother, father, child, and stranger, is in the face of every hurting person on this planet, on what grounds could we ever support legislation that would deprive "the least of these brothers" of His of the good bread and clean water of this earth? Or who could agree to the poisoning of this precious blue rock, or the callous injury to God's beloved creation? How could we not look to our children and grandchildren and wish upon them the fruits of a better world than our own? How could we ever turn away the refugee? How could we ever wish death on even our worst enemies? Why would we callously enslave ourselves to our tongue, to breed hatred of those made in the Divine Image and Likeness.

    And that is the basis of my politics.

    -CryptoLutheran
     
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  8. Ed Parenteau

    Ed Parenteau Member Supporter

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    Sounds like an oxymoron to me. And besides, on who's authority does the Nicene Creed preempt God's Word?
     
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