It seems there has been much discussion and debate and several calls for various statements and/or papers to be released by us with the aim of laying down a concrete statement on what progressive Christians believe. I firmly believe that no such thing should ever take place, for as soon as we release such a statement, we will surely be in the wrong.
There is no one statement that can possibly encompass what any one progressive Christian believes as surely as there is no one way to describe how the creator acts on the hearts of men. We are a diverse group of thoughtful (perhaps some being too thoughtful) people trying to create a passageway that others may find useful on their way through this life. It was not our aim at the beginning , nor is it now, nor will it ever be our goal to build a Progressive citadel from which to lob statements and pronouncements about what is to be believed or felt if one should want to consider oneself a Progressive Christian. The moment something like happens we instantly become the very thing we started out trying to fight … large inflexible doctrinal machines that spit out rhetoric and dogma to the point of being a detriment to its own people.
There is no one way to be or think like a progressive Christian. There are in fact as many ways to believe progressively as there are progressives that believe . It is not our place to say for fact what a progressive Christian should believe any more than it is our place to say what our more fundamentalist brethren should believe.
If a person on his path should find us and be intrigued with what he sees in us then let him join us for as long as he sees fit and if he at some point wishes to merge onto another path then wish him well on his travels and make sure he knows that our love will always travel with him. We are at our very core a community of other Christians’ heretics and heathens, we are in effect dirty Christians. We have no doctrine or dogma or even a cohesive thought process, simply a basic set of principles under which we operate.
While this may lead others to think that we are messy and somewhat disjointed, we exist this way for a reason , that reason being that it leaves us with the ability to be what many other religious organizations can not claim to be … Open, Honest and Transparent. It will always be more important to be helpful than it will ever be to be right!
It would be terribly arrogant of us to “decide” on what it means to be a progressive Christian, and quite frankly such a proclamation could only serve as a stumbling block to others who decide to tread along our path with us. We should not seek to validate our existence or beliefs with white papers or proclamations for it is my firm belief that time spent trying to formulate such things is as useful and pleasant as time spent licking a cotton ball.
~Rev. Melissa McClellan
- What Progressive Christianity is really about – in their own words! (livingjourney.wordpress.com)
- When does ‘Christian opinion’ become hate?! (jesusneedsnewpr.net)
- Doctrinal Minimalist or Maximalist? (diglot.wordpress.com)