I have been a student of Bishop Spong and this site, for several years and have many of his books. Before the introduction of the Progressive Christianity site, which has a fabulous library of topics and additions to investigate at my leisure to my ongoing spiritual journey, I occasionally contributed to the Bishop’s earlier on-line dialogue.. . I am also a fan of Ernest Holmes who founded the metaphysical community of Science of Mind or later called Religious Science, and an ardent admirer of Joseph Campbell, who was an expert on Myth and how myth related to religious beliefs. I have several other heroes and heroines but these are primary.
I would like to make the following statement concerning the Thursday, January 09, 2014 issue:
I loved it. It was one of the most enlightening and moving additions to the issues of Progressive Christianity .org. I have read so far with the addition of the “Evolving Statements of Faith.” So many puzzling elements were made clear by the reading of so many contributors of different slants on the same subject. Thank you for this edition.
In regard to this, I believe that how I live my life and the manifesting of that living affects and reflects the expression of my own faith. Creeds help. Creeds help to confirm what people already have a vague idea about but may not be articulate to verbalize.. Any or a combination of the creeds and statements of faith in this particular publication is as good as it gets in forming a belief system that anywhere in the world of religion could be expressed. Of course they vary in detail but not in content. What they say to me is that the Universe is fundamentally good and God is love; all things were made by Him. And without Him was not anything made that was made; there is but one God, The only Creative presence in the Universe.
These Creeds suggest the hope, the aspiration, and the faith of the enlightened of all time.
If he were alive today, Ernest Holmes would like this. He believed what he discovered and taught but was always known to say about his own writings, “they are open at the top”. In other words, he was always ready to enhance or add to his own thoughts and feelings what he could and did learn from others.
In the Religious Science philosophy, no attempt is made to rob Jesus of his greatness or to refute his teachings. Indeed, it is based upon the words and the works of this, the most remarkable personality that every graced our planet with his presence; and until a greater figure appears, Jesus will still remain the great Way shower to mankind. Jesus stands forth from the pages of human history as the greatest figure of all time. His teachings contain the greatest lesson ever given to the human race and his life and works, while on earth, provide the grandest example that was ever given to man. “The works that I do shall ye do also; and greater works than these shall ye do; because I go unto my father.” Religious Scientists do refer to themselves as Christians, but not in the traditional sense.
As a member of the Science of Mind (Religious Science) community, I would like to share some of Dr. Holmes’ Declarations of Principles:
We believe in God, the Living Spirit Almighty; one, indestructible, absolute, and self-existent Cause. This One manifests Itself in and through all creation. The manifest universe is the body of God; it is the logical and necessary outcome of the infinite self-knowingness of God.
We believe in the incarnation of the spirit in everyone and that all people are incarnations of the One Spirit.
We believe in the eternality, the immortality, and the continuity of the individual soul, forever and ever expanding.
We believe that Heaven is within us and that experience it to the degree that we become conscious of it.
We believe that ultimate goal of life to be a complete emancipation from all discord of every nature, and that this goal is sure to be attained by all.
We believe in the unity of all life, and that the highest God and the innermost God is one God.
We believe that God is personal to all who feel this indwelling Presence.
We believe in the direct revelation of Truth through the intuitive and spiritual nature of the individual, and that any person who lives in close intact with in Indwelling God may become a revealer of Truth.
We believe that the Universal Spirit, which is God, operates thought Universal Mind, which is the Law of God, and that we are surrounded by this creative Mind which receives the direct impress of our thought and acts upon it.
We believe in the healing of the sick through the power of this Mind.
We believe in the control of conditions through the power of this Mind.
We believe in the eternal Goodness, the eternal Loving-Kindness, and the eternal Givingness of Life to all.
We believe in our own soul, our own spirit, and our own destiny; for we understand that the life of all is God.
Thank you for the opportunity to express my feelings on this subject.
Sylvia Rogers Barnes