“You’re Not a Real (Progressive) Christian”

If I had a dollar for every time someone on the conservative side of the Christian spectrum said that I wasn’t a real Christian I would have, well…quite a few dollars. I have even had the distinction to be told that I wasn’t a Christian by some who call themselves progressive Christians. This type of thing is not uncommon on the conservative side of Christianity. To have certainty about what a Christian is and isn’t, and be willing (and eager) to kick people out who don’t match one’s own opinion of what Christianity is, has become part and parcel of modern conservative Christianity’s mission objectives. But on the progressive side of the coin I want to make a request, which is that progressive Christians worldwide just don’t do that type of thing, especially to each other, and here’s why.

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Faith Trends I See in 2015

In the spirit of Janus, I ended the year looking backward at a world in disarray and forward at three faith movements I expect in 2015.

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We need a cross to sign the truth

From the Boundless Life collection

We need a cross to sign the truth
That pain is part of life,
For joys and sorrows intertwine
And growth evolves through strife.

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Weep Not for Me

From the Boundless Life collection

“Weep not, weep not for me*
Daughters of Israel’s womb;
Weep for yourselves”, said Christ
“Not for my cross or tomb”.

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Service of Thanksgiving for a Life

Welcome to you all, to this time of remembrance and thanksgiving –
and a time of sadness and tears too.

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Flow of Water, Flow of Life

A meandering stream runs close to a rural church dear to his childhood
With clear water in springtime, turned a sullied brown by summer’s end

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In the darkness of my spirit

From the Boundless Life collection

In the darkness of my spirit
When my blindness masks my sight
I will dance! dance! dance!
I will sing! sing! sing!
Of the coming of the light.

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So What Have You Noticed? What Have You Learned About Life?

As any true mystic will tell you, if your goal is to become fully human, the spiritual window you use to view the world must include two important spiritual questions. The first being what have you noticed and the second, what have you learned?

To effectively answer these simple questions, we first have to transform our consciousness and learn to see into the depths of reality. Stated simply, we have to learn to “see the real world”, not the world our ego expects to “see”.

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An Excerpt from The Hidden Power of the Gospels: Four Questions, Four Paths, One Journey by Alexander J. Shaia with Michelle Gaugy

by Alexander J. Shaia with Michelle Gaugy

“The nine Beatitudes reflect diverse parts of a harmonious unity which I endlessly reflect and touch each other as we go through our lives. At the very heart of Jesus’s teachings, their practice opens us to compassion. If we are able to place these on our hearts, walk with them on our feet, hold them in our hands, and seal them in our thoughts, we will have more insight along our journey. They will become our walking staff and guide for the arduous times we will face.

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Spiritually Literate New Year’s Resolutions

1. I will live in the present moment. I will not obsess about the past or worry about the future.

2. I will cultivate the art of making connections. I will pay attention to how my life is intimately related to all life on the planet.

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“The Work of Christmas” by Howard Thurman

Mystic, poet, philosopher, and theologian Howard Thurman’s reminds of the true meaning of Christmas in his poem, “The Work of Christmas.”

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Questioning your Beliefs – Goats vs Sheep

The sheep were always docile—-not unlike my more conservative classmates who seemed intent on doing what was expected of them and following the rules. Compliant and openly accepting of church theology and doctrines, they seemed focused on being perfect Christian’s. Like the sheep from my homesteading days, compliance and obedience seemed to be important values for them. And being right often seemed more important to them than love and compassion.

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