yes ProgressiveChristianity.org

Your support is helping expand Progressive Christianity. We are one of the largest sources for progressive theological perspectives, as well as our thousands of resources. It is hard to overstate their value – every time you donate it expands our ability to do all those essential offerings even better. DONATE NOW!

Easter Rising

Celtic Christianity, whose model was the beloved disciple whose head rested on Jesus’ breast during the Last Supper “listening for the heartbeat of God,” offered more equality between male and female leadership and less differentiation between clergy and laity, permitted married and unmarried clergy, innovated the use of soul friends/guides, believed redemption was possible through either sacraments or nature, recognized and valued the theophanies of the natural world, and recognized that everyone was a child of God, created in God’s image.

read more

The Adventures of a Gay Red-headed Boy in His Search for God

Like the black girl in search of God, this gay red-headed boy’s search has been convoluted and risky. … The gay red-headed boy, in his search for God, now encountered a gay pioneer, who was also, as it turns out, a Hindu scholar.

God is good—and full of surprises.

read more

Nightmare of the Presidency

It is an awesome task to be “the leader of the free world” or the leader of any nation. That’s why your vote and my vote count so much. We don’t want the presidency to be scarier than it already is.

read more

Crosses

When crosses were first devised out of the cruelty that human hearts have learned, who would’ve imagined that God could have transformed such a cruel machine into an icon of love between an older and a younger boy, and between a younger and an older man? Or that such a cause for suffering could create communion among all kinds of Christians?

read more

Spiritual Baggage

So let’s see what’s inside, quite literally unpacking our metaphor. First we find another bag hidden inside. This represents hidden spiritual baggage we carry with us even when we claim to be traveling light as progressive Christians. We may discover hidden dogma: hidden expectations, latent prejudices, unintended biases, beliefs that don’t play well with others.

read more

The Racial-Ethnic Oscar

In the controversy over the lack of black nominees for Oscars, one Academy member facetiously asked if we were now to have an ethnic category “for your consideration.” I doubt very much that the man who asked the question is racist; after all, he has a black adopted daughter and black grandchildren.

read more

iSpirituality

Just as the internet and its technology may be made personal, iSpirituality may awaken individuals to the worldwide spiritual internet, helping us see the connection of the personal to the universal, the individual to the international. And by “spiritual” I don’t mean other-worldly, non-physical, or immaterial, for the “i” in iSpirituality could stand for “incarnational” as well.

read more

The Terrible God

Regardless of religion, much of the world worships, believes in, or supposes a terrible deity. This “God” causes or permits death, destruction, disaster, droughts, disorders, disease, and damnation—and these are just the words that alliterate nicely. This “God” hates homosexuals, privileges males over females, has cursed certain races and religions and conditions, and does not tolerate differences.

read more

The Natural World Is Super Enough

Even if there are dimensions of reality as yet unrecognized by our limited perceptions, that doesn’t make them magical or supernatural, just unperceived. I for one am hoping against hope that death is but an entrance into another dimension of existence. If not, the life I’ve been given is miracle enough.

read more

The Child Who Calls Us to Evolve

Why do we care so deeply for the child born to Mary and Joseph in a Bethlehem cave and not the millions of other children born into a poverty of one kind or another? Is it because of who he became, or simply because we can only care for one person at a time?

read more

The Right Word

It’s true that words are not the answer to everything. Sometimes silence is healing. Sometimes silence lets you think. Sometimes just listening, either to a friend or to God or to your own heart is all that’s needed. But when the silence is deafening, when the silence is lonely, we need to hear a word. A word of hope. A word of encouragement. A word of love.

read more

Youthful Exceptionalism

We speak of American exceptionalism, a belief that we are special, uniquely able to bring peace and progress to the world. In this view, we are smarter than, better than, more prosperous than, more blessed than all the peoples of the world. These are sometimes experienced as gifts, but often, as entitlements.

read more

When Pastors Have Bad Dreams

Pastors have all kinds of bad dreams: expected to preach when not prepared, missing your sermon as you walk to the pulpit, finding yourself naked in the pulpit, looking out at the congregation at 11 a.m. Sunday morning and seeing no one there, etc.

read more

What I Love About the U.S.A.

As I look upon the faces and read the names of the 14 people murdered during a holiday party of colleagues serving the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health, I am reminded of why I love the United States of America.

read more

Squandering Eternity

We think of eternity as a thing of the future. “Where will you spend eternity?” billboards and bellicose Bible-thumpers ask. Much religion is based on this premise. “Squandering eternity” has come to mean giving up heaven, an everlasting future with God.

read more

We’ll Always Have Paris

I wept, as I often do watching the news. I wept for those who lost their lives and the wounded and their loved ones, I wept for Paris and for France and for our world. Like most Westerners, I was oblivious to a pair of terrorist bombings that killed more than 40 innocent children, women and men in Beirut the day before.

read more

Salvation from Fundamentalism to Universalism

  In thanksgiving for the life, ministry, and writings of body theologian James B. Nelson. For posts on this blog that reference his insights, click here and scroll down. The following is excerpted and adapted from a …

read more

Both Feet Firmly Planted in Midair

As the first Jesuit pope visited the United States, the first openly gay Jesuit priest went to heaven. As John McNeill passed through the pearly gates, Saint Peter asked, “Where’s your partner, Charlie?” “Oh,” John said, a little absent-mindedly, “He’ll be along. He just didn’t think he should leave the country while Pope Francis might stop by.”

read more

Spiritual Skinny-dipping

For those of us who are stripping ourselves of unnecessary religious constraints, baptizing ourselves in progressive Christianity, we approach in awe and terror a different God. Does God really love us unconditionally?

read more

When Your Religious Liberty Touches the End of My Nose

If there is one religious principle I would legislate, if there was one commandment I would like to see engraved over the entrance of every public building, it would be:
DO UNTO OTHERS WHAT YOU WOULD HAVE THEM DO UNTO YOU.

read more

The Lord’s Prayer–What It Means to Me

Heaven is both a destination and a present reality. Heaven is where human will and God’s will coincide. The prayer that Jesus taught has different meanings for each of us. These are some of mine:

read more

Black Lives Matter

Those who forgave the deadly, racist shooter in the Charleston church were as Christ to me. Their grace exposed the racism of those who held onto the confederate flag as a way of life. Their grace transformed parts of the country that seemed irredeemable.

read more

Spirituality is Not Optional

Recognizing and maintaining and building our spiritual infrastructure is necessary, not a superfluous “bonus” of life. At the conclusion of his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus described this spiritual infrastructure. He said that one who hears his teachings and does them will be like one who builds a house on rock as opposed to another who builds a house on sand. The first house remains standing in the storm and flood, but the second is swept away.

read more

Progressive Christian Reflections

Religious Liberty

In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision broadening the understanding of marriage, those who have fought same-gender marriage now express fears that they will be called upon to do things their consciences will not permit and are clamoring for “religious liberty.”

read more

Jeb vs. Francis

Just when I had concluded that Jeb Bush was the likely Republican nominee for president in 2016, he said something that dumbfounded me: “I hope I’m not going to get castigated for saying this by my priest back home, but I don’t get economic policy from my bishops or my cardinals or my pope. And I’d like to see what [the pope] says as it relates to climate change and how that connects to these broader, deeper issues before I pass judgment. But I think religion ought to be about making us better as people and less about things that end up getting in the political realm. ” (New York Times, June 17, 2015)

read more

Something Divinely Providential about Our Deaths

I think we got off on the wrong foot, believing that death came into the world because of sin. If there is something divinely providential about our lives, there must be something divinely providential about our deaths. In the language of the previous post, “The Universe in Your Soul,” the cosmos that begat life must have also begat death.

read more

How Did Jesus Let Go of His Cross?

I would have been angry. And exhausted. And resentful, bitter, unforgiving. And not just of those who tortured me verbally and physically, spitting in my face, nailing me to that cross, but all those who looked away, pretending it wasn’t happening or worse, that it wasn’t important, and fearful of a similar fate if they defended me.

read more

Into Your Hands I Commit My Spirit

Jesus’ Seven Last Words, sayings offered from the cross, may serve as guidance for the spiritual life. You have been invited to contemplate each saying during the seven Wednesdays of Lent and Holy Week. This is the final installment of the series.

read more

Our New Cathedral

What is the economic value, say, of Wells Cathedral? Or Notre Dame Cathedral? Or National Cathedral? They not only help us understand our humble place in the cosmos, but the grandness and abundance of that universe.

read more

I Had No Idea Your Blog Was Gay

One of my reasons for writing my blog is to share what I’ve learned and am learning spiritually with other progressive Christians. It’s not a “gay blog” (though there’d be nothing wrong with that!) but the blog of a progressive Christian.

read more

Spiritual Stretching

Progressive Christians like to stretch our minds. That means we can stay in our heads way too much. That’s preferable to not going there at all. As they say, many people are lost in thought because it’s such unfamiliar territory.

read more

Spiritual Community

Church is not for everyone. Even for those who like it, there are as many distractions as attractions to the spiritual life there. I thought of entitling this “spirituality for loners” because I want to suggest eight ways of experiencing spiritual community outside of church!

read more

Cuddling with Jesus

I do believe mainstream Christians have a problem with intimacy. I once heard seminary professor and author Carter Heyward describe their God as a “Gentleman God,” embarrassed by sexual passion, yet too polite and dispassionate to be rabidly anti-gay. And the changing position of the Beloved Disciple may have to do with a fear of homoerotic implications.

read more

Kidnapping Jesus

Progressive Christian Reflections

On several occasions I have persuaded George Lynch to tell his story about fellow students at the conservative evangelical Gordon-Conwell Seminary near Boston kidnapping the baby Jesus from the manger of the Christmas crèche, holding him hostage until the food in the dining hall was improved.

read more

Naked in Church

I have many “naked” dreams, easily explained because I sleep in the buff. That may be T.M.I., but it lessens attempts to over-psychologize these dreams, though much could be made of an introvert having such dreams! Of course, I have dreams about being naked in church as well. And it always seems normal and I am unashamed, but sometimes think perhaps I should be, because I am the only one in the nude.

read more

Reformation of the Heart: Seasonal Meditations by a Gay Christian

In these meditations for the church year, Chris Glaser continues his tradition of writing meaningful meditations for all Christians from the perspective of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community.

read more