Friday, October 21, 2005

In Response to Bob @ IAACT ~ Reconciliation?

In response to:
On Reconciliation
Filed under:
Progressive Christianity— Bob @ 6:21 am

found here: I am a Christian Too:

I read the article written by Dana Wilkie for which you provided a link and Danforth's speech, or at least her accounting of it, seemed very reasonable and realistic to me. You are claiming, I suppose, that she tweaked the report because she failed to record the rebuttal? It seems to me that she was giving an account of Danforth's speech, not the rebuttal(s) to it.

I took her accounting of it as a stark warning, which I think is not uncalled for, that Progressive Christians not engage in the same rhetoric which they resent among Conservative Christians. This has been my problem with what you have espoused from the beginning, you hate the perceived persecution of the Religious Right so you want, in part, to establish a Religious Left to do unto others as they have done to you? Sorry, that has smacked of hypocrisy to me from the outset and still does, if my honesty perturbs you and others then so be it.

You claim you want to reconcile by recognizing that the Religious Right and Left celebrate a common faith in Christ and yet you want to attack the Right's political and moral stances which are foundationally set on that very faith in the political arena under the banner of Progressive Christianity and counter their values and morality with your own values and morality as though your Christian values and morality are on a higher plane than theirs.

The way I see it is this: You don't agree with the political views of Conservative Christians so you accuse them of hijacking YOUR faith, of speaking for YOU, when all Conservative Christians are doing is speaking on behalf of their OWN convictions. YOU are bringing the battle to THEM by attacking them with such a charge. They have merely stood on THEIR principles. You should and can stand on your own principles and give voice to your own Christian convictions. By doing that it is unnecessary to attack Conservative Christians for doing the very thing you are now embracing. There will always be those on both the left and right who will attack the other's faith, they EACH make THEIR choices, YOU make yours, and I make mine. We are all individuals.

For years I have heard it coming to a head that the various Churches are either inclusive or exclusive. God's Word is inclusive and exclusive, is full of right and wrong, good deeds and sin. To love people is not the same as to accept and embrace the sin in their lives. Please, do me a favor, don't embrace the sin in MY life and tell me it's okay, that God loves everyone and accepts everyone just as they are, that is true, however, God is constantly working in our lives to prune away those things which He does not accept. I know that in MY life when I stray, when my focus gets off of God and onto what I want and I find myself making excuses for sin in my life, God has a way of bringing me back into line, either through circumstances in my life or a word or action by another in my life. Sometimes through his scripture, sometimes through a Pastor or a fellow believer. Danforth is exactly right, the Religious Right has valid and pertinent arguments, Progressive Christians also have valid and pertinent arguments. Both groups can play a role in the bettering of our society, if either side is reduced to a debate against the other about why one or the other's moral objectives are "better" and "holier" than the other side's values and moral objectives, then both sides lose.

We are all members of the Body of Christ? Each of us has a gift to use in order to glorify and serve God and the Church, but most importantly we must all be obedient to God. It may be Conservative Christians' calling to worry about societal questions surrounding the radical gay agenda and abortion, it may be Progressive Christians calling to bring poverty to the forefront, that may, indeed, be our respective roles. I feel all of those issues are of value and that the Christian voice should be heard as a part of those debates. As the cliche' goes, "you do your thing, I'll do mine," by each of us doing the thing for which God has called us, and not pointing fingers in each others' faces and fighting over the Christ that we all serve, we may be able to accomplish some awesome goals. This is an old, old argument you see, one which the Bible speaks to:

"For in fact the body is not one member but many. If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body," is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body," is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. And if they were all one member, where would the body be? But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you"; nor again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you." No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary, and those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another."------ 1 Corinthians 12:14-25

But, hey, if you'd rather fight?

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