Sunday, October 12, 2014

CREDO II: WHAT I BELIEVE...

I am a "progressive Christian." Of course, there are people who would maintain that my views reveal that I am not a Christian at all, but I would respectfully disagree with that opinion. Most of those are people from the evangelical or fundamentalist wing of Christendom, and I would challenge their definition of what it really means to be a "Christian."

At any rate, I'm not here to debate theology. I met in person today a couple of the people that I've only known heretofore as Facebook Friends, and several people in attendance at a wonderful event that I had the privilege and blessing of attending actually asked me to share my personal beliefs and faith. If I live to be normal, I won't understand why anyone would be interested in my ramblings, but apparently a few people are. So, as clearly as I can spell it out here and now (at almost midnight, when I really should be in bed sleeping instead of on Facebook), is what I believe:

I AM A CHRISTIAN, a follower of Jesus. As such, I insist that my personal faith is the religion OF Jesus Christ, not just the (more Pauline) religion ABOUT Jesus Christ. As a Christian, I believe that:

1. God, Whose three cardinal attributes are Personality, Love and Order, is the Creator of all other living beings;

2. The Christian Gospel, as lived and taught by Jesus Christ, is the two-sided Golden Coin, Divine Paternity/Human Divinity;

3. While I revere the life and teachings of Jesus as one of many ways to experience the Holy, the Sacredness of life, I draw my spiritual sustenance from diverse sources of spiritual wisdom; I value the Bible, but I prefer to rely on fresh individual guidance from the living God Who inspired the Bible rather than simply to follow what has been revealed through and recorded by others.

4.  The way I behave towards others is the surest expression of what I truly believe;

5.  There is divine grace in the search for understanding; there is at least as much value in challenging and questioning as there is in believing or knowing;

6.  A major part of my mission as a Christian is to strive for peace and justice among all people, and to protect and restore the integrity of our Earth; 

7.  As a Christian, I must be dedicated to life-long learning, compassion, selfless love, and fourfold self-development;

8.  It is incumbent upon me as a Christian to develop love, peace, and beauty in every area of my life.

9. The very orderly, rather formal manner of worship of Anglicanism reflects, for me, the beautiful Order of the universe, which I believe reflects the Order of the universe which was created, I believe, by the living, personal God of Love and Order.


I wonder why I should RECEIVE gifts for my birthday; all I did was be born. It seems to me to make more sense for me to GIVE gifts to my parents and other forebears for the life that they've given me, and to acknowledge the ideals they exemplified and taught me by supporting, in their names, the causes they found important. 

When it comes to the Christian "gospel" or "good news," I've long wondered why that involved my personal salvation (in the modern sense) above just about everything else. I mean, if I had the faith that would save me from eternal damnation, but a loved one --- my mother or child, for instance --- did not, I fail to understand why or how my spending a blissful eternity in heaven while my mom or kid was suffering eternally in some "hell" could possibly be "good" news. My word, that seems absolutely awful. Of course, I am very aware that the word "salvation" meant something completely different for First Century Christians from what it signifies for many modern Christians --- which is why I specified "in the modern sense" when I spoke dismissively above about the widely-held view of "salvation."

For me, the really GOOD news of Christianity was what Jesus Himself taught and demonstrated --- the two-sided Golden Coin, Divine Paternity/Human Divinity. That is such a deep subject that I'm not going to get into it here; all I will say is that I find that it addresses many of the spiritual issues and questions that I have. And, unlike many who claim to be faithful Christians, I look to Jesus --- much more so than to Paul --- for my spiritual inspiration.

I'm sure that those people who inquired into my religious or spiritual convictions are sorry that did so now! However, they did ask, and above is my off-the-top-of-my-head response.