My name is Landon, and I am a Progressive Christian.
- I believe the Grace and Peace of God in Christ is free, and was given to me to set me free in all things (ie – physically, spiritually, emotionally, relationally, materially, politically, intellectually, etc.). I should freely give what I have freely received.
- I believe that everyone should be able to come into relationship with Jesus Christ without having to understand his work and person exactly as I do.
- I believe that the Gospel will mean different things in different places. Incarnation = Contextualization.
- I believe that my understanding of Christ, while valid and transformative, is limited. I do not posses the original, sole, or correct understand of the work and person of Jesus Christ.
- I believe that no person or group should be implicitly or explicitly excluded from the Body of Christ.
- I believe that I should pray for and support all endeavors which seek to set others free.
- I believe that I am called to help set people free without requiring they enter a relationship with Christ.
- I believe that the truth of the Gospel cannot be restricted to a particular theology.
- I believe that while God has called me into relationship through Christ, others may be called into relationship in other ways.
- I believe that the benefit of the Gospel cannot be restricted to a particular group of people.
*Adapted from Open Source Church, Chapter 1
Landon, can you say more about what it means to “be set free” and to set others free? I think I understand but just want it to be said clearly as it appears to be a central part of this doctrine.
I’m taking that central idea from Luke 4, when Jesus quotes Isaiah, saying that his purpose is to set people free and make them whole. Again in John 10, Jesus says that his purpose is to bring the “abundant life.”
The context into which Jesus uttered these words was as a poor Jew, living as a part of an occupied people (At any one time in the Bible, the people were under the thumb of one of six other nations). Being “set free” was simply part and parcel of the world in which he lived.
It does feel very progressive (in the most wishy-washy sense of the word) that each of these “commandments” begins with the limiting, personalizing, contextualizing words “I believe,” rather than the strong, declarative words, “You shall.”
If there were dirt here, I’d be like Tommy LaSorda and kick it on you.
Ah, friends – keeping us humble.
This, my friends, is what happens when we ignore the Bible and make it say what we want it to say. This is a perfect example of the progressive movement (progressive sounds more sophisticated than liberal which is what it is) in the political realm, you take everything that is true and you twist it and make it say what you want it to say, like for instance the 1st amendment, “progressives” say it means you can’t put a nativity scene on a court lawn or you can’t say a pray at a school graduation, etc. They never explain how the founders who actually wrote the 1st amendment would allow all those scriptures to be inscribed on the government buildings or the 10 commandments or a PRAYER to open the house and senate AND the SUPREME COURT. No no the “progressives” know better than the people who WROTE the 1st amendment.
And it is the same with “christian” progressives who can take what is in the holy Bible and twist and turn it to make themselves more comfortable and more “open” to more “diverse” things. I am warning you friends, Landon is the perfect example of where we are headed with our young if we don’t train our kids to follow what the Bible teaches instead of what we want it to say.
I think that instead of the Ten Commandments inscribed on courthouse walls, the Beatitudes would be a more accurate expression of a “Christian nation”. Don’t you think? After all, Jesus did say he came to fulfill the law, and gave us two commandments to follow above all else, love God with everything we have, and love each other. Christianity in all its aspects and denominations has something beautiful to offer to the whole Church. We are one Body in Christ, and while there are some who think it necessary to silence or even amputate a part of that Body, it’s the whole that keeps us functioning. Christianity should have never been a religion. Instead it should be a way of life. I think that’s where we messed up. As a religion we are a failure. As a way of life we can be more than successful. We can actually bring Heaven to earth the way Jesus taught us. Instead of arguing over dogma and who’s wrong and who’s right, we need to find ways to usher in that kingdom.
You sir. Need to stop judging this man. That is for God to decide. Landon I agree with you a lot.
If Landon is the perfect example of where we are headed with our young then I say “full speed ahead!”
Maybe we can get back to the good old days when women were property and we stoned children for acting out. Ah, the good old days. You damned liberals are taking my nation and my Jesus from me!
The good news according to Landon is no news at all and cannot save a flea.
This fluffy lint-for-theology is what remains when nothing truly true is believed anymore.
Tragic. Wanting. Hollow.
“I believe that the Gospel will mean different things in different places. Incarnation = Contextualization.” Clear enough. Except I don’t believe for one moment Jesus will agree with this. The Lord said a lot of things like, “For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” Its in the book.
It is true that many of us (myself included) have put limits on the gospel, or at least tried. But basically what you are saying is that the gospel means, well, anything; which really means that the gospel means, well, nothing. I know of too many people to whom the Gospel has meant *everything* – myself included, to buy into this.
I think what you have described is clearly what you believe (or don’t believe). But it’s not necessary Christian. I know its sounds cool to say we now do ‘open source’ theology. But what you are doing is nothing new. Really.
I pray you find the day when the truth of Jesus Christ rocks and lights your world. And may God bless you on all days!
P.S. I’d consider having dirt kicked on me by Tommy Lasorda a privilege!
So let me get this straight….it’s only good news if we exclude people from the table. It’s only good news if there are those labeled as “condemned” and others as “saved”. It’s only good news if it actually binds people and burdens them instead of freeing them. It’s only good news if our kids grow up indoctrinated. Talk about tragic, wanting and hollow….