What Progressive Christianity is

The Progressive Christianity group (http://progressivechristianity.org/) defines the term this way:

By calling ourselves progressive Christians, we mean we are Christians who…

1. Believe that following the path and teachings of Jesus can lead to an awareness and experience of the Sacred and the Oneness and Unity of all life;
2. Affirm that the teachings of Jesus provide but one of many ways to experience the Sacredness and Oneness of life, and that we can draw from diverse sources of wisdom in our spiritual journey;
3. Seek community that is inclusive of ALL people, including but not limited to:

Conventional Christians and questioning skeptics,
Believers and agnostics,
Women and men,
Those of all sexual orientations and gender identities,
Those of all classes and abilities;

4. Know that the way we behave towards one another is the fullest expression of what we believe;
5. Find grace in the search for understanding and believe there is more value in questioning than in absolutes;
6. Strive for peace and justice among all people;
7. Strive to protect and restore the integrity of our Earth;
8. Commit to a path of life-long learning, compassion, and selfless love.

While I agree with this definition, I define Progressive Christianity a little simpler. To me, Progressive Christianity is a set of beliefs, based on a non-literal interpretation of the bible. Our Pastor recently said something during one of her “Reflections” that strikes me as being a key to this understanding of Christianity. She said, “Christianity was never meant to be a religion.”

Jesus was not a Christian. Neither were his followers while he was alive. Nor were the 1st century Jews that strove to follow his teachings and began retelling the stories that eventually became the gospels in our bible. To them, what Jesus provided his followers was the vision of a way to live that would ensure their peace and the ability to create a legacy that would endure after they died. They called it simply “the Way.” Progressive Christianity attempts to strip away the layer upon layer of dogma, traditions, and practices that were added to Christ’s message over the centuries as Christianity became a powerful religion. It is an attempt to get back to the core of Jesus’ teachings.

The Progressive Christian