Some folks have wondered why we still choose to identify ourselves as “Christians”; while others question our focus on Jesus Christ. A few progressive readers have taken exception with the “authority” we take on The Lord’s Prayer. After all, no one knows for sure whether Jesus of Nazareth even existed, so who are we to say what Jesus “wanted” us to believe?
Good questions all. And we could write long scholarly replies to each one, but as you have come to notice, that is not our style. We expect that Living Hour visitors know that what they read here is simply our educated opinions–ones which we have arrived at after many years of serious reflection and joyful living. If we were to use phrases such as “I think” or “It seems to me” that would be unnecessary, not to mention an insult to our old English professors who wisely counseled, “Don’t tell me it’s your opinion. I already know it’s your opinion! Just say it.”
And say it we have. But why in such a way? Well, suffice to say we keep Jesus as our centrifugal point because we are Americans/Westerners, ones who have been raised within a Christian culture and are the products of a Christian history. To cut ourselves off from that would be like cutting off an appendage. It is ill advised. Rather than abandon Christianity, it is our duty to lift it up and reclaim the spirituality of Jesus from the gatekeepers of religion–in other words, the organized Protestant and Catholic Churches who refuse to evolve and meet the intellectual, emotional, and spiritual needs of their 21st century congregations.
The term “Progressive Christian” though does not necessarily identify someone who shares these evolutionary spiritual beliefs. So in the spirit of camaraderie, and building a community of like-minded individuals that share a common vision (and helping these people find each other), we offer the term SBNR Christian or SBNR Progressive Christian–which can serve as a descriptive for new blogs and websites.
We can expect great diversity in SBNRand among SBNR (Spiritual But Not Religious) Christians, but the core beliefs might be defined as follows:
1) A belief that Jesus was a prophet, and that his divinity is one in which we all share, as Sons and Daughters of God.
2) A belief that we should not abandon Christian traditions and iconography, but reinterpret, refashion, and reinvent them.
3) A belief that reason and faith walk hand in hand.
If you launch an SBNR Christianity website and would like us to link to you, please drop us an email at living (at) livinghour.org.
Lastly, for those who might say that being an SBNR Christian is a contradiction in terms, we point them towards the post: Praising Contradictions.
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