I believe one of the Christian qualities we do not nurture as much as we should is humility. Humility the act of taking a modest view of your own importance is something that in this age we do not value.
We have leaders that brag about their greatness how they are “stable Geniuses” and lash out in anger and do not endure or bear criticism because of their righteousness . We have scholars that take great pleasure in belittling their students and we are told that self-esteem means to have pride and think highly of ourselves not just to have self-respect and confidence in one’s own worth or abilities. We are told by self-help books that if we covet the positions of greatness we will find a way to them.
But what does our faith teach us? Philippians 2:3-4 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
Guess what, God doesn’t care about your greatness. Why? Because even Jesus our role model washed the feet of his students (John 13:1-17) and accepted a punishment, he did not deserve. (Luke 23:41) The primary commandment of Christ was to love. (John 13:34) Love is not proud love is humble.
What does the Bible teach on pride and Love
1 Corinthians 13:1–8
13 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. 4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it his not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it jis not irritable or resentful;2 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.
Love is humble.
What I like about Progressive Christianity is people are free to question Christian theology and rarely will someone say YOU ARE WRONG, but they may disagree politely (as a Canadian I can appreciate that). However, often I noticed that the definition of Progressive Christianity is questioned, and often there are people that ask what is a Progressive Christian. This is my answer and I am happy if people disagree. As I see it, the definition of Progressive Christianity is very subjective. I suspect the main reason is that the term progressive makes it fluid. To progress is to change and thus the belief is hard to define, but there is nonetheless a coalescing of thought on what is a Progressive Christian. Most seem to be tolerant of an open interpretation but there are some that are not. There are those that would take a more hardline view are on both sides of the religious spectrum. Some see Progressive Christians as people of faith that accept the traditional biblical narrative but are open to the idea that the bible is somewhat metaphorical, thus evolution is fine but Jesus was still God and born of a virgin etc. When people question the concept of the trinity they throw around the label Non-Christian. On the other perspective there are people that think that Jesus never existed that the teachings are good but the name Christian is applied simply because it was associated with the fictional Christ. When confronted with persons claiming that at a minimum you must accept that Jesus existed they claim you are not truly a Progressive Christian you are just like all the other intolerant so called Christians. I am not going to dispute either extreme. Moreover, I find it annoying to a degree when those on either side insist with arrogant resolve that if you do not accept their definition you are NOT A PROGRESSIVE CHRISTIAN. Having heard this sort of argument from the more fundamentalist of our faith I do not like to see it amongst so-called Progressive Christians. Myself I fall into the middle and on some issues I am a traditionalist on others I am a dyed in the wool deconstructionist.
My concern is that both sides of the spectrum are guilty of ignoring the historical development of the movement we call Progressive Christianity in that it seeks to reform the faith using post-modernist thought and to reclaim the truth beyond the questionable history of the passages in the Bible by affirming the truths within the stories that may not have actually happened. On the traditional side of the debate the biggest problem is naivety, the belief that an historical document should only be deconstructed beyond what they call a point of rationality. As an history major, I can say with almost certainty that the Bible is not a true historical document there are anachronisms throughout it and whatever depth of deconstruction you want to apply is fine as long as you retain the main message. As for my interpretation, I am fine with such ideas as the divinity of Christ, not entirely because the Bible defines the history of his birth death and resurrection, but like Buddha he transcended the mortal world becoming enlightened to the true nature of existence. That said on the other side of the perspective I am not convinced of the magical virgin birth but find that it is not offensive like any other metaphorical story. I do not see my “salvation” as hinging on the belief in the magical birth of Christ but I do not condemn a person to ignorance because they accept the idea as I hope they will not do so to me . Although Traditionalists can claim that scientifically parthenogenesis (virgin birth) is possible they lose on the fact that scientifically parthenogenesis can only produce female offspring. I guess you could call me a Progressive Christian Rationalist. If it does not make rational sense, if it can by science be proven wrong it is wrong, but I refuse to accept, that because one element of the faith is wrong I should abandon it all. Following my initial definition of Progressive Christianity, I am seeking the truth beyond the narrative as the more literal churches see it. I believe the elements are all of value, but there is no sin in deconstructing the narrative and finding how it would fit in a modern rational perspective.
That is how I define Progressive Christianity
Meaning no ill to the historical Pharisees but Jerry Falwell Jr. is falling into the trap the Parisees did during the Roman period and subsequently the time of Jesus’ ministry. The Pharisees stood with the one group that was antithetical to Judaism, the Romans. Roman’s who’s greed for power would encompass the Jewish world. Supported by the common people the Pharisees opened Jerusalem’s gates to them. When the Roman’s under Pompey finally broke the entrance to the temple the Pharisees killed the priests who were officiating the Temple services and deemed the defilement of the temple as a punishment for Sadducean misrule. No disregard for the beliefs of the Pharisees but those they chose as their bedfellows were eventually their conquerors. As a rule whenever politics and religion become entwined things go bad. What can we say of the evangelicals of today are they not making bedfellows of those of monetary greed. Jesus taught us to love to be humble and not desire things for ourselves but for others. Matthew 6: 24 “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other, Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Who does Mr. Falwell serve? Saying, “Have you ever made a payroll? Have you ever built an organization of any type from scratch? What gives you authority to speak on any issue? … You’re nothing but an employee- a bureaucrat.” Falwell is staking his true lord, that being money or power not the will of God who calls on us to be subjects to God and Matthew 6:19-21 19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Keep in mind the treasure here is not money but the nearness to God and his perfection. I suspect Mr. Farwell’s heart is in his boardroom where he derives his “authority” but as for me and my house we will serve the lord as humble “employee(s) [and especially in my case] a bureaucrat”
We often think about oral history from the point of view of societies that rely on it entirely. The truth is all societies have an oral tradition to some degree, and it has an impact on us whether we recognize it or not. In our society Music is our oral history tradition. For example, although Music Halls were a type of popular British theatrical entertainment that only lasted from the early Victorian era until after the First World War, the songs and comedies from them remained in British urban society for generations after they closed. Sung and repeated over and over by generation after generation. The sad thing is, all too often oral history is sanitised by society. My Granddad used to sing tunes some of which originated from the bawdy tunes of the Music Hall days, mixed with tunes that he heard in church and the British military. (I know he was a very eclectic person) One I remember was about the onset of urban services (sanitary sewers). Out of curiosity I looked up the tune as I could not recall all of it. Sadly, the historical account of the tune did not match the one Granddad sang. So I thought it was possible that Granddad was embellishing the tune, something he did often. I asked an older British friend of mine if he recalled the tune and to my surprise Granddad’s version was exactly the same as his remembrance not the more politically correct version. That said I can only recall a portion of the song. I recall there was more in the song about the moaning and groaning of the rich residents but that is likely another verse I have forgotten.
They’re shifting Daddy’s Bones to build a sewer.
They’re shifting them regardless of expense.
They’re shifting his remains just to lay some sh–house drains
To satisfy the local residents.
Now Dad in all his life was never a quitter,
and I don’t think he will be a quitter now.
He’ll dress up in a sheet and he’ll haunt that sh–house seat,
And only let them in when he’ll allow.
Oh there’ll be some pains of constipation
(section I can’t recall)
They’ll get what they deserve because they had the Bloody nerve to desecrate a British workman’s grave.
Aren’t you glad you did not actually hear me sing that! LOL
You may have noticed I haven’t written anything in a while. I have been debating changing the whole focus of this Blog
But for the moment here is one more socio-political rant……..
All of you have heard the age old brag –
I may be poor but I would rather die than take welfare !
Here is my response – So what you’re too proud to use common sense and we are supposed to find that impressive.
Pride is a disease, a sin and a poor reason for letting your family do without. If you need welfare because you have hit hard times then take it or you deserve to do without. Being too proud to admit to being poor is vanity of the worst type. If you think that it is shameful to be poor you are prejudiced against the poor. Poverty happens even to those that work hard. If you are right and being poor is something to be ashamed of (NOT) then your poverty is your fault and not taking welfare is also your decision and thus your poverty is even more your fault.
My recommendation is if you are poor and need welfare TAKE IT and if you don’t IT’S YOUR OWN FAULT IF YOUR FAMILY DOES WITHOUT. If you have children that also have to do without due to you’re pride you should also consider how your pride is abusing them.
Go fill out the forms and get back some of the money you paid in taxes that’s what it is there for.
Went to an awesome concert….
I think most people have seen the Ask Jeeves websearch site.
Here is some Jeeves Trivia – Ask Jeeves has posted a list of the most unanswerable questions
1. What is the meaning of life?
2. Is there a God?
3. Do blondes have more fun?
4. What is the best diet?
5. Is there anybody out there?
6. Who is the most famous person in the world?
7. What is love?
8. What is the secret to happiness?
9. Did Tony Soprano die?
10. How long will I live?
BUT THEY FORGOT ONE !!! and the most unanswerable one !
11. Does this make me look fat