4. By calling ourselves progressive, we mean that we are Christians who invite all people to participate in our community and worship life without insisting that they become like us in order to be acceptable (including but not limited to):
- believers and agnostics,
- conventional Christians and questioning skeptics
- women and men,
- those of all sexual orientations and gender identities,
- those of all races and cultures,
- those of all classes and abilities,
- those who hope for a better world and those who have lost hope…
I don’t really feel a huge need to write much more about this. These are some of the themes that have come up on pomomusings before. There are no outsiders. What exactly does that mean? I’m not entirely sure. But I do know that it’s time to live in a kingdom of God that is big. A wide-open kingdom. Perhaps a kin-dom. This was mentioned today in our Systematic Theology course, but it was also mentioned in the comments on one of the last posts by my friend Sibeal. She wrote:
Try rethinking Kingdom as kin-dom, to remove the idea of a hierarchy (go with Reign of Christ if you need a substitute for King of Kings). Substitute kin-dom during the Lord’s Prayer and it will make a difference in your thinking (along with debt/debtors). The idea being, of course, that Jesus came to bring us together has Brothers and Sisters in Christ — as a Family, not as a political structure… as a family that takes care of each other through good times, through hard times, in differences and agreement, etc.
We are called not to judge, but to embrace. We are called not to fight against, but to love. I’m trying to read through McLaren’s new book, The Last Word and the Word After That, in short segments right now (as I find time), and I’m interested to see what tertium quid McLaren finds between the two traditional answers of exclusivism and universalism. Like most good theologians, McLaren is interested in finding the tertium quid, the third way, that is not an either/or answer, but rather a both/and: an answer that lies on a different plane. The church needs to be a place where we are looking for the tertium quid on this issue….the Church needs to be a place where all of these people find a place, where they feel loved, safe, comfortable, challenged, embraced, transformed and where they experience true grace. Let us seek to be that Church.