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Does it matter if you call yourself a Christian or not? Aren't your actions what are important, rather than your labels?

#6 and #7 give me the most trouble. If Jesus has no more insight than me, then why does his message challenge me to become more than I am?

Jesus had an insight into God that has been inspiring people for centuries. Jesus might not have any more power or religious creedance than Buddha for a Buddhist, but Jesus has been the way to God for me.

The thing that has made it most difficult for me to call myself a Christians is that orthodox Christianity believes that God wouldn't be able to forgive us without Jesus. That is a limitation I am unwilling to put on God.

The pertinent question is, what remains that is life changing after all that ice has cracked? What will inspire people to root out distructive patterns in their life and to participate in sacrificial love if we throw the baby out with the bathwater?

How do we communicate what is still valuable if we throw out the above?

Hi everyone,
Thanks for the responses. I think it only fair that I should say where I come from on this issue. For me the ice would have broken, well, let us say severely cracked, at point four. For me, and this is purely a personal thing of course, a bodily recurrection of Christ is essential for my Christian faith. As progressive as I am, I need that. But the ice would have truly broken, like the above post, in the final points. For me, my faith in Christ is not based upon his central message (as powerful as this is and as representative of Christ as this is) and his mystical contemplative link with the divine or god-consciousness, as a book I am reading at the moment puts it. This same book states that Jesus should be considered to be someone worthy of worship, but not any more worthy than say Buddha or the Vedic sages. I have a problem with this not because I disrespect the above faiths. On the contrary, I have a problem with this because I respect them too much! In all honesty, if all I wished to achieve in my faith (of course, this is no small thing) is an enlightened connection to a god-consciousness that is maybe/maybe not centred within human cognisance and not beyond it, I would, quite frankly, become a Buddhist. They go about this process and I think achieve this in a far more beautiful and less contrary way than Christianity often does. The reason I am NOT a Buddhist, and remain a Christian, alebit a progressive one (!), is that I truly believe that the figure of Yeshua, of Jesus, WAS extraordinary, beyond anything before or after, who conquered death, taught us how to live and die, and was a direct link to the Divine. And when Paul (and let's face it, there is a lot to be mad at Paul about but...)says that if you don't believe Christ rose again you may as well forget it (paraphrasing), I tend to agree. I am open, however, to Borg's stance, that one can suspend one's judgment on whether the Resurrection happened and still be a Christian. I see a lot of sense in that. But to reject the notion, as beautiful as Bishop Spong's idea of a spiritual resurrection is, that is pretty much, for me, where the ice would break. Having said all of that, I should say that when I speak of being a 'Christian' I am speaking of being an adherent of Christ, and not necessarily an adherent of the doctrine and dogma of the Christian Church! Again, would love to hear any responses and the point at which the ice would break for you, if at all.

Adrian,
I am finding there are a lot more people on www.tcpc.org message boards. Right now we're holding a discussion on "can we rebuild after deconstruction?" and also a book discussion on "Common Sense Christianity" that address many of the same issues you have brought up above. Are you willing to join in there?

Janet

Hi Janet,
Will definitely check it out.
Adrian

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