Thursday, March 08, 2012

We Need Liberal Christian Pastors

I'm reading through the Archdruid Report today, and I get to the part where he talks about the three theological based political perspectives of the 18th century, conservative, liberal, and eschaton immanentizers. The liberals taught at the time that society was getting closer to God's Kingdom.

I'm thinking of how the conservative right is basically 18th century conservatism at this point, in several pockets around the United States. I went to a Charismatic Puritan church for a while in my fundy days.

Society is ripe for 18th century values. What we need are 18th century liberal values to be taught from the pulpits of the churches, doctrine that the transformation of society towards an image of the Kingdom of God is the thing Christians ought to be doing. There's plenty of scripture to support it. Christians love to be challenged to do godly things, challenge a church to donate time and materials for a women's shelter, and they try to outdo one another in sacrificing whatever they can, if you put it to them in the right way.

Someone needs to balance the rhetoric that's hitting the ears of the evangelical world, give them an option to hear the Word of God taught from a nicer perspective. Mix in some Ecstatic Eastern Mysticism couched in language from the New Testament and belly dancing in the name of the Lord (call it Jesus-oom ba or whatever), and you'll make a mint, too.

Something like Archangel Foster's Church of the New Revelation would be great.

[Edit: Jason writes that there are indeed liberal pastors! Halleluiah!]


  1. I think I would have been one such, myself, once upon a time. I went to seminary, was of a mind to become an Episcopal priest, and preach a liberal gospel.

    The anti-gay, anti-women-priest faction of the church was really strong among the student body, though; and the faculty was, while liberal, not very good at challenging or changing those attitudes.

    I got turned off. And eventually I saw the liberal values I wanted to uphold in the church, far more frequently being espoused by atheists and pagans.

    I tried. Really. But at this point I'm really more of a fence-sitting Christopagan than anything else; and I prefer the company of pagans and druids to most of the dedicated Christians I meet.

  2. I'm in with Andrew - every Christian church in my experience, even the most liberal hippy trippy MCCs and Calvary Chapels, who go and Do The Work has had very vocal minorities who demand holiness rules shout down most good ideas in Doing The Work in favor of forcibly thumping their righteousness down peoples' throats as a way of building themselves up by tearing everything else down.

    I'm not saying that pagans are any better - far from it: crab bucket is crab bucket no matter where you go. The scriptural basis for both positions is what makes it so ironic, so poignant for me...

  3. I'm in the Center, politically. I want more liberal pastors to get more vocal to counterbalance the far right influences on the main stream. I'm tired of getting pushed further and further left because the right is going crazier and crazier while the left just sits there thinking people are too smart to fall for it.

    People aren't too smart to fall for religious fundamentalism, especially when the economy sucks. When the fat and happy get poor and hungry, they turn to God, and God-peddling control freaks are more than happy to fleece them for whatever they've got left.

  4. When I was a young person and being a Roman Catholic, I thought of becoming a priest, perhaps a Jesuit (even an exorcist!), or a Cistercian monk living in silence on a distant mountain.

    The trouble was, though my theology was liberation theology in parts mixed with early medieval visual and musical symbolic culture,...and the Church's visual culture (guitars and hippies, while I was a cassock and Gregorian chant type). Plus I kinda hoped to have kids (I didn't), and the niceties like the problem that I didn't believe that all nonChristians (nonCatholic heretics even!) were going to hell. That's not how I saw Jesus or His Father. And that little problem I had , that not only humans had souls, but so did animals, rocks, trees, springs, mountains.. Canticle of the Sun and all that.

    But the social justice part of the Catholic tradition, I really believed, and still do, in that. Mother Theresa, Saint Francis, Archbishop Romero. And I saw no point in denigrating others' beliefs or forcing mine on them. Judge not, and the best sermon is the one without words. I knew I'd be a washout, so I never tried.

    I don't have a label that really fits. I'm too pagan for Catholics and too Catholic for pagans. I am betwixt and between. As for other kinds of Christians, I like the Orthodox and Copts and Celtic old school stripes, but anything else just isn't hardcore enough for me. Our Lady is someone very important to me, even in my most heretical and apostatic cycles.

    In any case, I'm with the Doobie Brothers: "Jesus is just all right with me..."

  5. (sprays monitor with coffee)

    "JESUS-OOM BA"? Bwahahahah!!!

    (tries to work out what the "Turning-Over-The-Moneylenders'-Table-Asana" would look like)

    I take it the UU's aren't quite...satisfying to most of the respondents here and/or R.O.? It seems to me they'd be liberal enough, but being a Wiccan, I don't exactly have an informed opinion on this particular topic.


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