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Adventists for Progress
116 followers -
An Adventism for Progressive Change
An Adventism for Progressive Change

116 followers
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The Green the Church Campaign embodies the best traditions of prophetic, progressive religion that speaks to the great challenges facing humanity, such as the environmental crisis of our age
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From the latest article at the website, +Adventists for Progress, on the way forward for the #RIPGC  movement:

"For far too long, some of us critics of institutional Adventism have defined our Adventist creed in a fashion, with the practical effect, of what we oppose—in regard to the official positions of the General Conference—rather than what we affirmatively embrace that defines our Adventist faith that makes it altogether irrelevant of what contemporary organized Adventism does or does not do. In other words, we define our Adventist credo ourselves that’s not shaped by what the Church’s official positions are or are not in any given moment; we must take ownership of our faith.

And, as such, instead of looking to institutional Adventism (via the General Conference) to be the change agent that we wish it to be—or to be disappointed by it for when it fails to be so—we should take heed (and inspiration) in the famous words from several years ago by then-Senator Obama (italics added):'We are the change we have been waiting for.'"
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From the latest article at the website, +Adventists for Progress, on the way forward for the Adventist Left in light of the recent General Conference vote against ordination equality and what can progressive Adventists learn from the American Right on how to revitalize itself to become an effective force within the Church:

"Despite numerous setbacks for progressive Adventism, and the understandable despair and cynicism that engulf much of the Adventist Left community, liberal Adventists should not lose sight that on some issues, like ordination equality, there has been a growing, noticeable shift, in some conferences, toward the values embraced by progressive Adventism.

Now, granted, it has taken much time for a critical mass to build up a momentum for change on some issues of concerns for progressive Adventism. However, like the debate on ordination equality, change and reform, within the Church, will ultimately march forward in the steady drumbeat of progress. Although the General Conference voted against ordination equality, the fact that 41% of the total votes casted on the issue of ordination equality were in favor of ministerial gender equality, such affirmation is a healthy—and promising—indication that the tide of change cannot be reversed despite the efforts to contain it by some conservative elements within the Church. Like most changes in history, the march forward toward progress, despite suffering setbacks, can neither be fully contained nor defeated.

Going forward, it’s going to require the patience of progressive Adventists to take a long view approach toward progress if they hope to see that their Church is reformed from within and becomes the vehicle for progressive change. Surely, the historical laws of progress dictate that positive change, however challenged by the forces of retrenchment, will nonetheless ultimately succeed.

As such, the 'moment' of change will surely arrive—the only question will be this: Will progressive Adventists meet the moment or will they be incapable, regrettably, of meeting it? Now, the precise answer to that question depends, in part, on whether progressive Adventists will mobilize to build movement, leadership, and infrastructure capacity, as outlined in this article, that pushes the Adventist Left from the institutional margins to prominence."

#MyChurchToo #Adventism #SDA #Adventism   #ProgressiveAdventism  
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From the latest article at the website, +Adventists for Progress, on the paradoxical dynamic of American religious life:

From the latest article at the website, Adventists for Progress, on the paradoxical dynamic of American religious life:

"One of the paradoxes of American religious life is how the U.S., on one hand, comes out of the  Enlightenment’s classical liberal heritage of religious disestablishment from the state, while, on the other hand, compared to other pluralist liberal democracies, like Europe and Canada, its denizens engage in religious participation at comparatively higher rates than their liberal democratic counterparts. Why is this so?

Now, the sort of explanations one gets after posing the aforementioned question usually—but not exclusively—involve variations of either the following arguments: (1) one of the reasons for the comparatively high rates of religious engagement among Americans, as compared to (for example) Western Europeans, has to do, as some argue, with the supposedly 'backward' cultural-intellectual life of America in comparison to other modern liberal democracies, or (2) since the U.S., as argued by others, adheres more strongly to a Judeo-Christian heritage, compared to other liberal democracies, it has been relatively more resilient against certain secular influences that diminish engagement in religious life.

These sort of facile arguments—which are problematic from the standpoint of both historical scholarship and from findings of the social sciences, as well as being, at least in regard to the first argument, condescending in its tenor (to put it more mildly)—fail to offer persuasive explanations to America’s religious paradox. For example, in the U.K., British parliamentary democracy still recognizes an established religion (i.e., the Anglican Church) and the state, there, funds so-called 'faith schools.' Yet, based on several studies (here, here, here, and here based upon certain data encompassing specific years between 2001 to 2012), the rates of religious affiliation and participation are decidedly lower in the British Isles than in some democracies without an established religion. Whereas, in the United States, such rates are higher, despite America’s historical heritage (unlike in Great Britain) of separating church and state that fosters both privatized religious activities and, to borrow the words from Princeton scholar Paul Starr, a 'fully deregulated and unsubsidized religious economy.'

At the end of the day, the question is, again, what gives? Specifically, how does one explain this American paradox where religious engagement is higher in the U.S., despite having a long, historical heritage of separating church and state in its polity in stark contrast to other countries, like the U.K., Netherlands, and Australia, where establishment religion and/or direct non-preferential state support for religious entities exist?"

  #Religion
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From the latest article at the website, +Adventists for Progress, on the questions left unanswered in President +Barack Obama's Syria speech and the Christian doctrine of Just War:

"The public debate over the Obama administration’s posture toward Syria, in light of recent events of the last three weeks or so, has been one of profound substantive division where each side—pro-intervention vs. anti-intervention—has articulated compelling arguments for their respective positions. As with the public at large, Christians are as passionately divided over the 'Syria question' as well, with some representing the Christian pacifist stance, while others embrace the Just War doctrine of Augustinian–Thomist thought. (And then there are some Christians who articulate a distinct alternative, known as the “Responsibility to Protect” doctrine, that informs their stance on the Syria issue.)

Now, regardless of what position Christians embrace that informs their particular position—for or against military airstrikes in Syria—there was one glaring aspect of President Obama’s Tuesday evening address that should concern everyone, Christians or not. Specifically, during the nearly 16 minute speech, President Obama failed to address one glaring issue: If the U.S military does engage in targeted airstrikes against key military installations of the Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad, can the White House assure the American public that such action will not lead to an operational equivalent of 'blowback' that inflicts even more suffering upon the Syrian people and, as equally bad, widens the conflict necessitating the expanded use of America’s military assets, including putting boots on the ground, that place our precious men and women, in uniform, in direct harms way?

For non-pacifist Seventh-day Adventist Christians who embrace the Just War doctrine (and not, as one would reasonably expect, Adventism’s honorable, historical tradition of pacifism), they should oppose military intervention by U.S. forces to insert themselves in the bloody Syrian civil war—as tragic as it is on so many human levels—on the basis that it fails one significant component of the Augustinian-Thomist doctrine circumscribing the use of armed force. The component is the key principle that states that there must be a reasonable chance of success in achieving the clearly articulated goals of the military operation. On this front, the reasonable risk of blowback—with all of its untenable, dire consequences (both on the military operational side as well as on the geopolitical state of play in the region)—far outweighs any purported benefits in giving the green light to airstrikes against the Assad regime in Syria."

#Syria #BarackObama #JustWarDoctrine #Assad
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UPDATE: Adventists for Progress proudly announces that it will be a partner with +John Shore and  NALT Christians Project in furthering their goal of supporting the #LGBTQ community and their allies in the faith community.
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From the latest article at the website, +Adventists for Progress, on a simple Christianity of Christ-like love and inclusion toward our LGBTQ brother and sisters:

"As predictable as the stars and the moon glistening atop mountains on a cloudless midnight in the California Sierras, there is something that every enlightened, compassionate, loving, and inclusive Christian dreads with much cringe-worthy lament: having to listen to a smattering of some of their coreligionists at church spout hateful language that damns their LGBTQ brothers and sisters to Hell based on uninformed readings of the Holy Bible to rationalize, for some, their own unreconstructed bigotry that has no biblical basis whatsoever under the most demanding exegetical scrutiny of contemporary scriptural scholarship.

Usually, when this most unfortunate situation arises, far too many progressive Christians usually mutter—either silently in their heads or in barely audible faint whispers—the following: 'Well, Christians are not all like that.' Sadly, whether it’s because of the uncomfortable nature of the circumstance or the reverential atmosphere of the church, far too many progressive and inclusive-minded Christians lack the spiritual nerve and moral courage to walk up to the offending individuals and directly call them out for uttering bigoted anti-LGBTQ statements that (1) have no place in any house of worship that purports to follow the expansive love of Christ, and (2) would be deemed unequivocally hateful by any reasonable measure by Christians if the exact intemperate tone of such rhetoric targeted communities of color or other ethnic minorities instead of the LGBTQ community.

Feeling quite frustrated, for some time now, with this most dismal state of affairs existing in the faith community (especially within my faith tradition: Seventh-day Adventism), I was—as one would imagine—pleasantly surprised last night, however, when my eyes came across an illuminating piece penned by Gabriel Arana (a senior editor at the journalistic flagship of erudite liberal commentary, The American Prospect) playfully entitled, 'Christianity: Not Just for Haters Anymore.'

In Arana’s article (a piece I highly suggest that every person of faith should read—particularly among those who care about LGBTQ equality), he chronicles a most enterprising Christian from the pleasurably warm clime of San Diego, John Shore (founder of Unfundamentalist Christians), who sought to fix the problem of a significant number of Christians lacking the courage to confront anti-LGBTQ bigotry (manifesting within their own faith communities) by co-founding The NALT Christians Project. ('NALT' stands for 'not all like that.')"

 #LGBT #ProgressiveChristianity  #TheNALTChristiansProject
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