The Teen-Friendly Version of the Founding Document of My Hippie Pinko Christian Group

(This morning a member of the Facebook group I started, Thruway Christians, asked if I’d write a version of that group’s founding document for teens. [You can read the original document here.] I loved the idea—so here’s the teen version of that document.)

We’re Christians, for sure. But we think conservative Christianity is way too harsh, and liberal Christianity way too lame. So we’ve joined this thruway movement between them.

Here’s what we think:

  1. Jesus Christ was, and is, absolutely real. He performed miracles (duh: he was God); he sacrificed himself on the cross so that everyone could be forever reconciled with God; he rose from the dead; he left behind, for everyone, the Holy Spirit.
  2. Christianity is supposed to be all about living a life of love, compassion, fairness, peace, and humility. That’s it.
  3. The Bible isn’t just one thing. It’s a bunch of writings done by a ton of different people over about a zillion years. It’s poems, songs, history, allegories … the whole thing is just crazy dense. To really get whatever you’re reading in the Bible, you have to know something about whatever time and culture that part of it was written in. Also, the people who wrote the stuff that eventually made it into the Bible were just people. Through the Holy Spirit, God was definitely working through them as they wrote. But it only stands to reason that not every single word that made it into the Bible is exactly what God would have texted, or whatever. People who make the actual words of whatever translation of the Bible they’re looking at more important than the message of the Bible are totally missing the point.
  4. Church and state should be separate. Fair is fair.
  5. Paul rocks, no doubt. He’s the best. But it’s Christianity, not Paulianity.
  6. God’s not male or female. He’s both. He’s all. People who have to have God be a “he” need to let it go.
  7. The only way to think being gay is a sin is to never actually know any gay people.
  8. Where in “No one comes to the Father except through me,” does it say you have to be a Christian in order to get into heaven?
  9. If you’re worried too much about the afterlife, you’re not worried enough about this life. Living a life of love means not having to worry about hell.
  10. God wants to forgive and teach us, not judge and punish us.
  11. God can handle converting people. Our job is to love people.
  12. Divorce completely sucks. But the idea that God wants anyone to continue suffering in a hopeless, damaging marriage is ridiculous.
  13. God doesn’t want women “submitting” to anyone.
  14. Evolution being true doesn’t mean there’s no God. The two aren’t incompatible.
  15. What really matters most about a person isn’t how they define God. It’s how well they treat others.

About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. Don't forget to sign up for his mucho-awesome newsletter.

  • Ashley Prince

    This is very well said. Particularly 11. Converting people all the time never gets the true message of Christianity out, which as you stated in 2, that it is “love, compassion, fairness, peace, and humility.”

  • http://wilkinsonweb.com Dan Wilkinson

    “as a means of providing for the irrevocable reconciliation of humankind to God he sacrificed himself on the cross” became “he sacrificed himself on the cross so everyone could get to heaven.”

    This seems to me to be a change in the wrong direction by putting emphasis on the idea of getting into heaven (contra #9), whereas the original wording emphasized the ultimate reconciliation that Jesus’ death and resurrection provides. I think there’s a big difference between recognizing God’s love and plan for humankind (as the original wording does), and merely looking at the crucifixion as a means to heaven (as the new wording seems to do).

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, that’s a good point. I gotta run out just now, but’ll be working in a coffee shop in an hour. I’ll think about how to better finesse that. Any ideas (anyone)?

      • Anonymous

        Changed! Thanks!

  • Dgilbert53

    This is so good. I yhink we are losing more young people than we have to. Alot of them get it better than WE do…

  • Brighid Rose

    Nice!! This should be passed around in every Christian church. Well done!

  • vj

    At last, a label I can commit to – ‘Hippie Pinko Christian’! I’ve always described myself as socially conservative, politically liberal (yes, I know that’s a bit schizoid, but that’s just the way I am), but Hippie Pinko Christian sounds so much cooler… Thanks, John! ;-)

  • http://www.lovecominghome.com christina britt lewis

    what i love most about this is that my kids will know there are others. their mom and dad and circle of “hippie pinko not so sure about the word “christian” but definitely follow the teachings of christ friends”…are not the only ones in the universe. so thank you, my dear john.


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