We ended up launching this Unfundamentalist Christians group blog before we had ready our Official Introductory post. Lame, we know. But once we were all dressed up and everything, we figured that we’d crash the party first, and then make with the greetings. It’s been our experience that that’s really the best way for us to reduce our chances of getting summarily booted from wherever we’ve shown up.
Hi! We’re the Unfundamentalist Christians! Nice to meet you! Thanks for having us, Patheos! We’ll totally try not to break anything.
What’s that? How did we come about? Why, how ravishingly kind of you to ask. Well, UC was founded by super-famous author and blogger John Shore. As John wrote in this post on his blog:
To my mind, the Christianity on the left was too tenuous, while the one on the right was too … rabid. I didn’t want a Christ who was essentially an inspired social worker who got jumped by the authorities, and I sure didn’t want the one who had been twisted into serving the craven needs of bigoted, power-crazed, fear-mongering misogynist homophobes.
He was, as he put it, a Christian without a Christianity.
So then John wrote the UC tenets below. Then UC became a FB page that you should go like right now. Then that page was liked by (as of this writing) 14,460 people. Then John and the folks who admin that page decided to start a group blog. Then Patheos was kind enough to offer to host that blog. And, well, now here we are, holding forth in our own little corner of the party.
All right! Great chat! See ya’ next time around! Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to try the crab-cakes!
Here’s the gist of why we exist:
Generally speaking (because do any two people anywhere believe the exact same things?) we here at UC hold that:
- Jesus Christ was God incarnate. He performed miracles; as a means of providing for the irrevocable reconciliation of humankind to God he sacrificed himself on the cross; he rose from the dead; he left behind for the benefit of all people the totality of himself in the form of the indwelling Holy Spirit.
- Following the word of God means taking into account the entirety of God’s words. The Bible itself tells us that it consists of songs, visions, histories, dreams, parables, commandments. It instructs Christians that New Testament moral directives supersede Old Testament moral directives. It asserts that moral principles supersede moral “rules.” The relevant context of any Bible passage is as integral to its meaning as the passage itself. It may be appropriate to give equal weight to each clause within a business contract or a game rulebook. But the Bible itself tells us that the Bible is not a uniform document, with each passage spelling out something clear and specific, and all passages having equal value. The Bible is not a rulebook for being Christian. Isolating a Bible passage from its context, and then claiming a sort of moral helplessness about that passage because “it’s in the Bible,” is failing to take the Bible either literally or seriously.
- Christianity is supposed to be all about nothing more (and nothing less!) than living a life of love, compassion, fairness, peace, and humility.
- The Biblical scholarship supporting the idea that Paul never wrote a word condemning natural homosexuality is more credible and persuasive than is the scholarship claiming that he did. Moreover, we remain mystified as to how any follower of Jesus could choose damning an entire population over obeying Jesus’ Great Commandment to love God and one’s neighbor as oneself.
- God does not want any woman “submitting” to any person.
- Using masculine pronouns to refer to God is strictly a matter of convention, a profoundly unfortunate necessity of the English language, which to date offers no satisfactory alternative. But God is neither male or female. God is both. God is all.
- The belief that throughout history God chose to introduce himself in different ways into different culture streams is more reasonable, respectful, and compassionate than is the conviction that there is only one correct way to understand and worship God.
- There is no support in the Bible for the morally repugnant idea that hell is an actual place to which God sentences people to spend eternity in mortal agony.
- God’s will and intention is to forgive and teach us, not to judge and punish us.
- Anyone desiring to mix Church and State has failed to understand the nature and proper role of either.
- God can handle converting people. Our job is to love people.
- An all-powerful God and the theory of evolution are not incompatible.
- Getting a divorce is painful, and if at all possible should certainly be avoided. But in and of itself divorce is not immoral.
- The single most telling indicator of a person’s moral character has nothing to do with how they define or worship God, and everything to do with how they treat others.