“I’m no longer a Protestant. Sort of.”

“I’m no longer a Protestant. Sort of.” September 8, 2015

Ancient-Future
The following is a blog written by a first time guest contributor to The Holy Kiss. Part of my advocating for progressive Christianity is seeking to amplify the voice of young progressive Christians. Simone Ramacci is a young Italian Christian who is currently studying at a university in England. I hope you find his ponderings as insightful as I do. – Roger

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Today I did something I never expected I would: I went into a church and asked for a priest to take my confession. I spoke to him, and it really helped.

Even though I grew up in a Catholic country, from the moment I started looking into Christianity I was never attracted by Roman Catholicism. I wasn’t an ally back then, or even particularly feminist, but it just didn’t feel right. I started out by reading Augustine, then moved to Luther, Calvin, Zwingli and Karl Barth. It was with a wee bit of pride, I admit it, that I debated my conservative Catholic classmate as a newly started Liberal Protestant.

But today, I cannot call myself a Protestant any more. The thing is, I am still not Catholic either.

Protestantism has done some great things for me: it showed me a way of doing worship which was closer to what I expected early church would be like, it shielded me from a do ut des religious mentality when I was still exploring, and in fact it was because of my very Protestant readings that I became an ally and started caring about women’s right and contraception (odd, isn’t it?).

Protestantism has also failed me, when I could not be traditionally Trinitarian, or accept a too strict understanding of sola fide, my ministers and my church were there and were welcoming, but Protestantism was not. It was hinted to me that I was “unorthodox” (i.e. a heretic) and that I might be doing too much theology for my own good, all by fellow Protestants (albeit not from my own church).

Protestantism has failed itself, in most of its own manifestations, it has forgotten its raison d’être was to reform and return to a more authentic life of faith; it just stopped at Constantine and did not dare going further back; it became dependent on its own tradition.

Today I am a liberal or progressive Christian, and I am still quite happy to call myself Reformed, just not in the strictly Protestant sense. I am part of a Reformed church, it is true, but I aim to be always reforming in my theological musings, and I dream of a church with a first century theology for the twenty-first century, one which follows Jesus rather than making him into a dogma.

Today I am a progressive Christian of a Reformed tradition, but above all I aim to follow the Way towards God, acknowledging that my theology should be semper reformanda.

Simone Ramacci is a science student at the University of Essex in the UK, a theology geek, and the founder of a Progressive Christian university group focused on radical inclusiveness and social justice. Link to the English version of his blog: http://www.simosito.it/en/
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xx – Roger

 

Rev. Roger Wolsey is an ordained United Methodist pastor who directs the Wesley Foundation at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and is author of Kissing Fish: christianity for people who don’t like christianity

Click here for the Kissing Fish Facebook page

Click here to see more of Roger’s blogs on The Holy Kiss

 

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