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
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).
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/
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 to see more of Roger’s blogs on The Holy Kiss