Progressive Faith Sermons - Dr. Roger Ray

Progressives often seem to feel a kind of compassion fatigue from being asked to be concerned about so many different issues of injustice. Perhaps the issue is that we give ourselves permission to give up because we get tired, or bored, or we allow indifference to get the best of us. Perhaps the spiritual prescription for the church is that they should choose to love more.

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Early 20th century theologians as well as many poets, journalists, essayists, and philosophers were urging the public to embrace a progressive approach to faith that was concerned with behavior more than beliefs, that was rooted in ethics and not in magical thinking. Maybe it was WWII, or maybe it was the advent of evangelists on TV and radio, but Americans did not embrace their sages at the time. We can hope that a more rational approach to faith is being born in 21st century America.

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Accepting that the world has a beginning and an end leads to a dismissive view of poverty, pollution, warfare, and social classes. While everyone certainly has a right to their personal beliefs about life after death, Muslims, Christians, and Jews must focus on the life that we know and to root our faith in what we can see in front of us. The early church was so confident that Jesus was coming back soon that they ignored many important matters of ethics. We cannot afford to make that mistake.

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