We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I was for some reason drafted to lead songs on guitar at a NCC national retreat for theology students in the late 1980's. I drew up a list of all the "guitar-able" hymns and songs that I thought would be well-enough-known to make group singing without songbooks plausible. Then the day before the event I spent about 3 hours negotiating with an organizing committee who seemed to think that every single song or hymn choice had some wording that would be offensive to a constituency within the assembled students -- e.g.: UU's would be offended by any mention of the holy spirit is the one that springs most readily to mind., but I seem to recall that Filioque came up, as well as dispensationalism. Anything associated with Luther or a Wesley was right out.
Anyway, we met for the Sunday service in a 1960's university classroom that had no chairs, only carpeted risers, and I dutifully led singing for about 4 insipid songs leaving out the most offensive verses. And then this wonderful large black woman stood up to give the message, which was loud, and was pure Dallas Seminary: "You are all sinners, hell is your destination, and your only hope is that you can be saved by faith alone in Jesus". If she had gotten the memo and sat through the 3-hour meeting with the organizers, she paid it no mind. I suspect she offended many people there, and I was pleased that they were hearing it, because I think few of them ever heard anything like that at their seminaries.
I attend a Lutheran church in the heart of Liberal Land (Park Slope Brooklyn), and the church is thriving. I love this church, as we worship God in a way I can relate to, do Adult Bible Study, have a thriving Sunday School, etc.
The pastor is very pro-gay marriage. And I have to say that we get a lot of young people, in their 20's and 30's, who join the church becuase it is pro-gay marriage.
This is highly important to a certain group of the young. I made my peace with it years ago. I am anti-gay marriage, but if our church were anti-gay marriage, I think we might be a dying congregation instead of a thriving one. So I keep my mouth shut on this subject (as well as the fact that I vote Republican). I enjoy the hordes of little children who are there learning about Jesus, and the spiritual sustenance I get from so many other aspects of the church (which is a very spiritual place). I like it that there are many baptisms every year, and you can almost always hear a baby crying for part of the service.
Liberal Christianity is better than no Christianity. I am so happy to have my church, even though I don't agree with everything the pastor believes in.
I have never understood why liberal Christians are so critical of the born-again, the Seventh Day Adventist, the Catholic, etc. But I also don't understand why conservative Christians are so aginst the UCC, the mainline Christians, etc. I prefer any Christian over the Nones or the Muslims. Can't we tolerate all forms of Christianity?
Relax everybody. Jesus constantly complained about the Pharisees, and that's what these comments sound like. And get to know some younger people. And then let he who is without sin cast the first stone.
In a lot of ways, this church is totally orthodox. We just read through the whole Letter to the Romans, including Paul's anti-homosexual early chapter. But the pastor has his beliefs, and most of the young people who live here agree w/ him. In fact, I am amazed how important this is to them. That's just the truth. I disagree w/ them, but they are good people, and they want to follow Jesus.