I was a part of a religious body of churches—something like a regional denomination or collaborative partnership—called the Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends (NWYM).

A year ago, that organization determined that my congregation and several others were no longer welcome. It determined certain kinds of people were no longer welcome.

We were purged.

Despite feeling frustrated, bewildered, and disappointed in a number of people in light of this purge, I’m fine. But being “fine” is a luxury, reflecting my privilege. Many others affected by the purge are not fine. They may not be fine for a long time.

I would not say I have suffered. Other than whatever relatively minimal suffering comes from being an empathetic listener. Or from watching people bully others or develop ever-tougher litmus tests of who’s in and who’s out (and who seemingly diagnose their “toughness” as a righteous pursuit or protection of truth). Or from witnessing a train-wreck but being unable to help, either because I lack the power to do so or because I lack the courage.

But I do wish to add my voice to the chorus of lamenters, even though what I see is limited. So take it with a grain of salt.

Continue reading “Purged”

Six Reasons Love Made Me a Progressive Christian

IMG_0460I am a progressive Christian. I did not choose this, like selecting which kind of ice cream my wife is most in the mood for (as long as it has chocolate but no nuts, I am probably safe). It is probably more accurate to say I grew into it.

I have always been a follower of Jesus. I suspect I always will be. But the way I understand the nature of that “following” has evolved.

In short, I am a progressive Christian because of Love. I think you can also have Love and not come to think as I have. But I think that Love has been the driving force behind every “progressive shift” in my spirituality. Six examples come to mind: Continue reading “Six Reasons Love Made Me a Progressive Christian”