Podcasts/Sacred Tension-Giving Up on Calling Myself Christian
Giving_Up_on_Calling_Myself_Christian SUMMARY KEYWORDS non theism, christianity, religion, christian, church, creed, affirm, tired, steven, moberly, cultivate, embrace, non theistic, lament, fight, christ, liturgy, bradford, love, retain SPEAKERS Stephen Bradford Long
Stephen Bradford Long 00:19 This is sacred tension, the podcast about the spiritual discipline of asking questions. My name is Steven Bradford long, and you can find the full transcript of this mini episode at Steven Bradford long.com. I love Christianity. I love the symbolism, the myth, the ritual, I love Augustine and Chesterton, and CS Lewis and TS Eliot and Thomas Aquinas and the saints and the story of the Cosmic Christ who came to earth to save us all to my core. I love it, but I feel it's time to let go of the label Christian altogether, primarily because I'm exceedingly tired. If you define Christian as adhering to the central Creed's believing in the literal physical virgin birth, resurrection of Christ, the existence of the Trinity and so on. I certainly can't affirm any of that. While I have utmost respect for people who can affirm the Creed's I now personally experienced the truth claims of Christianity is intellectually insulting and little more than untenable superstition Do you want to fight me on that I don't have the patience. Take your fight elsewhere. And yet, I find the symbol story, liturgy and tradition of Christianity significant enough for me to personally not walk out of church. Because of this, I think I personally should qualify as at least some kind of Christian. I've long argued that non theism is a valid form of religion, and my hope is that we can cultivate a path of validating non theism while holding on to the religions that people cherish atheism versus religion is an unnecessary and painful false binary. However, my insistence that non theistic Christianity as a thing is proving more and more difficult within Christian circles, even progressive ones as Wesley Hill wrote in his article after Boomer religion for Commonweal magazine, quote, in a 2016 survey of than current LGBT students enrolled at Episcopal seminaries, Ian Markham and Paul Moberly Maziar ago so found that virtually all 92% of the respondents agreed with the claim that the Creed's teach that Jesus Christ was resurrected from the dead, which has traditionally meant that the tomb was empty, one might lament that the figure isn't 100% but set against the backdrop of previous generations drift it remains an encouraging sign as Mark come and Moberly, Maziar goes put it a voting bloc is arriving that wants to affirm the authority of Scripture and uphold the historic incarnational and Trinitarian faith of the church and it's a block comprised not only of LGBT folks during the Episcopal churches last gen convention, for instance, a diverse group of clergy and laypeople, many of them emerging leaders in the denomination drafted a memorial urging the convention to continue in the apostles teaching by hewing closely to Scripture and the church's creedal heritage. If a bishop John's Shelby spawns at doctrinal revisionism was the face of a significant strand of Boomer religion, the new face of mainline Protestantism may well be someone in a clerical collar who marches for gun control and says, I believe in the resurrection of the body without crossing her fingers, and quote, I understand that for Wesley and many others this trend towards creedal faith is a positive I don't begrudge people their religious beliefs, but I also hope that we can cultivate over religious tradition that allows for non theism I hope for this because this might be the only way for the nuns now the largest religious group in America to retain the religious identities that are beloved to some, but I'm getting tired of the fight. I'm tired of fighting the faithful over my participation in the religion, a religion which is my tradition, heritage and central guiding story. I'm tired of trying to stake my claim and Christianity even though I still speak the liturgies attend the rights dream the symbols and revere Christ, but whatever. Too many of the faithful insist that I'm not in their club and I'm tired of fighting them to make the bickering stop. I'm shedding the term Christian and adopting post Christian as a more accurate description. I can no longer affirm the central Creed's of Christianity, but I am in a place accessible only by way of Christianity. I don't think I will ever leave the church fully, but I will partake not as a Christian, but a post Christian. That seems like a compromise which makes everyone's life especially mine easier while I retain my connection to the church. I now cultivate my non theistic religious practice elsewhere, namely, the Satanic Temple. TST is a religion that wholeheartedly embraces non theism. I believe in embracing contradictions and paradoxes. I believe in being the godless mystic, the devout follower of Christ who adores Satan. I'm a materialist magician, an atheist who has dreams and visions and a Luciferian who speaks to God. Those who self righteously value their own contradictions are mighty on this earth, writes a cultist, Peter J. Carroll. I embrace my multifaith heretical nature. And I'm not leaving the church to quote Rorschach from Watchmen. I'm not trapped in here with you. You're trapped in here with me. Love my work and want to support it. You can go to patreon.com forward slash Steven Bradford long and get extra content every month. You can also read my many dozens of articles at Steven Bradford long.com. And as usual, thanks for listening.