mainline protestant

“I’ve been a deep believer my whole life. 18 years as a Southern Baptist. More than 40 years as a mainline Protestant. I’m an ordained pastor. But it’s just stopped making sense to me. You see people doing terrible things in the name of religion, and you think: ‘Those people believe just as strongly as I do. They’re just as convinced as I am.’ And it just doesn’t make sense anymore. It doesn’t make sense to believe in a God that dabbles in people’s lives. If a plane crashes, and one person survives, everyone thanks God. They say: 'God had a purpose for that person. God saved her for a reason!’ Do we not realize how cruel that is? Do we not realize how cruel it is to say that if God had a purpose for that person, he also had a purpose in killing everyone else on that plane? And a purpose in starving millions of children? A purpose in slavery and genocide? For every time you say that there’s a purpose behind one person’s success, you invalidate billions of people. You say there is a purpose to their suffering. And that’s just cruel.”
God and the Don

Two days before his presidential inauguration, Donald Trump greeted a pair of visitors at his office in Trump Tower.

As a swarm of reporters waited in the gilded lobby, the Rev. Patrick O'Connor, the senior pastor at the First Presbyterian Church in Queens, and the Rev. Scott Black Johnston, the senior pastor of Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, arrived to pray with the next president. . .

“I did very, very well with evangelicals in the polls,” Trump interjected in the middle of the conversation – previously unreported comments that were described to me by both pastors.

They gently reminded Trump that neither of them was an evangelical.

“Well, what are you then?” Trump asked.

They explained they were mainline Protestants, the same Christian tradition in which Trump, a self-described Presbyterian, was raised and claims membership. Like many mainline pastors, they told the President-elect, they lead diverse congregations.

Trump nodded along, then posed another question to the two men: “But you’re all Christians?”

“Yes, we’re all Christians.”

Honestly – and this is something I see both on Tumblr and in my ~progressive~ ecumenical mainline Protestant communities – I am so freaking sick of anti-Catholic condescension from Enlightened ~liberal~ (non-Catholic) Christians!! Stay in your own lane, for God’s sake! Like, is it too much to ask to be able to criticize my own faith without a bunch of random holier-than-thou people with NO connection to (the pain/formative socialization of) Catholicism crawling out of the woodwork to agree with me and make hilarious anti-Catholic jokes? Or joke about how I should obviously just become Episcopalian?

I forget who exactly said it, but it appears that it’s almost always an ex-Catholic or an ex-Evangelical Fundamentalist who ends up being the most extreme militant atheist, while mainline Protestants more often just go between Methodist and Lutheran and Episcopalian if they leave one Protestant sect.

anonymous asked:

"But you're Christians?" "Yes, we're Christians." Good God. I wouldn't be surprised if he asked the Pope the same thing about Catholics.

If he doesn’t understand that mainline protestants, which includes the denomination he belongs to, are Christians it wouldn’t shock me at all.
United Church of Christ sues North Carolina for marriage equality - in the name of religious freedom

The United Church of Christ did a really huge thing yesterday. 

For the first time ever, a major church is filing a federal lawsuit DEFENDING marriage equality, arguing that same-sex marriage bans violate pro-LGBT clergy’s right to express their religious beliefs. 

UCC is specifically suing North Carolina, where the voter-passed Amendment One bans religious officials from marrying same-sex couples at risk of a fine or even jail time. The lawsuit, therefore, represents both same-sex couples seeking marriage rights and clergy seeking their right to religious freedom.

The effort is part of the UCC’s long history of social justice advocacy. The mainline Protestant denomination—President Barack Obama’s own church denomination in Chicago—has more than one million members and 5,100 congregations nationwide, including 150 churches in North Carolina, and the UCC general synod passed a resolution supporting marriage equality in 2005.

“For 40 years or more we have been seeking justice and equality for gay and lesbian people,” explains Geoffrey Black, president and general minister of the United Church of Christ. “This is the moment when we have an opportunity to seek justice and equality for gay and lesbian people, and so we are taking that matter very seriously.”

Can’t stress enough how much of a game-changer this is. Normally, we hear “religious liberty” tossed around as an argument against marriage equality (and it’s nearly always used incorrectly). For the first time, a major religious organization is acknowledging that it actually violates religious officials’ rights to express their support of marriage equality if they’re not allowed to perform these marriages – which, by the way, would obviously happen completely separately from the state and not attempt to offer any legal protections. 

This has great potential to change how we think about church and state entanglements as they relate to the marriage equality movement. I can’t wait to see what happens. 


Rt. Rev. Greg Rickel Bishop of Olympia, on”inertia” in the Episcopal Church.

Episcopal Feels

My mom is super angry that her church, an Assemblies of God church, hasn’t sung a single Christmas song this Advent season. She’s been talking about Advent a lot recently and voicing a lot of resentment about her church’s attitude towards Christmas. She grew up Methodist, and as an Episcopalian, I’m very happy to see her angry with her current church.

I want to say: “Yes! Use your anger! Use your hatred! Return to the Mainline Protestant side of Christianity! Join us!”

I ask my students to complete the sentence, ‘I am _____,’ using as many descriptors as they can think of in sixty seconds. All kinds of trait descriptions are used- friendly, shy, assertive, intelligent, honest, and so on- but over the years I have noticed something else. Students of color usually mention their racial or ethnic group: for instance, I am Black, Puerto Rican, Korean American. White students who have grown up in strong ethnic enclaves occasionally mention being Irish or Italian. But in general, White students rarely mention being White. When I use this excercise in coeducational settings, I notice a similar pattern in terms of gender, religion, and sexuality. Women usually mention being female, while men don’t usually mention their maleness. Jewish students often say they are Jews, while mainline Protestants rarely mention rheir religious identification.

Common across these examples is that in the areas where a person is a member of the dominant or advantaged social group, the category is usually not mentioned. That element of their identity is so taken for granted by them that it goes without comment. It is taken for granted by them because it is taken for granted by the dominant culture.
—  Beverly Daniel Tatum, Who am I?

I feel like shit today after battling evangelical Christians over how stinking beautiful it is to see Caitlyn Jenner become herself, and having some of them questioning my love for Christ in response. I can’t even imagine how hard it is for people who are transgender to deal with this sort of dialogue from the church. Consider this mainline Protestant exhausted, saddened, and a little bit more educated about the pain of having someone question your own identity.

I will answer to God alone here, and God has told me to love people exactly how they are. People who are LGBTQIA, you are loved and welcome on this blog, and anyone who says otherwise is failing to practice love and compassion. 1 Thessalonians 2:4 English Standard Version (ESV) 4 but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts.

anonymous asked:

In discussions about Christians, I hear the words "evangelical" and "mainline" used a lot. What does this mean, exactly?

It’s a reference to a schism within American Protestantism. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, American Christian theologians began questioning the traditional methods of biblical interpretation due to a growing consensus that slavery had been immoral. When this questioning merged with an improved ability to read the original Greek, Hebrew, and (in the case of Daniel) Aramaic manuscripts, a method of interpreting the Bible was developed called the historical-critical method.

The historical-critical method challenges certain assumptions that were made in previous interpretations of the Bible. Some of the more prominent ones were the argument that the Pentateuch (first five books of the Bible) had a single source, that the deuteronomic history was historically accurate, and that all the epistles attributed to Paul were written by him. More generally, the historical-critical method rejected the idea that that the Bible was independent of the cultures in which it was written.

What happened next was that some Protestant churches accepted the historical-critical method and began teaching it in their seminaries (although this often did not result in its being preached from the pulpit) and others doubled down and insisted that the Bible was not only divinely inspired but divinely dictated, free from internal contradictions within itself or contradictions with science (i.e. evolution and cosmology), and that it was intended to be interpreted in a simple and straightforward manner.

The first group became what are called the mainline Protestants. The other churches broke off from the established Protestant denominations and became non-denominational (one exception to this is the Southern Baptist Convention which rejected the historical-critical method and therefore is not considered “mainline” even though it existed well before the historical-critical method).

Evangelical churches are a subset of the non-denominational movement, along with the charismatic Christians (e.g. Pentecostals), and are marked by a rejection of the historical-critical method, a strong commitment to evangelism, an emphasis on the importance of individual conversion and acceptance of Jesus as one’s “personal Lord and savior,” rejection of speaking in tongues and other charismatic practices, an abhorrence of Catholicism, disdain for non-spontaneous prayers (e.g. the Common Book of Prayer), and opposition to abortion and homosexuality.