I think I have to disagree with your characterization a bit. Progressive Christianity is a big tent, and while there certainly are some that believe as you describe, there are many progressive Christians who are happy to affirm Jesus' divinity and generally claim they are taking the Bible seriously. See for example here and here. There are many who are frustrated with Evangelicalism's entanglement with politics. We've seen the fruit of a dogmatic, fundamentalist approach toward social issues, so we reject rigid dogmatism while still putting our faith in Jesus and seeking the way of discipleship.
It is interesting that progressive churches can't seem to gain traction. A common complaint is that progressive denominations are dying, the congregations are older, and perhaps somewhat hidebound. A young person who walks into that space may not feel comfortable, nor will they be until the churches focus more on ministry outreach and build a solid core of younger folks so that you get critical mass. But I also think in progressive Christian spaces, you find a lot of people who have been hurt by the church and church authorities, they've been told they don't belong or they've been outright bullied or abused. So I think there's a real lack of trust and a reluctance to dive back into that environment.
Just to lay my cards out, my avatars are people like Beth Moore, Russell Moore, Rachel Held Evans, Pete Enns, Tim Keller to some degree, and Phil Vischer. To many on the left we're not progressive enough, while to the fundamentalist side we're falling away by even being willing to consider another perspective.
That whole "He Gets Us" campaign was cringe on so many levels though. Christian marketing so often falls into the "hello, fellow kids" vibe and it's the worst. Not that that's even my biggest problem with it, I just haven't found one single person, left or right, who thinks it was a good idea.
Anyone want to talk about test cases? Rosa Parks' name has come up again to remind us that there is a group of people who didn't know the incident was staged by the NAACP as a way to put segregation on trial. I hope that everyone knows test cases are a thing and I'm a little curious what percentage of the famous judicial cases this would apply to. I guess it tarnishes people's fuzzy feelings about the scrappy individual with pure motives facing off against evil oppression but it doesn't change the facts of the case. Personally I have the impression that the judicial system is skewed against the poor and un-savvy and rewards those who have resources behind them and know how to work the system. So it does seem to the outsider as if everyone could benefit from having an organization behind them to raise attention and mount a strong defense. Rosa Parks may have been one person but her case ended up helping the many not-so-sympathetic individuals who were also victims of the unjust system. So when you hear about a high profile case, does it matter if the person was specifically set up as a test case, and if it matters, why?
The big story in North Carolina this morning is that power went out across Moore County last night and it appears it was due to intentional vandalism at several substations.
Speculation on the North Carolina subreddit is that it was motivated by outrage about a drag show scheduled to be performed in Southern Pines last night.
So yes, nothing is known for sure as of this morning, but let's say they're right, that someone was so focused on making sure the drag show did not happen that they engaged in this intentional vandalism. It's really just an extreme form of no-platforming, isn't it? The same crap college students have been doing for years? The idea is that the featured content or entertainment is so harmful or damaging that it can't be allowed to exist and the community must be protected from it by any means necessary. In both cases I think it's idiotic. If you don't like it, no one's forcing you to go, but just let people do their thing. It's just as wrong to deplatform a drag show as it is to deplatform someone like Joe Rogan or Jordan Peterson.
Hi, I have a couple of thoughts for you on this. Re: #1, yes churches can be very cagey about that stuff. If you read a lot of the doctrines/statements of faith that they publicly post, it's astonishing actually how similar they can be on the surface.
It's no secret that polarization has hit the church as much as anywhere else. Some pastors have gone all-in on one political side or the other, and many, many more pastors try to walk a tightrope so as not to alienate anyone. I've found the only real way to know is to go and visit and see what the vibe is. Or you can at least start by emailing the pastor about questions or issues that are important to you, and see how they respond.
On your other questions, it's hard to answer because it's really such a personal decision and so much depends on the local community. I do think overall, unless you take a hard stance on certain questions, the question of denomination does not matter as much as things like small versus large church, worship style, member engagement (small group Bible study, volunteers), and community outreach/service.
Although, as a Christian who I believe takes the Bible seriously, just make sure it's a place that teaches the Bible above all else. Christian nationalism is not a Biblically defensible stance and neither is prosperity gospel stuff or the pastors who give the hard sell on giving. I'm a deconstructionist and an exvangelical, and if I may warn you to be discerning there - just because it's my home turf and I know the pitfalls. Too many non-denom evangelical churches get a nasty case of tunnel vision. Read stuff that's over 100 years old. Heck, read stuff that wasn't written in our current political moment. With two millennia of tradition and Christian theology and philosophy, it's inexcusable when a church wants to treat tradition as if it's a dirty word, when in fact evangelicals are as beholden to tradition as anyone else, they just don't recognize it.
FWIW, you may have seen this but here's a quiz to help you choose a denomination. https://www.quotev.com/quiz/13157643/What-Christian-Denomination-are-you
Here's a handy chart although this is Protestant only:
Here is an article with probably more information than you wanted to know:
TLDR; visit churches in several denominations. Listen. Meet people. Find one where you feel comfortable, and get plugged in to a regular small group for Bible study or prayer. Commit to volunteering and loving your neighbor. Go to a church service to receive blessing as well as bless others. Go in God's grace.
Has anyone had good experience with meditation to help with noise? I feel like I go through phases of whether it bothers me or not. I went through a long period where I could just ignore ambient noise, and then I had a nightmare apartment experience that really got in my head. It's the bass, you know, bass travels so far even if you can't properly hear the song. I'm not in that apartment any more but sometimes I'll still be bothered by ambient noise outside.
The funny thing is that I'm bothered by ambient noise even when there isn't any. Like I swear I'll hear this repetitive bass beat, just on the edge of hearing, and I'll toss and turn, but when I go outside to check it's quiet. I've dreamt about bothersome TV sounds or music so loud that it wakes me up, except there's no real source for it. Sometimes the white noise I use to mask ambient noise seems like it makes it worse because it makes me imagine noise that isn't actually there. I would love to get back to the place where I just ignore it and it doesn't affect my consciousness or my mood at all. Curious if anyone had a suggestion.
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