Been there, done that.

by Elias Blum

Much of my spiritual formation took place in Unitarian contexts.

I read these ‘radical’ and ‘progressive’ Christian blogs – which are deeply troubling to the brittle certainties of conservative evangelicals – and I’m left with a feeling of “Duh, yes, we’ve been believing and practicing that for several centuries.”

I want to say, “It’s fine. Come on in. The water’s lovely. Help yourself to a fair-trade organic coffee. This week we light our Peace Candle for the Lesbian Tofu-Weavers’ Co-Operative of the Upper Congo, and we invite you to remember them in your prayers as we walk with them in solidarity against patriarcho-imperialist capitalist oppression. Our opening hymn this week is number 94, ‘Bread and Roses’. Please stand if you are able to do so.”

What these progressive Christians are doing, though, is that that they are keeping Jesus, the gospel, the Kingdom of God, and Christian scripture central to the whole. I felt that the Unitarian tradition had drifted a bit too far away from that – away from a liberal, progressive interpretation of Christianity, and into something a bit syncretic and New Age-ish, which was well-meaning and good as far as it went, but ultimately a bit shallow.