Evolution and Homosexuality: The Twin Terrors of the Christian Church

Column by Bishop John Shelby Spong on 28 May 2008 0 Comments
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I am among those who agree with you in regard to the great need for
transformation within traditional Christianity — indeed, a new
reformation is overdue and necessary for the Christian tradition to
survive the 21st century. I believe that Jesus came not to change any
of the Hebrew scripture or its tradition but rather to reaffirm its
true meaning in revealing the spiritual nature of human life through
his own demonstration within humanity. As such, his example created
something new. Have you ever considered officially joining a New
Thought community such as Unity Church of Practical Christianity? I
believe these communities closely reflect the spirit of the Christian
message and serve humanity well in providing a way in which we may
experience and live Christian principles more fully. Thank you so
much for the wonderful work you are doing.


Thank you for your letter. No, I have never considered
joining a church other than my own. I am deeply committed to the
Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. Of course, both have
their faults and I do not spare either in my critical remarks, but I
don't believe one can change anything from the outside. Only those
who are insiders can do what I do to facilitate transformation.

Having said that, I am not only familiar with but
deeply touched by the Unity movement. I would guess that I do three or
four events a year in Unity churches in the United States. I love
this contact, feel enriched by it and treasure my relationship with
this Church.

The Unity movement is grounded in the goodness of
creation not in the aberration of that which traditional Christianity
has come to call "the fall." They are more in touch with Matthew Fox's
Original Blessing than they are with the Church's teaching of original
sin. They are therefore more life affirming than life denying.

Unity is deeply committed to education and sponsor
classes and lectures constantly. The attention they give to their
children is inspiring. The music in the various Unity Churches is
normally spectacular. It is always a moving worship service for both
my wife and me.

I don't know that Unity will be the Church of the
future, but I do believe that the themes of the Unity Movement will be
part of the Christian Church of the future. For those looking for a
new way to be a Christian and for a church that will allow them to be
who they are, I recommend Unity with great enthusiasm, if you can find
one where you live. Since you live in New York City, I might add that
Unity New York, which meets on Sunday Morning in Symphony Hall
(Broadway and 91st), is one to which I am particularly drawn. Paul
Tenaglia is their pastor and a spectacularly gifted man and the
singing group known as "Spiritus" is worth flying to New York from
anywhere just to hear them perform.

John Shelby Spong




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