One of the many cool things that Cherie and I were able to do at Wild Goose this year was sit in on a session of Darkwood Brew, featuring great discussion and music from Arahdna.
During that session I discovered the “Phoenix Affirmations,” which were developed by a group of clergy and scholars a few years ago who were seeking to capture the essential principles of emerging Christianity.
It seems to me that there is a lot of merit in these, and that they are the foundation upon which a great community of believers could be built.
THE PHOENIX AFFIRMATIONS Version 3.8
CHRISTIAN LOVE OF GOD INCLUDES:
1. Walking fully in the Path of Jesus without denying the legitimacy of other paths that God may provide for humanity.
2. Listening for God’s Word, which comes through daily prayer and meditation, studying the ancient testimonies which we call Scripture, and attending to God’s present activity in the world.
3. Celebrating the God whose Spirit pervades and whose glory is reflected in all of God’s Creation, including the earth and its ecosystems, the sacred and secular, the Christian and non-Christian, the human and non-human.
4. Expressing our love in worship that is as sincere, vibrant, and artful as it is scriptural.
CHRISTIAN LOVE OF NEIGHBOR INCLUDES:
5. Engaging people authentically, as Jesus did, treating all as creations made in God’s very image, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental ability, nationality, or economic class.
6. Standing, as Jesus does, with the outcast and oppressed, the denigrated and afflicted, seeking peace and justice with or without the support of others.
7. Preserving religious freedom and the church’s ability to speak prophetically to government by resisting the commingling of church and state.
8. Walking humbly with God, acknowledging our own shortcomings while honestly seeking to understand and call forth the best in others, including those who consider us their enemies.
CHRISTIAN LOVE OF SELF INCLUDES:
9. Basing our lives on the faith that in Christ all things are made new and that we, and all people, are loved beyond our wildest imaginations—for eternity.
10. Claiming the sacredness of both our minds and our hearts, and recognizing that faith and science, doubt and belief serve the pursuit of truth.
11. Caring for our bodies and insisting on taking time to enjoy the benefits of prayer, reflection, worship, and recreation in addition to work.
12. Acting on the faith that we are born with a meaning and purpose, a vocation and ministry that serve to strengthen and extend God’s realm of love.