(This post is related to today's sermon....)
James Luther Adams, a well known liberal religious thinker, and a Unitarian Universalist, suggested that there are some key characteristics of Liberal Religion.
Here are the 4 key components of liberal religious (James Luther Adams actually lists 5, but I’ve condensed them down to 4):
1) Revelation and truth continue to unfold. A religious fundamentalist would argue that there is one final, ultimate truth, revealed in a sacred scripture or person. Religious liberals believe that wisdom and truth are still on folding.
For example, the United Church of Christ, a liberal religious community, says that, “God is still speaking.”
And as Unitarian Universalists, would say that truth and wisdom are all around us, in poetry, in sacred scripture, in our own lives, in the cosmos. A final, definitive truth has not been captured. As we have new insights and understanding, truth continues to unfold.
2) Relationships between human beings are at their best when mutual love and care is present, and people are not coerced to think or believe a certain way. Freedom of conscience matters. Freely choosing one’s religion matters. This is in contrast to fundamentalist religion where you must believe certain things.
3) We have a moral obligation to help create a just and loving community, to live our faith in the world, to help create the beloved community, heaven, if you will, here on earth. We’re not waiting for paradise in some other world. We must be the hands of love and justice in the world.
4) Religious Liberals live in hope. We trust the abundance of the resources around us, both human and divine resources, we trust the resources are there that can help us change the world…and so we live in hope.