Archive for Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Religious labels

June 27, 2006

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To the editor:

I appreciate the opportunity Carl Burkhead has given me when he commented in last Thursday's Public Forum and labeled the Ecumenical Christian Ministries at KU as composed of "pantheists" and his surprise with Plymouth Congregational, First Presbyterian and First Baptist churches also hosting CrossWalk America.

There may be some pantheists involved with ECM - we are an assorted lot - but there would be many who might understand themselves as "panentheistic." It is an understanding of the sacred not as a supernatural being "out there," but an encompassing spirit. God is more than the universe, yet the universe is in God.

ECM's hosting of CrossWalk America's walk was influenced by such an understanding. They are walking to bring attention to a stream of the Christian faith where faith and action are oriented around the three great loves identified by Jesus: love of God, love of neighbor, love of self. These loves are articulated, based in Scripture, in the Phoenix Affirmation (go to www.CrossWalk America.org).

Some who review the 12 principles of the Phoenix Affirmation may not agree, but many will affirm the need to dialogue about them. So it is in this light, that I am not at all surprised to have First Baptist, Plymouth Congregational and First Presbyterian churches willing to support CrossWalk America's trek from Phoenix to Washington, D.C.

Thad Holcombe, campus pastor, Ecumenical Christian Ministries

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