The Phoenix Affirmation

When I bring up the subject of Christian hegemony some people think I am attacking Christianity; and some individual Christians become defensive because they assume I am attacking their personal faith. Neither is true. Christian hegemony is the institutionalization of Christian dominance throughout society. Individual Christians have a wide range of relationships to this system, from complete acceptance of it to radical resistance. Many Christians experience ambivalence, gaining a great deal personally from their Christian faith, while being uncomfortable with some of the dominant values and the concentration of Christian political, economic, and cultural power.

The Phoenix Affirmations, listed below, were put together by Eric Elnes and other devout Christians in Phoenix, AZ (the phoenix was also an early Christian symbol).[1] Recommending frequent prayer and a thoughtful understanding of the scriptures, they focus on Jesus’ naming of the two greatest commandments –To love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves.

The “Phoenix Affirmations:”

  1. Being sincerely Christian without denying the legitimacy of other religions.
  2. Listening for God’s Word, which comes through praying, studying the Bible, and attending to God’s activity in the world.
  3. Celebrating the sanctity of God’s Creation, including Nature, the sacred and the secular, the Christian and non-Christian, etc.
  4. Worshipping in a way that is sincere, artful, and biblical.
  5. Treating all people as creations made in God’s image, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, economic class, nationality, religion, physical or mental ability, etc., just as Jesus did.
  6. Standing up for the poor, for the marginalized, for the oppressed, seeking justice and peace for all.
  7. Preserving religious freedom and maintaining the separation of church and state.
  8. Humbly acknowledging our own shortcomings while sincerely trying to see and bring out the best in others, even if they consider us their enemy.
  9. Basing our lives on the faith that Christ restores all things and that all of us are loved beyond our wildest dreams.
  10. Recognizing the sanctity of both our minds and our hearts and that both science and faith, doubt and belief, serve the pursuit for truth.
  11. Realizing the benefits of prayer, worship, recreation, and healthiness in addition to work.
  12. Acting on the faith that we born with a purpose, a vocation that serves to strengthen God’s Kingdom and extend God’s love.

There are many networks of progressive Christians of all denominations coming together through books, websites, discussion groups, and social justice action projects to challenge Christian dominance and foundational beliefs in a the cosmic battle between good and evil, manifest destiny, individualism, the apocalypse, and the One Truth. These Christians are allies in the struggle to build loving, healthy, and just communities.

For More Information

The Center for Progressive Christianity – International network of progressive Christian networks

Institute for Progressive Christianity

Progressive Christian Alliance

Progressive Christian Witness – Articles, websites, blogs with a social justice focus.

Progressive Spirituality Network

Network of Spiritual Progressives

[1] Phoenix Affirmations: A New Vision for the Future of Christianity by Eric Elnes

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