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Unity Church member’s Web-based radio show promotes interfaith unity

POSTED: August 6, 2011 1:30 a.m.
/For The Times

Scott Lindquist attends Unity of Gainesville Church where his wife, the Rev. Sydney Magill-Lindquist, is the pastor. He hosts a weekly online radio program that promotes unity within all faiths.

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In a world where varying doctrines can push followers of different religions apart, Scott Lindquist is hoping that spirituality can be the great uniter.

Last month, Lindquist launched "Open Minds, Open Hearts," an online radio program.

"There is so much fear and misinformation out there about different religions. We know what our differences are, they’re pointed out too much as it is," said Lindquist, who attends Unity of Gainesville Church where his wife, the Rev. Sydney Magill-Lindquist, is the pastor.

"With Open Hearts, we attempt to find the common bond that brings us all together. People often believe that theirs is the only path and the only truth.

"I think it’s dangerous to believe we have the only truth in anything. My show is spiritual, but it’s not religious. We explore the truth in all faiths and promote compassion."

The difference in spirituality and religion Lindquist says is that spirituality is more of a journey, while religion is more focused on following rules.

Lindquist, who has an extensive background in radio, says his show is "radio with a purpose."

"I basically wanted to give a voice to what I have found to be a movement that’s really growing around the world called Progressive Christianity," Lindquist said.

"This movement is a more inclusive religious practice. The main difference between progressive and mainstream Christianity is that the progressive movement focuses more on the messages of Jesus rather than the personality of Jesus.

"If we go back to the original teachings of Jesus, not the church and all the things that were layered on top — and that’s to love God and to love each other — we’d have a lot less to worry about."

So far, he has conducted weekly interviews with people like Fred Plumer, the president of the Center for Progressive Christianity, and Gail Dickert, author of "Coming Out of the Closet Without Coming Apart at the Seams."

The show airs live at 8 p.m. on Monday evenings, but listeners can also enjoy archived episodes. During the live tapings, listeners can call in to ask a question, or they can go to the show’s website and join the chat room discussions.

Although Open Minds is an "inter-faith" show that discusses what some people may call "alternative" ideas, Lindquist says his purpose isn’t to degrade the teachings of mainstream Christianity.

"I believe truth and spirituality comes in many different forms in many different faiths. It’s not exclusive to Christianity and following Jesus Christ," Lindquist said.

"We don’t bash people’s beliefs, but we do try to enlighten people to the truth of whatever it is we’re talking about. A lot of what has come to be the mainstream belief system is based on false assumptions and mistranslations of the Bible.

"I don’t condemn anyone for what they believe, I just ask them to not condemn me for what I believe."



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