Editor’s Note: A version of this article was published TheBlaze. Click here to read it.
Newark, N.J. Mayor and Senate hopeful Cory Booker is not known for proclaiming his love of Jesus or evangelizing to his fellow politicians and constituents. So as a 20-something evangelical, I find it curious that Mayor Booker is a featured key-note speaker at this weekend’s Catalyst Atlanta 2013, a Christian conference gathering together young evangelicals for worship, learning, and sharing their faith in Jesus Christ.
The mission of the Catalyst conference seems simple. So, why is Mayor Booker hoisted between speakers like Dave Ramsey and John Piper at a conference supposedly geared towards worshiping Jesus Christ, not catapulting Senate campaigns? There is an answer, but it is not so simple: Liberal Christians — despite how “apolitical” they claim to be — are feeding a repackaged version of evangelicalism to millennials for their own radical, yes political, agenda.
This year’s Catalyst conference is one such example of their crusade to spread liberal ideology, not theology. Why else would Catalyst invite Mayor Booker, whose speaker bio doesn’t even include the word Jesus, Christian, or God? Oh, but according to his political biography, as Democratic National Committee (DNC) co-chair he did advocate for no-restriction abortions and tax-payer funded abortions regardless of infringements to religious liberty.
Eric Teetsel is Executive Director for the Manhattan Declaration, a coalition of Christians calling on the church to take a stand on life, marriage and religious liberty. On Twitter, Teetsel pointed out event planners’ bias by writing, “No main stage or lab speaker addressing #life #marriage #religious freedom. Plenty on poverty, sex trafficking… even nukes. #Catalyst2013” followed by, “Disappointing. What a wasted opportunity for those who ‘feel a burden for our generation.’”
We’ve seen this slight-of-hand at other Christian conferences for college kids. The electric guitars and neon strobe lights are not distracting all of us. Last year a fellow evangelical millennial, Kristin Rudolph, attended the third annual Justice Conference held in Philadelphia. Sitting among 4,000 other young Christians, Rudolph listened as Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Sheryl WuDunn glossed over abortion in her speech on global discrimination against women and girls. Rudolph noted, “Not once in her 40 minute talk did she mention sex-selective abortion as even a contributing cause to the imbalanced gender ratio.”
Not only are liberal Christians sidestepping abortion, gay marriage or socialism, but are rallying for them.
In a recent op-ed for CNN.com titled, “Why Millennials Are Leaving the Church,” Rachel Held Evans throws out the false claim that young Christians are leaving the church because Christianity has become “Too political, too exclusive, old-fashioned, unconcerned with social justice and hostile to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.” She advocates for the church to become less concerned with sex (a.k.a. abortion and contraception) and more consumed with eradicating poverty and embracing homosexuality.
If you’re thinking her diatribe resembles less of the Scriptures and more of the DNC platform, you’re not alone.
And it’s not just supporting liberal political candidates like Cory Booker. There lies a two-way street between left-wing political forces and liberal evangelicals. Lest we forget – or perhaps my generation never learned – that Jim Wallis, founder of the uber-liberal evangelical group Sojourners, gladly accepted a $150,000 grant in 2011 from leftist granddaddy George Soros. Soros is an unashamed bankroller of secular leftist agendas including abortion, atheism, and same-sex marriage. Not to mention that Wallis lied to the public when first approached about Soros’ funding.
It is time for the liberal evangelicals to stop lying. It is time they come clean with millennials about their liberal political motives.
And maybe it is time for their “come to Jesus” moment.
Comment by Christian on October 6, 2013 at 10:56 pm
After reading this, I’m not sure you have even a passing familiarity with Jesus.
Comment by Rich Kennedy on October 7, 2013 at 6:03 am
Really? Cute slam. Are you honestly saying that Jesus advocated serving a bloated bureaucracy that skims half of all “donations” (ie. taxes) for its own care and feeding? How do we become “like one of these (a child)” while aborting them? For purposes of convenience under the guise of women’s health and life? At the very least, one could argue that what Jesus said and meant is more complicated than you appear to believe here.
Comment by Mike on October 7, 2013 at 9:14 am
And such are the things that tumble from our anonymous lips huh Christian?
Comment by Grant LeMarquand on October 7, 2013 at 5:17 am
It may be sad and worrisome that some evangelicals are willing to cozy up to liberal politicians. It is ALSO sad and worrisome that some evangelicals have and continue to be in bed with conservative politicians. I am old enough to remember the vast amount of damage done when Billy Graham (friend to many US presidents) became too close to Richard Nixon, something which he later regretted. As an Anglican bishop in Africa I have seen my African colleagues seduced too many times by gifts from politicians – gifts which buy their silence when the politicians need to be reminded of God’s demands for justice and righteousness. Making friends with worldly power is a dangerous game – no matter what side of the political fence one may be cozying up to.
Rt Rev Dr Grant LeMarquand
Area Bishop for the Horn of Africa
Comment by Ben Welliver on October 7, 2013 at 9:55 am
I’m clueless about your comment about Billy Graham. Do you honestly think it did any harm to him or to Christianity when Nixon fell? I don’t believe that.
Comment by Donnie on October 7, 2013 at 10:28 am
Same here. I speak as somebody who wasn’t even born when Nixon fell, but I have never made the connection between Billy Graham and Richard Nixon ever.
Comment by Grant LeMarquand on October 7, 2013 at 8:20 pm
Now you have.
Comment by Jeff Rudloff on October 8, 2013 at 10:29 pm
Not really, Rev. Marquand. I also lived through that time. Rev. Graham regretted not having been more circumspect in his endorsement of Pres. Nixon, but it never did any serious damage to his reputation, except among liberal-leaning Christians, in this country. I cannot speak for what might have happened in Africa, but your characterization is not correct for the US.
Comment by Dan Trabue on October 16, 2013 at 3:52 pm
but it never did any serious damage to his reputation, except among liberal-leaning Christians, in this country.
? Doing no damage to your reputation amongst millions of people is a small thing? And not just liberal-leaning Christians, but liberal-leaning non-religious folk… how well was Graham able to reach out to them, after aligning himself with a conservative politician?
You might be brushing off the harm too lightly, if you’re saying “except for how his reputation was damaged amongst millions of people, it did him no harm…”
Comment by Greg Paley on October 7, 2013 at 9:29 pm
The elephant in the room that Evans and other pseudo-evangelicals fail to acknowledge is: liberal churches DO NOT attract young people, nor retain the old ones. This isn’t rocket science, folks, we’ve had 50 years of liberalizing the church, and we know what happens: make it “inclusive” (of sexual immorality), and no one wants to belong. Yeah, obviously there are SOME young evangelicals who believe as Evans does. But in both the long and short runs, this is not the ticket to church growth, it is a sure-fire ticket to decline. Why get up on Sunday to hear your pastor preach about your carbon footprint? The aging Woodstockers across the street from me get plenty of social liberalism from the internet, why would they need a church to put a divine blessing on their Political Correctness? Face it, using the church as a dispenser of liberalism inevitably leads to tossing aside the dispenser. I may sound flippant, but frankly I’m distressed at how the word “evangelical” is beginning to lose meaning, just as “Christian” did.
Comment by Mike M. on October 8, 2013 at 10:47 am
Now that adolescence extends into the mid to late 20’s, or even the early 30’s, with many 20-somethings not marrying (or having children), it’s no surprise to see a liberal leaning (read: immature) mindset being accepted by so many.
I was susceptible to liberal thinking when I was in college, but leaving school, getting a job and getting married quickly cured me of that mindset (along with spiritual growth in Christ). A large number of today’s youth aren’t getting there as quickly, nor are they exchanging their “big hearts” for every new cause that comes along for clear thinking that really understands the issues from a more realistic (and biblical) perspective.
Add Hollywood, the music industry and most university professors to the hip liberal mix, and this is no surprise.
Comment by Sarah on October 8, 2013 at 6:15 pm
What bothers me is the fact that you seem to think that marriage equates maturity. It’s also astounding to me that many folks who think marriage equates maturity will quote from the Apostle Paul when it comes to marriage and life neglecting the fact that the Apostle Paul himself, who wrote much of the NT was in fact single.
Being single doesn’t equate liberalism either. One can be fully mature and yet single. The measure of maturity in life and faith isn’t whether or not one is single but in the scope of all relationships … are our relationships/friendships healthy? Are we taking on responsibility in life? Taking on responsibility doesn’t always include marriage and raising a family. Sometimes maturity is taking a look at circumstances in life ie instead of look at marriage as being the measure of maturity we should rather look to how we respond to the state of singleness or our response to a life of celibacy as the measure of our maturity.
Just because one is single or celibate doesn’t mean they value marriage or raising a family less or don’t think about ways they could invest in the next generation.
I’m single, I have a job, I’m forever improving my life. I’m always looking for ways I can invest in the next generation… like being the best sister I can be or the best auntie I can be. If finances permit I have the ability to financially invest in my nieces and nephews and not just financially but relationally as well.
On a side note: The Apostle Paul actually lifts up the state of singleness as being better than marriage. And you don’t need marriage to grow and mature. You can invest in healthy friendships with both the same gender and opposite gender. True maturity is the ability to have a healthy friendship with the opposite gender without sexualizing that friendship and it’s maturity to be able to look at circumstances of struggling with same sex attraction without sexualizing friendships with people of the same gender. You can form meaningful spiritual friends who could challenge you towards maturity and enable you to become less narcissistic in relationships. I’ve heard it said that marriage isn’t there to make you happy, marriage is to make you holy. Well, many circumstances in life can be used to make us holy. Facing our temptations and making right choices despite the temptations can make you holy. Making the decision to be counter-cultural can make you holy, taking a stand for Social Justice AND Righteousness in harmony can make you holy.
Ya, sure … some people are susceptible to “liberal thinking” when single etc but there are folks who are in fact married and susceptible to “liberal thinking” … what’s the point? The point is, many factors lead to “liberal thinking” and being single doesn’t have to be what leads one to “liberal thinking” nor should people assume that just because you’re single that you’re prone to “liberal thinking”… what should be the measuring stick of maturity? How we respond to the life we’re given should be that measuring stick of maturity. I don’t view it to be mature if you need marriage to grow up or to satisfy lusts of the flesh… however, marriage is just one of many relational tools that does mature a person, likewise raising children as well can develop maturity in people. These are not the only relational tools that bring about maturity in people.
Comment by Dan Trabue on October 16, 2013 at 3:57 pm
The point is, many factors lead to “liberal thinking”
Indeed. Being raised in a conservative, traditional Southern Baptist church and being taught to take the Bible seriously, eventually led me AWAY from some of the more conservative views of my youth to more progressive views as a mature adult. But not until after I married, got a job and began to spend more time in the adult world.
Of course, I’ve heard stories in the opposite direction, as well. The thing is, for most of us, we’re striving to do the Right, to walk in the ways of Righteousness and it just takes us in different paths at different times. Doesn’t mean that one side is the Right side and one, the Wrong. Just family with different opinions on different topics.
Comment by Timothy Wright on October 8, 2013 at 5:58 pm
Thank you for bringing this to jy attention. I am not surprised by this. I really wonder what is the reason for Cory Booker to appear at Catalyst? I would be interested in this answer to understand the mind of the organisers.
Comment by Jim Cox on October 9, 2013 at 12:06 pm
Bishop LeMarquand is exactly right. Christianity is in great danger when it walks hand in hand with politics and government whether it be the right hand or the left hand. Jesus is neither the party chairman for republicans or democrats and neither party has a lock on righteousness. As for Graham and Nixon , Billy Graham had become too cozy with Nixon and Nixon was using him to the detriment of Graham’s reputation and evangelism ministry. Unfortunately Graham as well as his son have always been as political as religious creating disharmony which hurts the gospel.
Comment by Nathan Chilton on October 11, 2013 at 12:38 pm
You’re right. “Jesus is neither the party chairman for the republicans or democrats.”
Rather, Jesus is King over all the earth.
Comment by Grant LeMarquand on October 12, 2013 at 9:46 am
Thanks Jim – I must add that I’m a big fan of Billy Graham and or his son’s work with Samaritan Purse. But having a conservation theology does not always mean having a ‘conservative’ politics. I’m not a Roman Catholic, and the RC church can’t really be called ‘liberal’ theologically – and yet Catholic social teaching is strongly against (for example) capital punishment and yet many conservative Christian seem to want to line up with the Republican party on every issue. Surely even American conservative Christians would want to evaluate every issue in the light of the Bible and Christian tradition before consulting their ‘culture.’
BTW, I am neither a Republican nor a Democrat – neither am I an American (though I spent 14 good years years in the US) nor an African (I just live and work in Africa!).
Comment by Dan Trabue on October 9, 2013 at 6:58 pm
It is time for the liberal evangelicals to stop lying.
I’d hope we can one day get past this sort of slander and false witness. Isn’t enough to say, “They said X and I disagree with it…” without bearing false witness as to their motives?
I am likely one you would call a “liberal evangelical,” (although I self-identify as an anabaptist, or perhaps, a progressive anabaptist). I likely hold positions that you disagree with and when I hold positions, I talk about them.
But I hold my positions (in support of marriage equity for gay folk, in opposition to war, in opposition to poverty and support of efforts to reduce its damaging effects) NOT as some “lie” or “political agenda” but because I simply believe these are the right positions to hold.
I am a born again Christian, saved by God’s grace, and I and my faith community are not lying, we believe what we say and we believe it because we are followers of Christ.
Is it not enough to say, “When they advocate for X, I disagree with it…” Must we bear false witness, slander and demonize?
Come brothers and sisters, let us reason together with grace, respect and the love of Christ.
Comment by Dan Trabue on October 9, 2013 at 7:04 pm
By the way, your post is titled “Why Liberal Christians are lying…” but you never say why it is, in your estimation, that we are “lying…”? Are you saying that we’re “lying” because we really want to promote the Democrats INSTEAD of Jesus?
Where is your evidence for this rather incredible claim? If you’re going to slander a whole group of people with a claim like “they’re LYING,” you should be prepared to back it up with evidence. Failing that, the Christian thing to do would be to admit you have no evidence and retract the claim.
I pray you do the right thing.
Comment by Ruth on October 12, 2013 at 11:29 am
Liberal Christians DO lie when they support the causes of homosexuality (gay marriage, abortion, etc.), whether they “believe” they are sincerely preaching truth or not. In order to be a true Christian, you must believe in the Word of God, since Jesus was “the Word made flesh.” To abandon God’s Word is to abandon Christ, and therefore abandon Christianity. I have seen my own childhood church slowly embrace liberal causes and liberal political agendas, and ultimately “conform to the world” rather than the more limiting, restrictive commandments of God. (Limiting and restricting, because He loves us and desires what is BEST for us!) My husband and I finally had no choice but to leave our childhood church — a very painful thing to do — but we could no longer worship in a “church” which denied Biblical veracity. The Word of God is Truth, and liberals who doubt or question that, don’t make it any less True. Truth is Truth, apart from our belief or doubt. Since it is NECESSARY to abandon the view that scripture is truth, in order to embrace liberal causes of the current culture, by implication, what you believe in and profess … is a LIE.
Comment by Dan Trabue on October 16, 2013 at 2:33 pm
Liberal Christians DO lie when they support the causes of homosexuality (gay marriage, abortion, etc.), whether they “believe” they are sincerely preaching truth or not.
Sister Ruth, I’d ask for a bit of simple respect and reason here. To tell a lie is to deliberately state something that is known to be false. By definition.
If someone sincerely believes what they are saying and it turns out they are mistaken, there is a word for that: Mistaken. Mistaken, not lying.
Can we agree on that much?
Assuming we can (because that is a simple English language fact), let me look at your next claim…
In order to be a true Christian, you must believe in the Word of God, since Jesus was “the Word made flesh.” To abandon God’s Word is to abandon Christ
And yet, I/we are NOT abandoning God’s Word. We are seeking to be faithful to the Word and being faithful has required us to have a different opinion than you do. But, just because we interpret a few passages differently than you do, does not mean that we are “abandoing” God or God’s Word. By that measure (ie, the measure of “You disagree with my interpretation, therefore you are abandoning God’s Word”), then aren’t you, also abandoning God’s Word, since you disagree with us?
No, even if you are (or I am) mistaken on this or that particular topic, that ONLY means that we are mistaken, not abandoning. Isn’t that just a simple rational statement, dear sister?
Truth is Truth, apart from our belief or doubt. Since it is NECESSARY to abandon the view that scripture is truth, in order to embrace liberal causes
Indeed, Truth is Truth. Regardless of whether you (or I) rightly understand it or not. But thanks be to God that we are saved by God’s grace, not our perfect understanding! Can’t we agree on this? That just because you or I might be sincerely mistaken on this or that topic, that does not mean that we are not saved by God’s grace?
This is a simple, orthodox Christian belief, is it not?
Isn’t it time to abandon worldly “us against them” rhetoric and false representation and embrace grace and respect, even if we sincerely disagree with one another?
I for one, embrace you as my sister in Christ, even though you disagree strongly with me on at least a couple of topics. God’s love and grace is greater than our mere human differences, is it not?
Comment by Peter on October 17, 2013 at 11:07 pm
Gosh Dan, such dripping condescension. How about this…We conservatives understand that biblical passages can be interpreted, or misinterpreted, any way we wish. Satan tried that trick with Jesus, and He replied, essentially, that citing biblical passages improperly is scripture abuse. And we oughtn’t do that.
The question is not how we choose to interpret scripture, but whether our interpretation comports with more fundamental passages within the bible. If it does not, we are misinterpreting scripture. Reread Matthew 4: 6.
Careless misuse of scripture because it makes us feel good about ourselves and the views we would like to hold is a real problem. Truth is truth and guess what? One interpretation has got to be wrong if two interpretations conflict. That should be enough for us to debate views and search for the truth, because one of us is clearly wrong. The wrong side may never admit it, but that is what discussions of sin are for.
While it feels good to think that we are ok because we are not deliberately lying, just perhaps a teeny bit mistaken, to be mistaken because we choose not to examine scripture carefully is, in fact, the very thing that the bible warns us to avoid. Repeatedly.
There is a divide between liberal and conservative Christians because there is a difference in how the bible is being used. When biblical passages are being twisted and abused and sometimes even rewritten just to champion what is CLEARLY sin in the bible, I don’t know how we conservative Christians can overlook and ignore it.
As liberals condescendingly lecture us, denigrate us, belittle us, hurl epithets at us, and do everything possible to marginalize and condemn us before other Christians and the world (not to mention the government), do not be surprised if one or two truly brave souls rise up to push back and rebuke the hordes.
Of course, they will just be labeled bigoted homophobes and racists and haters and crazy bible bangers anyway, so who cares. Right?
Comment by Dan Trabue on October 18, 2013 at 2:22 pm
I am unsure what you read that sounded condescending. There certainly was no intent of condescension in my words. My apologies if I was misunderstood because of something I wrote.
Peter, you tell me to reread Matt 4:6…
“If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
…But I’m unsure what it has to do with our conversation here. Clarification, please?
Careless misuse of scripture because it makes us feel good about ourselves and the views we would like to hold is a real problem.
Agreed. Which is why I support not having careless misuse of Scripture. It is, in fact, why I had to change my position on this topic – I used to believe as the traditionalists do on this point – and it was prayerful and serious Bible study that led me away from that position. For me, holding the traditional view WAS a careless misuse of Scripture.
The point being, I did not change my position to “feel good about myself…” I don’t even know how or why changing my position would do this – indeed, I’ve received a great deal of grief from more conservative types because of this change. My changing my position had nothing to do with how I feel about myself, but about striving to be faithful to God.
One interpretation has got to be wrong if two interpretations conflict. That should be enough for us to debate views and search for the truth, because one of us is clearly wrong.
Indeed. Clearly, I think your “side” (my former beliefs) is mistaken on this. I’m not saying we’re both right. I’m saying we’re both sincere in our positions, that neither one of us is lying, twisting or deliberately dodging God’s Word. Certainly I’m not and I don’t believe you all are, either. Will you extend to us the same benefit and grace that we extend to you?
While it feels good to think that we are ok because we are not deliberately lying, just perhaps a teeny bit mistaken, to be mistaken because we choose not to examine scripture carefully
Again, clearly, I do not think I’m mistaken, not even a teeny bit. And I have examined Scripture carefully. Prayerfully. Repeatedly. Again, it was Scripture that led me AWAY from my old traditional view.
My point is that it is a false witness to say that I am lying because I disagree with you (or vice versa). Words have meanings and, if we both truly believe what we are saying, then we’re not lying and it would be a false witness (ironically, a “lie”) to say that we are lying. It would be a false witness to say that I have not examined Scripture carefully (as I’m sure is true for you).
The fact is that sometimes people of good faith sincerely read the same passages and sincerely reach different opinions. It happens. What is called for in such cases is grace and reason, not demonizing or false witness. That only undoes your own witness.
There is a divide between liberal and conservative Christians because there is a difference in how the bible is being used.
I’m not at all that this is factual, although I’m sure there may be exceptions. I and my faith community “use” the Bible (actually, I don’t really like that phrase as it sounds manipulative, fyi, I’d say we “look to” the Bible) as a source of truth, to be taught, corrected and increase my wisdom. What we find in the Bible is that it encourages us to look to Scripture because it is “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness…” and that is why we look to the Bible.
Are you using it in some other way?
As liberals condescendingly lecture us, denigrate us, belittle us, hurl epithets at us, and do everything possible to marginalize
It is certainly true that some more progressive types of Christians have demonized and belittled. And, it is certainly true that some more conservative types have done the same. But I’m saying that, shouldn’t we be above this sort of behavior? Shouldn’t we speak the truth, in love and respect? Shouldn’t we avoid false witness?
You appear to be condemning “belittling, denigration, hurling false charges/epithets…” and I’d say, rightly so. But should our response to be to do the same thing?
How does that make sense, dear Brother in Christ?
Come, let’s reason together. We’re on the same team, in the same family. Can we agree that “lie” is not the proper word for a mere sincere disagreement? That was my main point in responding and I have to believe that you can agree with me on that point, as a fellow Christian, yes?
Comment by Stephen Wheeley on October 13, 2013 at 8:14 pm
Amen Dan, well said. Personally I’m tired of conservatives claiming they alone are “real Christians “, particularly since so many of them have sold out lock, stock and barrel to the far right that spews hatred for anyone unlike themselves. You can be a “liberal Christian ” without being pro-abortion . And yes, considering the other speakers listed such as Piper shoots down the whole “liberal agenda” theory it would seem.
Comment by David on October 9, 2013 at 7:57 pm
I’m entirely confused that you can claim that the Catalyst Conference is attempting to promote liberal ideology when, as you mention, John Piper, Dave Ramsey (along with Judah Smith, Andy Stanley, Lecrae Moore) are all speaking. Many of these individuals are solidly planted in conservative Evangelicalism and stand against a number of liberal political policies (although not all liberal policies are somehow contrary to scripture).
This article is a pretty poor attempt to establish some sort of “liberal agenda” because it doesn’t actually line up with who these people are. Rachel Held Evans, Cory Booker, Jim Wallis… yes, all liberal politically. But that isn’t even close to the whole picture when you look at the rest of the speakers. It also assumes that liberal political ideology cannot go hand in hand with genuine Christian belief. Jesus most assuredly is not a Republican (and I say this as a Republican myself). Jesus also isn’t a Democrat. But it really isn’t as simplistic as you are trying to make it.
Comment by Mathias Sanderstein on October 10, 2013 at 9:42 pm
If one is a “born again Christian” then one should live a “Christ like” life; obeying the inerrant word of God – The Bible – is living a Christ-like life. Thus, taking parts of The Bible out because society has changed, and therefore lifestyles need to be accepted, is not living by the inerrant word of God. Society has changed, GOD HAS NOT! What makes theology liberal is altering the word of God to fit society, not altering society to fit God. So, who has more than anyone else altered the word of God to fit society? Religious liberals. Therefore one equates political liberalism to religious liberalism because RLs are altering The Bible in a way that meets up with PLs. At the end of the day, The Bible calls for people to be righteous. Being righteous is heeding the words of Christ as delivered by the eight authors of the new testament – all of whom were inspired by the Holy Spirit. If you adhere to a lifestyle contrary to The Bible, then your problem is not with “Conservative Evangelicals”, your problem is with God. God put his word in print for all to read, AND FOLLOW. Failure to follow creates sin. Sin and God cannot coexist. That is why the Scriptures plainly state anyone living a gay lifestyle cannot enter the Kingdom of God. Without a doubt, God abhors homosexuality, abortion & all sin. Remember, we do not make the rules – He does. If you chose not to follow them now – its your choice, can you live with the consequences?
Comment by Dan Trabue on October 16, 2013 at 2:46 pm
What makes theology liberal is altering the word of God to fit society, not altering society to fit God.
And yet, Brother Matthias, I am factually not striving to alter the word of God to fit society. Rather, my heart’s desire is to conform to God’s Word, to God’s Ways.
I was raised conservative and traditional and opposed gay marriage, etc. But my position changed when I looked deeper and more prayerfully into the topic, by considering more closely what the Bible says.
I was a conservative, opposed to what I perceived to be “godless liberalism.” My position on that topic changed NOT because I read and believed “liberal” teachers, but simply from prayerfully reading Scripture. Factually speaking, that is how my mind changed on this topic. And I’m not alone on this front, many in my faith community have a very similar story.
At the end of the day, The Bible calls for people to be righteous. Being righteous is heeding the words of Christ as delivered by the eight authors of the new testament – all of whom were inspired by the Holy Spirit.
Indeed, I and my faith community and others like us, DO seek to walk in Christ’s ways. We DO take the Bible seriously. And, as one who takes the Bible seriously, I had to admit, eventually, that the Bible does not say that “being righteous is heeding the NT.” Not that I think that it’s a bad thing, of course, but that is not a biblical teaching, it’s a human teaching.
Similarly, the Bible does not make the claim that all gay behavior is bad. The Bible does not make the demand that gay folk marrying is bad.
Indeed, the Bible tells us that whatsoever things are good, true, noble, pure and loving, that THESE are the things we should think on, support, admire, advocate. And committing to a faithful, loving marriage relationship – straight or gay – seems on the face of it to be exactly one of these good things that we should support, not oppose.
But regardless of whether you agree with me on that point, the thing to keep in mind is that I’m not your enemy and you are not my enemy. We are family, brothers in Christ. And the Bible (and common sense) teaches us that we should especially love and respect and treat one another with grace and humility, not combativeness and demonizing.
Can’t we disagree without being abusive about it or belitting/demeaning the Other? Without making false accusations about lies when the other is, at worst, mistaken, not lying?
Come, let us reason together, in love and grace.
Comment by Dan Trabue on October 16, 2013 at 3:49 pm
My apologies for misspelling your name, Mathias. Carelessness on my part…
Comment by Anne on October 12, 2013 at 7:59 am
Well said, Mathias.
I highly doubt that Jesus would be also advocating abortion. Please let’s not pretend the Scriptures aren’t really clear about some of these things.
That being said, I agree. Just because someone is conservative politically doesn’t mean they are in line with the Bible.
But some of these speakers blatant records(I.e. their blatant efforts of things contrary to Scripture such as abortion, same-sex marriage should raise some serious red flags as to their own obedience to The Lord when we are taught in Romans 12 not to be conformed to this world but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds…..
Comment by brett cost on October 12, 2013 at 5:27 pm
it appears, all things duly considered, that g. paley is the one most pointed in the right direction. he is right, there is an elephant in he room…but ultimately misidentifies it.
his comment –
“The elephant in the room that Evans and other pseudo-evangelicals fail to acknowledge is: liberal churches DO NOT attract young people, nor retain the old ones.”
– merely describes a fruit of the issue.
the root of the issue is more nearly (and properly) identified in his last thoughts…
“I’m distressed at how the word “evangelical” is beginning to lose meaning, just as “Christian” did.”
if the question were asked in this forum “what is the Gospel”, the answers would nearly be as varied as the number of replies.
the link below (from this same site) reflects just such a reality:
the roman catholic church does not have the Gospel. there is no salvation to be discovered there.
no, that is not the same as saying there are no Christians in the rcc. but those who are genuine converts would be exhorted to come out from an apostate church.
as a cousin to the twin ect documents, the manhattan declaration (mentioned in this article) is a sad document indeed. sadder still are some of the names that appear on them – approving them.
mark knoll and j.i. packer? joel belz, ligon duncan, wayne grudem, albert mohler, ravi zacharias?
collectively these documents excel at identifying those things in which all parties agree…but fail miserably in the neglecting to ask “wherein do we disagree?”
in short, if rome has the gospel, then the onus is on all protestants (since we have already quit protesting) to get on our knees, crawl back to rome and kiss the holy see’s ring.
eric svendsen’s “evangelical answers” is a worthwhile read on the matter.
similarly, there is no salvation in the “social gospel” – which deceivingly hoists the banner “Christian”.
perhaps the article that needs to be written (and the question asked in this forum) is, again…
what is the Gospel?
or maybe at the end of the day it doesnt really matter. truth is relative. a mere profession of spirituality (or simple moralism) is sufficient for entering into eternal bliss – thereby escaping eternal torment.
maybe dawkins, hitchens and the like are right…religion is the problem and its cruel to even subject people to such delusions as Christianity (the only true religion) professes.
i’m banking on:
Soli Deo Gloria
for those of you whose righteousness is to be discovered solely in Christ, persevere in the narrow way (Matt. 7:13).
Comment by brett cost on October 15, 2013 at 1:17 am
do my comments present an issue?
please inform me if this is the case. that i might, if need be, apologize.
grace to you
Comment by Phil Stout on October 17, 2013 at 10:16 am
You bring up some important points, Chelsen. I think it’s important to ditch the either/or approach to justice and embrace a both/and approach. While an individual may feel passionate about and called to a specific issue, I’m troubled when abortion goes ignored, as if it is not a justice issue. But I’m also troubled by those who write someone off as “liberal” because they embrace non-violence in other arenas as well. (I’m not saying you did that in this article.) I’m a pro-life pacifist. In trying to embrace the New Kingdom that Jesus brings I simply cannot embrace the old, tired liberalism or the old, tired conservatism.
Comment by Brianne Nicole on October 18, 2013 at 4:32 pm
After reading several of the comments left by others, I am highly confused as to why political beliefs have become so pointed within Christian faith to begin with. My political beliefs are affected by my religious beliefs, not the other way around. I am not a politically conservative Christian, I am not a politically liberal Christian. I am and will continue always to be a Bible reading, Christ following, biblically correct Christian. There is separation between church and state for a reason.
Politicians push agendas, Christ pushes only one thing, that all would come to know His name, and His teachings, and walk in His ways. I do not condone sexual immorality because Christ did not, I do not condone abortion because The Lord said in the Psalms that children are a gift from Him. I do not condone the open acceptance of homosexuality within the church because Christ said through the words of Paul that homosexuality is an abomination. It has nothing to do with how I vote on election days.
This does not mean that I hate people who chose things that I do not agree with. I love them, because loving others is the only way to open doors to ministry. The church is right to focus in on issues such as sex-slavery, and poverty. We are called to care about these things, just as much as we are called to stand against abortion, and to not accept homosexuality. Some people are called to be more concerned about one problematic situation than another. Does condemning or criticizing people publicly make the situation any better? No.
Perhaps finding out the reasons for this speakers presence would be better before we start throwing out names and associating them to have such a point of view as this, without having any facts.
Christ ministered to Paul and the Samaritan woman by looking beyond their failures and loving them. It is this love that changed their lives. So why don’t we start by loving our politicians (does not mean we agree with their choices, but we don’t publically assault them) and work toward change from there.
Comment by Mordecai on October 19, 2013 at 10:09 pm
As to the article, please provide scripture that supports your positions and explains how conservative Evangelicals are not doing the same thing as the liberal ones. If one is going to argue against another on a point, one should provide the appropriate evidence that the other’s argument is incorrect. Then one should provide appropriate backing to sufficiently argue that one’s position is the better.
In this article I see a claim, but I see no evidence for or against the claim.
Comment by Carbondioxide on December 8, 2013 at 3:14 am
DanTrabue….fyi, I’d say we “look to” the Bible) as a source of truth…
Here he points out a key difference in the handling of scripture between liberal theology and historic Christianity. Liberal theology views the bible in an entirely different way than traditional Protestant Christianity.
As he says, for the liberal theologian, the bible is “a source of truth”.
This stands in contradiction to one of many examples of what the bible says about itself: “All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal.” Ps 119:160
Comment by Debbie on March 25, 2014 at 4:20 pm
I went to several churches before I found a good bible church and a righteous pastor, who is willing to stand up for the Word of God, and in truth, even if it offends so called Christians who put politics and the world, over their Lord and Savior. Many churches do not want to offend liberal democrats by presenting scriptures that tell people how they should be living before the 2nd coming of Christ. We should be speaking the gospel to people who do not know it, or just sit and listen, but do not practice it. 2nd Timmothy talks about terrible times in the last days, and how people will have a form of Godliness but deny its power, they will do according to what the world tells them to do, that is not worshiping the almighty. The scriptures are full of instruction for God’s people. Ephesians 5: 3-12 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality or any kind of impurity or greed, because these are improper for God’s Holy people, and yet homosexual marriage is trying to make itself equal to that ordained by God. Genesis 2:24, 1 man and 1 woman. Man is attempting to substitute his wisdom over Gods. Abortion is murder, it destroys a beating heart and a life that God created with a special purpose in mind for each individual. Ephesians 5:6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes to those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them. We are given these words to guide us, not to disobey them and live by worldy values. Revelation 3: 14 talks about the church of Laodicea…I know your deeds, that you are neither cold not hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So because you are lukewarm..neither hot nor cold..I am about to spit you out of my mouth. The church had become bland…not zealous to uphold the true teachings of God. Leviticus 18:22 Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman, that is detestible. Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled…Even the land was defiled; so I punished it for its sin, and the land vomited out its inhabitants. But you must keep my decrees and my laws. These words are supposed to be obeyed, not ignored and taken for granted, that just because we profess to be Christians, that we can keep on sinning and ignoring the warnings of God…he forgives with repentance, but repeating these behaviors over and over when we know his instructions, will bring definite Judgement as it did to Rome and Sodom and Gomorrah.
Comment by Stephen Sponsler on June 12, 2018 at 5:41 am
I thought their ‘lying’ was going to have to do with pointing to a different ‘God’, a different “Jesus” and a different ‘Gospel”. (?)…that was how I found the link to this post in Google. Focusing on a symptom rather than the Root…everything else can be a matter of conjecture and opinion. The Truth is not up for election.