Conservatism?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by monk, Mar 30, 2009.

  1. monk

    monk
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    Some people are really quick to define "liberalism" or something they see as liberal.
    How do you define conservatism.
    I would like to see real opinions not cut and pastes from other websites.
    thanks
    + monk
     
  2. Salty

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    My Conservative Values:
    1. Individual Responsibility
    2. Limited Government
    3. Lowest Level Government
    4. Consistency in the application of laws

    The job of goverment is to protect me from others, not from myself
     
  3. tinytim

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    My Conservative Values:
    1. Individual Responsibility
    2. Limited Government
    3. Lowest Level Government
    4. Consistency in the application of laws

    The job of goverment is to protect me from others, not from myself

    (Hey, I know they are Salty's but they define my values as well.. )

    You didn't say we couldn't cut and paste from THIS website.... LOL
     
  4. Baptist Believer

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    Monk, since the first two times you posed this question (which the good Rev never answered) was on the "Liberalism" thread, discussing theological liberalism, I assumed your question is in regard to theological "conservatism." Is that correct?
     
  5. saturneptune

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    The only thing I would add to the above list is to govern this country as the Constitution says. If it is not in the Constitution, the federal government needs to get rid of it and give it to the states.

    I do not know who the last conservative President truly was. It certainly was not the one that just left office. Maybe Reagan comes as close as anyone since I was born, maybe Nixon, not even sure about that. Every President since Reagan, both Democrat and Republican, has been a flaming liberal.
     
  6. abcgrad94

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    I would echo what Salty said, but I'll add that true moral conservatism is based on "thus saith the Lord." We can tell people not to lie, or steal, or murder, but if we remove God as the authority, we cannot be truly conservative, at least in my opinion. Maybe I'm splitting hairs, but I think God must be elevated above self, otherwise conservatism becomes liberal.
     
  7. KenH

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    Grover Cleveland.
     
  8. Palatka51

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    Salty, you nailed it. [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  9. saturneptune

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    That is true. However, our country is in such a state of moral decay being the norm, it would take a liberal movement (change) to take us back as you described above.
     
  10. OldRegular

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    I will give you a definition of political Conservatism. I reject the use of conservative and liberal in discussion of Biblical theology. The following article by columnist Holmes Alexander was published 30 or more years ago and is obviously cut and paste. However, it presents the best definition of true Conservative philosophy that I have read and one I agree with wholeheartedly. I believe this article is particularly pertinent as we see the wholesale abuse of power by the Federal government


    ‘The Bobbs-Merrill Company, book publishers of the American Heritage Series, have acted better late than never in recognizing the conservative movement that has been booming along for nearly two decades now. The Heritage Series has previously put out books on the New Left and Black Nationalism, agrarian revolt and civil disobedience, literary radicalism and the libertarian theory, and now "belatedly," as the editors admit, they have made William Buckley the collector and commentator of an anthology called "Did You Ever See a Dream Walking” which gives excerpts from the writings of 25 conservative authors.

    As might be expected, the best passages in the volume are those written by Bill Buckley himself. You won't find here any thumbnail definition of conservatism, but will be shown samples of what it is, and be warned away from what it is not. The samplings show that conservatism, among much else, is a form of non violent dissent against — well, materialism, statism, godlessness, immorality.

    Conservatism has a lot to do with free enterprise, little to do with Big Business. Conservatism is a discipline, and thus the enemy of permissiveness It is law-and-order, but not repression. It is good manners and social responsibility, but it has few rules — stops short of maudlin pity for the poor and the minorities. It regards Communism as an unmitigated evil, calls Fascism its “illegitimate” brother, and treats Socialism as an obnoxious poor relation of both.

    Conservatism is individualism, which is to say, personal freedom. The basic freedom, as Gary Wills writes in this book, is that of the human will. It cannot be killed unless the man himself is killed or reduced to a sub-human condition, as has been done in both ancient and modern times by tyrannous states.

    But the individual has an obligation to use his freedom. never to abuse it, as some of our demonstrators of today have abused and debased the freedom of speech.

    The ideal state, says the conservative, is one which recognizes that freedom is not given to anybody by his government, but is protected by the laws of the land, as well as by the policeman on the corner. The state, as the conservative sees it, ought to be the servant and the convenience of the free citizen.

    The state is not even a leader, or should not be because it always fails in such efforts except in time of war. Dr. Milton Friedman. for example, points out that when the government sets out to help the I poor by passing minimum wage laws, it ends up creating unemployment. The welfare laws have merely perpetuated the poverty and idleness of the supposed beneficiaries. While no conservative could be an anarchist, he would eternally be for a government that is as unobtrusive as possible.

    A good many conservatives — two or three in this volume — came to their present beliefs by way of Communism, the god that failed them. Not all of them embraced the Christian religion by way of reaction. As Buckley notes, it is possible for a conservative to disbelieve in a personal God, but it is impossible for a conservative to despise God. The surest synonym, — if there is any — for conservatism is morality. A man cannot be a materialist, or an egocentric, or utterly ruthless, or rudely arrogant and still qualify as a conservative.

    Thus in a famous review of "Atlas Shrugged” Whittaker Chambers, then associate editor of the National Review, read Miss Ayn Rand, the author, completely out of the conservative movement. "Out of a lifetime of reading," Chambers wrote, "I can recall no other book in which the tone of overriding arrogance was so implacably sustained." And the National Review itself publicly excommunicated Robert Welch first because the editors found his conspiratorial theories to be unsound, and second because to keep silent about Mr. Welch under the circumstances might seem to give consent to his unsound ideas.

    I said that conservatism is a dissent, and you will find in this book that it is a dissent against ideas and persons that attempt to enslave the individual.’
     
  11. Tom Butler

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    And the job of the constitution is to protect me from the government.
     
  12. Salty

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    The "goverment" is part of "others" in
    Code:
    [SIZE=3]The job of goverment is to protect [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=3]me from others, not from myself[/SIZE]
     
  13. monk

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    Yes! Sorry I am just getting back.
    I should have been more specific.
    So to posters:
    What is your definition of Theological conservatism? I was trying to figure this out in one of the other discussions. There seams to be a different definition in every church circle.
     
  14. preachinjesus

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    From my experience and studying theological conservativism includes:

    1. The orthodox foundational doctrines (Trinity, Christ is both fully divine and fully man, virgin birth, Hell is a real place, inspiration of the Bible, the 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ, Death Burial and Bodily Resurrection of Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit, the Church, etc.)
    2. Infallibility of the Bible in the original autographs of the accepted canon of 66 books with an option for inerrancy. (I several friends who are theologically conservative but stutter at inerrancy for several reasons.)
    3. Authority of the Bible over tradition and doctrinal categories.
    4. Complimentarianism in society and family with male primacy at the pastoral level in the local church.
    5. Believes in the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ on the cross
    6. Believes in sealed justification by faith that is not of personal works
    7. Believes in a literal Heaven and literal Hell
    8. Authenticity of all biblical miracles
    9. Priesthood of the Believer
    10. The comprehensive foreknowledge of God the Father (i.e. not Open Theism)
    11. Creation ex nihilio
    12. Literal Adam and Eve with a literal Fall of Man in the Literal Garden of Eden
    13. Fallen state of mankind from birth
    14. Salvation is exclusivistic to those in Christianity
    15. Moral will of God applies to our lives

    I'm certain there are more but my brain is a bit frazzled today. Obviously many will disagree with me. I might suggest that the disagreement will attempt to force us more to the right (i.e. more conservative.) I've attempted to be generous here because I consider myself theologically conservative. Of course I've been labeled anything but...which has yet to be rightly defined imho.

    Anyhoo, hope this moves the conversation along. I'm open to hear from honest, humble, and encouraging rebukes and correction. :)
     
  15. monk

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    I believe all these with the exception of #4.
    I imagine there are many perspectives on each of these that would vary from person to person/region to region. I really appreciate you writing these out.
    and for getting the conversation moving along.
     
  16. ReformedBaptist

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    My Conservative Values

    1. Total Depravity.
    2. Unconditional Election
    3. Limited Atonement
    4. Irresistable Grace
    5. Perseverance of the sai....oops...off topic.


    Couldn't help it...:laugh:
     
  17. Baptist Believer

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    What differences would you cite between contemporary theological conservatism and contemporary fundamentalism?
     
  18. sag38

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    I can think of two.
    1. Legalism: One can be staunchly conservative and not be legalistic about it.
    2. Secondary Separation: One can be staunchly conservative and not have an isolationist mentality.
     
  19. preachinjesus

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    Dogmatism...lol...just kidding

    That's a really good question. I have to think about this.

    There are a couple areas that I would suggest a difference:

    1. Eschatology. I haven't met too many fundamentalist brethern who aren't dispensational pre-millenialists. I'm not a dispensationalist but am historical pre-mill (no rapture.) Most every fundamentalist believes the LaHaye school of eschatology.
    2. Inerrancy is a huge issue for them. As mentioned above most conservatives I know believe that the Bible is infallible in teaching but can contain issues in coherency of events (please everyone this doesn't invalidate the Scriptures) in modern translations and even in some forms in the autographs.
    3. Verbal plenary inspiration of the Bible might be another. I believe God used the Holy Spirit to influence the authors the various books of the Bible who then wrote in their own personality with cultural settings and influences as part of the authorship process. Verbal plenary inspiration (or the dictation theory of inspiration) that many fundamentalists hold to suggests God dictated the very words the authors wrote.
    4. Gender roles. Again most fundamentalists I know hold to strict patriarchal roles in home, society, and church.
    5. A Theology of Dress. For lack of a better term this has to do with how we present ourselves in public. This is part of a fundamentalist theology as I have encountered it.
    6. Primary and secondary separation is taught. We forget how significant this doctrine has been to fundamentalists. They are taught to stand outside of the world and not be part of it. Also that no institution outside of CHristianity should be partnered with for the advancement of the Gospel. The secondary separation part steps in that when advancing the Gospel (or doing the work of the Church) liberal and "Bible denying" groups (usually Episcopalians, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Methodists, Catholics, etc.) are to be avoided since they are in sin and rebellion with God.
    7. Bible as solely suffecient. This will be a sticky wicket and I know it so please let's be generous. I might be wrong on this. Most fundamentalists I know believe that everything in the Bible is sufficient for every part of life. This is a tough one because I disagree in practice but appreciate the principle. Many fundamentalists believe the Bible speaks to and supercedes scientific texts when it comes to understanding our world and we should only understand these scientific texts when they are reconciled to the Bible. I just can't see how we can force a pre-modern text to speak to a thoroughly modern endeavor like heart surgery or certain practices in psychology.

    Well maybe I've stuck my hand far enough into the hornets nest. Thanks for the really good question. I might add some later as I think about this. I'm certain neither infallible nor authoritative.:thumbs:
     
  20. gb93433

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    While I understand where you are going, I also see that is what a lot of conservatives claim to believe but I do not see anything in your statements that addresses practical belief which proves their intellectual belief. To claim that conservatism has only those beliefs would be to also say that conservatism is nothing more than intellectual belief and claiming it as a creed. Certainly James addresses that issue.
     

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