Evangelical Versus Liberal

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Ruiz, Feb 14, 2011.

  1. Ruiz

    Ruiz
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    Here is an article that was of interest to me, having studied intensely liberalism of old.

    Here are some quotes from the review of the article:

    I found this paragraph interesting. Liberals often say conservatism leads to declining church growth (which I have not seen any true proof). This phrase shows that even in liberal northwest, it seems not to be true but the opposite is true, liberalism leads to decline (in general).

    Again, another quote:

    I think this is a fair assessment. Evangelicals notes the need for Christ and liberals often focus on moralism.

    I thought this was rather fascinating. I think in general, this is accurate (though, I know conservative churches where the churches are not concerned with youth ministry but focus on family ministry. I think it is interesting that he shows that liberal churches, in general, seemed to be more judgmental.

    I have seen this in my own experience. I think the more conservative the more likely there is a stronger community. This is a great paragraph.

    The above paragraph is very fascinating. I agree, I have pity on them because they do not understand the greatness of God... they are lost in moralism. Usually the focus is on the culture at large. As well, I do believe as a conservative the liberals think I am the enemy.

    I agree, in the clash, liberalism is dying in the Christian culture because it gives the promise of cotton candy... something that looks good at first but dies out soon.

    You may not agree with my viewpoints, but this article voiced something that is important to explore.
     
    #1 Ruiz, Feb 14, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 14, 2011
  2. glfredrick

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    I would agree with what you wrote.

    I see liberalism as wanting the experiential nature of Christ and having Christ as "example" but not wanting to deal with Christ as God, replete with commands and dictates over our life because He is the King of all kings.

    In a sense, liberals have no one to evangelize into, for they have gutted the gospel of its true good news -- that we are sinners damned to eternity in hell -- and that our only rescue is the PERSON and WORK of Jesus Christ, given by God's grace through faith, which is a gift of God.
     
  3. BobinKy

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    #3 BobinKy, Feb 15, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 15, 2011
  4. glfredrick

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    The terms "liberal" and "conservative" are always based in context. TODAY, there are liberal churches and individuals who seek to overturn what it is that Christ did, while conservative churches and individuals seek to sustain (in accordance with the Word of God) what Christ did.

    Christ could be seen as a "liberal" if one only looked at what He did to overturn the Jewish religion, but He is indeed a "conservative" if one goes back to the fact that He is Very God of Very God, who came to earth to right what we humans had put amiss. In other words, I reject the fact that Christ was a "liberal" in the same light as the modern humans who seek to destroy the Christ of the Bible, who is the Christ of God.
     
  5. Baptist Believer

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    If this is your definition of "liberal," then you better be very careful how you use it. I don't think there are any "liberals" (by this definition) on BaptistBoard.
     
  6. glfredrick

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    This is but one usage of the term liberal...

    One can be "liberal" in culture, in theology, in practice, in politics, in worldview, in hermeneutic, in consideration of the supernatural, etc., etc., etc.
     
  7. Salty

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    The Bible actually tells us to be liberal - seriously - according to the KJV :thumbsup:
    1. James 1:5
    2. Deu 15:14

    Salty

    ps - wonder if I am still allowed to go to my Conservative Party meeting?:smilewinkgrin:
     
  8. nodak

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    Speaking only for what we have found in this one particular town:

    The "conservative" churches have gone so far into fundamentalism that they are now splitting apart into little splinter groups focusing on one pet doctrine in each of them. You just literally won't hear salvation ever preached, taught or sung.

    And conversely, when snows make travelling impossible and we attend any of the 3 local "liberal" churches, we hear the gospel preached, taught, and sung.

    It is true the "liberal" churches do not focus on youth ministry. Some youth attend but more are drawn to either the local youth oriented SBC church or the local very far afield prosperity gospel church.

    BUT--we are finding the youth that do attend the "liberal" churches are much more grounded in the gospel and in Jesus. We find them maturing into adults that do not leave the church or the faith when they finish high school.

    And it has us pondering just who the "conservatives" and "liberals" REALLY are.
     
  9. BobinKy

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    Thanks for sharing those observations.

    ...Bob
     
  10. Ruiz

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    Can you define the Gospel?

    From my experience, I am seeing students learning Theology and studying good theology books. They are learning basic nouthetic counseling skills, learning greek, and the different apologetical approaches. They know who Owens, Luther and Calvin are.

    I am not doubting what you say about your area, but I think generally conservative churches produce more Pastors/missionaries and are generally growing whereas the more liberal wing are declining. Those tend to be the national trends.
     
  11. nodak

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    I'm saying that in our specific town, against the national trends, the so called liberal churches are experiencing a revival. The kids are learning, as Moody put it, that we are "ruined by the fall, redeemed by the Blood, regenerated by the Holy Spirit." Those churches are more focused on reaching the lost with the message of salvation than the so called conservative or fundamentalist churches in this town. The conservative ones are more focused on young earth creationism and bringing in elder rule than on spreading the good news.

    God can use whatever tool He wants. I would rejoice to see the local revival in the "liberal" churches take over their national groups.
     
  12. sag38

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    Perhaps God is using the so called "liberal" churches because the so called "conservative" churches have become like the church in Ephesus that Jesus wrote to the book of Revelation and said, "Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou has left thy first love,..." Seems that we can come to love our methods, our pet doctrines, our Bible version, our standards more than Christ and that to the exclusion of the priority of reaching the lost lambs living all around us.
     
  13. Baptist Believer

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    God will use whatever and whoever He wants... especially if a church is seeking God and willing to be used.

    God doesn't bless people/churches on the basis of their theology (otherwise, no one would merit blessing), but often in spite of it.

    Amen. I would also rejoice to see the same thing happen in the "fundamentalist", "conservative", "moderate", and "emergent" churches (whatever those labels might happen to mean).
     
  14. Dr. Bob

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    Religious (theological) liberalism is known historically as "modernism" or "neo-protestantism" popularized by Schliermacher and Barth. In America is is synonymous with the Social Gospel.


    It is based on
    • man-centered rational philosophy and ethical living
    • criticism/denial of historic doctrine (like inspiration, revelation
    • darwinian/science superior to the Bible
    • subjective experience-based; Gospel of Jesus, atonement, etc is no longer needed
    The radical division of saved-or-lost was eliminated, focusing on a universal brotherhood of man.

    Today, such liberalism is dominant in many mainline denominational churches. It lost preeminence in the 1970's to existentialism and today to post-modernism.

    [forgive me; I was a professor too many years to allow discussion without adequate definition. :thumbsup: And would agree that I am hard-pressed to see a real "religious liberal" on the BB]
     
  15. sag38

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    Actually, I wish Nodak would better define, what she is meaning by the label, "liberal."
     
  16. glfredrick

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    I would humbly suggest that if these "liberal churches" are in fact proclaiming the gospel, then they are probably not all that liberal. Now, if one means "culturally liberal" then yes, the culturally liberal churches that remain faithful to the gospel are indeed reaching more people than culturally dead churches that also proclaim the gospel. That is because the culturally liberal churches are contextually in tune with the society in which they participate instead of trying to force people to adopt a 1950s worldview.
     
  17. nodak

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    I'm speaking of churches who's parent bodies are known to be theologically liberal.
     
  18. sag38

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    Like United Methodists, Presbyterian USA, American Baptists, various incantations of Lutherans?
     
  19. InTheLight

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    I think Dr. Bob nailed the definition of today's liberal church. It is the social gospel (feeding the poor, protecting the environment, justice for the downtrodden, etc.), and not an emphasis on personal salvation.
     
  20. BobinKy

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    Thank you for sharing those thoughts.

    ...Bob
     

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