Liberalism

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Revmitchell, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. Revmitchell

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    Liberal Christianity: A movement that seeks to retain religious and spiritual values of Christianity while discounting the infallible authority of the Bible. Its origins are in the German Enlightenment, notably in the philosophy of Immanuel Kant and the religious views of Friedrich Schleiermacher. Liberals reject the stated authorship and historical accuracy of many books of the Bible. They are skeptical concerning many or all of the biblical miracles, preferring naturalistic explanations or viewing miracle accounts as legend or myth. They often deny or reinterpret in mythical terms such doctrines of orthodox Christianity as the virgin birth, atoning death, and even the resurrection of Jesus. Liberalism has been most influential in mainline Protestant denominations and is rejected in Evangelical and Fundamentalist Christianity.

    Liberation Theology: A movement that attempts to unite theology with social and religious concerns about oppression. It finds expressions among blacks, feminists, Asians, Hispanics, and Native Americans, but it is most closely identified with the shift toward Marxism among Roman Catholic theologians and priests in Latin America. Most traditional doctrines of Christianity are de-emphasized or reinterpreted. Jesus and the Bible are defined and interpreted in light of a class struggle, with the gospel seen as a radical call to activism (or even revolution) promoting political and social answers usually in the form of classic Communism.

    ______________________________________________

    What say you? Is this accurate?
     
  2. Crabtownboy

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    ______________________________________________

    You have often called me liberal and yet I do not believe any of the ideas presented in your definition of liberal. So using your definition I am not liberal.

    What is the link to the definitions?
    I expect it is accurate as it appears the definitions are a cut and paste job from an un-named source. Thus you need to temper your remarks calling people liberal who disagree with you.
     
    #2 Crabtownboy, Mar 25, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 25, 2009
  3. Joseph M. Smith

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    My understanding of theological liberalism is that it has little to do with the historical-critical understanding of Biblical origins. Rather it has to do with a low Christology and a weak anthropology.

    The author's lumping of rationalism and Schleiermacher into one category seems out of place to me. I am no expert on the philosophy of religion, but Schleiermacher's focus on religious experience seems anti-rationalist. And, the more I think about it, fundamentalism is an exceedingly rationalistic operation, putting its focus on parsing the Biblical text and use the results of that study as the canon for truth rather than factoring in other data.
     
  4. Revmitchell

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    I did forget to post the link

    http://www.watchman.org/cat95.htm#LibChrist

    Aside from that I know for a fact that you hold to:

     
  5. Crabtownboy

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  6. Revmitchell

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    You hold that the Bible is just "a book of words". And that personal experience is equal or higher than scripture. That alone is liberal theology.

    And like all who hold to liberal theology you work to reduce your position to present it in a simplistic light that hides the real intent. Everyone cares about people but only liberal theology filters scripture through social justice.

    Sorry but your support of Obama says otherwise. He holds to classic liberation theology as was taught to him by his mentor the reverend Wright. He spent 20 years being indoctrinated by it and you support it unapologetically.
     
    #6 Revmitchell, Mar 25, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 25, 2009
  7. Revmitchell

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    Liberal Christianity (a.k.a. Progressive Christianity): A religious movement that holds beliefs which are very different from those of conservative Christians:
    bullet Emphasizes human rights, the findings of science, and the higher criticism (analysis) of the Bible;
    bullet Largely disregards biblical miracles, the infallibility, inspiration and inerrancy of the Bible, the Virgin birth;
    bullet Ignores passages in the Bible which are immoral by today's standards -- e.g. those dealing with human slavery, oppression of women, religious intolerance, torture of prisoners, genocide, burning some hookers alive, etc.

    http://www.religioustolerance.org/gl_l.htm
     
  8. Revmitchell

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    What is a Liberal Christian?

    Sometimes liberals are thought to be Christians who have backslidden; people who don't have enough faith, or are too "in the world." Actually, nothing could be farther from the truth. Liberal Christians are committed believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, who have thoroughly studied the scriptures and traditions of the Church, and have examined their faith in the light of reason and experience. They believe in:

    Diversity

    Perhaps the defining characteristic of liberal Christians is that they are comfortable with ambiguity and diversity. They realize that life is a complex spiritual journey, and that each person on that journey is confronted with unexpected revelations and unique experiences. Liberal Christians therefore welcome a variety of approaches to understanding God, and are open to new ways of talking about the divine. Religious questions are seen as complex, and answers only tentative. Certain that "now we see through a glass, darkly" (1 Cor. 13:12), liberals are cautious about making dogmatic statements or claiming to have a monopoly on the truth. They see the search for truth as an ongoing task, rather than one that has already been completed.

    A Non-Literal View of Scripture

    Conservative Christians are often content to answer religious questions by appealing to the absolute authority of Scripture. Liberal Christians, on the other hand, find such an approach to be flawed. Many see the Bible as a witness to revelation, or generally inspired, rather than completely inspired in all its parts. Just as Jesus was fully human and wholey divine, so one must also see the Bible as a product of both human and divine influences. Indeed, liberal Christians are quick to point out that the falleness and imperfection of its human authors gives the Bible an imperfect quality and authority.

    Liberals view Scripture through a critical lens, and are not afraid to challenge traditional assumptions and interpretations. They rely heavily on higher criticism of the Bible, which looks into the origin and composition of the biblical texts, revealing a great deal about the human aspect of Scripture. Modern philosophical, biological, and cosmological theories that are well supported by evidence, and reflect the true nature of the world around us, can also shape the way liberals interpret Scripture. Traditional Christian doctrines, such as the Virgin Birth, the Atonement, the Trinity, the deity of Christ, and the Resurrection, are sometimes given new interpretations by liberals.

    Perhaps more so than evangelical and Fundamentalist Christians, liberal Christians see the teachings of Jesus as having a central place. Scripture, Tradition, Reason, and Experience are each given equal footing in determining Christian faith.

    An Intimate, Personal View of God

    Imminent and personal images of God in Scripture are attractive to liberals. For some this takes on the form of a belief in panentheism (Everything-in-God-ism). Liberals also see little distinction between the natural and the supernatural, and therefore do not look for "miracles" to confirm the existence of God. Instead, they feel that faith in God allows one to see the Spirit moving in the everyday stuff of life.

    Universal Salvation

    The concept of personal salvation is not typically stressed by liberal Christians. Accordingly, traditional images of heaven, hell, and the End Times are not given much weight in their theologies. When salvation is discussed, liberals are more apt to stress its "this worldly" aspects, and appeal to a universalist interpretation of Scripture when confronted with questions of eternal punishment and rewards.

    For many liberal Christians, social justice is a central concern, and the transformation of society, rather than that of the individual, is more typically stressed. Equality for racial minorities, women, homosexuals, and the economically disadvantaged is seen as an essential part of the Gospel message. A concern for the environment, and other typically liberal social issues, also find a great deal of support among liberal Christians.

    Fellowship & Community

    Liberals tend to stress the centrality of community in the Christian experience. They can be found in almost all churches (from Roman Catholic to Southern Baptist), but tend to be in greater numbers in the mainline Protestant denominations: American Baptist Churches, USA; Disciples of Christ; Episcopal Church; Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; Presbyterian Church, USA; United Church of Christ, and the United Methodist Church. The Unitarian Universalist Association and the Metropolitan Community Churches are even more liberally minded.

    ....

    I find many of the liberal Christian views on God, salvation, women, homosexuality, Scripture, and Creation to be convincing. When I was an evangelical Christian, I often felt the need to wash over historical and scientific evidence with "faith" because the world around me did not mesh with my preconceived notions about Scripture. I had questions about Evolution, the Bible, other religions, etc., but those questions were always met with criticism or simplistic answers by my fellow evangelical believers. As a liberal Christian, I don't feel like I have to be intellectually dishonest to myself any more. I can incorporate what I know about science, history, and theology into my world-view without conflict. In other words, liberal Christianity just makes more sense! It is ultimately the reason why I became one.

    http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Olympus/2961/liberal.htm
     
  9. Magnetic Poles

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    Do YOU follow every theological position of every pastor who taught anyone YOU ever voted for? Rather than twisting and misrepresenting others for God knows what purpose, perhaps you should seek to remove the mote from your own eye. Crabtownboy has not said he follows the teachings of Jeremiah Wright. If you have evidence otherwise, let's see it. Otherwise, you are just making personal attacks against him.
     
  10. Revmitchell

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    What Liberal Protestants Believe


    Also sometimes referred to as secular, modern, or humanistic. This is an umbrella term for Protestant denominations, or churches within denominations, that view the Bible as the witness of God rather than the word of God, to be interpreted in its historical context through critical analysis. Examples include some churches within Anglican/Episcopalian, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, and United Church of Christ. There are more than 2,000 Protestant denominations offering a wide range of beliefs from extremely liberal to mainline to ultra-conservative and those that include characteristics on both ends.

    Belief in Deity
    Trinity of the Father (God), the Son (Christ), and the Holy Spirit that comprises one God Almighty. Many believe God is incorporeal.

    Incarnations
    Beliefs vary from the literal to the symbolic belief in Jesus Christ as God's incarnation. Some believe we are all sons and daughters of God and that Christ was exemplary, but not God.

    Origin of Universe and Life
    The Bible's account is symbolic. God created and controls the processes that account for the universe and life (e.g. evolution), as continually revealed by modern science.

    After Death
    Goodness will somehow be rewarded and evil punished after death, but what is most important is how you show your faith and conduct your life on earth.

    Why Evil?
    Most do not believe that humanity inherited original sin from Adam and Eve or that Satan actually exists. Most believe that God is good and made people inherently good, but also with free will and imperfect nature, which leads some to immoral behavior.

    Salvation
    Various beliefs: Some believe all will go to heaven, as God is loving and forgiving. Others believe salvation lies in doing good works and no harm to others, regardless of faith. Some believe baptism is important. Some believe the concept of salvation after death is symbolic or nonexistent.

    Undeserved Suffering
    Most Liberal Christians do not believe that Satan causes suffering. Some believe suffering is part of God's plan, will, or design, even if we don't immediately understand it. Some don't believe in any spiritual reasons for suffering, and most take a humanistic approach to helping those in need.

    Contemporary Issues
    Most churches teach that abortion is morally wrong, but many ultimately support a woman's right to choose, usually accompanied by policies to provide counseling on alternatives. Many are accepting of homosexuality and gay rights.

    http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/2001/06/What-Liberal-Protestants-Believe.aspx
     
  11. Revmitchell

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    If you can go back and show where I said crabby follows Wright, then by all means lets see it. As far as personal attacks go well your definition of that appears to be quite convenient for you. Now how are you going to add to the purpose of this thread.
     
    #11 Revmitchell, Mar 25, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 25, 2009
  12. OldRegular

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    Frankly I do not like the terms liberal or conservative when it comes to the Bible. I believe in the plenary verbal inspiration of the Bible. I subscribe to the Chicago Statement on the Inerrancy of Scripture. Yet I am called a liberal by some dispensationalists because I don't subscribe to the errors of Darby/Scofield. There is also a great tendency [and error] of people to equate political liberalism with so-called Biblical liberalism.

    I suppose I take a simple minded approach, though I don't consider myself simple minded contrary to what some on this Forum think. It seems to me there are two options:

    1. The Bible is the Special Revelation of God to man and is inerrant in all it addresses and, therefore, trustworthy for salvation.

    2. The Bible is not inerrant in all it addresses, and is, therefore, not trustworthy for anything including salvation.

    Some in the "Christian" community will opt for a third alternative and argue that the Bible is not the Word of God but that it "contains the Word of God". Who among us is given the mind of God to distinguish between what in the Bible is the "Word of God" and what is not.

    When I speak of an inerrant Scripture I mean the original autographs. I do not believe in inerrant copies though I believe some translations are far superior to others.
     
  13. Magnetic Poles

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    Here you go Mr. Short Term Memory:

    emphasis mine.
     
  14. Revmitchell

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    You are right I did say he follows the teachings of Wright. I missed the word "teachings". Anyway this blind support of Obama by him tells the story and is quite clear evidence. Crabby does not have to use the specific words "I follow Wrights teachings" for there to be evidence of that fact. Many on this board support liberation theology, social justice gospel whether it came to them by Wright or not.
     
  15. Jim1999

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    I love labels..............on drug bottles and clothing, then, sometimes they error also.

    I was called a fundamentalist at the university where I taught, and a liberal by my fellow Baptist colleagues......I have learned to ignore labels, but I am glad for people who can actually tell me just what I believe. Used car salesman have a bad habit of doing that too.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  16. Crabtownboy

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    Show me any Bible you have that does not contain words and I will apologize. You love to throw out that charge having taking something I said and totally misrepresented it. You read the Bible. You read words and you interprete those words. You are not infallible in interpretating those words ... and neither am I.


    No, everyone does not care about people and from previous posts I hold that your main interest is not the welfare of people but that you be considered correct on all your ideas.


    That is one of the most sophomoric ideas I have seen .... that because a person supports a particular politician that person also believes everything that person believes. You really can do better than that.

    I am not a blind supporter of Obama, nor was I was a blind hater of Bush. As I have said many times, I supported Bush early on and it was only after he and his administration began making some terrible mistakes did I become a critic of him.

    I will give Obama 18 months to 2 years and see what is happening then. It is far too early to make a rational judgment yet on his administration.
     
  17. preachinjesus

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    The things some people are willing to say to people they don't know but will have to spend an eternity with on the other side.

    Makes the outlook of evangelicalism bleak to say the least.

    Its all relative. I'm called such names around here (liberal, baby killer, Bible hater, etc) but am viewed as a near fundamentalist on other sites.

    Oh, and this kind of stuff doesn't matter all that much.
     
  18. Revmitchell

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    Lets take a look at what you said:


    Again yes my faith rests on the very Word of God. All my experiences are filtered through the Word of God. Faith in God apart from His Word is no faith at all. It is clear that you, as do all who hold to liberal theology, hold experience equal to scripture.




    This is a debate forum. If that is difficult for you do not debate.






    I used the word unapologetically,I did not use the phrase believes everything he says. And the first is problematic and shows your support of his liberal theology

    I see more liberal ideology. Waiting to see if the end justifies the means.
     
  19. DrRandyGrace

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    I have noted that conservatives do not mind being labled conservative, but liberals really don't like being labled liberal. Why is that?
     
  20. Revmitchell

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    Because of the opprobrious epithet "liberal," today they call themselves “moderates.” ~W.A.Criswell
     

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