What is a liberal Christian?

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Emily, Mar 4, 2004.

  1. Emily

    Emily
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    My definition of a liberal Christian, would be someone who sins, but calls it not a sin..

    for instance

    gay christians
    feminist christians
    etc

    I have heard lately though, somebody call James Dobson a liberal Christian..
    now

    I have heard James Dobson called many many things, but liberal is not one of them.. Radical right winger is..


    but.. is there an absolute definition of liberal here?
     
  2. FriendofSpurgeon

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    I think the person may be talking about lifestyle issues rather than truly liberal Christian positions from a theological point of view (eg, one who does not view Scripture as authoritative on all issues).

    Regarding the lifestyle issues, I will give it a shot based upon my experience. Not all of these will be held by all, but this should give you a flavor of some of the stuff out there.

    1. Dress -- Women should wear dresses to church (or always), Men should wear coat/ties to church; No shorts ever - even in the back yard. Otherwise, you are a liberal.

    2. Alcohol - Drinking wine and beer is a sin, and only done by liberal Christians. Sometimes even going to a restaurant where wine/beer is served(even if you are not drinking) means you are a liberal.

    3. Entertainment - Those who attend movies, dances, etc. are liberal Christians.

    4. Hair - Women=long; men=short; otherwise, you are a liberal Christian.

    5. Music - Only certain types of music should be allowed in church. Only certain instruments should be allowed in church. Or, only certain music should be even listened to at all. For example, all popular (country, rock, etc.) music is sinful and only listened to by liberal Christians.

    6. Jewelry - Women only for earrings (one per ear only), bracelets and chains. Men wear rings and watch only. If a man wears an earring, he's probably not a Christian.

    I consider myself (and my church) to be fairly conservative, yet have been told that I go to a "liberal" church. Go figure. In any event, I hope that this helps. God's best,
     
  3. A_Christian

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    A Liberal "Christian" is one who denies the inerrancy of the Scripture, the virgin birth, the Lordship of Christ and the need of sin sacrifice
    (Christ was ONLY an example).

    In fact they are not Christians at all.
     
  4. Gina B

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    Usually anyone who doesn't have the same strict standard as the person speaking does on a particular issue, whether it's on clothing or doctrine or lifestyle, they're gonna be a liberal to that person.
    Gina
     
  5. Jim1999

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    These days, we are so focused on labels that we forget the fundamentals. We want to call everyone who differs from us as liberals or some other monicker.

    Years ago, during the great liberal controversies, we did not connect liberal with Christian. We stuck with liberals and fundamentalists or conservatives. As time went by, and some watered down the values of scripture, we added the term liberal Christian.

    I may not like the way some dress, but it does not make them a liberal Christian. We confuse politics with theology and use liberal too liberally...too freely, and it now has little meaning, just a bad monicker.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  6. Johnv

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    Just curious... What is it that is sin if one is a feminist Christian or gay Christian? Since all Christians have sinned, do sin, and are sinners, then we're all either liberal Christians, or we're not.
     
  7. Johnv

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    I think you hit the nail on the head. A conservative is a liberal to a person who is more conservative than they.
     
  8. DHK

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    As pertains to fundamentalism, a liberal is one who denies the fundamentals of the faith--the virgin birth, the inspiration of the Bible, the deity of Christ, etc.

    When it comes to other issues such as evangelical churches cooperating with those churches that are liberal, they are usually called "New Evangelical." Thrown into this camp are those that also don't have the same standards that many fundamentalists value such as: music standards, dress standards, etc. But that varies from church to church, especially on music standard where it is so difficult for many to know where to draw the line. Example: Does your church allow a "mosh pit?" Some New Evangelicals do. Their standards are far more liberal than ours, but because they believe in the fundamentals of the faith, they are not a liberal church. Clear as mud?
    DHK
     
  9. TWade

    TWade
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    A preacher who wears a blue shirt instead of a white one.
     
  10. Jim1999

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    Good heavens! I am wearing a blue shirt.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  11. Dr. Bob

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    This is the problem.

    Liberalism and liberality are VIRTUES!
    We throw the term at something or someone as an attack or villification. It has lost ANY "good" connotation among most Christians, as it is linked to politics, or (as has been pointed out) the color of your shirt!
     
  12. TWade

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    Dr. Bob,

    Sad but true!
     
  13. Daisy

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    I been telling you all that! ;)
     
  14. Emily

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    "Just curious... What is it that is sin if one is a feminist Christian or gay Christian? Since all Christians have sinned, do sin, and are sinners, then we're all either liberal Christians, or we're not."


    I agree to a point..
    however

    the problem comes when churches endorse this lifestyle, when the bible clearly does not.

    having said that, an aquaintence of mine is a christian, who has struggled with the homosexual lifestyle, but has now denounced that lifestyle and making changes in his life that are necessary for this change.
     
  15. Johnv

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    What sinful "lifestyle" does a feminist Christian espouse? Most feminist Christians believe in equal rights for women, not special reight for women. As for gay Christians, I know a few. They don't espouse a homosexual lifestyle. They're celibate, and recognize that same gender intercourse is a sin.

    Now, if you're talking about feminist activists (that espouse special rights for women and not men), or gay activists (that espouse special rights for homosexuals), then I'd agree with you.
     
  16. Emily

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    Feminist churches

    -put women in the pastor position, which is not allowed in scripture

    -pro-choice or pro-abortion (womens rights!)

    -encourage women to work outside the home instead of taking care of the family
     
  17. Johnv

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    This is not a biblical doctrine. This is a biblical interpretation. It's also been shown to likely be an incorrect one based on the context.

    This is also not a biblical doctrine. It's a biblical interpretation.
    This is BY NO MEANS a biblical doctrine, nor an appropriate biblical interpretation. Both the Husband and wife are biblically called to take care of the family. But the Bible is silent on whom should work outside the home.
     
  18. Jim1999

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    In understanding the bible, culture must always be a consideration. For example, washing feet would not have the same significance conssidering we drive motorcars and walk on pavement, wear socks and shoes, not open sandals and walk on sand.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  19. Emily

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    Well John

    I guess all we can do is agree to disagree, because I just disagreed with everything that you just said..

    God Bless

    Emily
     
  20. Johnv

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    Emily, disagreements on interpretation aside, do you believe that those items are doctrinal? They're not. That's not a matter of opinion, that's a matter of fact.

    Jim1999, you're indeed correct. In addition to culture, the audience and intent of the writer must always be taken into consideration. COntext, Context, Context!!!!

    When we fail to take context into account, we end up with misapplied and misintpreted Scripture. In effect, we end up ading to scripture, which is something we're STRICTLY forbidden by sctiprure to do.
     

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