What is a liberal?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by sister christian, Apr 18, 2008.

  1. sister christian

    sister christian
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    What is a "liberal?" How is a liberal a threat to fundamentalists?
     
    #1 sister christian, Apr 18, 2008
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  2. Ed Edwards

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    One of the unwritten rules of the BB prohibits anybody from giving a meaningful reply to your question.

    Even more of a social boo-boo is to ask such a question in the Forum which is a safe haven for Fundamentals.

    2 Timothy 2:23 (Geneva Bible, 1599 Edition):
    And put away foolish and vnlearned questions, knowing that they ingender strife.
     
  3. Ed Edwards

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    //How is a liberal a threat to fundamentalists//

    It diverts fundamentalists from the real enemy: the old man.

    Col 3:8-10 (Geneva Bible, 1599 Edition):
    But now put ye away euen all these things, wrath, anger, maliciousnes, cursed speaking, filthie speaking, out of your mouth.
    9 Lie not one to another, seeing that
    yee haue put off the olde man with his workes,
    10 And haue put on the newe, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him

    -
     
  4. swaimj

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    Liberalism denies that God intervenes in history in a supernatural or miraculous way. Therefore liberalism denies basic tenets of the scriptures such as creation, miracles, and the resurrection. In doing this, it keeps the forms and language on Christianity but ceases to actually be Christian.
     
  5. Ed Edwards

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    Think you Brother swaimj -- you proved my points with 1/3 the words. Good post!
     
  6. Alcott

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    A liberal is what Saul became when he chose to offer the sacrifice instead of wating for Samuel, and failed to kill and destroy all the enemies and their stock because he judged it to be better than to follow the direct commands, and insisted what he did was for 'sacrifice.' Or IOW he thought it wasteful to obey the commands of God if they didn't seem to be to the peoples' benefit; thus, ignoring them was justified.
     
  7. Revmitchell

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    Anyone who doesn't believe as I do. Or so I have heard.:laugh: :wavey:
     
  8. Crabtownboy

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    A liberal is one who allows the entire Bible to speak to him/her and does not approach the Bible with a pre-concieved set of beliefs into which the force proof-texts. This makes them more conservative than most fundamentalists who attempt to force the Bible to say what they want it to say.

    I am not speaking of political liberalism. That is a different topic and one fundamentalists often try to lump together. This is an error on their part.

    [All very gently said.]
     
  9. Dale-c

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    Just as fundamentalism really no longer refers to the true fundamentals, liberalism can often refer to those who do not live up to the standards of the new fundamentalists.

    The way you dress, what you drink and the bible you use can now make you a liberal in the minds of many so called fundamentalists.

    But that is NOT what a liberal really is.

    What SwaimJ said is what liberalism really is.
    I might add that false fundamentalism of rightousness by "standards" is no better off that liberalism often times.
     
  10. John of Japan

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    Thanks for saying it gently, but this is a very strange definition of a liberal, and not at all the usual one. You are making liberals out to be the good guys here. However, in theology a liberal is one who denies one or more of the cardinal doctrines of the faith.

    Here are some statements about liberalism from Millard Erickson, noted Southern Baptist theologian (and not a Fundamentalist by the way), from his systematic theology entitled Christian Theology:

    (1) "Although liberalism is not naturalism, it has similar tendencies, tending to view God as working exclusively through natural processes rather than through radical discontinuities with nature (miracles). The liberal is happy to accept evolution as an example of God at work" (p. 331).

    (2) "Liberals do not believe that humans' original nature has been corrupted; rather, they view human nature as intrinsically good and capable of developing further" (p. 332).

    (3) "Liberalism, however, rejected the idea of the resurrection of the body" (p. 1181).

    So according to Erickson, liberalism denies the miracles of God, denies that we are sinners, and denies that we will be resurrected someday (usually also denying that Christ rose from the dead). I certainly hope that this does not describe you. However, if it does, please note that the BB Fundamental Baptist Forum is for those of us who believe in an inerrant Bible. Just a gentle reminder. :saint:
     
  11. Ed Edwards

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    Yes, that is what a Liberal is.

    But i get a lot of 'bait & switch with 'Liberal' definitions.

    Joe Blow doesn't believe what I do, so he is a Liberal.
    You know all those liberals like to take a pint of wine with supper.
    Liberals are drunks, so Joe Blow is a drunk also.

    Of the some two dozen (2times12=24) reports I've read about the BB = Baptist Board, it is said that too many Liberals roost there & don't give the Fundamentals room to breath or say anything.

    Anyway, I hold to my original post: A meaningful discussion of 'Liberal' cannot take place here, it is forbidden to do so.
     
  12. Ed Edwards

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    Read post #176 over in this thread.

    http://www.baptistboard.com/showthread.php?t=48987&page=18

    My trailer (signature) following this paragraph is used by some to define 'liberal'. Too bad it is a commandment of God for His Children, of which I am one.

    Here is the 'switch & bait' logic:
    Ed will accept others, even [for example) polluting sinners.
    People who accept dirty polluting sinners are dirty & nasty Liberals
    Therefore Ed is himself a Liberal, dirty & nasty polluting sinner :(
     
  13. Crabtownboy

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    John,

    Thanks for the reply. I guess by Erikson's description I am not a liberal. Now, why did I respond as I did? It is strange, but as I have grown older and have studied the life of Christ more carefully and taken his teaching and examples of how he treated others more seriously the more often I am call a [GASP] liberal by fundamentalists. So, I guess I am not a fundamentalist. In fact, I have never called myself a fundamentalist, but I have called myself a conservative. I believe it would be interesting to start another thread discussing the difference between a conservative Christian as compared to a fundamentalist Christian.

    Ed, I see your trailer as a very Christian statement.
     
  14. John of Japan

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    I sympathize with you. I've occasionally corrected fellow Fundamentalists who didn't really know what a liberal was. Unfortunately the word is used by many as an insult rather than a word describing a position about the Bible.
     
  15. North Carolina Tentmaker

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    JoJ is right on with that statement.

    Liberalism can be defined many ways. If you want a simple answer in context of our Baptist Churches today the fundamentalists take a literal view of the Bible while the liberal does not.

    To be liberal, politically or religiously should mean to be open minded, to look at reform, change or progress in a positive way, not bound by traditional or conventional ideas. But that definition gets messes up all the time. An idea like the privatization of social security is a change, a new idea. It should be embraced by liberals, but of course it is not. As John pointed out these words have become insults and to use the dictionary definition no longer gives us a complete understanding.

    The threat to fundamentalists is of course the threat to the literal interpretation of the Bible. If the Bible means what it says then we should not really be open to other ideas that go contrary to it. Then the problem of tradition comes in. When our traditions are found to go against the actual teaching of God’s word then we should be agents of change.
     
  16. Crabtownboy

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    NC ... I totally agree and this is what I attempt to do, to remain open minded knowing that there is much I do not know and much that God can teach me. It is one of the reasons I ask questions and for clarification. This is one of my major problems with many who call themselves fundamentalists. To me, instead of being open minded to the Bible and believing that there is much more to learn, they attempt to close scripture and use only those passages that support the beliefs they already have. To do this is to shut God out and not allow him to continue teaching us.
    [As always gently said.]
     
    #16 Crabtownboy, Apr 28, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 28, 2008
  17. North Carolina Tentmaker

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    That is right. If we are truly to be Bible Believers, if we really believe Sola Scriptura; then we have to be both conservatives and liberals at the same time.

    We need to be open minded to the scripture, not given to private interpretation or the traditions of the church, but open to what the Bible really says and means. At the same time we are to be close minded to those things that are contrary to scripture. If something goes against scripture it is wrong, we don’t even need to consider it. But what does the bible really say and what were we just told it said? You may have, like me, learned that some of those “Bible Stories” and Sunday school lessons we were taught as kids were not exactly truthful.
     
  18. Crabtownboy

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    You are so right about Sunday School lessons. Many years ago I taught ten year old children and there was a lesson where the quarterly was simply wrong. It happened that I was at a meeting where several people from the Sunday School Board were present talking about lessons and Sunday School. I pointed out the lesson that was simply wrong and was amazed when I was told,

    "Yes, we knew that, but we wanted to present an idea and that scripture was the closese we could come." This was an SBC quarterly.

    I agree that if an idea goes against scripture we are not to include it in our beliefs. But I do feel we need to examine it so we can give a rational argument as to why we do not believe that particular idea."
     
  19. Revmitchell

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    A liberal spends more time considering social issues now than they do eternal issues. They distort a clear view of God by presenting Him as one who came to this earth to right wrongs and protect the poor. Christ had one single mission and that was to redeem a depraved man so that God the father may be glorified. Appealing to the earthly ministry of Christ as a spring board for marxism is disgusting and quite liberal.
     
    #19 Revmitchell, Apr 29, 2008
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  20. Andre

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    I do not think this is correct. God is of course interested in redeeming mankind. But He is very much interested in establishing a just world in the here and now. I do not direct this at you, but it can serve the power interests of the present world to portray things as you do, because it legitimizes the present power structures, structures in which the rich get richer and the poor "get the picture".

    In the Old Testament, we have the jubilee law - every so many years, debts are to be forgiven. Are to spiritualize this as simply a symbol of our salvation and ignore the implications for the present world (e.g. third world debt)? I doubt it, although, again, there is a motive to see these things as having no connection to the present world - it lets the rich continue to exploit the poor.

    Or what about the exodus - the paradigmatic example of God performing an act of redemption. Why do we so often collapse this into only a symbolic pre-figuring of our redemption from sin? To be sure, that is true. But, like some of the parables Jesus told us, it is a story about how God is becoming King and what this present world will look like when God is in charge.

    I am happy to argue the scriptures - there are lots of texts that show that God is very much interested in justice in this present world and that that the gospel is not the watered down version it has become - the notion that if we believe in Jesus, we go to heaven when we die.

    That message is not what put Jesus and risk and forced Him to go indoors to explain His parables. That message was not what put Paul in jail. Both Jesus and Paul were challenging the power structures of their day with a politically challenging message that Jesus is becoming King of this present world. And while the powerful can ignore a gospel about what happens when you die, they react violently against one that challenges their claims to power.
     

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