What is a Liberal?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Heavenly Pilgrim, Feb 1, 2009.

  1. Heavenly Pilgrim

    Heavenly Pilgrim
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    HP: The comment by Alive in Christ made me think. I borrowed the comment from another thread due to the fact the other thread has a different thrust oa the OP. I felt this topic might derail the OP on the other thread and would the list better served by starting a new thread.

    Strange how some view liberals from different perspectives. When I grew up liberals were primarily viewed from our perspective, not by doctrinal position or what Bible they used, but rather by their amusement, the things they watched, the places they attended, they way they dressed, the emphasis they placed on their long hair being their glory, the modesty in dress they exhibited, their obvious separation from the world and its practices, their overall spiritual demeanor as exhibited by their conversations and the importance they viewed such religious activities such as personal prayer, fasting, etc. Also one might have viewed liberals as less likely to be seen caring for the poor, visiting the sick in their infirmities and attending to the spiritual needs of those in prisons, etc., more interested in getting ahead momentarily than in things of God. Liberals would have possibly be see as desiring the things of God more as a ‘good outward duty’ performed more to be accepted and trusted by man rather than a personal service of devotion out of a heart set on pleasing God. Liberals might have been seen as those desiring the government to meet the needs of the poor etc.

    Today, how do you perceive liberals, or for than matter how do you perceive conservatives?
     
  2. Alive in Christ

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    H.P.,

    When I used the word "liberal" in a theological sense in that other thread, I was referring to those groups who are liberal regarding the scriptures.

    A liberal will believe that we have every right to be "liberal" with the scriptures, in the sense of having the right to simply inject our preferences at any opportunity, having little concern for allowing Gods scriptures to interpret themselves. And even sometime (regarding ultra-liberals) to even bring in other so called "holy" scriptures from other religions and considering them as authoritative as well.

    A conservative will not consider those other false scriptures to have any credibility or Divine authority at all, nor will they seek to interject their own ideas into the scriptures. They will seek to always allow the scriptures to interpret themselves, from only the text of the scripture.

    Hence, my referring to the Assemblies of God not being liberal, and commenting that they stick to Gods scriptures alone to support women in positions of leadership in the Church.


    :godisgood:
     
    #2 Alive in Christ, Feb 1, 2009
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  3. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Oh, I get it. Scriptures like 1Ti 2:12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” or 1Co 14:34 ¶ Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.” or “1Ti 2:11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. or 1Ti 3:1 ¶ This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. 2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; or “1Ti 3:7 Moreover ‘he’ must have a good report of them which are without; lest ‘he’ fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.”:):godisgood:

    PS: Maybe that is just my 'conservative interpretation. ':smilewinkgrin:
     
  4. OldRegular

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    If you are going to discuss liberals or conservatives you need to indicate from what perspective: Scriptural, Political or any other perspective.
     
  5. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Excellent point.:thumbsup: Pick one perspective of the denotation of a liberal that you might desire to comment on and give us your take. My comments were general in nature, and related to the first things that come to my mind when the word liberal is brought up in relationship to the Church.

    It was mentioned about liberals accepting other books not found in our Scriptures as a possible reason to denote another as a liberal. I cannot help but wonder what real significance there is in having the apocrypha or not having it. I have heard, but have not tried to check it out, that issues like Mary worship etc. might find their roots in it. Is there any that can point to a specific area of contention with the apocrypha, other than simply unproved authorship and the fact that it was not considered in the cannon of Scripture by those responsible for the canonization of Scripture?

    The word liberal to me has always had a negative ring to it, an undesirable ring. Yet I personally have not looked at Catholics, for example, that utilize the apocrypha as 'liberal' due to simply having those extra books in their Bible. If I was to attach the label ‘liberal’ to any of them it would be more so along the lines I mentioned in the previous post certainly not limited to or singling out those that are Catholic or making the denotation of liberal based on the apocrypha use alone. Maybe I am asking if in fact it is reasonable to attach the word ‘liberal’ to anyone based on the use of the apocrypha (extra books added to Scripture) alone? I certainly have never thought of it that way before.

    Can one be liberal theologically yet a conservative in their private or political life? Would it not seem reasonable that if one was a liberal that all aspects of their life would be affected, both theological, political, as well as even their lifestyle to some degree?

    It would seem again to me that when one allows something 'liberal' into their thinking, that it in time would effect their lives, their thinking, their politics and their religion. If it does not have an affect in every avenue, is the connotation of being a liberal really depicting truth as to what they are being called? Liberal simply genders thoughts automatically from so many differnt angles it would see to be wisdom not to use the word without great caution lest the wrong impression might to be implied. To say that one, (or a group
    ) was 'not liberal' also genders a multitude of ideas upon ones mind that might not be in keeping with the limited connatation of what constitutes a liberal within the specific parameters in the authors mind hidden from all others.

    Is the word ‘liberal’ generally thought of in a negative light to those on the list? Is the use of the apocrypha (which by the way I do not use or read) reason alone to attach the word ‘liberal’ to an individual? Why or why not? Who establishes the guidelines of the word in whatever context it is used?
     
    #5 Heavenly Pilgrim, Feb 1, 2009
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  6. gb93433

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    Often we think that liberals do not believe the Bible. Anyone or any group which does not make disciples is liberal too. They show by their practice that they do not believe the Bible. They are not practicing Mt. 28:19, 20 and are not doers of the word. They are deluded. It does matter what the exterior label is but what the practice is the same.

    James 1:22, "But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves."
     
    #6 gb93433, Feb 1, 2009
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  7. gb93433

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    Nobody is truly conservative in every area of their life.
     
  8. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Are you certain? Are you absolutely certain? Even if there was not one alive are you saying that the possibility does not exist? If so, what area of ones life is too hard for a believer WITH THE HELP OF THE HOLY SPIRIT to be conservative in? Can we do all things through Christ which strengtheth us, or is it impossible for us to do as well as God promises we can if we will but believe and trust Him in humble obedience to accomplish it in our lives?
     
  9. gb93433

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    While your rationalistic reasoning sounds great it is far from reality. While most who who are legalistic also borderline or step over into the area of failing their personal responsibility. I assume that you would call yourself a conservative. How many in your conservative church are making disciples. Usually it is a very small percentage. That is quite close to practical athesism and disobedience. The Christian life is much more than just intellectual ascent similar to atheism. In light of Mt. 7:21-23 do you kmnow any who would meet that message? If you listen to those from other contries where there is opposition to Christians how may of them see Christianity here as dynamic and far from a liberal practice. The problem is that so many of American leaders do little more than slap each other onthe back and praise each other for the nickels and noses while creating little more than a dog and pony show.

    How many times have you been approached by a Christian with the gospel compared to JWs or Mormons.

    Jesus was not a conservative by the standards then. He was more of a moderate. His message was radical and His practice focused on salvation and discipleship.

    Back to a more direct reponse: think about the theology of a conservative or liberal and then consider their practice. A lot of liberal churches have very conservative music while a lot of CCM music is found in conservative churches. That is just one example. When I was in business most of those who did not pay their bills who went to church were in conservative churches. As for me personally I am quite conservative in my theology but in practice I fellowship with those who name the anme of Christ and live for Him. I have bene able to move some of them to a more conservative theology. One is a Lutheran pastor who now will immerse those who become Christians.
     
  10. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Was Jeremiah a liberal? God foretold a lack of response before he was ever sent.


    Jer 1:17 Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I command thee: be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee before them.
    18 For, behold, I have made thee this day a defenced city, and an iron pillar, and brasen walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the people of the land.
    19 And they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith the LORD, to deliver thee.



     
  11. gb93433

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    Your view is quite limited in scope. I seriously doubt that Jeremiah had no followers. Jesus told his disciples to shake the dust off their feet but they still made disciples. Even in countries where Christians were jailed for their faith they were made disciples. When Paul was in prison he made disciples. Location is not an excuse. When Rev. Richard Wurmbrand was tortured for his faith he still made disciples.
     
    #11 gb93433, Feb 2, 2009
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  12. FriendofSpurgeon

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    I agree. I would separate into three categories -- political, social and scriptural. While someone might be a liberal or conservative in all three categories, that is not necessarily a truism.
     
  13. OldRegular

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    Barry Goldwater is probably a good example of this assuming that the Episcopal Communion is liberal. Goldwater sort of strayed after he married a younger second wife.
     
  14. OldRegular

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    I wholeheartedly agree!:thumbs:
     

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