Christian and/or/xor Liberal?

by Richard on October 26, 2004

La Shawn Barber links with approval to this this article by Doug Giles

For the “Christian” to lean politically to the left means that he must blow off huge chunks of the Bible and replace the scripture with the make-believe notions of postmodernism’s malleable “Christ.” Only after torturing the scripture can the Christian then fit liberalism into his supposed relationship with God.

I know that I’ve written about this before (more than once!) but it is a theme I’ll keep coming back to. This kind of stuff really cheeses me off. Christians on the Right are constantly assuming that every other conclusion is sub-Christian and based on something other than the Bible. And it really is a loathsome habit.

The thing is, I don’t mind being told I’m wrong or that I’ve misunderstood the scriptures. I know one thing with with absolute certainty: I am wrong about some things. You know what? You are too, gentle reader. To be ignorant and mistaken is part of the human condition after all. So tell me if you think I’ve reached a mistaken conclusion or have got hold of the wrong end of the stick in my interpretation of the Bible. We can sit down, have a beer (or tea if you’d prefer), chew the fat. Maybe one of us will be persuaded, maybe not. But if the conversation has as its most basic assumption our fundamental unity in Christ it will be fruitful.

The thing is, although I know I’m wrong about some stuff, I don’t know which stuff. If I knew which of my beliefs and opinions were mistaken I’d have different beliefs and opinions! So I live as though I’m right about everything ;) — it’s the only way to get anything done — whilst, I hope, being open to the views of others.

You read the Bible? So do I! If we disagree what it means, one or both of us is wrong. But if you think that we can’t legitimately disagree about economics, health care, defence, welfare, immigration and all the rest and remain brothers and sisters in Christ then I say without fear of contradiction - you are wrong. You are.

Update: I hadn’t heard of Doug Giles before. I must move in the wrong right circles. So I’m grateful to Father Jake for pointing me to this profile, which makes very interesting reading.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1

timsamoff 10.26.04 at 2:39 pm

Good thoughts, Richard.

2

Malc 10.26.04 at 3:03 pm

Yes, especially considering not only am I left wing, but I’m also a scientist…… and Christian!!!

3

Joel Thomas 10.26.04 at 3:19 pm

I’d say I’d have a beer to talk over the topic, but then that would be proof itself to some that I’m a non-believer, wouldn’t it?

Liberals and conservatives have clashed over the Bible for decades, if not centuries. But the idea that one side or the other can’t be Christian and hold to their political beliefs seems to be a newer insistence.

4

Jake 10.26.04 at 4:45 pm

I thought this guy sounded familiar, bu it wasn’t until I checked out his site and saw his catch phrase, “The clash,” that I made the connection.

I added a new link this weekend to an interesting site I found, “Bartholomew’s notes on religion.” It turns out he doesn’t care for Giles, either, and did a bit of digging. Here’s what he found.

5

Bene Diction 10.27.04 at 7:14 am

Father Jake: Nice find.
Here’s more on Morning Star ministries.
http://www.apologeticsindex.org/j08.html

6

Bene Diction 10.27.04 at 7:43 am

I find this interesting. I inadvertently ran into Morning Star followers on a non-religious blog in New Zealand, there was vicious hate filled stuff in the name of Jesus in the comments section. I didn’t realize latter rain, dominion, manifest doctrine had been imported and planted so heavily overseas.:^(

7

Solly 10.29.04 at 11:43 am

There is always a problem with applying the Bible socially and politically. Should we support the status quo, ala conservatives, with a bit of reform thrown in, or should we be radical prophets, seeking to change things hopefully for the better. I find i have been unable to make that sentance a neutral one, and my bias shows through. I started out as a Thatcherite Tory, and it’s becoming a Christian that has sent me left.

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