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The Heresy of Liberalism

Discussion in 'Christian Philosophy & Ethics' started by Leap, Aug 26, 2012.

  1. Leap

    Leap Guest

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    In light of how many believe that 'Liberal' and 'Christian' can go together in any meaningful way......

    “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God”​

    Liberalism (or to give it its proper name, Heresy, from the Grk hairesis meaning “choice”) is about individual freedom. Freedom from tradition, freedom from institutions, freedom from authority, freedom from dogma. The freedom to be and do as you choose.

    Although in part around for millennia, it comes today out of the Enlightenment's desire to 'free' people from the 'tyranny' of faith, revelation, institution and tradition, all of which bind people. In the place of such it proposes:
    * critical thought (where people, instead of having faith in revelation, are to think for themselves),
    * the replacement of tradition with innovation (as people thinking for themselves make themselves and their world anew, to suit themselves),
    * and the making fluid or discarding of institutions (such as marriage, family, church, sexual identity, gender roles, nation etc),
    all so that neither faith, nor tradition, nor institution limit individual freedom.

    Gone is the notion of an authority to which we answer, and instead mankind are made the measure and measurer of the world. Morality is now that which is consented to, and any governance is to only be with the consent of the governed; so, to Liberalism, God has no place unless He measures up to Our assessment. He ceases to be our judge and we become his. Instead of recognising Him as Lord and Creator, in Liberalism it is we who are to be our own creator, amidst a world of our making and in which institution is loose to the point of non-existence. In the cause of “liberty” those who adhere to Liberalism will seek to pull down the “restricting” barriers which give structure to the world; either not realising or not caring that without those walls the roof falls in.

    In doing all thus, Liberalism is creating a new world in diametric opposition to the old, pre-modern, world. One where revelation is questioned, faith critiqued, dogma discounted, institutions de-constructed, and traditions discarded. Where all are equally free. A world that is an increasingly ephemeral and evanescent, marching (and sometimes sprinting headlong) away from order, structure, and the rule of God, towards instead chaos, desolation and the “rule” of man. The freedom of Liberalism is then the freedom of the ruinous void so devoid of structure that it lacks any substance at all. Its proponents are priests of chaos handing out a poisoned chalice of uncommunion, the result being where all of the human race are equally damned.

    Thus where Christ offers freedom from sin, Liberalism offers freedom to sin. In short, it is anathema to God and should be recognised and treated as such by all who consider themselves Christian.
     
  2. holo

    holo fundamentally liberal

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    I don't know if I'm what you'd label a liberal, but I do love and support many of the characteristics of liberalism that you list here.

    First of all, I'm not sure there's really that much new under the sun. The world has always been changing and shifting, values (d)evolve, fashion and ideas come and go. Maybe it happens faster now, though.

    Anyway, why shouldn't revelation be questioned, for example? I take it that you refer to christian revelation. There's a lot of it, and a lot of it is crazy and I think it should all be questioned. If I am to live in some sort of relation with God Himself, I'd want to be sure I'm getting God right and not just swallowing some dogma or tradition or institution. You're damn right I'm going to question the millions of "authoritites" on God (and other things).

    Opposing the rule of, say, the church, or the cultural norms surrounding marriage, isn't the same as questioning God or God's rule. On the contrary, I would say. For instance I see the debates about marriage as finally an opportunity to try and lift it out of all these traditions and man-made laws and take a look at what God/the bible says it is. When you think about it, it's insane that christians of all people apparently believe that some law or priest or govermnent or tradition gets to decide what constitutes a bona fide marriage. It should be obvious that most christians aren't at all defending biblical marriage, they're defending traditional western marriage. Christians wouldn't want "biblical" marriage anyway, with bigamism, men getting to marry two sisters, buying teens to marry them, and so forth, not to mention the concept of wedding someone by going into their tent and having sex with them.

    Not to hiack this thread to be about marriage, but my point is that hey, here's the "world," the "seculars," doing us a giant FAVOUR by shaking some of our old cultural dogmas that have somehow gone from being man-made practical traditions to being a Thou Shalt from God Himself. It's a great opportunity to question these things and see if it's really a good idea to keep doing things the way we're used to, thinking like we're used to, believing like we're used to.

    I don't see any revolt against God in it at all. Revolt against social structures and institutions, yes. The bible is full of people who questioned their leaders, their culture, their values, and so forth, and I think more often than not those are to be our models.
     
  3. Audacious

    Audacious Viva La Socialist Revolution

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    Yes. In the modern world, we have freedom of choice; we have the ability to do what we want to do as long as it doesn't infringe on the rights of others. This is a good thing. You think that we should have some kind of law based on Christianity that tries to force everyone to live a Christian life?

    I'd love to see where in the bible Jesus advocated anything near a theocratic dictatorship.

    Okay. God gave us brains and He expects us to use them. Critical thinking is an essential part of Christianity because we need to use it to interpret the Bible, make correct moral actions and truly follow the Lord ("Is this something God really wants me to do, or am I just making it up for myself?").

    Also, I don't see the problem with replacing tradition. Traditions are often completely useless and shouldn't be followed at all. A tradition is defined as:

    "1.The transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation, or the fact of being passed on in this way.

    2.A long-established custom or belief that has been passed on in this way."

    Why should we keep traditions? Some nice ones in the United States include oppression of people of African descent. This is not a tradition that should ever be followed. Yes, some traditions have purpose, but you can't argue for them by saying that they're traditions - that doesn't make any sense in a world where so many traditions are monstrous. (The fact that I can point out even one monstrous tradition proves that we can't just blindly go 'tradition=good!'. There is one exception and that means we are capable of finding more.).

    We seem to answer to police and the court pretty often. My father is a criminal defense lawyer, and trust me, most people who commit crimes (1) get tried and (2) get sent to prison (often for decades).

    We have the freedom to believe in God or not, and therefore we have the freedom to submit to His will and try to do what He wants us to do. The fact is, we should have the freedom to publicly voice our opinions and our choices. Otherwise you have an oppressive regime which censors things that is seen as 'bad' - it's stopping freedom of thought and any kind of real progress, and keeping everyone afraid of an obviously evil government. Having thought crimes in your justice system is the absolute worst example of an oppressive regime - you can't get more oppressive than choosing what your citizens are allowed to believe.

    Uh. No. I am that weird thing they call a liberal, and liberalism is just about freedom to choose. Freedom to choose is a positive thing. Nowhere did Jesus say 'make everyone publicly submit to God, by force if you have to.' He never even told the crowds to stone pharisees, saducees, etc - which he could have! If you'll notice, Jesus wasn't a tyrant.

    Oh no. What if we had to think and decide for ourselves? I mean, critical thinking? Insane. We should operate by sentimentality and what we think God is, instead of using logic to interpret the Bible and our picture of the Lord.

    Are you by any chance a member of the Texas Republican Party? They're also against critical thinking in schools for undermining tradition.

    Edit: Also, hi. My name is James, and I'm a liberal-leaning political moderate and a dedicated Christian. Congratulations, they're easily reconciled! Especially considering how neither Jesus or Paul gave any hint that they wanted the Kingdom of Heaven to be an oppressive dictatorship. You make it sound like the ideal country is a Christian Saudi Arabia!

    And I don't really want that. I don't like blatant evil, no matter what person or ideology is in power. You can't just slap 'Jesus' on it and make it ethical; the Crusades were still a blatantly evil operation, regardless of the fact that it was an action by members of the Catholic church.
     
  4. Leap

    Leap Guest

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    God's law has no limit; he rules over every part of life.

    Jesus is God - "all power in heaven and earth is given me"

    The church is Jesus on earth - "Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free —and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many" and "so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others".

    Sorry, but yes indeed the intent is for this world to be ruled by Jesus, through the church. Freedom from God's rule is what Satan preaches.

    He also gave us genitals but is very specific on what uses of them are legitimate.

    See above. You are simply ignoring the fact that Liberalism (and thus where liberalism leads) is, regardless of how you try to counter-argue it, inherently and fundamentally against God (as I have clearly illustrated).

    I'm English, the clue is in the flag. ;)
     
  5. Percivale

    Percivale Newbie Supporter

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    I'm what most today would call a conservative. I vote republican, believe true marriage is between one man and one woman, believe the Bible is inspired by God, etc.
    And I believe freedom is a value close to God's heart, that what he wants most is to develop people who will desire what is good and freely choose what is right and accords with his character, from the thinking skills, values, and knowledge that He has given them and developed in them. "But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil." (Heb. 5:14) Even when God directly rules this earth, he will do it with minimal restraints on mankind's free will. "Your people will volunteer freely in the day of Your power..." (Ps. 110:3)
    Jesus would have been called a liberal by most people at his time. The world has never been perfect since the fall, nor has it ever been 100% evil, so liberals and conservatives will each be sometimes right, sometimes wrong, as the one tries new ideas and the other holds on to the old ways.
     
  6. hedrick

    hedrick Senior Veteran Supporter

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    The OP is speaking of the Enlightenment. It's true that parts of the Enlightenment were trying to get rid of the restraints of religion. The problem is that most modern Christians who are called "liberal" have no such desire. Many of us are in fact trying to follow Christ more exactly, and believe that many of the things conservatives are trying to defend are not things he taught, but instead come from the traditional side of culture.

    Unfortunately it's hard even to discuss this sensibly here, for two reasons: (1) the rules of CF rule out a number of the arguments, (2) the OP shows no sign of the kind of objectivity that would be needed for useful interaction.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2012
  7. Leap

    Leap Guest

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    Jesus may well have been called a trouble-maker and a boat rocker but he was no Liberal - he taught obedience to, and trust in, God's will, and that to men God's way seems foolish. This is contrary to what liberalism teaches, namely that it is we who are the judge of matters. Revealed authority is utterly alien to Liberalism but is core to Christianity.

    Part of the problem here is that America is taught to worship liberty but Jesus came to free us from sin, not free us to sin. The liberty of liberalism (and spoken of so often in the US, and indeed elsewhere as well) is not freedom from sin, it is freedom to do as you judge appropriate regardless of what revealed authority pronounces - essentially to do something only if you agree to it.....consent is the guide of what is moral, in a country built upon the very foundation of opposition to authority. This is why we see a rising tide of liberalisation; acceptance of promiscuity, divorce, abortion, same-sex "marriage", provocative dress, pornographic and violent media, etc. All matters of liberalisation as people are told that they are free to define for themselves what is right and what is wrong.

    Liberalism is not simply about removing restraints upon religion but about removing restraints across the board. Its raison d'etre is (and the clue is in the name) liberty. Liberals are the people that you will find attacking the institutions of marriage and family (usually by the notion of same-sex "marriage" and State-as-father respectively) on the grounds that non-fluid definitions of institutions are limits on the individual's ability to construct their own identity how they see fit and how best accords with their own judgement on the matter. So Liberalism wishes to liberalise the structure of society so that it allows what people want it to, rather than limit people - making us the measure rather than the measured.
     
  8. Armistead14

    Armistead14 Newbie

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    We can either let others think for us or learn to think for ourselves, which requires critical and comparative thinking. Sadly, many feel God doesn't like those that think for themselves, rather prefers people that just follow. Faith is a wonderful thing, but let's call blind faith what it is, accepting what someone teaches you at face value. I myself call that stupidity.
     
  9. hedrick

    hedrick Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Again, there is no basis for this. "liberal" of course is so vague as to be nearly useless. But mainline and liberal evangelical Christianity are focused on Jesus' priorities. Jesus' priorities are how we treat each other, not sins of status or sexual purity. Liberal ethics is not uniformly easier. We deemphasize things Jesus didn't mention but emphasize things he did. It's not conservative religion that has taken on abusive behavior of various kinds, including abuse of women, children, and the poor.

    Unfortunately we can't really talk about many of the specifics, because CF rules don't permit it. I am quite comfortable, however, that mainline Christianity is following Jesus.

    This is not a political thread. Unfortunately many liberals tend to be sound theologically but naive about real-world effects of various public policies. I was a Republican until the Republican party started turning weird. But these aren't theological problems. [Anyway, in politics conservatives used to be for liberty anyway. This is an emphasis I agreed with. I'm afraid today no one in the US wants liberty. They just differ about whose side they want the government to come down on.]
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2012
  10. Leap

    Leap Guest

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    Quite the contrary, actually, but I have come to expect blank denial from liberals.
     
  11. Imagican

    Imagican old dude

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    Liberalism is basically just a form of rebellion and irresponsibility. Those that 'give up' are usually those that call themselves liberals. Give up any sense of order, any sense of responsibility, any sense of STANDING UP for what is important.

    It's that, "WHO cares" and "Let it all hang out" mentality that has destroyed what America once was.

    Liberalism is just a form of laziness that allows one to SPEAK without DOING anything of substance.

    And of course, those that favor this 'ideology' are the FIRST to speak up in defense when someone points out the TRUTH of it. "HOW DARE YOU offer such judgement upon others!!!!!!!!! Haven't you LEARNED that you are NOT to judge others?"

    When in TRUTH, we have not only been inspired or required to judge, but COMMANDED to judge those that would be OUR TEACHERS. For what OTHER means do we have to SEE what they 'teach' without JUDGMENT?

    Freedom is ONLY a 'good thing' when it is able to be accomplished responsibly. And man has YET to reach the maturity for this possibility other than in very rare instances. But it would take ALL men to be responsible for TRUE freedom to exist WITHOUT abuse.

    These words are PERSONAL opinion of course.

    Blessings,

    MEC
     
  12. holo

    holo fundamentally liberal

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    Weren't it liberals who fought to abolish slavery?
     
  13. hedrick

    hedrick Senior Veteran Supporter

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    It's hard to do anything other than blank denial, when you characterize Christian liberals in a way that contradicts all of my experience in liberal churches. We are simply not concerned about liberty in the way you describe. We are concerned about how to follow Jesus. When someone makes a basic mistake there's not a lot I can say other than that you're wrong.

    Even responsible conservatives know that. My own denomination has been fighting over gays. But even our conservatives don't accuse us of not caring how people behave or being libertines, because it's obviously not true. They get that we're concerned about justice and treating each other well. They realize our standards for behavior are just as rigorous as theirs. They think we're wrong about how we apply Scripture.
     
  14. Leap

    Leap Guest

    +0
    Sorry, but which part of "liberal" do you really not understand? :confused: Liberalism is a certain set of values, from a certain source, and promoting a specific agenda. What I have illustrated is the source of the liberal values and the path that they lead to. Don't blame me if you run around in circles contradicting your own nonsense. :)
     
  15. ebedmelech

    ebedmelech My dog Micah in the pic Supporter

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    I'll say this about liberalism...I know it when I see it...:D

    This is where we need to understand that the scriptures are for us to understand how to live in an ungodly age.

    We are strangers and pilgrims in this world system. God is working through us to save others. God has given us principles to live by because we're to live for him in spite of what the world is doing.
     
  16. OrenG

    OrenG Newbie

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    “If you're not a liberal at twenty you have no heart, if you're not a conservative at forty you have no brain.” - Winston Churchill



    I don't mean to insult anyone with that quote, but it seems to reign true. I cannot see how anyone could be blind to the contradictions that exist in being a liberal christian.

    The bible says killing is wrong, including unborn babies, yet the liberal doctrine says it's perfectly fine since it's a woman's own body and is her choice to do what with it she pleases.

    The bible says adultery is wrong, yet liberalism is littered with it.

    The bible says lying is wrong, yet liberalism is based upon it.

    I could continue to go on, but you get the point.

    The point you may miss is that I understand both political schools of thought, or rather even EVERY political school of thought has it's flaws as it is made up of humans. However conservatives who seem to embrace ideals which are counter to liberal views, and are lead astray by sin, get flack and a half for it, while the liberal is brushed off and to some extent are expected to do these evils without backlash (i.e. Bill Clinton, etc).

    If you don't agree with the public view on liberalism and it's practices, don't call yourself a liberal, find another term that better describes what you are, either that or face these truths and admit you are contradicting what your faith and your political views say.
     
  17. hedrick

    hedrick Senior Veteran Supporter

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    OK, so according to all of this, i'm not a liberal, nor are many of the folks in the liberal forum. In fact the term "liberal" has a fairly specific meaning in theology. It was a movement in the 19th and early 20th Cent. There aren't that many liberals in that sense around today. However "liberal" is commonly used by people in CF to refer to anyone who denies key aspects of traditional Christianity such as inerrancy, generally the beliefs listed as "fundamentals" in the early 20th Cent fundamentalist manifesto, i.e. anyone who isn't conservative.

    You're equating liberal with what I'd call libertine. OK, but don't expect to communicate with other people if you use private definitions.
     
  18. weathered

    weathered Newbie

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    Christians mostly. Abe Lincoln started the Republican party and it was the GOP who was responsible for ending slavery, the democrats wanted to keep slavery so Abe Lincoln started a new party called the GOP which was key to ending slavery, the Democratic party however were the confederates who promoted slavery.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2012
  19. weathered

    weathered Newbie

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    Liberal vs conservative. I hate politics. Its a scam. We're getting scammed by both sides. Some liberals and conservatives are good and mature Christians, some are not. As far as politics goes neither side represents the Gospel fully.

    I say cast off politics, its just a stumbling block.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2012
  20. Leap

    Leap Guest

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    I'm using the actual definitions, the ones that the originators of liberalism actually used. :doh:
     
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