On Being Neither Liberal Nor Conservative
I guess I should say upfront, I’m not from the US. ¬†As an outsider I find a fair share of the Liberal vs Conservative rhetoric pretty toxic and worldly. ¬†It saddens me when Christians buy into it. Not that Christians should avoid thinking about or discussing politics. ¬†In fact the opposite is true, our faith […]
I guess I should say upfront, I’m not from the US. ¬†As an outsider I find a fair share of the Liberal vs Conservative rhetoric pretty toxic and worldly. ¬†It saddens me when Christians buy into it.
Not that Christians should avoid thinking about or discussing politics. ¬†In fact the opposite is true, our faith demands political awareness and concern.
But when our faith is defined by allegiance to a political ideal or party (or hatred of such), then we are guilty of idolatry. ¬†To me, it is that simple. ¬†The moment we feel closer to non-Christians who share our politics than to Christians who do not is the moment sin has won. ¬†
Moreover, dividing everyone up into either liberal or conservative on political issues is crushingly narrow and jejune in my view. ¬†Opinion, is not that easy to classify (e.g., in the UK many of the most economically conservative voters are very socially permissive and not at all “conservative” on moral issues).
I used to call myself a liberal Christian, simply because the best ideas of my denomination (Baptist), were originally liberal ideas centuries ago; liberty of conscience, religious freedom, extempore prayer, etc. ¬†However, amidst all the sound-bite logic these days, it’s just too hard; the word liberal is like a red rag to a bull.
I’ve tried the word moderate and feel a lot of resonance with moderate Baptists in the US. ¬†However, you then get folks who want to run the whole “watering down the faith” line. ¬†It’s just so dull.
In the end all you can do is be honest about your faith and not make concessions to the world, which includes concessions to media-inspired ways of avoiding debate and reflection.
Jesus is my personal lord and saviour. ¬†I hold to all 66 books of the Bible as the inspired word of God. ¬†My faith is historic and attentive to the debates and creeds of the early church. ¬†I’m personally committed to mission in the world and seek to avoid sin within it. ¬†If that is not enough and people want to call me names because I don’t bow and scrape before the political idols of our day, well, there is not much I can do about that, is there?
[tags] Liberal, Conservative, Political Theology [/tags]