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Old 08-24-2005, 03:44 PM   #1
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Conservative Christian

As a Christian, I've very often been misunderstood and inaccurately labelled a "conservative" Christian when really, I consider myself a more traditional Christian. I'm just curious to here what comes to mind when you guys hear "conservative Christian". What makes a Christian conservative vs. traditional, contemporary, liberal, etc? What's the difference between being just plain conservative or being a conservative Christian? What's your definition, from whatever perspective you're at, of a "conservative" Christian?
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Old 08-24-2005, 03:51 PM   #2
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There are two that instantly jump to my mind:

1.The unrealistic, sterotypical, exaggerated, charactures you see in movies. Middle-aged people with no sense of humor who take every word of the bible literally, who punish their children if they weren't paying attention in church, who think the word 'crap' is one of the seven dirty words, who often seem to have no joy in life.

2.Absolutely out-of-mind stark-raving insane television evangilists like Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson.
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Old 08-24-2005, 03:54 PM   #3
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Hmm...I guess there really isn't really a distinction between the terms "traditional" and "conservative." you see, conservatives are by their very nature traditionalists - they find wisdom in the past, and don't like change. I myself am a Christian (albeit one who doesn't go to church very often), and am often turned off by the rigidity of traditionalist Christians. I respect their willingness to stand up for certain values, but sometimes I think trad/conservative Christians are way too quick to judge others shortcomings. I mean, I don't think, for example, that homosexuality is morally correct, but I HATE the way that many traditional Christians treat gay people. What about love thy neighbor? What about do not judge lest ye be judged? Who made these people God anyway? Who's to say that a gay person can't go to heaven? Not me, not you, and not any other human on the face of this planet.
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Old 08-24-2005, 03:57 PM   #4
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One that believes in absolutes, takes every word of the Bible as a literal word spoken from God, and feels the need to bring those beliefs into politics and into other people's lives.
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Old 08-24-2005, 03:58 PM   #5
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I guess I should answer my own questions. I've always seen conservative Christians as Christians with fundamentalists beliefs regarding the Bible and a rather arrogant, exclusive theology. Also, it seems they tend to withdraw from or radically shun society rather than trying to engage in society in order to change it through example.
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Old 08-24-2005, 04:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by starvinmarvin
Hmm...I guess there really isn't really a distinction between the terms "traditional" and "conservative." you see, conservatives are by their very nature traditionalists - they find wisdom in the past, and don't like change. I myself am a Christian (albeit one who doesn't go to church very often), and am often turned off by the rigidity of traditionalist Christians. I respect their willingness to stand up for certain values, but sometimes I think trad/conservative Christians are way too quick to judge others shortcomings. I mean, I don't think, for example, that homosexuality is morally correct, but I HATE the way that many traditional Christians treat gay people. What about love thy neighbor? What about do not judge lest ye be judged? Who made these people God anyway? Who's to say that a gay person can't go to heaven? Not me, not you, and not any other human on the face of this planet.
Question: why do you paint conservative and traditionalist Christians with the same brush? I consider myself a traditional Christian. I prefer a much more traditional style of worship and as a Calvinist, a more traditional theology. But my "traditionalness" does not extend beyond the realm of religion. Can you see how it's offensive to assume a traditional Christian is automatically politically and socially conservative?
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Old 08-24-2005, 04:01 PM   #7
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Firstly I think of people who like to claim the Bible is to be interpreted literally, but in reality mean they believe particular verses are to be interpreted literally as and when it suits them.

Secondly I think of people who condemn homosexuality, believe women should be subordinate to men, etc.

Third, I think of people like Falwell, Robertson and the like. Because as much as some people in FYM would like us to believe these people don't represent conservative Christianity, you have to wonder if they're regarded by conservative Christians as a bunch of nutjobs, how is it that they occupy positions of high visibility and influence?
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Old 08-24-2005, 04:07 PM   #8
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Originally posted by LivLuvAndBootlegMusic


Question: why do you paint conservative and traditionalist Christians with the same brush? I consider myself a traditional Christian. I prefer a much more traditional style of worship and as a Calvinist, a more traditional theology. But my "traditionalness" does not extend beyond the realm of religion. Can you see how it's offensive to assume a traditional Christian is automatically politically and socially conservative?
Well, all i can say is good for you. From my experience, most traditionlist Christians are conservatives as well - the kind whose traditionalism extends to all things in life. Believe me, I've experienced enough of this to know what I'm talking about. I was forced to attend such a church as a child, and much of my family is in that same vein as well. I wish that more Christians could be more politically and socially liberal, but I'm afraid that brand of Christian pretty rare (in North America, that is). I understand why you take offense, but you have to understand that you're a rarity - a Christian who is tolerant of others.
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Old 08-24-2005, 04:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by starvinmarvin


Well, all i can say is good for you. From my experience, most traditionlist Christians are conservatives as well - the kind whose traditionalism extends to all things in life. Believe me, I've experienced enough of this to know what I'm talking about. I was forced to attend such a church as a child, and much of my family is in that same vein as well. I wish that more Christians could be more politically and socially liberal, but I'm afraid that brand of Christian pretty rare (in North America, that is). I understand why you take offense, but you have to understand that you're a rarity - a Christian who is tolerant of others.
Yeah, but just because a LOT of traditionalist Christians are also conservative still doesn't mean it's OK to use those terms interchangeably, right? I'm sorry you had a bad experience with Christianity, but please don't assume it to be normal. Just because people might consider others like me a "rarity" doesn't mean the stereotype is in any way fair or acceptable, IMO.
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Old 08-24-2005, 04:11 PM   #10
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when I think of conservative Christians I dont really think about the ultra right wing whack-jobs. I think more of people like George Bush (W).

It just struck me how weird it is that he can use Christianity to justify his actions and beliefs and at the same time I use Christianity to justify mine when I am nearly the polar opposite of everything he says and does.

Does that make me a Liberal Christian?

I guess it's all relative.
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Old 08-24-2005, 04:18 PM   #11
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Originally posted by LivLuvAndBootlegMusic


Yeah, but just because a LOT of traditionalist Christians are also conservative still doesn't mean it's OK to use those terms interchangeably, right? I'm sorry you had a bad experience with Christianity, but please don't assume it to be normal. Just because people might consider others like me a "rarity" doesn't mean the stereotype is in any way fair or acceptable, IMO.
I don't know....it just seems like maybe you shouldn't think of yourself as a "traditionalist," because by definition a conservative is traditional in belief and practice. Just because you accept the authority of the Bible doesn't mean that you are a traditionalist. It just means that you are a Christian. That's all.
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Old 08-24-2005, 04:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by starvinmarvin


I don't know....it just seems like maybe you shouldn't think of yourself as a "traditionalist," because by definition a conservative is traditional in belief and practice. Just because you accept the authority of the Bible doesn't mean that you are a traditionalist. It just means that you are a Christian. That's all.
My worship style and theology is VERY traditional, there's not really another way to describe it. I don't feel I should re-label myself because of what others think.
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Old 08-24-2005, 04:32 PM   #13
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Originally posted by LivLuvAndBootlegMusic


My worship style and theology is VERY traditional, there's not really another way to describe it. I don't feel I should re-label myself because of what others think.
Well, I just don't think you've labelled yourself correctly. You're a Christian, right? Isn't that an accurate enough label?
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Old 08-24-2005, 04:35 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by starvinmarvin
Hmm...I guess there really isn't really a distinction between the terms "traditional" and "conservative." you see, conservatives are by their very nature traditionalists - they find wisdom in the past, and don't like change. I myself am a Christian (albeit one who doesn't go to church very often), and am often turned off by the rigidity of traditionalist Christians. I respect their willingness to stand up for certain values, but sometimes I think trad/conservative Christians are way too quick to judge others shortcomings. I mean, I don't think, for example, that homosexuality is morally correct, but I HATE the way that many traditional Christians treat gay people. What about love thy neighbor? What about do not judge lest ye be judged? Who made these people God anyway? Who's to say that a gay person can't go to heaven? Not me, not you, and not any other human on the face of this planet.
Damn... I see a lot of myself in that post.... Judge not, lest ye be judged. Good stuff.
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Old 08-24-2005, 04:38 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by starvinmarvin

Well, I just don't think you've labelled yourself correctly. You're a Christian, right? Isn't that an accurate enough label?
I would hope so, but it's not really the point here...

So are you saying that you think I'm a conservative Christian? If so, I'd like to know your definition of a conservative Christian so I can properly defend myself...
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