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Old 07-23-2003, 01:48 AM   #1
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My reasons for “liberal” over “conservative” Christianity

I’m new posting here but feel I have to add to this much debated topic here on FYM. Many conservative Christians I know simply can’t understand where I’m coming from in my “liberal” views as a Christian. I frequently get: “How could you believe just some of the bible not all of it?”, “How do you choose what to believe?” or my favorite: “If there’s no absolute truth than everything is meaningless because who’s to say what’s right or wrong?”

Here’s how I see it. We are born knowing essentially nothing. Eventually we learn or hear about religion. Knowing that this world is filled with many believers and non-believers alike we must decide where we stand as an individual: Is there or is there not a God?, we ask ourselves. I don’t think there’s conclusive evidence to prove an answer one way or another. However, the complexity of life on earth, and of our universe, and my belief that there are elements of our very being that can’t be explained naturally (i.e. near death experiences), lead me to believe it is more likely there is a God. The rest is faith.

Enter the Bible into the picture. Given that one believes in God a natural question to ask is whether the bible is really his word. Once again, who are we to really know for a fact one way or another? And if it is his word, is it just loosely inspired by him, yet subject to the fallibility of the humans who wrote it? Or is it truly his almighty, unchanging law. All else being equal, it’s only logical to accept that any of these scenarios may be true. But modern scientific evidence STRONLY SUGGESTS evolution and near guarantees through carbon dating that the world is billions and not thousands of years old.

At this point in the argument a conservative Christian will likely say, “But yeah, you still can’t prove these things.” True, we can’t. But how about this: We can PROVE, the earth is round, not flat. The bible, however, is written from a flat earth perspective. Besides, the laws of the old testament are far closer to being outright barbaric than “morally pure.” Conservatives will argue these are man’s laws, not God’s. I say, “Exactly! Maybe now you see my point!” The point of course being, we know (even conservatives admit) that these things couldn’t possibly be the word of God. Given that the only logical premise to start with is that the bible may or may not be God’s literal word, I see this as pretty convincing evidence to suggest it isn’t. Of course, this leaves things up for grabs in terms of precise morals, standards, laws, etc..a scenario conservative Christians fear dreadfully. Hence the statement: “If there’s no absolute truth than everything is meaningless because who’s to say what’s right or wrong?” The answer to this is society. That’s why we have a democracy where we elect officials who make laws defining what we believe to be right or wrong. True, some bad decisions are inevitably made along the way, but that’s how society evolves. We have a system that allows for changes when we as a people deem them necessary or fit.

How does this fit into Christianity? Not as neatly as conservative christianity, which, I believe, is a big reason their movement is gaining appeal in our complex world. The important aspects remain the same however. Love God above all else and love and treat others as you would like to be treated. But admit not knowing all the answers. And be open to change.

Anyway, I know this was waaay to long- especially for my second post. Just my two cents though.

-pFitz80

P.S.- For those who think I came pure out of the blue I recently introduced myself on Babyface
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Old 07-23-2003, 01:56 AM   #2
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First off, hello, pFitz. Welcome to the boards. .

Second, I like you already. Very nicely worded post. .

Angela
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Old 07-23-2003, 07:25 AM   #3
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Actually, my experience with the "barbaric" laws are that conservatives believe that God made them too, but then make excuses as to absolve themselves from adherence to them, while forcing them upon "undesirable" groups. The sheer fact that conservative Christians bitch and moan about gay rights, but ignore the fact that many of their own have divorces like nothing, shows how hypocritical they really are.

But if there is anything that I have learned, this is a problem that will never go away.

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Old 07-23-2003, 07:55 AM   #4
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Re: My reasons for “liberal” over “conservative” Christianity

Hi pFitz80 Welcome to the board.

I liked your post and your thoughts. Thanks for sharing.

Quote:
Originally posted by pFitz80
How does this fit into Christianity? Not as neatly as conservative christianity, which, I believe, is a big reason their movement is gaining appeal in our complex world. The important aspects remain the same however. Love God above all else and love and treat others as you would like to be treated. But admit not knowing all the answers. And be open to change.
I like your important aspects you listed here. It's too early in the morning for me to add much more, but I'll ditto what Melon said, and add that if you are consistent and live your beliefs, your friends will notice and respect that, and hopefully come to find you trustworthy and approachable about this topic. And being challenged (believers, non-believers, somewhat-believers, etc) is a good thing, for it keeps us fresh and it keeps us learning.

Olive
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Old 07-23-2003, 08:02 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon
Actually, my experience with the "barbaric" laws are that conservatives believe that God made them too, but then make excuses as to absolve themselves from adherence to them, while forcing them upon "undesirable" groups. The sheer fact that conservative Christians bitch and moan about gay rights, but ignore the fact that many of their own have divorces like nothing, shows how hypocritical they really are.
Have you ever known a real Christian, Melon, or just people who call themselves that and go to church on Sundays, while living like the devil the rest of the week? A real Christian has the Holy Spirit living in him/her, and the HS is indeed his/her new nature. A Christian wants to do what's right. THere's plenty of us out there. We do not "make excuses as to absolve themselves from adherence to them, while forcing them upon "undesirable" groups". And if you think we ignore our own divorce rate, me thinks you need to take a walk down the "Christian Living" section at your local Christian book store and see all the books on how to avoid divorce and build strong lasting marriages.

It's odd that for someone who rants and rails about conservative Christianity, you really know so little about us.

You have built your hatred for conservative Christianity on the fact that we believe homosexuality is wrong. You know darn well that most Christians don't insult or belittle homosexuals, but it doesn't matter to you. You are simply offended that we actually step out and make distinctions between what we consider right and wrong.

That, then, is Christianity's crime; in a world of relativism gone wild, Christians actually think that some things are wrong.

This is a great foundation for the coming new world order.
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Old 07-23-2003, 08:11 AM   #6
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Melon,

It seems that you issue sweeping condemnations about certain groups of people without realizing that certain members of this forum identify themselves as members of these groups. (Or maybe you do realize that certain members of this forum identify themselves as members of these groups.)
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Old 07-23-2003, 12:02 PM   #7
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pFitz80, welcome to FYM. I hope you enjoy the discussions.

A couple of thoughts.

First, if we decide there is a God, you must then answer the question: how do we know who He is? (this is not meant as a gender statement) Absent a reference source, the idea of “God” becomes something the individual creates; which of course is subject to change. With specific reference to the Bible, one view is the Bible is God’s revelation to us (through human writers) and is the sole source of revelation. Alternatively, you can use the Bible as a menu and select the attributes of God that best fit the god you are creating for yourself.


Second, you make the statement that society is the arbiter or right and wrong. This is essentially a “might makes right” form of argument. Society becomes either majority rule, the court of public opinion, or some other method that ebbs and wanes over time. If a majority in a society says “killing babies for fun” is “right” – does that make it truly right?

Again, just some thoughts.
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Old 07-23-2003, 12:32 PM   #8
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I think Jesus is the greatest liberal to have ever walked the planet.
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Old 07-23-2003, 12:36 PM   #9
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In what way?
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Old 07-23-2003, 12:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by speedracer
Melon,

It seems that you issue sweeping condemnations about certain groups of people without realizing that certain members of this forum identify themselves as members of these groups. (Or maybe you do realize that certain members of this forum identify themselves as members of these groups.)
I choose what's behind door #2



I'd like this thread to focus on the initial post instead of sidetracking too much already

thank you
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Old 07-23-2003, 01:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by 80sU2isBest
In what way?
A critic of the rich. He told the rich to sell their jewelery and give the money to the poor. - I don't think he would have been a big fan of the form of capitalism that's embraced so much by the conservatives.

He rebeled against the Pharisees. And exposed their misuse of Religion. - I think he would have been a huge critic of the Religous right of today.

He hung out with the "low lifes" of the time. Cured the sick and didn't charge them a dime. - Doesn't quite jive with the conservative view of health care.

He gave a helping hand to those who were against him. - Never turned his back on those who couldn't help his movement in some way.

Taught peace. Taught against judgement and condemntion. - Don't think he would have been a huge supporter of the death penalty.

Plus he had long hair and word sandals all the time. He looked like a hippy.
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Old 07-23-2003, 01:09 PM   #12
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i agree with the other statements btw

Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar

Plus he had long hair and word sandals all the time. He looked like a hippy.
That's definitely the best reason of the bunch.
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Old 07-23-2003, 03:00 PM   #13
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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar A critic of the rich. He told the rich to sell their jewelery and give the money to the poor. - I don't think he would have been a big fan of the form of capitalism that's embraced so much by the conservatives.

Actually, he wasn't a critic of the rich. He was a critic of loving money. There is a big difference. Many rich people are evry generous with their finances.

He rebeled against the Pharisees. And exposed their misuse of Religion. - I think he would have been a huge critic of the Religous right of today.
And do you remember what it was about the pharisees that he criticized? Their hypocrisy. He'd find hypocrites on the religious right and the religious left.

He gave a helping hand to those who were against him. - Never turned his back on those who couldn't help his movement in some way.
That is so true. However, he didn't teach that we should try to make others feel guilty who don't give. That is very un-liberal of him.

Taught peace. Taught against judgement and condemnation. - Don't think he would have been a huge supporter of the death penalty.
He taught His kind of peace, not what we think of in terms of having war or not having war. The peace he spoke about was the "inner peace" that comes from having a personal relationship with God. He taught against unjustly judging others' hearts, that's true, but he also spoke against sin. So there was no relativism going on with him.
And about the death penalty? Jesus' dad certainly believed in the death penalty, and Jesus never spoke against it, and since he said he and his Father are one, then maybe he wouldn't oppose it...
As for Christianity, we are divided on that one, just as others are divided on that one. I know as many (actually more) Christians who oppose the death penalty as those who support it. I for one have gone on record many times saying I oppose it, because of the imperfection of the justice system; I don't want innocent people to be executed by mistake.
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Old 07-23-2003, 03:25 PM   #14
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80sU2isBest:

1.Remember what he said to the rich guy what he had to do to get into paradise? After that i wouldn't call that person rich anymore

2.right, we find lots of hypocrats everywhere. Now the interesting question, who of the people who call themself conservatives/liberals ARE conservative and who are Pharisees.

3. Since when do liberals try to make others feel guilty??

4. Another one in that direction: "What you do to the least you do to Me"

Klaus
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Old 07-23-2003, 03:35 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Klaus
80sU2isBest:
1.Remember what he said to the rich guy what he had to do to get into paradise? After that i wouldn't call that person rich anymore
2.right, we find lots of hypocrats everywhere. Now the interesting question, who of the people who call themself conservatives/liberals ARE conservative and who are Pharisees.
3. Since when do liberals try to make others feel guilty??
4. Another one in that direction: "What you do to the least you do to Me"
Klaus
1.The man came to Jesus and asked Jesus what he should do. Jesus wanted to test him to see how much he really wanted to follow God, so he used the one thing he knew the man loved, money, as a measuring stick. The man refused to give up what he loved, to follow Christ. That man showed he was greedy and loved money more than God. This was not a blanket statement by Christ that all people should sell all their possessions. If so, it goes as much for you and I as for anyone. Do you think God doesn't want anyone to have any possessions whatsoever?

2.Can you rephrase this? I'm not understanding it.

3.I've seen it many times. In fact, it happened here on this forum recently. One guy badgered another because he thought the guy doesn't donate.

4)I don't really know how this rebukes anything I said.
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