I look for this from time to time and keep forgetting to save it.
I look for this from time to time and keep forgetting to save it.
(In preparation for the upcoming election cycle - with an eye toward "where faith and politics intersect."
when I discuss the "contraception mandate" or the "gay agenda", I specifically use the term "leftist" instead of "liberal."
I've heard the question asked again and again, "why can't we reach a compromise?"
I believe the answer lies in the "rise of the wings" - classic liberalism and classic conservatism had much in common. When the "wings" - right wing and left wing - move further and further apart, compromise becomes more difficult.
Classic conservatism and classic liberalism had, more or less, the same goals. Left wing politics and right wing politics do not.
One problem is that modern politics don't use Biblical meanings. Christianity stresses personal responsibility, while the following thoughts on political conservatism stress societal responsibility. Liberal politics stress individual rights, but not responsibility.
A couple of basic definitions:
Conservative: A traditional conservative will support any social institution (public or private) that promotes and maintains social order and public good. A traditional conservative will emphasize the social/societal (both social responsibility and social benefit) over the isolated individual. (link)
Liberal: When the term “liberalism” (from the Latin word liberalis, meaning “pertaining to a free man”) first emerged in the early 1800s, it was founded on an unwavering belief in individual rights, the rule of law, limited government, private property, and laissez faire economics. These would remain the defining characteristics of liberalism throughout the liberal epoch, generally identified as the period from 1815-1914.
I'm looking for a simple comparison between "conservative" and "right wing" - which will be useful. But for time being, here is a short comparison between "liberal" and "leftist:"
Similarly, a liberal believes in and defends our Western heritage, while desiring to make it more egalitarian. A leftist is instinctively hostile to the Western heritage, regarding it as fundamentally unequal and therefore bad, and only redeemable through radical change. link
we are seeing it more and more, most publicly in both the "gay marriage" debate (you WILL celebrate the gay, or be sued) and the Hobby Lobby decision (Leftists are getting ever more open about wanting to eradicate religious liberty.)
And so it begins.
Here in the West, there are lots of liberal Christians. Some of them have assumed a kind of reverse mission: instead of being the church's missionaries to the world, they have become the world's missionaries to the church. They devote their moral energies to trying to make the church more democratic, to assure equal rights for women, to legitimize homosexual marriage, and so on. A small but influential segment of liberal Christianity rejects all the central doctrines of Christianity. H. Richard Hiebuhr famously summed up their credo: "A God without wrath brought men without sin into a kingdom without judgement through the ministrations of a Christ without a cross."
I have met liberal Christians who are good and sincere people. But their version of Christianity is retreating, in two senses. Liberal Christians are distinguished by how much intellectual and moral ground they concede to the adversaries of Christianity: "Granted, no rational person today can believe in miracles, but..." "True, the Old Testament God seems a mighty vengeful fellow, but..." "Admittedly religion is responsible for most of the conflict and oppression in history, but..."
This yes-but Christianity in full intellectual withdrawal, and it is also becoming less relevant. * * *
Unfortunately, the central themes of some of the liberal churches have become indistinguishable from those of the American Civil Liberties Union, the national Organization for Women, and the homosexual rights movement. Why listen to Episcopal bishop John Shelby Spong drone on when you can get the same message and much more interesting visuals at San Francisco's gay pride parade?
This is quote I try to keep on hand.
What really struck me was the "Christ's missionary to the world" vs. "the world's missionary to the church."
I often get books on psychology sent to me by publishers, and the other day I received Jeffrey Kottler’s On Being a Therapist. The book is now in its fourth edition, and this latest edition “puts the spotlight on the therapist’s role and responsibility to promote issues of diversity, social justice, human rights, and systemic changes within the community and the world at large.”
Whoa: I thought the therapist’s role was to increase the client’s well-being and treat mental illness.
It used to be that therapists just saw clients and sent them a bill. Now — perhaps because the “sending them a bill” part has gotten more difficult in these days of managed care and public skepticism about the profession — they are transforming themselves into superhuman beings who think they can save the entire world. Therapists may have been narcissistic before, but it takes a special kind of narcissism to see one’s own self as a world-saver.
Let's get all spun up...
Pick your battles, and this is a silly one.
I read one blogger make the point that if you're expecting your students to be in a public school for 13 years without liberalism having an effect on them...one short speech by the president of the United States...isn't going to make much of a difference.
On October 1, 1991 George H.W. Bush spoke to a group of students...and it was broadcast into classrooms nation wide via C-Span. This was was in the lead up to the 1992 presidential campaign and he spoke about his education policies. (as much as I dislike using the Daily Kos, that's where I found this C-Span video)
So this is not the first time that a United States president has been broadcast into classrooms.
On November 14, 1988 Ronald Reagan gave a speech to four classrooms and the event was broadcast by C-Span and Instructional Television Network fed the program “to schools nationwide on three different days.”
Today, to a degree never before seen in human history, one nation, the United States, has become the model to be followed and imitated by the rest of the world. But America's world leadership goes well beyond the tide toward democracy. We also find that more countries than ever before are following America's revolutionary economic message of free enterprise, low taxes, and open world trade. These days, whenever I see foreign leaders, they tell me about their plans for reducing taxes, and other economic reforms that they are using, copying what we have done here in our country.
I wonder if they realize that this vision of economic freedom, the freedom to work, to create and produce, to own and use property without the interference of the state, was central to the American Revolution, when the American colonists rebelled against a whole web of economic restrictions, taxes and barriers to free trade. The message at the Boston Tea Party -- have you studied yet in history about the Boston Tea Party, where because of a tax they went down and dumped the tea in the Harbor. Well, that was America's original tax revolt, and it was the fruits of our labor -- it belonged to us and not to the state. And that truth is fundamental to both liberty and prosperity.
Here is the entire transcipt.
Get a grip, folks.
It's not the first time.
It's not even the first time that it''s been used to forward a president's agenda.
It's just the first time a Democrat has done it.
Do the people who were in school then even remember?
Do the people who had children in school then even remember?
Please...I'm begging...stop making the rest of us look like idiots.
On "The Two Kingdoms":
The first is the earthly kingdom (in which Calvin includes government, household management, all mechanical skills, and the liberal arts) exists and we exist in it.
The heavenly kingdom (the knowledge of God and of his will, and the rule by which we conform our lives to it) also exists and we exist in it.
It is the separation of these two kingdoms that allow me to be politically and socially active (and not constantly include "as a Christian"...or "as a Reformed Christian") and religiously active (and not constantly feel the need to inject politics into my faith).
I am active in both kingdoms and do not deny either.
When we look to politics for answers to our faith, we are running to the created world (this does not mean that Christians should not be politically active; this means that we should not look to the government to the solutions for our [general "our"; human beings] spiritual questions.
There are those who end up treating radical (or even not so radical) conservatism or liberalism as the "solution" to man's problems. If we only had more money for this program, if abortions were available for any reason, for anybody at any time....and free, if the government would get out of the way, if liberals would get out of the education system, yada, yada...everything would be wonderful!
Man's problem is sin and the solution is Christ.
If a young single high school student gets pregnant, has the kid, lets the government pay for her home, post-high-school education, food stamps, medical care, etc...and then gets pregnant again...and again turns to the government...
the answer to her problem is not to get more government spending. Her problem is her lifestyle and the answer is Christ.
These are the two kingdoms - earthly and heavenly. As Christians, we believe that we are in the world, but not of the world. As members of the earthly kingdom, we can (and should) work to make our physical environment a better place, but we strive for the heavenly kingdom.
"God does not answer our prayers. Jesus is not the saviour who saved the world by dying for our sins. Simply put, Christianity is “love one another.” Gretta Vosper, founder of the Canadian Centre for Progressive Christianity and a minister in Toronto, believes that the church, as we have built it and known it, has outlived its viability." (Amazon.ca)
Mollie (GetReligion) notes:
Lewis provides many details of what Christianity without Christ looks like. Vosper does not believe in the Virgin Birth, the Resurrection, the miracles and the sacrament of baptism. Nor does she believe in the creeds, the presence of Christ in communion or that Jesus was the Son of God. There’s more:
In With or Without God, her book that was formally launched this week, she writes that Jesus was a “Middle Eastern peasant with a few charismatic gifts and a great posthumous marketing team.”
The Bible is used in her services, but it gets rewritten to be more contemporary and speak to more people. Even the Lord’s Prayer — also known as the Our Father — does not make the cut because it creates an image of a God who intervenes in human existence. And then there is the “Father” part that is not inclusive language and carries with it the notion of an overbearing tyrant who condemns people to hell.
Again, I am reminded of the words of Reinhold Niebuhr when he described the creed of liberals : "A God without wrath brought man without sin into a kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a cross."
And yet...this is the goal
“The feminist movement in Western culture is engaged in the slow execution of Christ and Yahweh. Yet very few of the women and men now working for sexual equality within Christianity and Judaism realize the extent of their heresy. It is likely that as we watch Christ and Yahweh tumble to the ground, we will completely outgrow the need for an external God. We, women are going to bring an end to God. We will change the world so much that He won’t fit in anymore.”- Naomi Goldenberg (feminist) - emphasis mine.