Is there room for liberal views in Christianity?
There seems to be a war going on over which moral foundation by which our country should govern itself. Every day we see the same fight, and it’s the “right” verses the “left.” People on both sides get demonized while things like facts and truth seem to take a back seat.
Traditionally, Christians have been considered to be conservative, on the right, and Republican. This may be a true statement, but it does not do justice to the wide range of views someone can hold and still be a God-loving Christian.
Terms like “left” and “right” only seem to complicate the matter because of figuring out what is the starting point to determine if you are right or left of something. People are a little more complicated, and wherever you are, there are people more conservative and more liberal on any given subject. My fear is that we as the Body of Christ will feel the need to jump on the current social bandwagon and begin to pick sides.
By no means am I suggesting that certain issues do not matter. I am very vocal about certain social views, especially when it comes to abortion. Societally speaking, this puts me in the conservative/right category. Yet I don’t want to be associated with everything else in that category simply because of my stance on that issue.
The demonizing of sides is having a negative effect on a generation feeling torn between two worldviews. And in most cases, they are not choosing the conservative viewpoint.
Jesus wasn’t a Republican, nor was He a Democrat. We must be very careful not to marry Christianity with one particular political view. Your view on gun control will not be asked when you reach the pearly gates. Culture is always trying to change the Gospel instead of letting the Gospel change the culture. I do want the laws to reflect biblical morals, but if you haven’t noticed, there are certain non-biblical laws that remain in effect even when conservatives have the power to change them.
If you are a Democrat who believes in mass social welfare programs, sanctuary cities, stricter gun laws and abolishing the death penalty, there should be a seat for you at your local Baptist Church. This might make some people cringe. You might think that if someone voted for Bernie Sanders they are less of a Christian than you are, but hear me out. Creating an environment that excludes this type of person from ever feeling welcome in church is a terrible idea.
I can say this without fear because I believe the Gospel is what changes people. I think conservatives, liberals and myself all have areas where we need to grow, and the Gospel is the most radical form of social change mankind has ever known.
Yes, there are many ways in which Jesus cares about social form and the direction in which we go. The tension in politics we currently see is created by a media hype machine looking for ratings. Don’t let that spill over into your relationships, and don’t let it stop you from declaring the Good News of Jesus Christ to people of different views than yourself.