Monday, January 17, 2011

Living Conservative in a Liberal World (Part 10): Religious Liberalism

I remember the old admonition, "you will get along fine as long as you don't bring up religion or politics.". Well, since this is a political blog, I have already honked off half of the people out there, so I figured I would go for the whole enchilada and get the rest of them mad at me by talking about religion. And if you are one of the religious liberals mentioned in the title, stop reading here if you don't want your beliefs questioned.

My mother is in a nursing home recording hospice care as I write this. Yesterday, a pastor whom my sister is acquainted with stopped by to minister to her. I was there for the moment and I am profoundly glad that I was. He spoke words of comfort to her which really helped me in this time of stress. I haven't been to church in a while, and haven't actually belonged to a church in years.

His ministration is not the topic of this post, but rather, his ministration reminded me of a conversation I had with my best friend Mike some time ago about a topic that bugs me. That topic is religious liberalism. There are a lot of well-meaning Christians out there who are religious, but liberal.

In discussing the topic, I think Mike best identified the problem. The problem is that too many churches are out of balance. In order to be a balanced church, the church must believe and preach the whole of scripture. Many churches preach a feel-good gospel: 'God loves you and wants you to be happy, so you should have a wonderful relationship with him.' The problem is, half of the message is missing. That missing message is the fact that on our own, people are a spiritual mess, separated from God by our propensity to sin.

The unbalanced churches preach that Jesus came and we should be happy and joyful because of that, but they totally miss the fact that is is us, you, me, the person on the street, WE are the reason he came and was nailed to a cross in the first place. Why? Because we disobey God's commandments.

As a matter of fact, those unbalanced churches totally ignore preaching about God's commandments and man's sinful nature and the struggle we must live in order to live a good and holy life as a child of God. They reject the idea that some things are identified as sins by God, and they strive to preach a message that is welcoming to everyone, no matter who they are.

People in these churches, because they are not taught that moral absolutes exist tend to be politically liberal. They embrace everyone because they are supposed to be vessels of God's love. They want to show everyone love because Jesus showed everyone love. They forget that Jesus preached judgement and repentance as well as love. Love is only one-third of the message, and like the three branches of government, each of the three parts is equally important, therefore balance is important. Only when you are in balance can you truly walk straight.

8^) Jim
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