Est. May 2008

10 October, 2014

Liberals vs. Christianity

Starting off an article written for The Week titled, ‘Why do so many liberals despise Christianity?’, Damon Linker writes:
Liberalism seems to have an irrational animus against Christianity.
Later, he writes:
Contemporary liberals increasingly think and talk like a class of self-satisfied commissars enforcing a comprehensive, uniformly secular vision of the human good. The idea that someone, somewhere might devote her life to an alternative vision of the good — one that clashes in some respects with liberalism's moral creed — is increasingly intolerable.

That is a betrayal of what's best in the liberal tradition. (emphasis mine)
He’s right; it is a betrayal of what people call ‘classical liberalism’.  But look what Mr. Linker’s description again: ‘self-satisfied commissars enforcing a comprehensive, uniformly secular vision’ on society.  It must be secular society which determines what is good and what is bad, otherwise, as Mr. Linker points out, it’s ‘intolerable’.

It’s that notion of a ‘uniformly secular vision’ which is the sticking point. 

‘Contemporary liberals’ believe that ‘all truth is relative’.  Because of this, they believe the secular notion that all truths come from man.  It’s just the opposite for Judeo-Christians: we believe there is such a thing as absolute, objective truth, that its source is God, and that anything which runs contrary to that absolute, objective truth is false.  Because the source of this truth is God, it lies outside the sphere of human reason, something most ‘contemporary liberals’ have elevated to almost deific status.

Which leads me to the ‘religious liberal’, alternately known as the ‘liberal Christian’.  Napp Nazworth, in an article commenting on the article above, writes:
What is missing from Linker's article is that there are many Christians today who are liberal, and whose liberal views are inspired by their understanding of scripture.
IMO, that’s backwards: their understanding of Scripture is inspired by their liberal views.  Example: the tale of the rich young ruler.  Most liberal Christians see that as a call for renunciation of all wealth, and as an attack on the rich – this view is based on their liberal beliefs of equality of outcome – when, in fact, the story speaks of a young man who walks away in sadness because his love of wealth was greater than his love for God.  If you doubt, look to the story of Zacchaeus in Luke 19.  Zacchaeus was a very wealthy and despised tax collector.  Upon meeting and dining with Jesus, he declares, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.”   Now, if Jesus really hated rich people as much as liberal Christians say He did, it’s hard to see it in His response: And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham.”  Note that Jesus didn’t say to Zacchaeus, “No, that’s not enough – give it ALL away.”

Another example: liberal Christians believe that Jesus would have endorsed universal health care because He went around healing people.  What’s missing is the facts that Jesus’ focus was on saving sinners from their sins, not their impairments; that His miracles performed the double function of assisting those upon whom He had compassion and as signs of his Godhood and Messiahship; and that if He had desired universal good health, He could have provided it to everyone in the world with a single thought or word – but He didn’t.

I could go on and add plenty of examples of the wrongness of liberal Christianity’s interpretation of just those two topics, but I haven’t the room.  Suffice it to say that the term ‘liberal Christian’ perfectly describes their ideological focus – ‘contemporary liberalism’, then Christianity.

That there is animus toward Judeo-Christians in the world – more so outside the US, but gathering steam even within our borders – is obvious.  It’s also to be expected.  Jesus warned His disciples and apostles repeatedly that the world would hate them and would do whatever they could to silence them.  But He also promised His Holy Spirit to give us strength to combat this animosity.

And I’ll take the Triune God over man any day.

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