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Liberal and Conservative Labels

With words we bless and curse, agree and disagree, expose truth, or hide it.

With words we also label, name-call, and characterize in ways that can make it difficult to separate facts from perceived guilt by association.

(Caught a picture of this fellow on Jerusalem’s Ben Yehuda street. Was in costume for the Jewish feast of Purim. Figured he didn’t “look” too conservative :-).

Think, for instance, about the way we use the words liberal or conservative. For many of us they are terms that describe our view of the world. But what do they mean?

What was Jesus? Conservative, or liberal? Which label would be hung on him by the religious leaders of his day?

In reality, I’m guessing he was the most conservative man who ever lived, and also the most liberal.

So who hated him? Seems to me that the Scripture-memorizing, culture-resisting, God-defending, protectors of Mosaic law who slandered him, and called for his death, didn’t think of Jesus as being too conservative.

He was far too friendly with sinners, far too soft in applying the law the way they thought it ought to be applied, and far too disrespectful of those who were honored for their moral and religious idealism.

So where does that leave us? How can we be sure that we are longing to be as conservative and as liberal as our Teacher? And in the process how can we honor the Scripture that warns, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, And prudent in their own sight!” (Isa 5:20-21).

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55 Responses to “Liberal and Conservative Labels”

  1. poohpity says:

    My son said, “I have to write a paper tonight for sociology about who I am without identifying myself with any culture, religion or group”. I told him that would be hard for me because my identity is as a child of the living God. That is not a culture, religion or group. It seems that conservative and liberal would be total opposites.

    Jesus maintained a life of living the Law (conservative ism)yet showed that it was carried further than what was intended in it’s original form so He displayed it by showing it was not for us to use in an authoritarian way (liberal).

  2. Laurielee says:

    I recently finished my Social Problems class in school, and I learned that people are not usually completely conservative or completely liberal. One can be morally conservative, while being financially liberal, for instance. I think the book of Acts teaches us a lot about a balance in this area. Many far right financial conservatives don’t like to read the part about the early church having communal finances. Many far left liberals don’t like to read about familial and personal purity issues and not accepting it in their midst. Leaning too far right can make us hard toward suffering. Leaning too far left can make us too soft morally. I am SO thankful Jesus led by example so we are able to discern what He might do in a given situation! (Though none of us can apply His teaching perfectly.) I consider myself a conservative liberal…and try VERY hard not to get caught up in politics which are run by man, therefore fallible.

  3. ytalk says:

    For me Jesus’ conservativism is demonstrated by His obedience to His Father’s commandments. That He be without contention to our Fathers’ will in any way (the living example of pure and holy rightousness).

    His liberalism is displayed in his compashion for His Fathers’ children. It is extended in mercy and grace for those who repent and become “believers”.

  4. SFDBWV says:

    ” Liberal and Conservative Labels.” “with words we bless and curse;”

    Have we reduced ourselves to name calling?

    Liberal… giving freely,generous,tolerant,broad minded.
    Conservative…keeping established traditions,resisting or opposing change.

    I would think any well rounded person would exhibit both attitudes in life. Depending upon what areas it is applied to.

    “How can we be sure that we are longing to be…as our teacher.”

    Is the question set before us to descern wether or not we are actualy seeking to be humble servants or are we seeking to be puffed up?

    Is confidence confused as arrogance?

    The fruit of a person shows where that persons intentions and actions are. Do our actions produce the spiritual fruits?
    Galatians 5:22…love,joy,peace,longsuffering,gentleness,goodness,faith,meekness and temperance

    Now the works of the flesh.
    Galatians 5:19… Adultery,fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolarty, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murder, drunkenness, revellings, and such.

    There is a struggle within all of us and a battle against flesh that will have no end until Jesus subdues sin and we are forever free of sins influence in our lives.

    For now we are ok as long as we struggle. It is when we cease to feel the struggle we are in danger of not hearing that still small voice in our hearts.

    Our conscience is our guide.

  5. gr8grannyjacobs says:

    SFDBWV Hi, you sound distraught. I don’t know what to comment about the first part of your post. But, I couldn’t agree with you more about the personal struggles we all have in our walk with the Lord. I know in my own strength I fail every day, I trust that the conscience, or still small voice I hear is God’s way of letting me know, that in my heart I long to please Him. When I really mess up I feel great remorse and that remorse for me is God saying it’s ok. Pick up and start over. In your longing I will renew your strength. Isn’t God awesome? I always remember you and Matt in prayer.

    ytalk, I liked your explanation of liberal and conservative. Glad you have joined us.

  6. gr8grannyjacobs says:

    pooh,I meant to ask about your mother. Though I forgot please know you and she are in my prayers.

  7. sitsathisfeet says:

    Whether you say Jesus was a liberal. or conservative attempting to limit Him with labels, makes no difference. He was certainly radical; love your enemies, love your neighbor as yourself, love covers everything, against such thing there is no law, Love God. He said he was sent by God, he was the Son of God, and Son of Man. He was not sent to judge, but to save. He said, I am the bread of life, you must be born again. Wow, what part of these things wasn’t, isn’t radical past, present or future. God is Love, and sent his only son to die on a cross and to save us. We are to Love God with all our heart, mind and soul, and our neighbor as ourself. My vote was that Jesus was a radical, a radical in Love. This is so amazing it is very difficult, deep, and mysterious, and yet all of it becomes knowable and understandable through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit as given by God in his Grace and Mercy!

  8. poohpity says:

    All I have to say is I do not know how people go through this without the Lord. Cancer is a surprise and one never knows from one day to the next what will happen but isn’t that how life is. Thank you so much for asking and praying. I sometimes feel overwhelmed only for the Lord to say trust me, I can handle it all but in my humanness I try and do everything and end up depressed and ugly spirited. We are having to learn a lot of lessons and the one that stands out the most is we need the Lord and other people to comfort and support us through this journey of life.

  9. daisymarygoldr says:

    “…far too friendly with sinners,” because He came to seek and save the lost. He fed, clothed, comforted, healed and gave them the cure to overcome a life of sin.

    “…far too soft in applying the law,” because He had taken upon Himself to fulfill the requirements of the law on their behalf. “He Himself bore our sins in His own body.”

    “…far too disrespectful of those who were honored for their moral and religious idealism” because they failed to recognize and acknowledge themselves as sinners i.e. “wise in their own eyes”. The Bible says “There is none righteous” and “All have sinned” and Jesus said the man who realized he was a sinner was the one who went to his house justified.

  10. daisymarygoldr says:

    Jesus loved sinners and being sinners saved by mercy and grace we should also show grace and mercy to love others…but to be as conservative and as liberal as Jesus, we should love others:

    1. by not only feeding, clothing and comforting but also giving them the cure that could prevent them from getting involved in sin. Jesus overcame temptations by the Word of God. The word of God is the sword of the spirit that can help us overcome a life of sin. Hence, Scripture memorizing- Ps 119:11

    2. by teach¬ing the truth. “Unless you repent, you shall all likewise perish.” “Unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

    3. by setting an example. Be “doers” of the word. By faithfully standing up and living for the truth. Our lives should speak of transformation from sin to godliness.

    4. by delighting in His Law. Jesus said that if people entertained adulterous thoughts in their hearts, then they had already condemned adultery. He said that if a person got angry against his brother, then he was guilty of murder.

    5. by living as separatists. Friendship with the world is enmity with God. Jesus ministered to the crowds but always retreated with His disciples. He fellowshipped by breaking bread with His followers, only 3 of them actually saw His transfiguration and only His followers saw the resurrected Christ

    6. by God-defending- Love the Lord our God with all our hearts souls, minds and strength. The rich young ruler lacked this one thing and went away sorrowful.

    7. by not tolerating sins. “The man you have now is not your husband.” Speak the truth with love (Eph 4:15) and take the risk of being counted as “enemy because of telling the truth?” Galatians 4:16

    We should love others and in return we will not be loved but hated because they hated Him. Jesus died, His disciples died and we should also be willing to lay down our lives in order to uphold the truth!

  11. daisymarygoldr says:

    Gr8grannyjacobs, Remorse and regret is from the devil that will always use it to steal our joy… hence, in the life of a Christian there is no room for regret because the Lord already knows our sinful nature…there is no room for remorse which is due to the guilt of unrepentant sins…unrepentant because we love our sins more than we love Him. In Jesus Christ, there is always (even to our dying breath) room for repentance that restores the joy of our salvation (Ps 51:12)!

  12. narrowminded says:

    Consevatism is focused on the empowerment of the individual, liberalsm on the forced sacrifice of the individual for the greater good of whole. Christ is the Supreme example of a “rugged individualist”.

  13. Mart De Haan says:

    daisymarygoldr, wish you’d talk more about “no room for regret because the Lord already knows our sinful nature…” How does “no regret” translate in the ears and heart of those we have harmed?

  14. Mart De Haan says:

    narrowminded, the definition and contrast you offer is interesting. Doesn’t liberalism often emphasize freedom of personal choice? Doesn’t conservatism often emphasize public policy to force moral compliance?

  15. Mart De Haan says:

    Have a friend who likes to rib me with the proverb that says, “My son, fear the LORD and the king; Do not associate with those given to change; 22 For their calamity will rise suddenly, And who knows the ruin those two can bring (Prov 24:21).

    Recognizing that most humor carries a point and barb of truth, my response is, “Yes, but change from what?”

    As daisymarygoldr and others are pointing out,there are times when “change” is desperately needed to return us to “the landmarks of God”.

    So, am guessing we’d agree that our challenge is to find out what it is that needs to be protected at all costs. And what do we need to change to get back to personal, spiritual, and social basicss?

  16. BruceC says:

    I do not think one could even use either of the terms to describe Jesus; as they are both human terms used mainly to describe political, moral, and financial positions of an individual or group. More of a descriptive term than of name calling. I don’t think the Almighty Creator of the universe in all its dimensions could even be placed in either one of those catergories as they represent positions or thought; a basis to defend what a person or persons believes to be right. But God is right ALL the time, every time. He needs not to defend Himself because He cannot be thwarted or defeated.
    I once heard a politician runming for nomination as President descirbe himself as a compassionate conservative who stood up for “traditional” and moral values, yet beleved we needed to reach out and help others who cannot help themselves, as much as we can.
    Mart, as a retired cop I can tell you that many laws; especially criminal law are intended to force moral compliance for the good and peaceful order of society and to punish those who have been harmful. Without which we could quickly find ourselves plunging into chaos. When I look at all the things that have taken place in society in my lifetime that are of a “liberal” origin; I can see the harm they have done in the long run. But spiritually speaking even the most stringent of laws will never do away with sin and the need for Jesus to cleanse our lives. I do get a little upset when both “sides” throw His name around as if put a God-given stamp of approval on their actions.

  17. BruceC says:

    What is it that needs to be protected at all costs? I think our faith in Christ and our walk with Him, on the individual level. Collectively I would say the life of the unborn, the structure of family and marriage as set forth by God, and the principals of the founders that started this nation; most of which had their basis in Biblical teachings. Surely God Himself doesn’t need our protection but we need to defend what He has given us.
    “What do we need to change?” Our hearts; personally and collectively. “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” if I am correct. We need to get “back” to the things that made us strong. Since I was a kid I have seen belief in God assailed time and time again in the name of someone’s “right” and the drifting away of our land from respect and honor of God. We have or are in the process of taking God out of public importannce and honor and replacing Him with humanism. We have witnessed the murder of millions of innocent babies in the name of a woman’s right. We are witnessing the destruction of the family unit and all the woes that follow it. We have seen personal responsibility replaced with misplaced “blame” and justification. And we have seen relativism replace the division between right and wrong. I likely could go on. But it boils down to the individual. And the way to change is still one person at a time through salvation in Christ alone. Only the illumination of the Holy Spirit in one’s life can we see the Truth and what is right. Without Him we are as ship without a rudder or an anchor.

  18. gr8grannyjacobs says:

    Daisymary, I may not have said what I meant in a way it could be understood. Will try again. Before I realized I was a sinner in need of a Savior. My sins did not bother me. I may have things wrong but I have found comfort in feeling remorse. Now that I know the right way and realize how much God loves us, my heart hurts when I feel I have sinned. I wish I could say I became perfect with salvation, but I didn’t. I do feel joy that I can say to God, forgive me again… and know that He always does. It seems to me Peter might be a good example of what I am trying to say. He was forever messing up, and feeling great remorse and yet he stayed in his faith and kept growing. Actually I think maybe regret is part of the Christian walk, for if I feel I never sin then……

  19. gr8grannyjacobs says:

    Daisymary,that was not a stone. just a thought:)

  20. carlj says:

    Labels have often intrigued me. Whether it be Democrat, Republican, Independent, Conservative, Moderate, Liberal, Fundamentalist, Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, or Non-Denominational it seems that within our social structure we are required to pick a side and defend it. By doing this we encircle ourselves with others who are like-minded and avoid others outside our circle. By doing this I wonder how often I have missed out on understanding someone elses views and getting to personally know them.

  21. SFDBWV says:

    Bruce, I feel your pain brother. I have been in law enforcement as well for now going on 36 years. It is a tremendous frustration to watch the bad guys win.

    Gr8, I appreciate your concern for me, thank you. I am no different than any of the other people here on this blog. Life throws stones all day long and sometimes they hurt. We all hurt all of us here. We all seek comfort from the one who promised comfort and rest. which is why we are all here together.

    I see that people are still trying to put a political label on Jesus. And use Him for their own political purposes…. How sad.

    I have very little personal time, very little. So when I get a few minutes I come to the comfort of this family of believers to rest for a while and share. To recieve input from others that they too struggle and strive to get closer to God.

    Trying to put labels on Jesus is wrong and trying to label me or any of you is also wrong. If I must be labeled label me a Christian.

  22. gr8grannyjacobs says:

    SFDBWV, You have made a good point. It is quite impossibe to label the Savior. I was just trying to give you some comfort as you seemed so sad. Lke you I am thankful for this group of people. I don’t feel so alone in my struggles, when I hear the stories of how others struggle also. May God give each of us discernment to know good from evil,light from darkness, bitter from sweet, and to never become wise and prudent in our own eyes. You have been a blessing to me on this blog.

  23. kramnotrub says:

    Perhaps just semantics? Your ref Isa 5:20 says it all. Abortion, homosexuality, and evolution are just plain evil whether you call it liberal or not. A “Christian” might be offended at being called a “liberal” for believing such things, but that’s the truth. Jesus said “I am the Way, the Truth, the Life.” So truth is important. When killing unborn babies becomes “a choice,” marrying a person of the same gender becomes “tolerance,” and blaspheming God’s creation becomes “science,” truth is of no concern. Must churches condone such things merely to be PC? God forbid – Rom 6:2.

  24. Mart De Haan says:

    SFDBWV, My purpose in writing this post was to discuss the danger of using labels to characterize others that we don’t agree with.

    My point about Jesus being the most “conservative” and the most “liberal” was to show that such terms have meaning only in specific contexts. i.e. Seems Jesus could said to be “conservative” in that he protected the spirit and intent of the law. Seems that he could be considered “liberal” either when compared to the legalistic standards of the Pharisees, or in terms of the immeasurable mercy he shows to lawbreakers who turn to him.

  25. poohpity says:

    It would seem also that Jesus being “conservative” would exemplify His “Holiness” and what He did on the cross “liberal” would exemplify forgiveness.

    The religious leaders “conservative”; sinners in need of salvation “liberal”. Matthew 11:9The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and “sinners.” ‘ But wisdom is proved right by her actions.” The wisdom is knowing the law and our inability to ever live it only then will we seek help daily, moment by moment that we are unable to live the law. Law “conservative” penalty paid for not observing the law “liberal”.

    Jesus liberally bestows grace to those who recognize they are in need of it. That realization is a daily need if we ever become proud we will stop realizing we need it daily and look down on others because we will think we are superior to them. In reality “ALL HAVE SINNED AND FALL SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD”.

  26. SFDBWV says:

    Well then we agree, don’t we Mart. Labeling Jesus,you,I or anyone else is wrong.

    I see Jesus as merciful,and compassionate. Not liberal. And obedient to God not concervative.

  27. sitsathisfeet says:

    rdrcomp I’m with you Whatever Jesus is, I want to be too. Reminds me of the song I want to see Jesus, I want to know Jesus, wholly, and set apart…

  28. poohpity says:

    If you have chance listen to Todd Agnew’s song “My Jesus”. I to want to be like Jesus although I know that my attempts will never compare but I will never give up on trying even in my failures now that is a goal for the new year.

  29. daisymarygoldr says:

    Mart, my thoughts were about regret in general, for a Christian… and I could be wrong…

    Regret is to cry over spilt milk. King Saul is a perfect example. Regret is to live in the present with failures of the past. It is pride that prevents us to let go of past sins even if God has forgiven and forgotten those sins. Regret is to feel overcome with grief after having done something wrong….just as the people who smote their breasts after crucifying Christ (Lk 23:48) Regret is to be overwhelmed with self-pity over wrong choices.

    Regret is to sit inside a pit with wringing hands…in darkness…with total despair….hoping for the wrong to be undone. It will hinder progress and results in stunted growth. Regret is to look back and feel sorry for wasted years and time. For a child of God, once we have placed our hands on the plough there is no turning back. God knows our weaknesses and drives us to that point in order to manifest His strength. What we see as failures are actually stepping stones to success in His eyes.

    If we have harmed someone, the wrong cannot be undone. What we sow, we reap. Hence, wisdom is in confessing the wrong and rightly accepting to pay for the consequences of the wrong.

    Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no “regret”, but worldly sorrow brings death. (2 Cori 7:10)

  30. daisymarygoldr says:

    gr8grannyjacobs, Remorse… Examples: Cain in OT and Judas in NT….not Peter who always repented and moved on with what the Lord had called Him to do. Results of self-inflated ego, pride. Never wants to accept the wrong though they know they are totally wrong.

    King David committed graver sins than King Saul…God rejected Saul and accepted David. Difference in their attitudes is humility….in all circumstances… of unanswered prayers, adultery, murder…he always humbled himself before God and repented to acknowledge that he was wrong and God was always right. Hence, he was a man after God’s own heart!

    Remorse and regret can be seen in stubborn children who always want things to be done in their way and refuse to be consoled. Don’t know if I am right….could be another case of bad application:)…but these are my thoughts that I speak out of experience…. I do not regret and show no remorse but always repent…because there is grace!

  31. poohpity says:


    Actually very beneficial to me this day, if I believe that mercies are new everyday, because I can not change the past but only my behavior in the future. If we have remorse and regret our eyes are on ourselves not on the Lord. Amen sister!!!:)

  32. SFDBWV says:

    Daisy,I too enjoyed your remarks about regret and remorse. And fully understand they are only your own feelings on the matter.I want you to understand that I respect that.

    However regret and remorse are the first step to being sorry and asking forgiveness. Wether it be from an individual who has been wronged or of God.

    For you to state you never show remorse or regret though, is something of a puzzle for me to understand.

    How can you go through life and never be sorry for an action that has caused the pain of another?
    Please understand Daisy I ain’t picking on you. I just don’t understand how anyone can say they nerver regret nor show remorse.

    Also I do not think that either remorse nor regret are an action from the devil. For they are the doorway to forgiveness and the healing between people.

    God regretted he had ever made man,Genesis 6:6″And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart”.


  33. daisymarygoldr says:

    Steve, good point! It is one thing to regret the wrong action and feel sorry for it… but it is another thing to sit and feel sorry for yourself (I’m talking about this regret) …to seek an excuse…to want the wrong to be justified as right…to play the blame game … to blame circumstances or other people and at every cost to avoid owning up or taking responsibility for ones’ actions.

    What is done cannot be undone. Even God cannot change or undo His actions. God did regret but did that regret in anyway lead Him to change His plan and destroy man?
    God did repent and grieved and… provided the ark of salvation…to save 8 souls!
    Salvation restored His joy in His precious creation- man, and He reminded us of His everlasting covenant of love and mercy by placing a rainbow!

    Remorse is associated with guilt… The Lord readily forgives and never makes us feel guilty…it is always the devil. Yes, as you have rightly recognized …that’s just me. My point is… regret or remorse is not beneficial spiritually. Personally, I feel the time is so short and there is so much to be done for the Lord….I cannot afford to waste time regretting the past…when there is grace available in plenty….that enables me to stand up right where I stumbled…get forgiven and cleansed….to be renewed in strength and restored of my original joy…and move on:)

  34. gr8grannyjacobs says:

    daisy I think we are saying the same thing. Just differently. Repentance is the ulimate end if one loves God. I know I am forgiven each time I repent. For me to say I have no remorse and no regrets,would make me a liar. Peter wept bitterly, he was remorseful. Yes, he was forgiven as Jesus knew his heart just like David’s.Can we say they either one ever forgot their sin?

    pooh,Yes His mercies are new everyday. Thank God because that is how often I need them. I as yet haven’t been able to perfect all my behaviors. God is still working with me.

  35. Mart De Haan says:

    I like the way you are all processing this.

  36. poohpity says:

    Me too gr8grannyjacobs. I know he will never give up on me even when I do sometimes.

  37. wretch-like-me says:

    Pooh, your first remark here is brilliant… it cuts so clearly thru to the truth.

    Marti, your pointing at something so basic to humanity. Perhaps it is a perversion of our ‘Adamic’ command to ‘name all the animals in the garden’. Seems to me, our need to ‘label’ everything is corrupted by attaching ‘black & white’ evaluations of ‘good & evil’.

    Perhaps, this is what God warns us about in ‘judging’ our fellow human beings. Matt 7:1;Luke 6:37;John 5:22; Romans 14:13… and on.

    It would seem to me that afixing a label of ‘liberal’ or ‘conservative’ brings with it a judgement of value or condemnation. Jesus commands us to look beyond the surface of behavior and realize that a ‘wounded heart’ often is the cause of ‘behavior that demands attention’ acceptable or not.

    Judging this behavior is too complex for us. This is the essence of Why Jesus would command us to ‘Love Our Enemies!’ showing them kindness in the midst of their abusive, violent and sometimes lethal behavior.

    Let us NOT forget that martyrs forgave their murderers in the middle of their torture because as Jesus said,”They KNOW NOT what they do!”

    I find that ‘liberal’ in that it grants forgiveness to those who ‘seem’ be beyond the ‘legal limit’, ‘conservative’ in that it is fundamental to what Jesus taught, and ‘radical’ because it is so alien to what I am prone to do!


    Final thought: I am reminded of a practice we used in raising our children. When they fought or shared angry words, we made them hug each other or hold hands until they could apologize. It was amazing that after a few moments they began laughing and giggling. It is very difficult to remain angry with someone if you embrace them. (embracing is uniquely tied to acceptance; embrace the idea?)

  38. daisymarygoldr says:

    poohpity, you said it straight and simple. Wonder why it takes lengthy, mouthful of remarks for me to say the same thing and still not being able to communicate efficiently

    gr8grannyjacobs, beg to disagree again…cannot see it as the same thing being said differently. Peter wept bitterly after denying thrice. The Lord questioned him thrice around the coal of fire “do you love me above these”…not to make him feel guilty as an underdog…but to make him rise above his doubts about his love for the Lord….and feel as an overcomer…he was an overcomer who finally “got it”. We all know that Peter became a martyr for the Lord.

  39. daisymarygoldr says:

    gr8grannyjacobs, sin reminds us of ourselves…it is never about us….not our plans, not our purpose… It is always about Him. David and Peter both realized that and went on to do valiantly for the Lord!

  40. gr8grannyjacobs says:

    daisy, I am not trying to be difficult, but to say remorse was brought to Peter or David by Satan, just makes no sense to me. Satan surely did not want them to feel remorseful. It was because they knew the Lord that they felt remorse. Didn’t David say his sin was always before him? Maybe you are right,and also very blessed. As for me I am forgiven but my remorse and regrets are still with me. It is not your communicating efficiently that is the problem,so it must be my understanding. Can we both be right:).

  41. stealthm93 says:

    Context, context, context… I would love to expand on what I’m about to say but brevity, etc.

    Most (dare I say, “all”) teaching by Jesus and the NT epistles talk about personal thoughts, actions and accountability. I don’t recall a teaching where Jesus addresses the role of government, other than “render unto Caesar’s what is Caesar’s.” (Matthew 22:15-22) Therefore, I am of the opinion that Jesus’ teachings apply to you and me on an individual basis, not the government.

    So, one question that follows is, what government is most suitable for the individual to live out his/her life calling in obeying God?

    I believe in an ideal world, socialism or a benevolent dictator (similar to Hebrew kings of the OT), is the best government, where everyone cheerfully and fairly gives and contributes to the common good and leaders dictate with fairness and compassion.

    HOWEVER, we live in a fallen world, where greed, envy, and lust-for-power tend to reign more than not, unfortunately. Therefore, a conservative-based, capitalistic, free-market society, that allows the individual to practice their beliefs freely without government intervention, is better. But, with that freedom comes pitfalls. Probably, the most pressing question: By whose standards do we establish our laws for basic civil order? Our nation, despite what the media says or college professors, is founded upon the precepts from the Bible, namely the Ten Commandments. There has to be absolute truth; otherwise, chaos eventually will sent in (and I believe that is where the United States is headed). Some of our Founding Fathers warned against this, basically saying that a free society without a moral foundation will fall.

    Well, so much for brevity and I didn’t even begin to say everything. Hopefully, my point is made, although, I don’t think it is. Anyway, more ideas to discuss…

  42. Laurielee says:

    I learn so much from you all! Funny thing is, most of it was already in me, just not expressed well or delved deeply into.
    carlj made a wonderful point about labels…and the comment above about having to ‘name’ things. I’ve thought before that it’s kind of like a file cabinet we each have in our brains. When faced with a person or situation, it’s like we have to figure out how to organize them in our thoughts before we can put them in the correct file. Does anyone ever really fit all of the facets of any label? People have been trying to label Jesus for 2,000 years, and we still haven’t come up with one that fits….except for those that describe His nature…Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace, Mighty King, Everlasting Father.
    The comments above about regret…I have something to add. Jesus is sure to forgive us of our sins moving them as far from us as the east is from the west. The hurt, pain, and consequences of our sins that have affected others can last for a long, long time. He forgives the sin but does not remove the consequences. Now that I look above, I see that daisymary has addressed this much better than I.
    poohpity…”My Jesus”, a wonderful song…I’d like to add one, “If We Are The Body”, by Casting Crowns. They certainly help to generate self-reflection!

  43. Mart De Haan says:

    You’re touching on a subject that I think is so important for us to sort through as followers of Christ.

    As we look toward inauguration day, will try at some point to post something for us to talk about.

    Don’t want to do anything partisan… or give anyone a chance to use the conservative/liberal argument :-).

    But just to let you know my inclination– I think we need a way for the church to be the church, government to be government, and our role as people of faith– to vote in a manner that is consistent not only with our conscience but according to the principle of doing unto others as we’d have them do to us (in a pluralistic society).

    In this kind of society I’m thinking that the influence of the church should be the salt and light of our own example, and by our “prophetic”/declarative voice of reason that appeals to our fellow-citizen’s consciences rather than to their fear that we are going to fight them for their freedom.

    But now I’m getting ahead of myself– and may have already killed my chance to make a case :- ).

  44. poohpity says:

    Everything was a lot simpler back in the day rdrcomp. The funny thing it is the same thing we do to the bible, try and make it harder than it is. It is really the most beautiful and simple thing but leave it to human beings to confuse it’s simplicity to fit into our confusion. Thank God He did not leave the creation to us can you imagine what that would look like. lol :)

  45. drkennyg says:

    Hello again everyone. I’m for being called just a Christian. I’ve (we’ve) taken a lot of heat just for that fact alone. I have been slandered for speaking of Jesus and salvation in public or even privately. But that’s the nature of it, eh? Jesus expected it and says we should too, therefore good enough for me. It is difficult daily to be IN the world and not OF the world because of all the distractions thrown at us by Satan. But my own sinful nature laps it up sometimes. So I confess and repent and start again not wanting to go down those paths again. These discussions are good to wrestle with and seem good for Christian growth. Thanks everyone.

  46. poohpity says:

    Mart you are a hoot!

  47. Kathie says:

    I usually think of conservative/liberal only when it comes to politics and religion! However, I have never thought of Christ in those terms. I believe I have a good understanding of the nature and character of our Savior and I don’t know if we could characterize Him by either word.

    However, in today’s culture, is it really possible to be liberal in your political persuasion and conservative in the outworkings of one’s Biblical beliefs? It seems that morally the two just don’t go together.

    Just a thot.

  48. rokdude5 says:

    Jesus didnt lead a political agenda. He made no mention about the environment, abortion, slavery, etc, etc. He did talked about taxes. Jesus said to pay it without qualms. He also to say to love His Father and our neighbors.

    To me, instead of shaking our political fists at one another, we should really try to figure out how to help one another.

  49. rokdude5 says:

    Oops Jesus did talk about that slaves should be good to their masters and vice versa.

  50. Ted M. Gossard says:

    Wow. Good post and nice thread!

    I like what Scot McKnight is doing over at his blog, “Jesus Creed”. He has posts opting for “a third way.” Within what someone called over there something like, “a new framing story,” so that what we’re looking at maybe ends up being neither liberal or conservative, but something far more.

    Not to say that there isn’t truth within the framing stories on the liberal and conservative sides here and now, because surely there are. It’s just that the story is either off, or good within its place as part of the bigger Story of God.

  51. One American says:

    Conservative–believing there is a right and wrong answer to most of the issues in life.

    Liberal–believing it is necessary to be tolerant of any belief system to the point of giving equality to any other belief system.

    Liberals often say “Well, that is good for you”

    Conservatives say “Good is good, there is only one truth”

    I will not label my Savior, but I proudly stand as a conservative under these definitions. I love my liberal friends and will not name-call them. I will not compromise my beliefs with them any more then I would compromise any truth I believe in. What is right is right.

  52. Uneke says:

    I like this thought especially because we find ourselves describing people or groups of people with labels. A Label I think is the medium by which we identify an object, person or persons. However what I think is an issue is the use of a label as a tool for discrimination and partiality.

    The apostle Paul warned Timothy of a time when men will no longer love to hear the truth of the gospel and will rather give heed to seducing spirits. It is no longer news that we live in that era. The gospel of Jesus Christ has been given a derogatory label among the governments and the peoples of the nations of this world. It is no longer the words of the master builder of the universe that founded many mighty nations and charted their course to greatness. But it has now been labelled ‘old fashioned’, ‘conservative’, ‘right hand’ or worse still ‘hard core’ principles. (I sometimes wonder who came up with these terms,; not that it matters)

    I think like someone mentioned previously Christians should not be worried about what Christ is labelled or what we are labelled. We should rather refrain from labelling others so that we will not forget that they need to hear the gospel from us. That is the greatest help we can offer this world.

  53. narrowminded says:

    Liberalism is often mistaken or equated with libertarianism when they are polar opposites. Rather than protecting the right of the individual liberslism creates rights that don’t exist, i.e. the right to privacy, then forces everyone to conform to the culture that develops. These “laws” are always at the expence of another. Abortion, taxation, environmentalsm, redistribution of wealth, affirmative action, etc.
    The moral “laws” of God were paid for by the voluntary sacrifice of Christ.
    Conservatism believes that allowing the individual the liberty to be the best he or she can be, with limited intrusion by a restrictive government, is the best for the greater good. Personal responsibility and self interest(not selfishness) are to be stressed rather than conformity to set standards.
    Thanks for the opportunity to engage!

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