Liberal Grace

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Liberals needed to save Christianity (Part II)

Conservatives think liberal Christians are the enemy of the church. This is exactly the opposite of the truth.

Conservative Christians -- better thought of as traditionalists -- play a valuable role in the church as the guardians of orthodoxy. Without orthodoxy, the church would lose its way.

However, liberal Christians -- better thought of as progressives -- play an equally valuable role in keeping the church current and relevant. Without liberal reforms, the church would become irrelevant in a modern society.

That's why liberals are needed to save Christianity. Especially now.

The biggest current threat to Christianity is not lack of orthodoxy but lack of relevancy. While science is progressing faster-than-ever, evangelical homeschool parents are teaching their kids that the earth is 8,000 years old and two of every species on the planet got one big boat while the whole face of the earth was submerged in thousands of feet of water.

I'm not saying this to mock conservative Christians but to point out that this kind of pre-modern faith doesn't fit very well in the modern world.

Evangelical Christians aren't alone -- conservative Catholics have the same problem -- how does the church's teaching on birth-control remain relevant in a world of over-population and AIDS? How does their patriarchal demand for male-only priests allow the church to grow in a gender-equal modern society?

The church needs liberals now more than any time since the Reformation. How relevant will the American church be if it becomes part of Third World culture while the rest of society progresses and evolves?

It would be terrific if the church had a lively and intellectually-honest debate between the traditionalist and the progressive wings.

Unfortunately, honest debate hardly ever happens because the conservatives don't believe we're real Christians. We're not brothers and sisters in the Lord... we are the enemy.

But we liberal Christians aren't the enemy of the church, the bible or Jesus -- just the opposite! We liberals are essential in keeping the church relevant and vital.

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