I often find myself thinking about and consequently writing about topics that have frequently been divisive and a source of arguments and contention for Christians. In many cases I have lived on both sides of many of these issues. When I was younger, I leaned toward “conservative” principles just for the sake of being “conservative.” I was taught by well-intentioned men that being conservative meant being right and being liberal meant being wrong.
As I’ve gotten older, my thoughts on that have changed. I haven’t “flipped” over to the “other side.” It’s just a matter of changing the bullseye that I was aiming for. I think I was just aiming for the wrong one. Now, I just try to be Biblical. That’s the bullseye I’m trying to hit now. If that turns out to be “conservative” – then great. If it turns out to be “liberal,” well that’s fine as well.
I recently heard a man boast from the pulpit that he was proud of being conservative. I wonder why? That’s a man-made term with man-made inferences. God never said to be conservative, or liberal. He just said to be Godly. To be Holy. To be Christ-like. For some reason we have twisted that somewhat and added our own 2 cents into it. It’s those 2 cents that we argue about and divide ourselves over.
I was recently thinking about the meanings and definitions of these two terms. I think it’s kind of funny the way all this plays out. I could be wrong, but the way I understand it is that the term conservative came from people trying to conserve the original text and practice of the Bible. And on the flip-side, the term liberal came from the idea that people took liberties with the text with the Bible and made it’s net wider than it actually was. That makes sense. And in that way, (in my opinion) being a conservative is right and liberal is wrong. But you know what’s ironic about that, based off that definition some of the more conservative brothers and sisters I know are the most liberal.
Here’s what I mean. I know Christians who will insist on a dress code for worship. Yet the Bible says nothing about what we wear. Others will condemn their Christian family for not meeting on Sunday nights in a building. Yet the Bible says nothing about meeting for a second time on Sunday night. Others get dogmatic about which translation to use, yet it’s absolutely perfectly clear Jesus and Paul used both versions of the OT that were available to them. (I’d love to explain this if you don’t know what I’m talking about here).
Isn’t this taking liberties with the Bible by adding our 2 cents in when God never asked for our loose change? It’s kind of funny that the people who would proudly boast of their conservatism are actually undercover liberals. As for me, I’ll let others decide what label I should wear. I’m just going to focus on hitting God’s bullseye.