Saturday, September 22, 2007
Difference Between Liberal and Conservative Christians?
Someone on Hemant's blog gave this definition of the difference between liberal and conservative Christians:
Liberals believe that forgiveness is for all to offer, judgment is the Lord’s alone.

Conservatives believe that judgment is for all to offer, forgiveness is the Lord’s alone.

What do you think? Is this (generally speaking) an accurate characterization of both sides?


posted by Mike Clawson at 2:06 PM | Permalink |


At 9/23/2007 01:38:00 PM, Blogger rick

What if I think I am a conservative but don't agree? Will you judge me or forgive me?


At 9/23/2007 01:39:00 PM, Blogger jazzycat

Very poor comparison. I would say:

(1) Conservatives believe that people should be forgiven for sin, but that no sin should be redefined as O.K.
(2) Liberals believe that people should be forgiven for sin, and that some sin should be condoned as O.K.
(3) God’s word says that he will forgive the sins of those who repent and place their faith in Jesus Christ for eternal life.

BTW, #3 is the opinion that counts…..


At 9/23/2007 03:24:00 PM, Blogger Mike Clawson

Jazzy, your #2 seems to define liberal from a conservative perspective. If they believe that some "sin" should be condoned as O.K., then that means they didn't think that it was "sin" in the first place. So they're not really condoning sin. It seems what you really mean is that they don't believe that some things conservatives say are sinful really are.

For instance, I grew up in a church that believed things like drinking and smoking were sins. I no longer agree. However, it is not thatI am condoning things that deep down I know to be sin. It is that I don't think they ever were sins, and I was simply mistaken for thinking they were in the first place.

I hope you see the distinction.


At 9/23/2007 10:26:00 PM, Blogger jazzycat

Perhaps you are right. But then I would say the post defines a conservative from a liberal perspective......


At 9/23/2007 10:56:00 PM, Blogger Mike Clawson

I think you might be right about that. That's why I put this quote up for discussion, not endorsement. I wanted to see if conservatives would self-identify with this quote or not, and if not, why not.


At 9/26/2007 09:03:00 AM, Blogger Derek Berner

Maybe... conservatives concern themselves with the greater good and liberals concern themselves with the lesser evil?


At 9/26/2007 10:27:00 AM, Blogger Dylan

I don't think the definitions above work at all!

The biblical Christian believes that judgment and forgiveness both--in the eternal sense--are the Lord's alone.

Liberals and conservatives both fall short of this in innumerable ways and cannot easily be categorized. Inordinate focus on either judgment or forgiveness or on the role of man to administer either will lead astray, regardless of where on the faith spectrum the person may fall.

I see the conservative/liberal divide within Christianity more like this:

The conservatives see the liberals as compromising on truth--ignoring or denying various biblical and doctrinal truths whether about God, man, or salvation. They see liberals as falling away from what is correct and true as revealed by God in favor of any number of other options. Conservatives often see liberals, though not always, as synergists or false syncretists (both being negative). The conservative might associate or imagine the liberals to be like many of the early church heretics who took a grain of truth and went off from there to falsehood.

The liberals, I suspect, see the conservatives as getting hung up on half-truths, culturally bound expressions of truth, and/or adding man-made customs, rules, and ideas to the reality of who God is, man is, and what salvation is. They see the conservatives as inappropriately bound to the past or particular (probably incomplete) articulations of the truth and/or as being too stuck in their theology or tradition to be continually drawn back to the biblically revealed reality. The liberal might associate or imagine the conservatives to be like the Pharisees, Sadducees, Scribes, or Judaizers of 2,000 years ago.

On a side note, long time no see! I stumbled across yours and Julie's blogs (you've got many!) by a link from another blog. I thought, "what are the odds that's the Mike Clawson I knew in college?" Say hi to Julie for me.


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