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Author Topic: Is Christianity liberal or conservative?  (Read 272 times)

Roper

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Is Christianity liberal or conservative?
« on: September 11, 2020, 03:28:25 pm »
It depends.

Currently, Christians in general, and Evangelical Christians in particular, are most closely aligned with politically conservative ideology. That hasn't always been the case. And it's not the case in many places outside of the United States.

There are the Hutterites (and others), who base their societies on communal ownership, similar to the practices of some of the first Christian churches. They're "communists" by today's standards. They are undoubtedly Christians.

There are hundreds of Christian Socialist organizations throughout the world. Roman Catholic doctrine aligns with socialism in many places. Even Popes have espoused socialism and criticized modern capitalism. Calvinism in France is decidedly socialist in political and societal issues. The majority of members of the Episcopal church in the U.S. lean left politically. All these "socialists" are Christians.

There are Christians who practice strict non-violence based on Jesus's teaching in the Sermon on the Mount. They believe governments use violence to accomplish political ends. They're "anarchists." And they're still Christians.

Anabaptist groups such as Amish and Mennonite communities practice strict separation of church and state. They believe the church should have zero engagement with the government, and the government should have zero engagement with the church. In today's religiously charged politics, they would be labeled "traitors." They're still Christians.

Christian Libertarians are against government enforcement of Christian "moral authority." They oppose forced generosity in the form of taxes and social welfare, forced purity in the form of laws governing sexuality, etc. Still Christians.

So, why all the analysis? Because over the past three years, I've heard, in one form or another, "How can you call yourself a Christian if you're opposed to Trump?" Well, Christians who support Trump are in the minority, Brother.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2020, 07:23:14 pm by dyany »
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pnr

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Re: Is Christianity liberal or conservative?
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2020, 08:13:52 pm »
Where is the proof of that?   (And for that matter what kind of Christianity are you talking about?)
Nauvoo 1270, Feb 2005
 

Roper

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Re: Is Christianity liberal or conservative?
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2020, 10:01:59 pm »
Hutterites: http://www.hutterites.org/
Christian Socialism: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Christian_socialist_organizations
Christian Anarchism: https://www.jesusradicals.com/anarchism.html
Anabaptists: https://www.christianity.com/church/denominations/who-are-anabaptists-learn-the-origins-and-history-of-anabaptism.html
Christian Libertarians: https://libertarianchristians.com/

Define Christianity: "The religion based on the person and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, or its beliefs and practices." - from Google Dictionary, powered by Oxford.

Number of Christians in the world: 2.4 billion.
Number of Christians in the U.S.: 205 million (less than 10%)

Percentage of Christian demographic groups in the U.S. who agree with Trump on most issues:
- White Christians = 64%
- Black Protestants = 15%
- Hispanic Catholics = 30%
- Unaffiliated = 28%
https://www.pewforum.org/2020/03/12/white-evangelicals-see-trump-as-fighting-for-their-beliefs-though-many-have-mixed-feelings-about-his-personal-conduct/

Christ is not a Republican. Nor is he a Democrat. Nor does He belong to any political party. He stated "My kingdom is not of this world." There is no political litmus test for following Christ.

Two official statements from the church are instructive:

- "Principles compatible with the gospel may be found in various political parties, and members should seek candidates who best embody those principles." (Notice the emphasis on seeking "candidates" and not on party allegiance.)

- "(The church) Expect(s) its members to engage in the political process in an informed and civil manner, respecting the fact that members of the Church come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences and may have differences of opinion in partisan political matters."
« Last Edit: September 11, 2020, 10:21:13 pm by Roper »
All grown-ups were once children...but only few of them remember it. ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, "The Little Prince."
 
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JLM

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Re: Is Christianity liberal or conservative?
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2020, 10:58:27 pm »
It does get frustrating how often I have to explain that I tend to vote for Democrats because I believe Jesus Christ.
 
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Nottoc

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Re: Is Christianity liberal or conservative?
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2020, 10:10:57 pm »
 
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Roper

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Re: Is Christianity liberal or conservative?
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2020, 08:20:11 am »
I was thinking more of the way we use the terms in our current political climate. Each party claims to be founded on "true Christianity." My attempt was to show that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is not wholly (or even mostly) aligned with any one political party.
All grown-ups were once children...but only few of them remember it. ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, "The Little Prince."
 
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Jason

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Re: Is Christianity liberal or conservative?
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2020, 01:38:12 pm »
If I think of my response to real life questions based on current liberal or conservative narratives I come to different answers. But I started trying to answer the questions with scriptures and I often come up with even more different answers. It is a different mindset.

Imagine all of the different political and economic systems that have functioned with a righteous people. Patriarchal, judges. kings, communal, capitalist, socialist, empires. The gospel is very adaptable.
 
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Nottoc

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Re: Is Christianity liberal or conservative?
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2020, 01:14:08 am »
I was thinking more of the way we use the terms in our current political climate. Each party claims to be founded on "true Christianity." My attempt was to show that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is not wholly (or even mostly) aligned with any one political party.
This I can agree with. Personally, I think the party people choose to believe most aligns with their religious beliefs is more telling of what portion of the gospel they believe is most important.
 
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Scruffydog

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Re: Is Christianity liberal or conservative?
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2020, 05:10:54 am »
Christianity is neither left nor right. Some left wing people and some right wing people are Christian and make the mistake of conflating their political beliefs with their understanding of Christianity. The Gospel stands above politics and can be used by both sides to justify their actions, but to use the Gospel in that way is to misuse it. You do what is right, what scripture tells you to do, and worry about politics as a separate issue. I'm a commie subversive pinko who serves as a bishop, and a former Conservative MP is a close friend who supports me as bishop throughout. Politics is human, Christianity is divine, and those people who try to fit the Gospel into party political shapes are distorting the Gospel to do so. God is not a Republican, He is not a Democrat, He is not a Socialist, He is not a Tory. We are those things because we are human. He is not, because He is right
 
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Roper

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Re: Is Christianity liberal or conservative?
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2020, 04:13:41 pm »
He is not, because He is right
Don't you mean slightly left of center?  ;)
All grown-ups were once children...but only few of them remember it. ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, "The Little Prince."
 

Jen

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Re: Is Christianity liberal or conservative?
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2020, 08:46:46 pm »
I don't even think a lot of Christians know why they support Trump, except they have way too much trust in the Republican party to uphold their values. It's a very lazy "all is well in Zion" kind of mentality.
 
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Jason

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Re: Is Christianity liberal or conservative?
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2020, 09:30:22 pm »
While the gospel stands above politics, I think there are some political principles that are more in line with the gospel than others, such as freedom of conscious and freedom of worship.
 
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Roper

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Re: Is Christianity liberal or conservative?
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2020, 10:14:01 pm »
While the gospel stands above politics, I think there are some political principles that are more in line with the gospel than others, such as freedom of conscious and freedom of worship.
Undoubtedly. It's interesting that there have been political dynasties throughout history which have claimed to be staunchly Christian but which have violated those two exact principles. The Crusades immediately come to mind.

I remember a conversation I had shortly after we moved to Utah. A neighbor was telling me how disgusted she was with how "liberal" Salt Lake City has become. Then she said something which made me cringe: "I will only vote for Mormons in Utah. This is our state. We founded it, so we should get to control it." Having lived here a while, I've seen a number of Mormon elected officials who are completely corrupt. For example, one state senator who is under federal investigation for fraud said, "I always pray before a subpoena."  (We need that vomiting emoji.) He won the primary, and there are no challengers from another party, so he'll be returning to the state senate next year as the evidence of fraud continues to mount. But hey, at least he's a Mormon, and not one of those heathens from Salt Lake. ::)
All grown-ups were once children...but only few of them remember it. ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, "The Little Prince."
 

Jason

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Re: Is Christianity liberal or conservative?
« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2020, 11:14:25 pm »
I do not know how the government would work in heaven. Perhaps it functions so well because everyone has the same goals and acknowledges the same head of state (God). Some of the best insights we gain about the government of heaven is from knowing that there was a war in heaven, and that exercising free will led to 1/3 being cast out, because they wanted to do away with free will. They were able to use their free will, but did have to accept the consequences. Lucifer was probably able to spin it to an entirely different narrative.

But whatever the governmental organization in heaven I do not think that humanity is at a point where it can mimic that. Therefore we need to look for the system that we reason best supports the broadest possible benefits for the most number of people. Sometimes we have to make a choice of the current proffered systems, find the best one, and accept the flaws within those systems, because the alternative would be worse. I do not necessarily agree with how Captain Moroni drafted people into his army at the threat of imprisonment or death, but the alternative was a kingdom that wanted to do away entirely with the liberty to worship as one chooses fit.

 
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pnr

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Re: Is Christianity liberal or conservative?
« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2020, 06:34:51 pm »
I don't even think a lot of Christians know why they support Trump, except they have way too much trust in the Republican party to uphold their values. It's a very lazy "all is well in Zion" kind of mentality.

That sounds pretty judgmental and unChristlike to me.   How do we get to say that if someone doesn't make the same calculations as us about discipleship they are less than us?   It isn't easy to support Trump, and I'd hazard a guess that most who will vote for Him don't actually like lots of what he says and does.   They just don't want the leftist to take over our government and destroy our nation (which seems pretty likely because they actively say they are going to be able to convince Biden to go there after the election.
Nauvoo 1270, Feb 2005
 
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