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Key Causes of Ideologically Biased Christian Theology And Practice

I suggest that when most people compare liberal Christian theology to conservative Christian theology, they tend to think of liberal theology as being about ‘heart’ and conservative theology as being about ‘rules’. Liberal Christians will tend to talk about “welcoming minorities”, about “equality”, and often whatever the political left are fighting for at the time. Their basic message tends to ultimately be one of sharing and love and encouraging unified happiness in the present. In the other camp, Conservative Christians will tend to talk about what the Bible says, about traditional family values, and often whatever the political right are fighting for at the time. Their message tends to focus more on enduring the difficulties of life by working hard, by following and possibly suffering under the rules, but then ultimately being rewarded for that. Amiright?

And of course there is value in either of those perspectives. There are also flaws in both perspectives. From a Christian point of view, the conservatives have a valid point when they say that the liberals dont take the rules (ie the Bible) seriously, and likewise, the liberals have a valid point when they say that the conservatives tend to lack loving attitudes.

And from where do these biases arise? Well, I have some theories…

I think conservatives are very much influenced by fear. Fear of slipping into sin, fear of going to hell, fear of having no money, fear of societal anarchy. A conservative is more likely to stay away from those they deem to be big-time sinners; homosexuals, prostitutes, criminals. In the continuum between fearing and avoiding the sinner in order to keep ones self safe from sin, compared to the opposite of loving and befriending the sinner,  the conservative is more likely to err towards the former. Fear can be a blessing, and also a curse. Jesus supported the idea of fear though; fear of God and fear of hell. But if a conservative falls in love, or comes to a place of greater security, then for a while at least, the fear reduces, and their location on the continuum shifts. Love casts out fear (1 John 4:18).

And I think liberals are very much influenced by their hearts. They seek to love anyone who they feel might be missing out on societal sharing and caring. In the continuum between fearing and avoiding the sinner in order to keep ones self safe from sin, compared to the opposite of loving and befriending the sinner,  the liberal is more likely to err towards the latter. Love can be a blessing, and also a curse. Of course, Jesus is recorded as being a huge supporter of love. But the liberal has a greater tendency to listen to their hearts rather than to the specifics of what the Bible teaches. Paradoxically, the heart actually leads well-meaning people away from a Biblical perspective (Matthew 15:18-20).

Rare is the Christian who is a deep lover of people, but who also fears God enough to truly honour what the Bible states.

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4 Comments on “Key Causes of Ideologically Biased Christian Theology And Practice”

  1. jakekc says:

    The real question should be: does the Bible actually says what Jesus said and not just what people with an agenda said?

    • stasisonline says:

      Well many people have asked that question, and people continue to ask that question. A few have attempted to answer the question, but 2000 years is a long time ago, which makes it a difficult question to answer. We do have additional records to help, thankfully. We know from other historical sources that early Christians were willing to die for their faith; that they were persecuted and killed by Rome. Given that level of commitment, it seems doubtful that they defined their religion in a way that was flippant or simply suited them. We also have records that show that pre-Christian Jews and post-resurrection Christians considered gay sex to be sinful.
      But even if you research and conclude that the Bible is a reliable record of what happened and what was said, you will then question whether Jesus is the one true god. IE your questions may never end – that’s why Christianity, despite being rooted in history, is still a ‘faith’.

  2. jakekc says:

    Keep in mind that Christians have never been in agreement 100%. There have been thousands of different sects each with their own Bibles and theology: Jewish Christians, Pauline Christians (the one most people are familiar with today), Gnostics, Arians, Nestorians, Copts, Ethiopians, Maronites, Assyrians, Unitarians, Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Bogomils, Cathars, Lutherans, Calvinists, Swedenborgians, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Evangelicals, Pentecostals, Charismatics, Methodists, Presbyterians, Baptists, Anabaptists, Quakers, etc.

    • stasisonline says:

      And even earlier, there were some who claimed to follow Paul and others who claimed to follow Apollos and others who claimed to follow Cephas (1 Corinthians 1:12). And before Jesus, the Jews were not all in agreement either. I think it’s the nature of religion or perhaps human nature, that different people see things differently. I doubt that each of the groups you list have their own Bibles though? Certainly there are many different translations of the Bible around, and a small number of variations to the compilation. But if you are talking homosexuality, note that over 90% of the Bibles in existence, use and translate the same relevant passages much the same way.


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