Monday, July 22, 2013
The Rise of the Christian Left and the Fall of Christian Conservatives
Recently I have read several articles that are about a study that shows a decline in conservative Christianity and a rise in the Christian Left. Here is one. I think that there is a blending of definitions that creates a great misunderstanding between the difference in conservative politics and conservative Christianity.
I am a conservative Christian. I believe that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and that no one comes to the Father except through Him. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God; that it is in his death, burial and resurrection that we have the hope of eternal life. I believe that the Holy Spirit of God lives in those that proclaim Jesus as Lord and guides us as we strive to follow our Lord. I believe that we are called on to share the Good News of salvation so that others may be drawn into the Kingdom of God.
I am not a political conservative--at least not as defined by today's standard. Most would say I am a social liberal. I believe that we have an obligation--both as Christians and as fellow citizens--to help those in need. I am not a political proponent, nor am I a political opponent of issues like abortion, birth-control, gay rights or other issues that seem to be so divisive between the politically conservative Christians and ... well, everybody else. I believe that any argument on legislation of social issues that begins with "the Bible says," is a poor argument. It's not a poor argument because the Bible is right or wrong about a subject, it's a poor argument because I don't want the Koran, the Book of Mormon, the Tripitaka or any other holy book or religious belief to be the sole reason that we make the laws to govern all of our citizens.
I don't think that I really fit into the character of "The Christian Left." There are enough issues that I am uncomfortable with to keep me from identifying with them completely. Nor do I believe that the people that believe in the core theological beliefs of the Bible are in decline. If fact, I would say that they are on the increase. I would say that many new followers of Jesus are abandoning the judgment and the politics of "The Christian Right" and working to fulfill the Great Commission of Jesus by sharing His love and compassion rather than condemning the behavior of those outside of the faith. Just because they are not followers of the Tea Party or any of their spokespersons, doesn't mean that they are not conservative in their Christian beliefs.
I welcome those that would share Jesus with others. I welcome those that share his love by taking care of those that are in need. And I welcome those that share the Hope of eternal life found in Jesus. I welcome those that are living out their faith and not just going to church on Sunday. It may be okay for outsiders to label us as Christian Right and Christian Left. However, inside the family of Christianity, shouldn't we just call one another brothers and sisters in Our Lord Jesus?