Thoughts on Theological Liberalism

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by Donald Miller

I recall watching a documentary detailing Muslim frustration, both domestic and Middle Eastern, with the perception that all Muslims subscribe to the sort of angry and dangerous extremism propagated by terrorist hijackers on September 11. "It was more than those planes that go hijacked," one Muslim woman commented. "It was the nation of Islam. In the eyes of the world, they took our faith and flew it into those buildings. The damage may never be repaired."

I wondered if the Christian faith in America had not been hijacked as well, hijacked by those same two issues: abortion and gay marriage. How did a spirituality such as Christianity, a spirituality that speaks of eternity, of a world without end, of forgiveness of sins and a mysterious union with the Godhead, come to be represented by a moralist agenda and a trickle-down economic theory? And more important, how did a man born of Eastern descent, a man who called Himself the Prince of Peace, a man whom the sacred writings describe eating with prostitutes and providing wine at weddings and healing the sick and ignoring any political plot, a man who wants us to turn the other cheek and give all our possessions if we are sued, become associated with – no, become the poster boy for – a Western moral and financial agenda communicated through the rhetoric of war and ignorant of the damage it is causing to a world living in poverty?

My only answer is that Satan is crafty indeed.

I realize there are people reading this who will automatically dismiss me as a theological liberal, but I do not believe a person can take two issues from Scripture, those being abortion and gay marriage, and adhere to them as sins, then neglect much of the rest and call himself a fundamentalist or even a conservative. The person who believes the sum of his morality involves gay marriage and abortion alone, and neglects health care and world trade and the environment and loving his neighbor and feeding the poor is, by definition, a theological liberal, because he takes what he wants from Scripture and ignores the rest. Make no mistake, there is a lifeboat motive in play, a join-a-team-and-fight feeling that is roaming around thee world like a lion, searching to destroy men's souls.

From SEARCHING FOR GOD KNOWS WHAT by Donald Miller [Nelson Books, 2004]

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