The New York Times‘ Ross Douthat asks Can Liberal Christianity Be Saved?
I’ve thought a lot about liberal Christianity. He defines it as
Flexible to the point of indifference on dogma, friendly to sexual liberation in almost every form, willing to blend Christianity with other faiths, and eager to downplay theology entirely in favor of secular political causes.
I want to focus on those secular political causes. Liberal, progressive or as I’ve heard them called “Red-letter Christians” tend to admirably focus on Jesus’ exhortations to feed the hungry and clothe the naked. But instead of actually going out and buying bread with their own money and feeding people with it, they advocate for progressive government policies aimed at helping the downtrodden.
But helping the poor through government programs is misaligned with Christ’s teachings.
Let’s be clear that using government to feed and clothe people requires first stealing money from other people. Stealing isn’t very Christlike. If there are two ways to help people, gifts freely given or a state stealing from some to give to others, which is more in line with the spirit of Christianity?
Not only is voluntarily giving and asking people to give voluntarily devoid of any ethical drawbacks or misalignment with Christ’s teachings, but it’s also much more efficient and effective than government.
So yeah, Liberal Christianity does seem to be on the downswing, and for good reason. Good riddance.
Photo by mamasuco.