Rush Limbaugh electrified and rallied the conservative audience at the recent CPAC meetings. He also upset liberals and some conservatives with his verbal assaults on President Obama's spending plans. Are you a conservative? Then you most likely stimulated to stand for the conservative principles as expounded in those meetings. If you are a liberal, you were likely upset at Mr. Limbaugh's remarks and the CPAC meetings in general.
What should we be? Liberal, Conservative or Christian???
To understand what we should be in life, we need to know the general characteristics attributed to liberals and conservatives.
A liberal is one who is bent on change, is tolerant, free, generous, progressive, possibly licentious and democratic.
A conservative is one who is preserving, resistant to change, cautious, moderate, tradition-bound and right wing.
Those definitions are from dictionaries and various internet sources and reflect some political positions as well.
How should Christians look on life? Our example is Jesus Christ. Was He a liberal, conservative or both? Let's look at some of His characteristics. But remember that we are talking about human labels being applied to One Who is perfect.
Jesus Christ taught that it was more blessed to give than to receive—a "liberal" teaching (Acts:20:35). When the woman was caught in adultery and brought before Jesus, "conservative" accusers would have had her stoned, but Jesus intervened on her behalf—a liberal move that angered the conservatives (John:8:1-11).
Jesus Christ also ate with sinners which was not a "cool" thing to do in the eyes of conservatives of His time (Mark:2:15-17).
So we see that Jesus had a "liberal" side when it came to life. But, He also had a conservative side. Jesus Christ held fast to principles of God's law (Matthew:5:17-20). He taught the need to obey the law (Matthew:19:16-23). He Himself said He kept God's commandments (John:15:10). He is resistant to change—He is the same, yesterday, today and forever and He does not change His basic plan for humankind (Hebrews:13:8 and Malachi:3:6). These fall into the conservative definition.
So we learn from the example of the One Who founded Christianity, that Christians are to conduct themselves in ways that could be labeled both liberal and conservative. They know that they need to be forgiving, to go the extra mile, to grow in grace and knowledge and to overcome their flaws (liberal positions). They also know that they need to hold fast to truth and law without variance. They know to keep true to the way of life prescribed in Scripture. They do not change what God has given to them.
So what are you—Liberal, Conservative or Christian? I hope a Christian who knows when and how to be liberal and when and how to be conservative in matters of life!
For GN Magazine, I'm Gary Antion.