“Are you going to that liberal church?” This was a question asked of someone attending our church plant. When I heard this I was unsure if I should be upset or not.
What constitutes a person, an organization or a church as being liberal? Why do we automatically think negatively when someone calls us liberal?
Liberal is defined as being favorable to progress or reform, as in political or religious affairs. It is also defined as being open-minded or tolerant, especially free of or not bound by traditional or conventional ideas, values, etc.
Conservative is defined as being disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditional ones, and to limit change.
Being liberal or conservative does not make one a democrat or a republican. Both parties, and those outside these parties, demonstrate liberal and conservative thoughts and hopes.
When I think of liberals I think of people who were instrumental in making change. These individuals saw injustices and responded. I think of individuals like Martin Luther King Jr., Susan B. Anthony, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther, the founding fathers, maybe even Jesus.
Another interesting idea about being liberal is the reference to the word free. Consider the word liberty. If it were not the views of individuals willing to make change happen, we may not be enjoying the freedom, liberty we enjoy today.
So how do I respond to being called a liberal, or leading a liberal church?
Watch for posts as I explore this idea further.