|LEFT: Jesus of Nazareth (Zeffirelli); RIGHT: Passion of the Christ (Gibson)|
There's also a JesusIsALiberal.org website, which at least has a list of Jesus-quotes on its home page; but no commentary or application or context is given. The site was last updated in 2006, the same year Wilde's book was published...which year was the nadir of G.W. Bush's tenure. In November '06 Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi won back control of the Congress. By the way, G.W.B. is no role model for young conservatives.
But there are more serious and influential liberal Christians—Canadian Ronald J. Sider (Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger) and Jim Wallis (Sojourners magazine) are probably the two best-known—but given the sharply secular turn in left-wing politics (ie: Obama's "evolution" to same-sex marriage), it's getting really tough to make a biblical case for the abortion party.
Tough, but not impossible. People who are liberal in their politics are usually liberal in their theology. And that, friends and neighbors, can be a serious problem. Consider this quote from author Scotty McLennan (Jesus Was a Liberal: Reclaiming Christianity for All) "We liberal Christians know in our hearts that there is much more to life than seems to meet the rational eye of atheists; yet we find it hard to support supernatural claims about religion that fly in the face of scientific evidence." You know, minor stuff like the virgin birth, walking on water, feeding 5,000, raising Lazarus and other so-called "miracles." I don't know about McLennan in particular, but I've heard folks with liberal theology question Christ's resurrection.
For the record, I do not claim Jesus was politically conservative—he wasn't political at all, so he couldn't have been liberal either. There are aspects of Christ's ministry that appeal to modern-day liberals: he questioned the status-quo, challenged those holding power, warned about the seductions of money and affirmed the dignity of all persons—notably women and the poor. With their fondness for revolution and upsetting the established order of things, some liberals may think they see in Jesus a kind of Che Guevara. But they'd be wrong: his kingdom is not of this world.
Those features of Jesus' modus operandi and his support for the downtrodden more resemble a T.E.A. party than the storming of the Bastille or an Occupy sit-in. Jesus was restoring the ancient truths from the Torah and the Prophets—and fulfilling them in a whole new way. Though apolitical, his purpose was deeply conservative: reminding individuals of the original purpose for their existence, and offering them a path to restoration.
But I digress. In the next post I shall fulfill my promise. Having covered Jesus' words in Matthew 25 (ie: hungry, thirsty, naked, imprisoned) on July 19th, I will next consider the other four of liberals' Top 5 Proof Texts:
- Judge not lest ye be judged.
- It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.
- He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone.
- The Beatitudes.