Is Liberal Christianity Smug and Arrogant?

by leavingwt 95 Replies latest jw friends

  • AGuest

    Dearest Qcmbr... the greatest of love and peace to you... and you apparently misunderstand me. I have an errand to run and so can't respond just now but will in a bit, so your patience is greatly appreciated.

    Again, peace to you!

    A slave of Christ,


  • TD


    Judaism is much more to Christianity than just fodder for typology.

    Jesus was a Jew. He spoke like a Jew, he taught like a Jew and thought like a Jew. When Jesus began his prayer with "Our Father that art in heaven..." he was following the pattern of Pharisee prayers which still form part of the Jewish Daily Prayer Book. When he spoke in parables and used hyperbole like, "Swallow a camel" or "The beam in thine eye" he was using methods of expression familiar to any student of the Talmud today.

    Jesus' parables were a common form of Rabinnic expression in the Second Temple period and teachings like, "No one can serve two masters," "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's," and "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" are all directly traceable to Pharisaism. Jesus accepted at least parts of the Oral Law, (Matthew 12:5; 24:20; 23:16) and when it came to the Torah itself, stated "...anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others to do accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven."

    The Pharisees did not fellowship or share meals with anyone outside their order. (cf. Berakoth 43b) Yet they had no problem dining with Jesus (Luke 7:36; 11:37; 14:1) Why was Jesus acceptable dinner company for Pharisees? That alone should make a Christian stop and think before dismissing the Jewish roots of Christianity.

  • leavingwt
    Oh yeah, after the last couple posts one can see that its the liberal christians that are smug and arrogant, LMAO !!

    Anyone can be smug and arrogant. However, the topic is whether or not the relatively new, liberal Christianity is smug and arrogant, in that it implies that most previous generations of Christians (and some current Christians) are very mistaken about the role of the Bible and mistaken regarding specific points of theology.

  • AGuest
    AGuest - please don't threaten me with your 'peace - but if you don't accept my god you'll burn in hell eternally' comments.

    Greetings, dear Qcmbr... and peace to you! If this is what you think I did... then, as I stated (and dear tec vouched for)... you sincerely misunderstand me. I don't believe you will burn in hell eternally... and certainly not simply becasuse you don't accept my God.

    You are scared - I understand - you think that there really are burning fires of hell that the 'loving' god made for us .

    Ummm... no, sorry, dear Qcmbr: I'm neither afraid... nor do I think there are burning fires in hell. In Gehenna (the Lake of Fire), yes. But that isn't hell. I have seen hell (sheol/hades), dear one... and there wasn't a fire in sight. Indeed, the only "spark" I saw was the very tiny bit of "life" in the eyes of those sleeping there when I arrived. And it was so brief I would have missed it had I not been paying attention to WHY I was taken there. No, I did not go in body, but in spirit. And the only thing there was dust... and bones. A gazillion magillion bones. Piled high... wide... long... and deep.

    I had no fear, however, because there was nothing TO fear: the modicum of spirit that was in those bones (not enough to raise them, even wake them up longer than that brief moment) was simply enough to allow them to waken and ask "Is this it?" They didn't even have enough life in them to know what "it" was, but only that they were waiting for something. In the same moment, they "realized" that this wasn't "it"... and returned to sleeping. They knew of nothing... here, before, there, or anywhere... and posed absolutely no threat to anyone or anything.

    I appreciate how comforting it is to think of someone else being tortured for you.

    Comforting? If that's what you think, dear one, then you really do not know the Christ... or those who truly belong to him. There is no comfort in such a thing. It is just more mourning and outcry. Which is why my Lord FORGAVE those who sinned against him... and told those who belong to him to do the same. We draw our comfort from him, therefore, and do as he said in this: showing mercy, forgiving, and releasing... even those who have sinned against us. Why? Because we want to BE shown mercy, forgiven, and released from OUR sins... against God, Christ... and anyone else.

    I can see how you do not wish to take responsibility for thinking (that's why you like the slave idea.)

    Well, you could be right, but I don't think so. Being joined to and following Christ is quite a responsible task. Many people are very gullible and impressionable... and easily misled. Even the chosen ones. So, I am OBLIGATED to be quite careful... and responsible... in what/how I share with them, say to them, do for them, don't do TO them, and care for them. I am only a slave, however... and by choice (because it is not required)... because I love the One who gave his life for me... and, IMHO, it's the least I can be. I mean, I don't have anything he needs, and there is nothing I can do for HIM... other than offer MY life, in return. That's usually what honorable DO when one gives their life for them. It used to be customary, actually. Not so much anymore - we kinda take such things for granted, today, considering such things archaic, even ridiculous. But that is only in fulfillment of my Lord's words that, because of the increasing of lawlessness (i.e., lack of love, which is the Law's fulfillment)... the love of the greater number would cool off. And it really has, dear one.

    These are not, however, good ideas to bring to a discussion table where you wish to make serious comments. Peace without any hell to you :P

    Nor did I... and the same peace... as well as the kind of peace my Lord gives... to you, as well!

    Christianity and most religions have an inbuilt need for arrogance - religion by its very definition is elitist, stratifying the world into saved and damned, righteous and wicked, clean and filthy.

    And that really is not only too bad... but unchristian. My Lord didn't gain followers by judging, but do to his words and works that showed love to be the Law's fulfillment. But such words were and are considered "weak"... and such works considered the product of demons. Then... and now.

    As for smugness, I really rather feel that christianity in all forms has taken rather a beating of late and I don't see very muchs mugness around and I include liberal Christians in the pot for they have been exposed as immoral and inhumane as well.

    I don't we can limit it to "christians" or non-christians, dear one. MAN... dominates his fellow man... even those who ARE like him, who DO believe as he does... to his own injury. MANY have shown this; modernly, the WTBTS demonstrates it every day.

    I don't know how modern Christianity - increasingly shorn of its historical institutional protection - can respond. It has been defeated by evolution and has fought a Dunkirk action with Intelligent Design (I am astounded by the way the new 'smart' Christians are quick to scoff at young earth creationists as somehow un-biblical and foolish.)

    This what happens when one follows the ideologies, theocracies, and doctrines created, contrived, and pushed by man... rather than the Holy Spirit, dear Qcmbr: the Christ exists "divided." And so you end up with cults, sects, heresies, etc.

    Religion has always played upon the moral ground as though the alternative was depravity and wholesale debauchery but the whole black rights ,gay rights debates, war caused by religion, AIDS/condoms and the scandal of paedophilia in the church has exposed Christianity as so morally corrupt as to be something to be avoided (not surprising when you take your yardstick from an old warrior tribe of animal butchers.)

    Well, such things exist elsewhere, too - however, due to its very vocal opposition to such things... all the while existing in such itself... "christianity's" hypocrisy has resulted in more bad upon her, in her, thought of her, and shown by her... than good. But that's what happens when others figure out the harlot IS a harlot... as opposed to a chaste wife she wants everyone else to BELIEVE she is.

    Where people like me are upset (nay livid) is because we got lied to, as children by those who should have known better

    And that is understandable. But what does being upset DO? You're not going to stop/change/eliminate/be victorious against such ones. Why not use that energy, instead, to tell people the TRUTH... as many as will hear you? But you can't DO that, can you, if you don't know it, yourself? There is a Way, however, to know the truth... and that is by knowing the Truth.

    in a shocking collusion between state, church and family.

    All prophesied, so I am not sure why the HUGE surprise, other than... and please forgive me for saying this, but... arrogance. Thinking that while it may happen to some others "fools"... it certainly won't happen to me/my parents/family/loved ones. To the contrary, my Lord prophesied that it would occur EVEN for some of the chosen ones! (Matthew 24:24)

    I spend the best part of 30 years paying god for the privilege of believing rubbish,

    No, dear one... you did NOT pay God, the Most Holy One of Armies. You paid those who misled you, who TOLD you that you were paying God. Those who exacted "corban" from you. Those are who you should be mad at.

    thinking I was not good enough, that no matter how much time and effort I gave it was still worthless and that only through abject denigration of my own desires and will to a god who couldn't be bothered to answer my prayers could I ever hope to have an eternal existence of praising this tyrant.

    Yet, the Most Holy One of Israel NEVER told you that, did He? Indeed, His Son said the exact opposite! It was "they" who told you such lies, the false christs, false prophets, hypocritical "scribes" and "Pharisees/Sadducees"... the unclean "priests"... all of whom are NOT sons of God, but the offspring of VIPERS. Their food and drink is venomous and their "bite" poison. And virtually ALL have been "bitten" by them! Which is WHY we MUST keep our gaze on Christ, the Copper Seraph (Daniel 10:6; Revelation 1:15). For just as Moses lifted up the copper serpent in the wilderness, so too, the Son of Man has been lifted... that everyone who looks upon HIM... although bitten... will live.

    But "looking upon him"... requires faith... so as to see him. And that faith... is exercised; it is not dormant or rhetorical.

    I was an idiot.

    As was I, dear one. But where is the crime or sin in being so? Where does the Law say, "Thou must not be fooled"? There is none. The only "law" that says you did something wrong (rather than those who actually did by misleading you)... is the law... of pride. Pride says we cannot be fooled, or if so, there is something "wrong" with us. That is a lie. If we NOT be fooled, then the reason for even allowing the Adversary to remain was moot. It was not, however. He has made a challenge... to ALL of mankind: that, skin in behalf of skin and ALL a man has he WILL give in behalf of his flesh. He'll even give others, including his own flesh. That it is only when God does "good" to us that we love and serve Him, but as soon as things appear/go "bad"... we WILL curse Him to His face. Praise JAH, there is One that answered that challenge for ME. In return, I am simply trying not to let the efforts he made in MY behalf have been in vain. So, I take up that challenge as well, to the extent I can... and make my own reply to the one taunting God as respects ME. Where I fall short, that One, His Son and Christ, my Lord... the Holy One of Israel and Holy Spirit... JAHESHUA MISCHAJAH... makes up my difference. With HIS blood.

    I will ever be grateful for people of stronger moral fibre and courage than I, to write and say, often harsh, often painful things that made me face the truth.

    I understand. We should be grateful to ALL who we believe has done us a good. For me, that includes Christ, and because of him, God.

    I hope this helps you understand my position, dear Qcmbr, and again, peace to you!

    A slave of Christ,


  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    I am shocked by the sloppy thinking involved in this question. Liberal Christianity is a meaningless term. I am a progressive Christian. Speaking for myself (since I can only speak for myself), I base my theology on the Bible, the Word of God. I study the culture of the time to understand how Jesus would have viewed the scriptures that were acknowledged in his day. Psalm 23 reads one way to Christians but another way to Jewish people. Jesus was born a Jew and died a Jew. Of course, I am history buff so I enjoy reading about the controversies in the church. The Church was diverse and anyone who thinks they can define Christianity definitively does not know Christian history.

    I attend church regularly. My Christianity compels me to help the poor. I also feel that being a Christian is being civic minded and active in my local community in the old-fashioned ways, such as food pantries, Heifer International and soup kitchens. Jesus commanded no less. I am keenly aware that if I were born in a different culture, I would most likely not be Christian.

    Finally, I enjoy reading alternate depictions of Jesus, not for their veracity, but for how the inherent tensions of God made flesh are reconciled. Tolstoy wrote fiction concerning Christ. My favorite is The Last Temptation of Christ by Katzenzakis (sp?). I can't forget Gnostic Christianity. During my college years, I studied at Columbia with Elaine Pagels. Gnosticism does not appeal to me but I have new appreciation for creedal statements and beliefs as a result. Christianity flourished b/c it was diverse. We may not have received the purest Christianity but certainly one that evolved enough to stand the test of time. Orthodox Christianity's emphasis on the importance of our physical bodies was a new find for me. Altho I am Anglican, my local community tends to place great interest in the Eastern Church.

    Certainly, the right wing has no authority to hijack the church. Obama spoke of this in his famous speech at the convention. I don't want to repeat the obvious mistakes of right-wing Christianity so I will grant that a conservative person can as readily be Christian as a progressive. The favor is rarely returned. Of course, one can always do a WTBTS and proclaim one's private, exclusive view is the only way. My God is expansive.

  • shamus100


    Don't let a bunch of twits throw everyone into one basket and make judgements. Liberal Christianity - get bent. :(

  • freydo

    ".........According to a Catholic weekly, the Protestants acknowledge the authority of the Pope when they continue to worship on Sunday:

    'Protestants...accept Sunday rather than Saturday as the day for public worship after the Catholic Church made the change...But the Protestant mind does not seem to realize that in accepting the Bible, in observing the Sunday, they are accepting the authority of the spokesman for the Church, the Pope.'(Our Sunday Visitor, Feb.5, 1950)
    .....This very issue of Lord's day observance is the argument Rome used to refute the validity of the Reformation Movement. The Protestants motto was sola scriptura (the Scriptures alone). This was in direct defiance of the Catholic Church who put tradition and her own authority above the authority of the written Scriptures. When the Protestants clearly admitted in the Augsburg Confession (1530) that the Lord's day (Sunday) had been authorized by the Church and was observed on the basis of tradition, Rome's representatives argued that Protestants really didn't believe in the Scriptures alone, since they based their "Lord's Day" observance on tradition, not on the Bible. For this reason, the Council concluded that the Reformers relied upon the authority of the church, not upon the authority of the Bible. So, they officially dismissed the protestant reformation as a rebellious, unsubstantiated dissent against the Church. ("Rome's Challenge," Review and Herald: Takoma Park, ___, p.26)

    But, although Rome has convinced most of the world that Sunday is the "Lord's day," the Bible still declares that the true follower of Messiah will rest on the seventh day from his work, as Elohim did from his. When the day which Elohim has established for the purpose of rest and worship is profaned, and another day is honored in it's place, then that kind of "worship" is not in accord with Elohim's will. Elohim has blessed the seventh day and made it holy. Man does not have the authority to nullify what Elohim has declared to be so. So let all who love him keep his Sabbaths holy.


    The Torah ("law") of Elohim is the mark on the hand and forehead of the believer, and obedience to all of the commandments of Elohim is the testimony of the Christian that he loves Elohim. The keeping of the Appointed Festival Holy Days of Yahuwah (as part of the Torah) is Elohim's sign on the hand and forehead, and the proper use of Elohim's holy name "Yahuwah" is his seal - his mark of ownership on the believer's forehead. All who know the truth and obey Elohim will have this mark, signifying their allegiance to the Creator of the universe.

    The beast, too, has his mark. It is lawlessness, the direct defiance of Elohim's Torah (law). The Papacy has boldly usurped the authority which Elohim alone possesses by declaring that she has the authority to replace Elohim's laws with her own. In this way, the world church, sometimes referred to as "Babylon," has rejected Elohim by rejecting the day He has set apart for worship of Him, and has exalted Sunday in its place. This, she declares, is her mark of authority.

    Let all those who know their Elohim, those people who call upon the name of Yahuwah and who identify themselves by Yahusha''s name, decide whom they will obey, to whom they will be loyal, and which day they will set apart for worshiping the Creator and Redeemer."

  • designs

    BOTR- 'God is expansive' is a good concept and one many are embracing. Religion has to progress and rethink old ideas or fade into the history books. Few christians today believe in a Dante's Inferno concept of the afterlife for the wicked, 500 years ago that was pretty common. Old line Protestant Denominations are trying new things to stay relevant and genuinely do good in their communities. The Presbyterian Church across the street from the Kingdom Hall in my town opened a Food Pantry to help deal with the Recession. Most Church-goers don't take the Bible as the Literal Word of God but rather pick out the humanitarian aspects and practice those.

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    Obviously, there are different ways to interpret the Bible in good faith. I feel my mainstream Protestant theology is more Bible-based than the black and white fundamentalists. How can one interpet it without a knowledge of the several languages that were used? New findings in archaeology reveal clearly Paul's opponents. The Nag Hammadi scriptures were found by accident during an early Arab-Isreali war. I submit no one can know what the canonical gospels say without reading these alternative scriptures.

    God cannot be defined by human language terms. Human language can attempt to describe God but must fall short because God is that which is not human. I studied New Testament at college, with some exposure to grad work in Gnosticism. Since those crucial years, I've continued my studies. Frequently, I feel there is some thwarted JW in me because I place almost too emphasis on this factual material. Spirituality, rather, is how I apply the concepts learned in my real life where Cecil B. DeMile experiences are least likely. The more I study the more I know we can only guess in good faith. Knowledge brings humility.

    When I flip cable stations, I come across fundamentalist ministers thumping their Bibles. Typically, they don't address Jesus' radical gospels. Rather, it is how to donate money to their preaching. Their stupidity and lack of sophistication stands out. Jesus was no stickler for rules. He addressed large issues of life. Love was the driving force.

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    Whoever started this thread had good Jehovah's Witness training in proclaiming their truth without any facts or even defining their terms. As a progressive Christian, I believe Jesus was fully human, fully God and will come again. It is hard to respond to drivel. Part of my progressive Christianity is believing in the good will of others. The opening statement does not evoke Jesus but narrowmindness. In the end, though, I can say that your journey has brought you to a nut jobs version of Christianity but it is your and valid for you. Perhaps if you had some facts and a smidgen of sophistication, your result would be different.

    I am wrong to take the inflammatory bait. Christians proclaim the triune God. They don't belittle others within the same flock. Love one another in my name. Your statement is as inane as any Witness one. What your fruits of the spirit? I can understand a difference of opinion. The thread starter shows a fundamental disrespect for others and ignorance.

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