Out From Under the Umbrella

playing in the rain

Fundamentalist Liberal Christians

44 Comments

There aren’t many “liberal” Christians here where I live.  At least I don’t know any. I mostly encounter them online.  At any rate I remember when I first started blogging a few of them came to my blog and tried, unsatisfactorily, to answer the questions I was asking.  Then they’d get in a huff when I responded with how unsatisfactory the answers they provided were. 

They still couldn’t answer why there was any more value in the Bible than, say,  The Illiad  or The Canterbury Tales.  The basis of their answers is that…well…Jesus. And even if he isn’t born of a virgin and God in the flesh…well….Jesus.  It makes absolutely no sense to me.  Well, okay, maybe a little sense.  I might read Harry Potter and enjoy it and maybe even find some valuable life lesson in it that is applicable to me and only me, but that doesn’t give me the right to go around telling everyone else why it should be valuable to them too.

They say most of it is fiction – allegory, extreme hyperbole – and it was written for a certain people at a certain time and not necessarily for us today, and not  but the red letters, well those ones are the real ones.  For them, they say, context is king.  I’ll agree with that.  Let’s put the Bible, and all the stories in it, in their proper context.  It isn’t a history book, it isn’t a science book, it isn’t a book on cosmology, or tautology, or physics or anything pertaining to what we can see, hear, or touch. 

If the forms of Liberal Christianity that I have encountered are true there is as much value in Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, New Age and every other religion in the world as there is in it.  Why Christianity? 

And standing, now, on the sidelines I’ve watched “liberal” Christians argue with one another tooth and nail about church doctrine, or the meaning of a passage, or the lesson that should be obtained therein, or whether it was meant for us now or just a certain people at a certain time or any number of other things that are fundamental to Christianity (like the virgin birth).  It doesn’t appear that Liberal Christianity is any better than any other Christianity.  Can we all just agree that maybe there isn’t just one right way to do Christianity?  Apparently the Holy Spirit doesn’t think there is just one right way.  After all he’s supposed to be the guide and he’s guiding millions upon millions of Christians in millions and millions of different ways ;).  And if I, an Atheist, dare to question any of your presuppositions about your God or your conclusions about the Bible you, even the liberal Christian that you are, become somewhat defensive and sometimes even downright angry.  Why is that?  Could it be that, even while progressive, there are just some things that are fundamental to you? What method do you use to determine which parts were imagined and written by man – like the parts that condone slavery, misogyny, and even prescribed killing – and which parts are a revelation from God? 

Or have I misunderstood the basis of Liberal Christianity all together?

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44 thoughts on “Fundamentalist Liberal Christians

  1. From what I’ve understood and witness, Liberal Christianity is diverse. In an effort to not be “black and white” it is.

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  2. Well said!
    Ya know. I was recently banned from a progressive, liberal Christian site: “Unfundamentalist Christians: Above All, Love” for quoting Pew Poll statistics on Islam. I was accused of being a bigot simply for quoting stats. Go figure.
    I agree with your eval!

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    • I read your post about that. I was pretty surprised by John Shore’s response as I didn’t see anything particularly inflammatory about your comments. Sure, statistics can be taken out of context and twisted to say anything anyone wants them to say(that sounds familiar, doesn’t it?). So I’m kind of skeptical about stats when I haven’t read the study they accompany. But your points certainly weren’t ban worthy.

      *Edited to add: I’m not implying your conclusions about the stats you commented on were wrong either – just that I haven’t researched them. And that the fact you were banned from his blog just goes to prove the points in this post.

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    • I have found as well in the liberal Christian and the liberal non-Christian discussion that Islam is to remain off the table so-to-speak.

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  3. @ Ruth

    “If the forms of Liberal Christianity that I have encountered are true there is as much value in Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, New Age and every other religion in the world as there is in it. Why Christianity?”

    I agree with you.

    Buddha, Muhammad, Moses, Krishna, Zoroaster, Jesus; they all were truthful in their origin and received almost the same teachings from the One-True-God; source being the same their teachings could not be different.

    And this is reasonable.

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  4. @ Ruth

    I think that you did not answer my question I asked “February 23, 2014 at 7:08 pm”; I repeat again:

    “At what time in your life did you assign this purpose to your life?
    Thanks”

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    • I think that I’m using purpose and meaning interchangeably and you may not be. When I say that I my life has the purpose I assign it, I am really talking about meaning. That was the reason for my probing you on what you mean by the terms you are using.

      My life has had different meanings/purposes at different times. I do not believe there is some greater ultimate meaning/purpose in life. So that question is a difficult one to answer.

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  5. @ Ruth:February 24, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    Like the honeybees, as I understand, live in colonies; different bees in the same colony have different functions to perform ; one kind of them cannot perform the function some others can perform and they do perform. So individually each one of them is busy performing its function; perhaps unaware of what others are performing and as to how they are performing.

    Individually they have a meaning in the function they are performing but collectively they have the purpose of raising a honeybee colony.

    Collectively they are supporting one another to collect honey and pollen as their off-season food.

    The nature has another purpose of their life of which they are unaware; while collecting pollen they add pollination of nearby crops useful for the human beings.

    So nature has assigned another purpose to them; to which they are unaware. Their ignorance does not mean the nature has not assigned them a special task/purpose.

    Does it help?

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  6. Pingback: Ignorance of purpose of life; does not mean no purpose of human life | paarsurrey

  7. Paarsurry is a dingbat of the first order. A Muslim who believes Jesus got a helping hand down off the cross and then sodded off to live in India somewhere.
    He’ll even point you to a really cool video if you like?

    And I can point you to a video showing Pharaoh’s chariot wheels on the floor of the Red Sea if you like?

    He thinks, like so many religious twits, he can philosophize the truth out of nonsensical religion.

    Entertain him at the risk of your sanity.

    😉

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    • Thanks. I hadn’t encountered him before, but quickly realized that’s what he was doing…trying to paint me into some philosophical corner. *shrug*

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      • He makes flimsy alliances with Christians when the common ( atheists) enemy is about but will jump at every opportunity to agree with the atheist when the question of JCs divinity arises.
        And just as quickly side with the Christian host when the historicity of Jesus is questioned.

        He is a hoot an a half.

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    • Oh, and I’ve seen those handy dandy videos of all those chariot wheels. Proof that Pharaoh’s army chased Moses and his band across the Red Sea! I’m convinced. You’re not? 😀

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      • I always wondered how much Pharaoh counted up to before he yelled, ”Okay, Mo, coming ready or not!”

        I had an interesting discussion once with a Christian
        chap ( here in blogsville) about this.
        He claimed it was archaeological ”proof” of the Exodus and initially would not back down even when I politely informed him that this ”archaeologist” was a certain Ron Wyatt.

        He just wouldn’t have it, then cut short the dialogue…as they so often do.

        The religious world abounds with some very odd ducks indeed. 🙂

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        • When I first came across the claims of Mr. Ron Wyatt, my first thought was, “Why is this not being told in churches everywhere? Good lord, man, this is proof of the Exodus!” My next thought was, “Why aren’t they telling this in churches everywhere?”

          Didn’t take but a google search to figure out why. Egads! Liars for the Lord abound. I’m sure he got a pocket full or two out of it as well. 😉

          Even if there are chariot wheels at the bottom of the Red Sea, what does it prove? That some people who rode chariots lived in the region? Meh…

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      • Let’s not forget the Red Sea was mistranslated . Scholars overwhelmingly agree the correct translation is “Sea of Reeds” which did exist then but is dried up today. 🙂

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  8. biblearchaeology.com says, “It may come as a surprise to many students of the Bible that in the original Hebrew text the body of water the Israelites crossed when leaving Egypt is called yam suph, “Sea of Reeds,” not Red Sea (Ex 15:4, 22; Dt 11:4; Jos 2:10; 4:23; 24:6; Neh 9:9; Ps 106:7, 9, 33; 136:13, 15). Unfortunately, yam suph has been rendered “Red Sea” in nearly all of our translations, the Jerusalem Bible and the New Jewish Publication Society Hebrew Bible being notable exceptions.”

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    • I did watch a program on the Histerical Channel (I don’t remember the name of it) that was basically all these scholars speculating how the “feats” of the Old Testament might have been accomplished. I do remember on of them talking about the Sea of Reeds and how at certain times it was quite shallow and that it could have been crossed on foot but chariots would have bogged down. Again…meh

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