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?