Well, probably not in terms of politics, but with regard to Christianity … yes, I think it might be.
You see — as I’ve shared before — I think there are a lot more things expressed by the Lord in imperative tones than just five or six “steps” and BING! you’re “saved.”
And I believe that everything the Lord asks of us, whether you want to call them commands or not, are necessary because He knows they are good for us, will bless us, will help us to grow spiritually and to grow closer to Him and to others.
Yet the preaching within too much of Christianity is centered — not on Christ who saves us — but on what we must and must not do (as long as it’s not more than five or six “steps”) in order to be “saved.”
And I put “steps” in quotes because you won’t find the concept of “steps to salvation” in scripture.
And I put “saved” in quotes because you won’t find many preachers willing to share with you a comprehensive definition of what it means to be “saved.”
Eternal life in heaven with God and a get-out-of-hell-free card, sure. I get that. Most people do. Is that all? Sure, it’s enough, but is it all? What does it mean to be “saved” in this life?
That, I believe, is at least as much of what Jesus’ teachings and example were concerned with as pie-in-the-sky-by-and-by.
Yet when was the last time you heard or read (or perhaps gave) a sermon on the imperative expressed in Luke 12:33? Is that not a salvific concept? Is it not a salvation “issue”? Or is it just about whether your bank account will take you through eternity when you get to heaven?
Why do we ignore 6:16-18 entirely? Did Jesus not say those words? Are they not in imperative mood? Do they not presuppose that we will elect to fast?
Is there any one of those things that God asks of us that doesn’t testify to (and live out before others around us) His goodness, His grace, His power to save, His willingness to do so, His love for us, His very own Son’s life?
I could rattle off another dozen, and they wouldn’t add to the value of the discussion because I’m betting you could too. Let me just cut to the chase:
We don’t preach those things because they’re our shortcomings and oversights and, yes, sins of omission — and if they were preached about with the same ferocity and intensity that marriage, divorce and remarriage or salvational step-jumping is preached then someone would get fired for infringing on our consciences instead of preaching hellfire and damnation against someone else’s sins.
There. I’ve said it. And I ain’t a-takin’ ‘er back.
So you just call me liberal all you want to. You’re wrong. I’ll bet I am at least as conservative about what Jesus said needs doing and what God wants for us to do as anyone else you know. Probably more.
It’s what man says about what scripture says that I have my doubts about.
‘Cause it’s not like scripture doesn’t say enough already to convict and still save every single daggum one of us.