I’m a Liberal?
I’ll never forget it. A couple sat in my office last year and shared their many grievances with me. The grievances included a few things that I’ve heard before. Things like, you are too casual, the music is too loud, you aren’t deep enough…you know, the usual preacher stuff. And then it happened! I’d never heard my name associated with this statement, “You know what you’re problem is? You are a Liberal!” Well, how bout that? I never knew that.
I rarely feel the need to defend the usual preacher stuff, but now it got real all up in here! My immediate response wasn’t what they imagined or what I imagined, for that matter. Without much thought, I declared, “Thank You!” Again, how bout that?
If your version of liberal includes the following, then yes, I am a proud, card-carrying liberal: Caring for hungry kids, helping kids break the curse of poverty by helping them graduate, helping single parents, orphans, widows and breaking the sinful attitudes of bigotry and racism, then yes…I am a liberal. If you mean that by not screaming and picketing against people that don’t agree with me, then yes, I am indeed a liberal. If not teaching on the millions of things that you find wrong with other people and asking you to look within your own heart is liberal, then wow, I am a liberal. If the statement that I believe the Bible is a BIG DEAL, that Jesus is the BIGGEST DEAL, and living that means we will naturally desire to SERVE PEOPLE IN NEED is liberal, then I am proud to be a liberal. If you mean that being a liberal means that we welcome anybody and everybody to worship with us, then, by all means, put me in that camp. If you mean that being a liberal includes living life with open hands, broken hearts and well-worn knees, then I long to be more liberal.
I would love to be a part of a church that is liberal in love, grace, mercy, compassion, generosity, kindness, acceptance, truth without hate, purpose without predetermined agendas, and neighbors without regard to race. I’d love to pastor a church that determined that if we could get Jesus in the right priority of our lives, we will get the rest of life’s decisions right as well. Let us all be willing to be liberal in our worship and in our desire to live more like Christ.
Let us all be willing to be liberal in caring for single parents, pregnant teens, immigrants, orphans, impoverished families and hungry and hurting people. Let us be willing to be liberal in our love for one another, liberal in holding our tongue when tempted to cast our hatred on people that we do not understand or cannot empathize with.
Liberal is a term we often use for folks that simply do not agree with us. Let’s learn to be liberal in our gratitude for what we have, gracious in our actions, sacrificial in our giving, and passionate in our service to the Divine and to the rest of His creation. How about being liberal in our concern for sharing the message of The Gospel with rich and poor, black and white, gay and straight, old and young, Jew and Gentile, man or woman, and even liberal and conservative. Here’s a thought: Let’s be liberal in our willingness to stop the insanity of right and left bickering and foolishness.
I know, I know, I’m truly a well camouflaged progressive conservative in my day job, and a Jesus loving, liberal in my heart. So bring it on! Let’s do this Liberal in Love Thing and Change the World!
Go in Peace, AChuck