Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Can conservative or orthodox Christians find common ground with liberal or progressive Christians?

I put this question to whoever is reading. My own thoughts will come later today in another post.

8 comments:

BenYachov said...

Forgive me but it seems to me to be a silly question.

You can find common ground with anybody of good will & good aims.

malcolmthecynic said...

How do you define it? I find common ground with Lothar, and I'm sure we have common ground on things like the divinity of Christ.

rufusdog said...

Yes, but it will never rise to the level of unity and harmony, there will always be division.
Such is the nature of imperfect people trying to interpret the Bible and live by it.

You will always have extremes. Case in point the recent post by Voxday on biblical submission juxtaposed to Lothar’s gay neighbor post.

An easy one would be care for the poor, widows, and orphans. The vast majority of all Christians would agree that it is a Biblical directive to provide care and supports, but they would vary wildly on how to go about doing it and that difference would create sharp division.

I myself have little time for “progressive” Christians that put there politics before their faith (and that IS what they do in my opinion, if something has to give it will be the scriptures, not their politics).

That’s my two cents.

Common ground, sure. Unity, not in this life.

Crude said...

I'll flesh the question out a little more.

When I say common ground, I don't merely mean 'can you have a conversation with them.' I mean can there be a meaningful mutual respect and defense of each other? Can there be a position of 'well we disagree, but there is still respect and we don't wish the other ill'?

BenYachov said...

>When I say common ground, I don't merely mean 'can you have a conversation with them.' I mean can there be a meaningful mutual respect and defense of each other?

Of course but that depends on the individual or individuals you are talking too.

I once had a conversation on "Extra Eccesia Nun Salas" with a far left Agnostic co-worker of mine who once told me her Grandfather is an "unreconstructed Stalinist" and it went very because she concluded on her own that EENS & the possible salvation of invincibly ignorant non-Catholics where not at odds.

She asked the right questions because she generally wanted to know.

'So what do you mean by "Outside the Church"'?

It went uphill from there.

>Can there be a position of 'well we disagree, but there is still respect and we don't wish the other ill'?

Again that depends on the individual. There is an obvious moral difference between Jeff L or Dan Gilson over at Dangerous Ideas blog then Paps or Skep.

Syllabus said...

can there be a meaningful mutual respect and defense of each other? Can there be a position of 'well we disagree, but there is still respect and we don't wish the other ill'?

Certainly there can be. It's becoming far more rare, these days, but sure.

As Ben intimated, it really has a great deal to do with the people involved. If both parties are honest, and actually are curious rather than just looking for a "gotcha" moment, then there can be meaningful interaction and mutual respect. Now, that being said, such interactions by far constitute the exception rather than the rule, IMO. For Christians, especially, it ought to be possible. To take one example, when in conversations with people regarding Catholicism I do try and make sure that it's properly represented and that they aren't saying stupid things like "but that's not in the Bible" or whatever, even though I'm not a Catholic. It's the principle of charity, really.

Crude said...

It's the principle of charity, really.

Indeed.

Acatus Bensley said...

For me personally, I don't think so. Besides liberal Christian is a blanket term. I don't you should consider yourself a liberal if you think we should treat other creeds with respect and strive for a greater tolerance of people different from you. That's just being Christian. To me a liberal is someone who consistently pushes for things such as secularism, teaching LGBT culture in schools, violating constitutional rights in order to appease minorities while knowing they're living in opposition to the religious doctrine they claim to abide by. A liberal Christian is a person of the world and not of Christianity. Sticking up for a gay person when they need a friend is Christian but encouraging people to emulate that gay person just so he won't feel "abnormal" is liberal. Trying to aid African Americans financially when they're unfortunate is Christian, but telling African Americans that they're entitled to wealthy white people's money for no reason is liberal. I hope you know where I'm going with this. Having good intentions doesn't mean being liberal. At least not my definition of liberal.