Jesus Is A Liberal

19 Apr

Why is Jesus a Liberal? Webster’s dictionary defines a Liberal as one who is open-minded, not strict in the observance of orthodox, traditional or established forms or ways. Jesus was a pluralist Liberal who taught that one need not conform to strict and orthodox views of God, religion, and life. He rejected greed, violence, the glorification of power, the amassing of wealth without social balance, and the personal judging of others, their lifestyles and beliefs.

via Jesus Is A Liberal – Home Page.

What examples do you have to show that Jesus was a liberal/progressive?


Posted by on April 19, 2012 in sociology


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6 responses to “Jesus Is A Liberal

  1. PIchi

    April 20, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    The disciples got told off for picking wheat (they were hungry) on the Sabbath. Jesus also healed on the Sabbath, another ‘No no’. Jesus pointed ut that if your donkey fell down a well on the Sabbath, you’d rescue it. Rules and more rules about what was ‘work’ on the Sabbath and what wasn’t, wasn’t fulfilling the spirit of the fourth commandment.
    He touched dead people, which is breaking the greatest Taboo – contact with the great mystery of absence of life. Of course, in dying himself he did more than break the Taboo, he smashed it to smithereens?
    Jesus paid attention to ‘gentiles and sinners’ whereas one would think someone who wanted any standing in the community – then or now – would keep well away from those who were not socially acceptable.He suffered and died as a criminal, for heaven’s sake!
    Jesus called his disciples, instead of them choosing their teacher – not that this was a biblical rule.
    Jesus was the Messiah whose kingdom was not won by going into battle on horseback and with an army but gently as a lamb to slaughter.
    Jesus knelt to wash his disciples’ feet, a job for the lowest servant, not for the master.

    • Katie and Martin

      April 20, 2012 at 6:23 pm

      Every one of these examples is liberating, life-affirming and empowering. It reminds us why we follow Jesus.

      It seems that we have institutionalised Jesus in our own image, but I guess every age does.

  2. Matt

    April 20, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    We all know that Jesus would avoid the ‘L’ word label like any other because it’s way to narrow for him – he breaks out of even the most inclusive category! But I agree that the dictionary definition portrays some of his mystical identity. Robert Farrar Capon describes an aspect of Jesus’ parables as ‘catholicity’. They all speak of the Kingdom of God as something that is universal, for everyone, everywhere, working in the world even before the religious nuts arrive (and despite them). This ‘catholicity’ of the parables of Jesus obviously exasperates those who see the kingdom as their exclusive thing because of the ‘right’ doctrine, religion, enthnicity or status! This aspect of Christ’s self-revelation surely fits in with what you are saying! But labels just don’t fit Christ – Jesus isn’t so much a ‘pluralist’ (again too narrow). If you can find paradox categories and sandwich them together you start to get to better definitions of Jesus – for instance, what about ‘universalist exclusivist’. He proclaims the universality of God’s love and presence irrespective for all, but his teaching also exclusively centres on himself. No wonder Jesus breaks our heads!

  3. Katie and Martin

    April 20, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    You are right, of course. Blogging is sometimes journalism, sometimes sensationalism and sometimes looking for engagement.
    Labels with Jesus are usually insufficient, as the paradox of life through death is too big to condense to one notion. I love the ‘catholicity’ idea, with parables being universal and for everyone, everywhere. They carry many meanings that may change through time. I think that also describes Jesus, who is both left and right, active and prayerful, justice focused and centred on the spirit.
    Thanks for your contribution and for giving us a ‘heads-up’ about Robert Farrar Capon

  4. Andromeda

    April 25, 2012 at 11:09 am

    I don’t think Jesus was liberal or conservative. God is not either one. God is bigger than labels.

  5. Katie and Martin

    April 26, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    While the statement may be tongue in cheek there is still truth in it. Unless you engage with the paradoxes the meaning won’t be understood. Labels and boxes don’t fit because Jesus walks with us, cares for us in our culture, in our new dilemmas. Jesus is not static, not stuck in Israel; he is not the giver of rules (apart from that of love) but responds surprisingly and in new ways that may not have been suspected in ages past.


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