There’s been a good discussion over on Wade Burleson’s Blog—about how you define a “Christ-Honoring, Theologically Conservative Evangelical”. Read about it Grace and Truth to You: A Good Definition of a Christ-Honoring, Theologically Conservative Evangelical
I added that the above can be defined as “anyone who agrees with me” and those who don’t are a “liberal”. It got me thinking about why we are so apt to label those who disagree with us and I wanted to offer this possibility.
Most of those participating in these types of discussions or take a great interest in theology took great care in establishing what they believe and why they believe it. Pastors and others today spend hours reading, studying, learning from the Word of God and most of all, asking for wisdom while believing that God will honor as well as answer that request.
So, after much study and growth, after trusting that God has revealed a theological conclusion regarding a passage or a doctrine we are convinced that we have heard the heart of God and so know and understand Him better.
And then we come across someone who has a different understanding, a different interpretation to a said doctrine or passage. If we truly believe that “God is the same yesterday, today and forever”, then we have a hard time reconciling how the same God can lead 2 people to different interpretations.
As the mindset goes, since we know how much time, effort, and prayer we put into establishing our position, we give ourselves the benefit of the doubt and conclude that the other guy must have missed something or wasn’t really listening to God on this issue. You conclude they may be a great person and believer, but they’re just falling for one of Satan’s old tricks on this particular issue.
So the mindset is to trust your time, efforts, motives and convictions while inherently having serious doubts directed toward those who disagree. That’s how a Christ-Honoring, Theologically Conservative Evangelical” (which of course I am) becomes a “liberal” when they disagree with me.
I know this is simplified, so please feel free to add more to it.
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