Paradox: I am a Liberal. Like Jesus

“For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

Hebrews 4:15-15 NKJV

I Would Not Describe Myself as an Ideologue…

but to be honest, does anyone?  I am steadfast in my commitment to avoid living in an echo chamber. I do not want my biases to define me. It is my earnest prayer that I be known as someone who can defend their positions while being open to learning to see the world from another perspective.

This Is Not A Political Post.

I have dear friends with whom I disagree on social and political positions. I desire to learn why you believe what you believe, hoping that the articulation of your position broadens my understanding. No one is always right. Least of all me.

I Desire to Be Liberal. Like Jesus.

In 2015, long before the madness that has defined 2020, the Dallas Morning News published an editorial opinion regarding the question, “Has ‘liberal’ lost its potency as an insult?”

In reply, a reader offered the following:

“several months ago a group of friends set out to get a concise definition of liberal in order to determine why it was such a bad label.

The following comes from Webster’s Dictionary, 2006 edition: lib’er-al, I. adjective 1. Possessing or manifesting a free and generous heart; bountiful. 2. Appropriate and/or fitting for a broad and enlightened mind. 3. Free from narrowness, bigotry or bondage to authority or creed. II. noun 1. Any person who advocates liberty of thought, speech or action.”

As I read through each line, it occurred to me that on its face, this definition sounds like the active practice of Grace.

Jesus Is a Liberal.

Despite his reputation for orthodoxy, theologian BB Warfield defines Grace as 

“free sovereign favor to the ill-deserving,” 

which seems perfectly aligned to the definition above. Consider Jesus’ rebuke of the Pharisees, while they bore a sacred responsibility to lead people to God, their approach was narrow and tied more closely to righteous doctrine and judgment. Their approach seemed absent of Grace.

By the Time You Read This,

Americans will be living through the last day of our national elections, exercising our constitutional right to vote “free and fair.” 

My vote is cast. My prayers are offered. As for me, I vote Grace. I will continue striving for a free and generous heart. I commit to being enlightened, seeking to continue my transformation by the renewing of my mind, remaining open. 

As always, I aspire to Paul’s encouragement to the Philippians, 

“whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things.”

Like Jesus.

A footnote. Jesus was never part of the club, never invited to speak at any temples, was NOT welcome in polite company.

He spoke truth.

He was Radical (look up its origins). 

I want to be like Jesus.

Image Credit: Jennifer Griffin on Unsplash

Chelle Wilson
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