Is Jesus a Liberal or a Conservative?

Nothing will anger one side of the political divide more than the other side claiming that Jesus would agree with them. But, what would Jesus do in regard to politics?

Paul tells us in Romans that we are to obey our leaders because their right to govern was given to them by God. Some might argue that Stalin and Hitler, and others, could not have been allowed to govern by God. I disagree. Although they were evil men, God can use evil to advance his greater good. I don’t claim to understand it all.

But, what about today? Liberals claim that Jesus was filled with “Peace Love and Understanding”, if I can borrow part of the title of one of my favorite Elvis Costello tunes. Conservatives claim that Jesus was forgiving, but was also plain spoken in matters of right and wrong. In truth, both sides are right. That’s the lesson of Grace. God gives us rules to live by and forgives us if we stumble – so long as we are sincere in our prayer for forgiveness.

What form of government would Jesus prefer? His kingdom was not of this world. He spoke against religious authorities many times but had little to say against government. He spoke about giving generously to those in need, and also paying debts to government when they are due. He never spoke of a government program as a solution to any problem.

Perhaps the best answer can be found in the gospels (like always).

Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (II Corinthians 9:7).

I’ll leave it to you to decide.

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2 thoughts on “Is Jesus a Liberal or a Conservative?

  1. Our Founding Fathers wrote that the power of government, and the rights of the people, are granted by God; an idea Jesus expressed when He told Pontius Pilate, “You have no power over me but that it has been granted you from above.”It’s clearly not your intent to have Jesus’ teachings mold to your political persuasions, but many do so. Jesus was clearly unconcerned about matters of state, and went about the business of tending to those less fortunate, but telling them to account for their own actions. The best parts of liberalism ask us to tend to the powerless, to steward the earth, and to seek peace with our fellows. Conservatism seeks the freedom of the individual to pursue his own destiny. I think neither of these aims are inconsistent with Christianity.It’s helpful for me to remember that in civil matters as in religious, Jesus said the whole of the Law was to love God, and love others.

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  2. Good points. I always appreciate your thoughts. C. S. Lewis once said “Most of us are not really approaching the subject in order to find out what Christianity says: We are approaching it in the hope of finding support from Christianity for the views of our own party.”Often, conservatives look at liberals as if their entire spectrum consists of denying Christ’s divinity or killing babies, but in order to find the middle ground we need to see where we agree and then proceed from that point.

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