The following is a short article submitted by brother Don Martin to an e-list in response to its members’ praise of the work of Karl Ketcherside. The reason I have included it on this website is due to the similar liberal mindset manifested in the current MDR digressions spearheaded by the GOT foundation and its associates. – Jeff
The Liberal and Conservative Mindsets
By Don Martin
I had a minute in my schedule today and I thought I would briefly share with you some thoughts relative to the liberal and conservative mindsets so common today in America and religion, even in the Lord’s church.
“Liberal” and “conservative” are not terms that appear in our common 75 English translations of the Bible; however, the meaning and idea of both are present.
A conservative person (using a composite dictionary meaning and definition drawn from practical usage) is a person who is restrained, governed, and disciplined in their thinking. They have a definite standard and creed that regulates every nuance of their thinking and values. What they revere and what they distain are all determined by this standard. The standard is one that is devoid of extravagance and unguided freedom. Again, regarding the conservative person, there are definite norms to which attention must be given. In terms of religion, they are sometimes labeled as “legalists” by “liberals.”
Jesus taught strict adherence to His teaching (Matthew 7: 21ff.). One expresses one’s love for God by the observance of God’s commandments, according to the apostle John (I John 5: 3). While one knows that he is not earning salvation, he eagerly submits to God’s word and looks to it for guidance, control, and a belief system. He sincerely avoids adding or taking away from the word of God and insists on book, chapter, and verse (cp. Revelation 22: 18, 19; Galatians 1: 6-10). Any whom he endorses also fall within this category (cp. 2 John 9-11).
The liberal person is more of a free-thinker. He reacts to situations more based on subjective impulse rather than external guidelines. He is not a literalist, thus when considering external guidance, he is inclined to make it fit his own predetermined beliefs. He is free to take liberties regarding norms, whether it be politics, religion, or whatever. He not only does not conform to the conservative way of thinking, on any subject, as a rule, but he resents the conservative way of thinking. He is the progressive man of 2 John 9-11. The liberal usually has an exalted view of himself, he becomes his own authority. As one would expect, all that comes under his approval and appreciation is that which is also liberal.
As one presently views America, one sees liberalism and conservatism growing wider apart. Global politics and one culture without definition or distinct values are matters being promoted by liberal thinkers. “Do-your-own-thing,” “No real right and wrong,” and “Everything goes,” are products of liberalism. They cannot stand restraint and lash out against any and all efforts to impose restraint. Liberalism today has become an aggressive movement, determined to control all. Conservatism is more cautious and decided, urging care and detail to particularity. The liberal sees only a big picture, a picture which is often lacking focus and definition. The conservative thinker attempts to examine and create clear focus and direction.
In closing, it is granted that there are applicational degrees in both liberalism and conservatism. However, these two mindsets are usually irreconcilable and miles apart. When clearly developed, defined and practiced, they result in separation and opposite direction of travel. The basic mindset of liberal and/or conservative will determine where one stands on a given issue. America and religion today certainly exemplify the two mindsets, liberal and conservative. The question is, which one are you and I?