11/09/2008

I'm a liberal... and I admit it

Labels are touchy things... but I'm a liberal...and I admit it.

Keith Drury

42 comments:

Ken Schenck said...

It is very interesting isn't it that the next generation often does exactly the same thing with different issues that their parents did, even though they rebelled and made fun of their parents about it... worship styles, whatever new thing their children are into, ...

Since culture will inevitably change the forms of things, you can't stay true to the underlying substance if your default is to resist change, the definition of a conservative. The conservative position (on form) will almost always eventually be the wrong position. A progressive approach (with regard to form) thus will almost always prove to be the better position over time.

Chap said...

The only differing view I have is that your "labels" are a bit misguided. I would label conservatives as "fundamentalists" and liberals as "progressives". I think this more adequately defines the parties involved.

I pastor an evangelical free church, and although not perfect (and many churches are still filled with "conservatives")--I have grown to appreciate it's heritage of holding to the essentials and having charity with one another on the non-essentials.

In fact, our recent "big" dispute was our attempt at revising the 12 "essentials"/doctrinal statement. Our denomination floated adopting language to include amillenialism as a legitmate eschatological view.

A vocal minority dissented and our leadership choose to stay with our premillenial view instead of opposing those with strong convicitions about premillenialism.

Not really a sexy dispute--but I do appreciate the focus on doctrinal essentials rather than splitting hair over non-essentials or debating whether or not to ordain practicing homesexuals.

Craig Moore said...

Now that boldly calling yourself a liberal has recently come back into fashion, I would suggest that you are "Liberal Lite." In my world (UMC), real liberals stand for tolerance as the new gospel, gay rights and experience or reason trumping the Bible. You aren't there yet, but heading in the right direction and in a few generations will have arrived. Your a trailblazer!

Jennie-Joy said...

lovely.

The Canfield Family said...

That's why I think that it is important to teach our children that we need to follow patterns, principles, and precepts in the Bible, as sometimes issues change.

Taking one issue in particular,how can you condone the wearing of gold as it is forbidden in scripture? When you begin to say "The Bible really doesn't mean what is says", you open up the door for questioning and rejecting any scripture.

The evidence of what happens when you begin to do this is seen in some of the churches you mentioned.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

I think Ken's latest blog entry is a good response to this one. Truth is not the text, but the life. A life is understood by the values that one holds dearest. And there are many Christian values. Sometimes they conflict, and this is when priorities must be evaluated. Anyone who says that it is a straightforward task to live such a life, has either not lived very long or is living in a secluded bubble...

Burton Webb said...

I wonder if this is another case of taking the easy way out.

It is easy to run a negative campaign and difficult to talk about substantive issues.

It is easy to label and make generalizations, difficult to find points of compromise.

It is easy to blindly hold to a "just-so" reality because we have "always" done it that way rather than investing the time and effort in understanding the "other" point of view.

Yet, in the sweep of scripture we are called to the harder path; the grace-filled, relationship oriented path where we can influence each other in positive ways realizing that we might not always agree.

It is the up hill climb, but the view is worth the effort.

Keith Drury said...

Labeling can be hard or even comical at times. I recognize that Methodists who read this column might think Wesleyans are Whack-jobs... but in our movement we have enough variance in "convictions" to produce a variety of conservative-to-liberal approaches on these issues. The issues that have been the defining ones are
posted here as a "Legalism scale" but it could just as easily be called the "Liberalism scale."

Joel Byer said...

Interesting article.

First of all...full disclosure. I'm a conservative. I'm part of a Conservative Holiness Movement. I don't own a TV and I wear long sleeves when I'm swimming.

Seriously.

(I only throw those informational tidbits in there to identify myself...not cause controversy.)

However, I humbly admit that sometimes the tone of we conservatives have been harsh. And yeah, we've used the quick "cheapy" labels too, and written people off.
I just want to simply state, though, that from the bottom of my heart I am dilligently trying to work on my tone.
I am BOTH trying to stay conservative, while addressing our inherent(?) weaknesses.

For instance...
1) I'm trying not to be so reactionary to people and writing off the "whole package". I want to affirm all that I can while allowing God to "figure" out the rest.
2) I'm trying to avoid inflammatory rhetoric and labeling that puts people into a Bush categorization of "you're either for us or against us".
3) I'm embracing change. Yeah, I'm sure most people would still associate me with the radical holiness right ;-), but over the years I HAVE made many substantive changes in my belief system. Most of those changes though, were not positional changes on issues, but my APPROACH and MOTIVE for holding to whatever issue.

So, to sum up, I'm willing to accept constructive criticism and hopefully it my brothers and sisters on the other side of the aisle can do the same.

fetzer said...

Wow. This is not to sound insulting but I didn't know such conservatives still exist. I welcome their personal adherances to a strict lifestyle while I hope that they are welcoming of my less conservative lifestyle. I had to laugh when you called Wesleyans a liberal denomination. A couple years ago I left the Wesleyan church for a number of reasons but some was based on their conservative views particularly on alcohol. I have never been a good dancer so that one didn't bother me much. What I am learning is that instead of waging wars against each other over doctrine and tradition, I am much more interested in sharing the gospel with those outside the church. My only fear is that once they decide to join the church they may be turned off by all the infighting.

Keith Drury said...

JOEL, with that kind of spirit we might just take you by force and set you up as leader of us all... may your tribe increase--among both groups...

Schuyler Avenue Wesleyan said...

"There are generally two branches of “holiness churches.” There are the “mainline holiness denominations” including my denomination, the Nazarenes and the Free Methodists but there is also a “Conservative holiness movement"

One of the biggest issues facing our denomination (Wesleyan) today, when it comes to communicating with each other is the fact that we have BOTH sides of the spectrum. Keith, I dont think we can consider ourselves a mainstream liberal holiness denomination when many of our churches and districts still hold onto a strong legalistic conservative holiness stance.

Fetzer, I am hoping you are not in Wesleyan leadership and make the statement "I didnt know conservatives like that still existed"

They do exist Fetzer...they really do.

And Virgina...there really is a Santa Claus.

Joel Byer said...

Just to clarify, Schuyler Avenue Wesleyan, I am a Bible Methodist, not a Wesleyan.

I always enjoy reading Drury's articles...I'm just from a foreign land. ;-)

Schuyler Avenue Wesleyan said...

Once again, a post does not reflect my inflection.

I do not consider being a conservative a bad thing. NOT AT ALL. Actually, I love conservatives and I love being conservative. Plus, the more I preach and lead, the more I realize how idiotic liberal post modernists are.

And yes, I am labeling..it makes it easier for me to know who I dont like and who I do.

The Grahams said...

Raised in the Free Methodist Church, I was attracted to the Conservative Holiness Movement by folks who appeared more genuine in their faith.

I'd never been swimming in long sleeved shirts until I met Joel.

But when I bowed the knee in confession of my sin, I remember saying "Lord, I want the kind of religion he's got!"

The Grahams said...

Ken,

I don't find your definition of conservative (to resist change) to be accurate. "Slow to change" perhaps. "Cautious about change" maybe.

Change for the sake of change is not progressive.

As a self-identified member of the Conservative Holiness Movement (though certainly not as conservative as some), I affirm the content of the Canfields' post and the admonition to follow after Scriptural principles and not culture shifts.

When explaining to my children why we do some things differently than our Christian brothers and sisters, I say that we're trying to "live carefully before the Lord."

Andrew

Ken said...

i'm very liberal, i guess, since i work in the wesleyan church and don't have a problem with dancing, love that my wife wears makeup, have a 52-inch widescreen for HD cable, enjoy '50-cent taco sunday' at the local taco bell each sabbath, and wish we'd repeal our position on alcohol.

fear-mongering is about all i knew from conservatives growing up - no mixed bathing, no dancing, no playing cards, no movies, etc. when i asked why, i never got good answers that demonstrated thoughtful contemplation... just a strong "because you SHOULDN'T, that's why."

helpful... NOT.

today, i teach my children that we need to be careful what we watch on tv, and how much time we spend around it. i teach them that the internet can connect family and friends when they're far apart, and can even help with educational information and research. but i also teach them that it can be used for shameful habits and addictions, and teach discretion and discernment. regarding the sabbath, i teach them that, for a pastor, sunday is NOT a day of rest and that our sabbath is on saturday, so we can enjoy our plethora of tacos. (wow, that might stretch a few of your readers...)

i continue to think of the statement, "in essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity."

it seems to me that liberals and conservatives may forever disagree about what is 'essential' vs. 'non-essential,' and end up just like your analogy - the army fighting the navy instead of fighting the common, outside enemy.

of course, there are those who would say i'm an enemy in my own camp... hmmm...

Dr. V said...

Several years ago, while on home ministries assignment during a furlough year, I was the missionary speaker in one of our churches located in a large southern city. The church was located on the edge of a new housing development that stretched almost as far as the eye could see. The attendance that morning was 12 persons, including the pastor and family. After the service, a laymen shook my hand and said, "Brother, we may be small, but we are spiritual." I almost blurted out, "I doubt it."

On another occasion, in a conversation with one of our African district superintendents, the topic of holiness came up. Soon I realized that we were not on the same track. For this church leader, taught by an older generation of Wesleyans, holiness was a very conservative lifestyle.

When holiness and spirituality are equated with an insular and restrictive lifestyle, rather than relationship with God and man, the essential nature of biblical Christianity has been lost.

The Grahams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Grahams said...

"in essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity."

I agree with this. As such, I would never de-Christianize some one who disagrees with my decisions regarding the specific application of scriptural principles.

Where my current struggle lies is in the "mainstream holiness" churches' criticizm of those of us living a careful lifestyle to the point that God has led my family to a body of believers who do not share our theological foundations yet respect our decisions to follow the Word as we feel it should be interpreted.

If I attended your church, ken, would you call me a legalist before my children? Would you ridicule our lifestyle? Would you tease us because we've chosen not to eat tacos on Sunday, girate on the dance floor or watch reality television?

Because I've found that conservative churches are more accepting of liberal congregants than liberal churches are of conservative ones.

You're 10 years my senior and we're from different parts of the country. Perhaps you've been exposed to fear-mongering. That certainly hasn't been my experience. And I don't find it an accurate reflection of conservative churches as a whole.

I would love to attend a Wesleyan church (as I currently live in an area of the country without a conservative holiness church). But I don't wish to subject my children to the kind of thinking that challenges (too often with hostility) our decisions to maintain what we believe our Biblical guidelines for living.

Andrew

Joel Byer said...

I found the footnotes to this Drury column almost as interesting as the article itself. :-)

Aimee said...

I am a Conservative Holiness female. I grew up in this movement and have made the choice to stay here as an adult. I found this blog entry quite interesting. Recently, I was listening to one of my very favorite speakers online, who happens to be a Baptist and very well known as a radio speaker. I've often suggested him to others for his really great speaking and ways of thinking. I was shocked and dismayed to hear him, one day, completely making fun of those women who choose not to cut their hair and to only wear dresses, no jewelry, etc. I could not believe a fellow Christian would be so uncharitable. I've often heard how "conservatives" are so judgmental, and yet it seemed we were very much on the receiving end of this one! What shocked me most was that I expect to hear that from an unbeliever - but not a fellow-Christian! I emailed this minister, asking him to reconsider his position and to think about the fact that a girl who chooses to live this way can surely only be doing it because she honestly desires to please Christ and do what He has asked of her. It would be easier NOT to live so conservatively so one must have a very good reason for making that lifestyle choice! Interestingly, I only received a generic response from his secretary. I'm afraid that conservatives aren't the only ones that can be harsh and unfeeling.

As for this article, it seems to be that the last line of #3 is too true. (not to say that there aren't any other truths mentioned) I believe the most important thing is to stay so close to God so that He tells me how I should live my life - and leave others' lives to up to them. Secondly, principals must be taught - more than issues. I'm no philosopher...but those two things are my goals.

The Canfield Family said...

Another thought.........

I came in contact with the Conservative Holiness Movement when I was a Junior in High School. What a difference I saw in them and was attracted to the "behold how they loved one another" that I observed.

I later went off to a Free Methodist college, where I graduated, and what a contrast! What I learned and observed there forever has kept me in the conservative camp.

Some of my best friends there in college were those who did not profess a thing. They would tell me that they had no respect or confidence in the "Christians" that would go out drinking with them so that they could "witness" to them.

Not only did my time in college show me the fallacy of liberalism, but along my spiritual journey I have gotten to know some of the choicest saints, and their example makes me never want to stray off the path.

Ken said...

andrew graham, thanks for allowing me to respond...

:: no, i would not call you a legalist in front of your children - or behind your back.

:: no, i would not ridicule your lifestyle.

:: no, i would not mind that you don't gyrate on the dance floor. (besides, neither do i, really... at least, not very well- ha!)

:: no, i would not criticize you for avoiding tacos on the sabbath - but i would try to get you to make a run for the border with me on monday! ;-)

:: no, i would not give you a hard time for avoiding reality tv - for the most part, i do, too - but you should see a college football game on HD - WOW!

to be honest, andrew, i am deeply attracted to some of the holiness perspectives of my more conservative brothers and sisters. the practices of simplicity, solitude, and study are ones that i have adopted.

i appreciate more conservative holiness people like a car oficionado appreciates a vintage car... it's amazing to observe, much simpler in design than the '08 models, has thoughtful appointments, and was built for a sunday drive more than a four-lane highway.

i would never criticize a vintage car, and i would never criticize (ok, full disclosure - i would try my BEST to never criticize) a more conservative holiness brother... i just like to go fast!

Joel Byer said...

Hopefully I'm not hijacking discussion here, but in response to Aimee.

As a fellow conservative I understand your point that sometimes liberals (in the sense we're using it here) have not played by the rules, been unfair, presumptuous, unkind, etc.

However, if we would go back over the last 100 or so years of the Holiness Movement at large I would venture that BOTH sides of this debate would have plenty of ammunition (ie. pieces of evidence proving hypocrisy on the other side.)to fire at their opponents. If you want personal anecdotes from the other side, just ask. ;-)

In so doing, however, if all either side does is listen, focus on, and ruminate about the injustices of the other side...how does that help any of us make progress?
It is far easier by human nature to feel the sting or wound that someone gives us from the other side than it is for us to perceive how we're coming across to others.

A heart hungry for all of God's holiness must hunger after seeing the whole picture...a wholeness if you will...
That term entire sanctification fits somewhere here too. ;-)


To Ken, I like your good-natured humor! I really wish we could use more of it. (and here I thought all liberals were excellent dancers...ah well, another stereotype busted).

Aimee said...

Joel, you are right. It is rather pointless to start down the path of pointing out specific instances, because, as you said, they are endless on both sides. I agree with Mr. Drury that SOME "conservative" people act in the ways he has stated. Many do not. I hope and pray I'm among those who do not.

John Mark said...

Not surprising that this post generated a lot of response. Where I live the whole liberal/ conservative thing is not an issue, that I can tell. We have some conservatives in our area, A W. Methodist, Bible Methodist, but I seldom interact with them. I assume they would, or do think my church is worldly.
I think the underlying issue is the question of true piety. Holiness is love for God and love for neighbor, to "look after widows and orphans in their distress and keep yourself upspotted by the world"
The real bone of contention is, or has been how we keep ourselves "unspotted." 50 years ago we knew what worldliness was, now we don't, generally. I don't feel we do a decent job in some circles of even keeping the Ten Commandments, let alone living up to a particular church discipline.
So on one side, we are/were tempted to live an ascetic or cloistered lifestyle of sorts, a Pharisaical approach to living, which may be sincere, as I feel some Pharisees were. I would have made a good pharisee. The other extreme is to totally toss out any concern for personal piety as unrealistic, and focus on compassionate ministries. Both extremes do exist, and both may be tempted towards a holier than thou attitude.
Dialogue like what we have seen here, open and amicable, is a help. I think we need to spend time focusing on just what the substance is we are trying to preserve. I am a traditionalist, partly by default, and do feel there are things worthy of preserving. We are not in agreement, even in more liberal "holiness" churches as to what they are.

Dan said...

I grew up in a "small, but pure" Wesleyan church in Seattle. (Yes, the Wesleyan Church has reached the Northwest.) Recently as I read John Burke's book "No Perfect People Allowed, Creating a Come as You Are Culture in the Church" I realized the attitudes within that local church basically made it a closed system. We were "come as you are" in theory, but as sanctified people we found it difficult to be transparent in our relationships. That gets too messy. We failed to grapple with the beauty and diversity of God's people and their beliefs. We didn't realize that being honest was more important than being right. It was "our way or the highway." We failed to appreciate the honest differences in interpretation and practice of the faith.

My issue is when a person (or local church for that matter), liberal or conservative, makes their personal convictions mandatory for all true belivers. So what is my solution? Let us engage in dialog rather than seek to win debates. Let us love people (warts and all) until they see Jesus shine through us (warts and all, too).

Sean Myers said...

The Church, to some extent, is not some mere voluntary arrangement that we can abandon just because we do not happen to agree with some of the other people in the group. Nevertheless, the Church has strayed from this foundation towards a culture where it is no longer unusual for people to move from church, to church just so they can find someone who agrees with them. Now let’s make a point. As culture transforms and changes, thus the church should transform and change also. In that way I am a liberal and conservative. Let me clarify it in two ways.

1. Non-Believers are not going to lean towards a church that still wears robes and sings hymns with an organ. I’m sorry, but this is foreign to them as they have been raised in a culture that is no longer familiarized with that. They need a church that understands culture and appeals to people who live in it. In the same way I’m sure 40 years form now guitars will be regarded the same way… who knows. The point is I’m liberal in appealing to non-believers.
• For example: We don’t dress up at our church; jeans and a t-shirt.
• We play secular music at our church (Coldplay, Audioslave, U2, etc.)

2. I consider it a blessing that the Wesleyan Denomination stands against alcoholic consumption and I firmly stand behind it. In a time where our culture abuses alcohol more than it ever has, why would we ever consider changing it? Listen, we should be embracing the fact that we are set apart from others in this time. As a pastor, wait… even as just a plain old human being, I want to be able to council someone who is an alcoholic and let them know it is possible to sustain from it through the example of my life. I’m going to be frank on this topic. I’m sick of people complaining about this discipline. As a pastor and leader in the church you will ALWAYS CATER TO OTHERS ENSECURITIES. We must hold on to the conservative theology that was laid out before us. I have no good explanation why, just a gut feeling that God gives me.

- Side Note: I need to learn how to blog better, this is too long…. Look forward to future conversations coach.

me said...

But in leaning towards non-believers its not the package, it is how we embody the love and truth of Jesus.

You'd be surprised what some people lean towards. In each strain of liberal and conservative holiness folk/churches, there is the ability to drift from what God is doing and become entrenched in yesterday. What people are looking for today is a genuine faith, and people who don't shy away from standing up for what is right. They are looking for something real. We can place our personal convictions on others, liberal or conservative, or we can point people to Jesus. This can come in any form, whether it is through outward respect for God by living simply and modestly or using the latest technology on Sunday morning.

I am in my young 20s and can firmly state that I appreciate both strands of holiness, and have friends spread out all along the spectrum of the holiness movement, and from other denominations, as well as Catholic and Orthodox churches.

The problem is really when the reason for doing certain things is lost in translation. And we drift from the purpose God has for his church.

I grew up in a church that was leaning more towards conservative ideals. No cards, no Sunday shopping, ladies should wear shirts when formally participating in the service on the platform, the youth group wasn't allowed to go the movie theatre... I have learned from this not to gamble, to respect the Sabbath, how to be a woman, and to not waste my money going to the theater and concessions... but many of my peers have not.

The church had become legalistic, attached to issues of the past, and became more focused on appearing holy, rather than being holy. Somewhere the why had been forgotten and being a Christian meant following the rules. I learned that Christians put on an "I-have-been-sanctified-and-am-so-humble-I-don't-talk-about-it,- am-always-happy-and-have-no-struggles mask. I was taught that holy people don't boast or speak about their sanctification. It was looked down upon to admit weakness or admit sin, because holy people were perfect. So many kept a stiff upper lip, and never shared with burdens with others... all the while wondering why the church isn't growing.

Keith Drury said...

TIM et. al. You conservatives are proving to have quite a sense of humor...disproving the general reputation some have of you. (Brining my TV to heaven? I've got to look at those verses in Revelation again... I bet I can find something that looks like a mega-screen HD TV in there--ROTFLMHO! )

CHASBAKER said...

I am a devoted reader of your blog. I am proud (dare I use the word?) to be a part of the Conservative Holiness Movement that you describe. I have several comments.

First, I appreciate the honesty and openness in your aknowledgement of being liberal. It is interesting to see someone label himself rather than argue about someone else’s assigned label. I am convinced that in both our camps there are so many definitions of the labels that they can become more confusing than enlightening.

Second, I acknowledge excesses within the CHM. We do have some who are more prone to name calling than to presenting their views in a convincing manner. I would respectfully suggest that this is not an exclusive characteristic of the CHM. Labeling the CHM as narrow, radical and divisive is sometimes done rather than discussing the principles upon
which we base our differences . We do tend to concentrate on a single issue (or at least a limited number of issues) rather than speak to the broader doctrinal basis for our stand on issues. That too is a problem
shared by most groups regardless of their positions on issues.
While I am not a member of your church I do consider myself to be a friend and I watched the recent conference with some interest. I believe that a limited number of issues received somewhat disproportionate attention.

Third, I would contend that the charge of being willing to “go down with the ship” applies to my liberal brothers and sisters and the CHM almost equally although for different reasons. We in the CHM concentrate on the purity of our organization perhaps to the point of excluding some who are
in reality moving in our direction. Some of our “liberal” cousins compromise at almost every point of disagreement until there seems to be no line that cannot be crossed. Who would have thought that the church arguing over hair length and make-up would eventually be discussing the
social use of alcohol? Can homosexuality and other perversions be far behind? We may be just going down on different ships.

I have made my choice to remain with the CHM and to work within the
framework of distinct lifestyle issues based on scriptural principles. I acknowledge that we have weaknesses but I see weaknesses mirrored on the more “liberal” side as well.

Finally, I’ve read your description of what you like about Conservatives.
Thank you. Maybe the labels (even those we place on ourselves) do more harm than good. Within at least a part of your church you must be a “conservative”. I’d prefer to be known as a believer in scriptural holiness of doctrine and lifestyle.

Ken said...

when chasbaker wrote this...

"Who would have thought that the church arguing over hair length and make-up would eventually be discussing the social use of alcohol? Can homosexuality and other perversions be far behind..."

i knew with great clarity, at the very moment i read this paragraph, i am not and never will be a conservative.

drunkenness? sin, and always will be.

homosexuality? sin, and always will be.

but a christian enjoying a beer or two while watching a football game?

how, dear brother, will that lead to illicit, same-gender relations?

Dan said...

Blurt on, Dr. V. I always appreciate your insights and humor.

Marc said...

Wow! I have gained license to refer to myself as liberal, WAHOO!

I think the difficulty I have is that there is such a polarization. Sure, I understand synonyms and antonyms. But is there something beside conservative and liberal? Is there just "real." Of course, I partly say this because of the squeamishness I get when I think of the people in my church hearing my refer to myself as liberal and not having a clue what I'm referring to. I don't want to be conservative, I don't want to be liberal. And what are they anyway? I mean... both only find their significance in not being the other.

I loved the article... you're right... just 30 years behind. Too bad Christian music is too.

I want beer with football after church in my parsonage... haha!

Marc Kelley
www.marckelley.net

Marc said...

Addressing what Ken said in the opening post...

Unfortunately a change in form often becomes the function. I have tried diligently to gain a perspective on the "emerging church." Unfortunately, they don't seem to understand, or at least are unwilling, to define their function - other than they adopt new forms.

I appreciate greatly the emphasis on the incarnate Christ and a diligence toward the Lord's Kingdom - but when it is so difficult to find a universally claimed function or at least boundary, it comes off looking like a changed form as function.

After trying to give the emergent church a fair shake - my opinion has become "change for change sake."

But, I do agree, societies do not reverse forms. Rarely do they even reverse the adoption of new functions. A nostalgic return of style or activity hardly returns people to a new era (think late nineties comeback of bell-bottoms).

Anyhow... fun stuff, I pray I made some sense.

MLK

Tim Miller said...

Actually, I was thinking after I read your column that I have heard most of those criticisms of the conservative holiness movement -- from within it. My greatest fear is that the life applications be separated from the principles behind them. In other words, we continue not watching TV, but it becomes merely cultural, not a Biblical principle applied to life. Holiness standards separated from the spirit of holiness are disgusting and repulsive. A spirit of holiness that results in personal behavioral standards is attractive.

That's my defense of "us." And, thank you, by the way, for giving us Holiness for Ordinary People. I think it is the best book on holiness for people who haven't grown up in the holiness movement.

All the best! (And, maybe I'll compromise. IF their is TV in heaven, I'll watch it with you:)

Dan Plemmons said...

Ken:

You said the following in a recent post:

-----------------------------------

when chasbaker wrote this...

"Who would have thought that the church arguing over hair length and make-up would eventually be discussing the social use of alcohol? Can homosexuality and other perversions be far behind..."

i knew with great clarity, at the very moment i read this paragraph, i am not and never will be a conservative.

-----------------------------------

Maybe you made the comment TIC, but I would sincerely hope that someone's reply to a blog posting wouldn't be able to influence your future in such a drastic way. :-)

I am a member (w/o apology) of the CHM, and while I'll agree that the things Dr. Drury listed did exist at one time, I don't feel that a "sweeping representation" can be made of them in the present.

Sure, I'll admit, we DO have radicals in our churches, but they don't speak for us all.

The liberal churches ALSO have ppl who don't represent them well.

I think if you would get the majority of the Denominational & Bible College leaders of the CHM together, you might be surprised at how sensible they really have become! There have been generational changes in ALL of the major CHM denominations in the last 10 years, and I think the crusty, hard edge has softened a bit.

For instance, on the TV issue, It's been a long time since I have heard someone blast TV from a pulpit, at least I know I don't. (I pastor a Pilgrim Holiness Church). . . I don't have a desire to have a TV, and wouldn't own one, but I have several ppl in my church who DO, and I never unchristianize them for it.

All I'm saying, is that I think it's easy to look at the past and apply it to the present, and that is a little unfair. I mean yes, the former CHM was radical, legalistic, critical, judgmental, etc. . . .

But that was THEN, this is NOW.

William said...

Great article...Do you have a problem with money?

SallySue said...

I grew up attending a small Holiness Pentecostal church and heard lots of truth preached, but I have to admit, lots of personal convictions/opinions were thrown in. I've heard all kinds of things preached against, from Contemporary/Christian rock,to a television in one's house, to unisex sunglasses (of all things)!! The one thing I always knew though, is that we were loved dearly and the preachers meant well and genuinely cared about our eternal souls. Now that I am an adult I attend what you might call a more "liberal" or "relaxed" church. As I think back over sermons and Sunday School lessons I have heard all my life, I just sum it up like this-- study the Bible out for yourself, don't just take the pastor or preacher's word for it on everything. If you hear something preached or taught that you're unsure of, measure it up with the Word of God, and feel free to discuss it with your pastor or other people who are strong in the faith. Obey the gospel by being saved from your sins, then go to church and read your Bible--remember, it's not how strict our outward standards are that is going to matter for eternity anyway. After God saves us, we will want to be pure and modest. And, no, I don't believe it is a sin for a woman to cut her hair or wear a pair of pants. I think there are immodest, tight fitting pants for both men and women, and there are modest, looser fitting ones. Pants are also no longer just "men's apparel", as I have heard so often, because of changing times. And I believe there are very beneficial and wholesome movies to watch. Well, I'm rambling and I could go on and on with this thing, but the point is, we should above all strive to please the Lord and not worry about what man says. Whatever you personally feel the Lord wants you to do, as long as it doesn't contradict the Bible, by all means do it. Don't preach personal opinion in the pulpit as God's commandments, and don't shove it on others you meet. If people ask why you do the things you do or dress the way you dress, by all means explain it to them--CLEARLY--and give a sensible explanation ("the old timers did it this way so I believe we should too") isn't a satisfactory answer and holds no water. If its just a personal conviction or a preference-typed thing, let them know it. If it can't be clearly backed by Scripture, don't teach it as so. Live by God's Word, love the sinner but hate the sin, and always seek God's will for your life.

Dad said...

From Oswald Chambers:
If a man cannot get through to God it is because there is a secret thing he does not intend to give up--I will admit I have done wrong, but I no more intend to
give up that thing than fly. It is impossible to deal sympathetically with a case like that: we have
to get right deep down to the root until there is antagonism and resentment against the message.
People want the blessing of God, but they will not stand the thing that goes straight to the quick. If God has had His way with you, your message as His servant is merciless insistence on the one line, cut down to the very root, otherwise there will be no healing. Drive home the message until there is no possible refuge from its application.

Begin to get at people where they are until you get them to realize what they lack, and then erect the
standard of Jesus Christ for their lives--[They will say] "We never can be that." Then drive it home-- "Jesus Christ says you must." "But how can we be?" "You cannot unless you have a new Spirit." (Luke 11:13)

Brad Harris said...

I doubt that anyone will read this because it is way past since this was written.

1. What I consider liberal and conservative is not what is being said here.

Not sure what that makes me anymore.

2. I see both conservatives and liberals name call each other. Actually, either one are not very Christian like at times. Each one feels there view is better than the other. In the same matter both judge each other.

3. What Keith says about what he doesn't like about conservatives is what I see conservatives say about liberals.

4. When you talk about politics I would say conservatives & liberals are both in left field anymore.

If you really think about it. When was there a time a conservative President try to over turn abortion. Yet, many will vote for a person because they say they are against it.

If you look on the liberal side. Some vote because they believe they will do more for the poor and those who are down and out. Really, think about a time that a liberal President ever aggressively went out and try to do something to turn that around.

To me what Ken DePeal said above doesn't make him a liberal.

Does it make me a liberal that 18 years ago when I became the Youth camp director in the North Michigan District of the Wesleyan Church that allowed the teens to come to camp in shorts and wear them into the evening rally's or let them play cards.? If so I guess that makes me a liberal.

Does it simply makes me a conservative if I tell you that I think for as Christian going to a casino or buying a lottery ticket is stupid. Not that you can't be a Christian but if you are wanting whats best for society then why would a Christian even think about gambling or doing the lotto? The lotto gets much of it's money from the poor and many who wants the best for the poor thinks the lotto is the best thing for their state and to build the public education system. Craziness to me.

You might call me liberal because I had many concerns with President Bush during his time in office. Or you might call me conservative because I didn't hate the man.

You might call me conservative because I have my doubts about President Obama. I mean any man who can treat life with so little respect by over turning funding on embryonic stem cells research. I know they sit in a refrigerator anyways why not use them. Most people don't realize he also supported more embryo's to be created as well as long as they are destroyed and not implanted in anyone. Or you could call me a liberal ~ well at this time I'm not to sure what I can support him on.

Well, I went on to long on this and I could write more but I won't. To many other things to do.