Yesterday I saw a bumper sticker that stated that “Jesus was a liberal”.
It made me think.
Naturally, the first question that I asked myself was “What is a liberal?” This is a difficult question for me to ask, as I am not one; the term seems to mean different things to different people at different times. It is a sad commentary on the theory of linguistic drift that the word “Liberal” today means the opposite of what it once meant; at the time of the founding of this country, a Liberal was someone who was concerned with Liberty. Nowadays such people are known as Libertarians. Today’s Liberals seem to be less concerned with liberty and more concerned with finding ways new and creative ways to get their hands on other people’s money.
My definition of a liberal is someone who believes in:
- A Strong Central Government that is responsible for solving Society’s problems.
- Public (Government) supervision of and responsibility for, “Vital” services, such as Retirement, Health and Education…
- …and High Taxes to pay for them.
- Special treatment for privileged minorities (women, homosexuals, the Poor/ underprivileged/unemployed etc.)
- Suppression of individual liberty “for the greater good” (unless, of course, you are a member of one of the aforementioned “special” groups).
Let’s see what scripture has to say…
- When a woman anointed His head with a bottle of oil that cost several months’ wages, his followers disapproved of the wasteful extravagance. His reply? “Why trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to me”.
- He considered himself above paying taxes (Mt 17:25-26), though he arranged for a miraculous payment so as not to cause offence.
- He believed in helping people, but there is not one recorded instance of him expecting the Government to step in and solve the problem.
- He did not believe in “a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work” (Mt 20:1-15)
- He was put to death by the Government of his day.
- His followers went out and changed the world… in spite of organized Government persecution.
- He said “You will always have the poor“, a statement which drives a stake into the heart of classical Liberal doctrine, which believes that poverty can be wiped out if you just furnish those in need with enough resources and opportunities. Jesus apparently knew better.
Jesus was, by definition, apolitical. He never sought political change, and he never referred to the government of the day unless answering a specific question. Never once did he ever expect the government to solve any problem, a staple of modern liberalism.
In the final analysis, was Jesus a Liberal or a Libertarian; a Conservative or a Communist? The only answer that fits is “None of the above”. He claimed to be God, which puts him as far above our petty politics is we are above the democracy of the anthill.
So please, no more “Jesus-was-a-liberal” twaddle. Thanks awfully.