Monday, September 20, 2010

Good or Bad, Left-wing or Right-wing Christian

I was watching a talk by Tony Abbott for a theology@thepub event on YouTube. And during that talk, Tony Abbott said that people tend to think of Good Christians as those who were more socialist, while bad Christians were those who were more conservative. And in that light, he was considered a bad Christian.

It probably depends which church (or denomination) you belong to. When I was in the Pentecostal Church, I always felt like I was a bad Christian for caring more about injustice and poverty than I did about moral issues.

But the purpose of this blog is not to discuss which Christian is good or bad, but the assumption that one is either a ‘Socialist Christian’ or a ‘Conservative Christian.’ I think it’s because we like to put people somewhere on the political spectrum. Are they left, right or somewhere in between? Then once placed, we expect their views to line up with their place on that political spectrum, rather than with Christ.

I’ve had people speak to me who are convinced that Jesus would vote for the Liberal National Party in Australia (the conservative party). Yet I’ve had people equally adamant that he would vote for Labor. As many people have pointed out, Jesus is not a card-carrying member of either political party. In reality, he would probably agree and disagree with both or either side of politics, depending on the issue being discussed.

And in reality we can agree with different policies from different political parties. And there isn’t necessarily a contradiction between caring about certain left-wing issues and certain right-wing issues. One can care about providing welfare and still want to cut down abortions. One can care about the environment and still want the Lord’s Prayer kept in parliament. One can care about funding for public education and still want school chaplains. One can even agree with giving homosexuals the right to marry without necessarily agreeing that Catholic/Christian adoption agencies should be forced to give them children for adoption.

It is possible to care about social inequalities and recognition of God. It is possible to care about injustice and morals.

Indeed, the bible gives a lot of attention to both. 


  1. Hi Liz! I like your new blog and am glad to see that you're still writing.

    Being a very conservative Christian, it's hard for me to imagine a liberal doing anything that Jesus would approve of. Here in the States, at least, liberals heartily approve of abortion, unrestricted sex of all types, irresponsibility of every form, and they fight against any mention of God or Jesus (even at Christmas). Honestly, every time someone tells me they're a liberal Christian, I can't help but laugh.

  2. Hi SL,

    Good to hear from you. Are you still blogging?

    Jim Wallis is a left-wing Christian in the US and I agree with pretty much everything he says.

    Being a left-wing Christian doesn't mean agreeing with everything liberals say. Some have very conservative views, but believe very strongly in things like social justice.

    And it is possible to agree strongly with some policies on the left side of politics and some policies on the right side.

    I consider myself a left-wing Christian. But that doesn't mean I agree with everything the Australian Labor Party says.




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