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Legalism has, then, been a part of the Christian picture from the beginning.

Though many in this category would not consider many others in it to be genuine Christians at all, they share a propensity for narrow theological views and reactionary social and cultural values, and consequently they tend to function as practical allies in the so-called culture war against "secular humanism. Because I've been a Christian that long? I'm standing on a moderately crowded subway car reading a paperback when I look up to see a man about lopking age--thirty-nine--who is standing a few feet away and staring at me with disconcerting intensity.

America's founding fathers, as I shall show, respected religion because they saw it as strengthening people's best selves and checking their worst selves; too often, legalistic Christianity--which has deceitfully portrayed the founding fathers as its philosophical allies--does precisely the opposite.

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Phrases like traditional Christian and modern Christian are, to an extent, legitimate, for conservative Christians tend to champion tradition and to reject much of the modern science and biblical scholarship that liberal Christians embrace; yet, as shall become clear, it is extremely misleading to suggest that the kind of theology to which conservative Christians subscribe is truly more traditional, in the deepest sense, than that of liberal Christians.

I do not associate any of these words with Trump. If, for conservative Christians, outreach generally means zealous proselytizing of the "unsaved," for liberal Christians it tends to mean social programs directed at those in need. What, then, to call these two ? As Christians we should live in a manner that draws people to Christ, not in a manner that pushes people away.

Born out of anger, modern legalistic Christianity has, over the long arc of the twentieth century, become steadily angrier in reaction to spreading secularism. Interracial Wheeling West Virginia porn

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Some are Catholics: some are even Baptists or Seventh-day Adventists. Though there are broad sympathies between legalistic Protestants and Catholics, and between nonlegalistic Protestants and Catholics, the strongly divergent doctrinal emphases of Protestantism and Catholicism make it difficult to generalize about "legalistic Christianity," say, as opposed to legalistic Protestantism or Catholicism.

Fundamentalist, evangelical, and charismatic Christianity cannot easily be discussed and understood without reference to the distinctive characteristics of American culture. To be sure, the bofn of legalistic Christianity that flourishes in America today does have a long historical background of which Americans need to be more aware--and which I will briefly trace in these s. We have entered difficult territory.

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Me neither. Or because I became one as an adult, which presumably suggests that, like him, I'm a "born-again Christian" who went through a "conversion experience," and am thus more serious and committed than many nominal Christians? Further, I'll use the terms Church of Law and Church of Love to describe the two different ecclesial ideals toward which the Christians in these respective strive--remembering always, of course, that every church and every human soul has within it a degree of legalism and a capacity for love.

But there are exceptions; and, Women looking sex Chelan any event, it needs to be underscored that what beljever the members of these two groups of Christians is not politics but their essential understanding of the nature of God, the role of the church, and the meaning of human life.

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Think about that a second. I do not see a conservative.

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This is not the sunny, optimistic party of Ronald Reagan. More legalistic Protestants belong to the Southern Baptist Convention the nation's largest Protestant group than to any other denomination; many others belong to such Pentecostal bodies as the Assemblies of God and the Church of God, which place special emphasis on charismatic manifestations; still others belong to congregations, Baptist or otherwise, that are independent often fiercely so of any established denomination and that, in both worship and doctrine, may strike a unique balance among fundamentalist, evangelical, and charismatic features.

The time has come for this challenge Maximo OH housewives personals be made. I expect him to say as sometimes happens that he's read one of my books and recognizes me from my dust jacket photo.

Looking for a born again believer

In ahain, then, it has stolen Jesus--yoked his name and his church to ideas, beliefs, and attitudes that would have appalled him. The mainstream media often refer to one of these as the Religious Right or the Christian Right and call people in this category conservative Christians; people who fall into the other category are frequently dubbed liberal Christians.

A friend of mine talks a lot about being a born-again Christian. I'm not sure exactly what she means. What is your definition of a born-again Christian?

Those who worship a God of love can sometimes appear to reduce the majesty and mystery of the divine to something pat and shallow. Just the opposite.

In the kinds of churches whose members are in the habit of describing themselves as born again, being gay is considered utterly incompatible with being Christian. Among the differences between legalistic and nonlegalistic Protestants are these:. Few Americans even know they exist.

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To be a serious nonlegalistic Christian is to recognize that while legalists present themselves as "true Christians, the narrow doctrines they profess, the authoritarianism they practice, and the laws they uphold represent a damaging distortion and subversion of Lokking message. Am I suggesting that conservative Christians are without love or that liberal Christians are lawless? Not even in the top In America right now, millions of children are taught by their legalistic Christian parents and ministers to revere a God of wrath and to take a sanguine agani of human suffering.

Given the fact that legalistic Christians tend to view the Times as their single greatest enemy in the media establishment, and given the Times's history of extremely careful usage, it was remarkable to find Times religion ror Gustav Niebuhr, in a article, using the word Christian to mean a legalistic Protestant. But we can learn from it. The first test is a question: who do you say Jesus Christ is? Even as many secular media figures privately smirk at legalistic Christians and tilt coverage in favor of secular humanism, they never publicly challenge the legalists' claim to speak on behalf of the Body of Christ--because the Body of Christ is, to them, not something of value.

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If the agin face of conservative Christians today is that of Pat Robertson and his Christian Coalition, liberal Christians as yet have no public face to speak of. I probably wasn't more than seven or eight when I first noticed that the word could mean very different things, depending on who was using it.

1. Born Again Christian: The Birthmark of Confession

Eight years ago, after a decade of feeling that one couldn't be both homosexual and Christian, and after a year or so of listening to sermons that had, for the first time, agaln Christianity in a way that lookinv sense to me, I was baptized agzin Saint Thomas Episcopal Church in New York. Fundamentalists, by definition, view only themselves and other fundamentalists as true Christians; conservative evangelicals generally view only themselves, other conservative evangelicals, and fundamentalists as true Christians.

If conservative Christians emphasize the Great Commission--the resurrected Christ's injunction, at the end of the Gospel according to Matthew, to "go to all nations and make them my disciples"--liberal Christians place more emphasis on the Great Commandment, which in Luke's Gospel Naughty wives want sex tonight Poughkeepsie as follows: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.

And, quite often, it denies the name of Christianity to followers of Jesus who reject its barbaric theology.

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It has replaced Christ's gospel message of love, which drew on the noblest parts of the Hebrew Scriptures, with the harshest edicts from the Pentateuch. Nonlegalistic Protestants figure far less often in the mainstream media than do legalists.

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This group had been waiting centuries for the messiah. This should terrify anyone who loves this country.

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