Liberalism: Biblical but not scalable? 3

My brother is an ardent conservative and rarely dips into biblical themes or concerns, but today he had a very interesting post. I will reserve comment and simply suggest that you take a look. His argument:

First, the liberal ideal of caring for those around you is not only a good one, it’s Biblical. We are called on by Christ to love our neighbors. And Christ didn’t draw any neighborhood boundaries, either. On the other hand, we are faced with an ever-enlarging government that, despite all the best intentions and heartfelt goodwill, never seems to deliver on the “big promises.”

My conclusion? Liberalism doesn’t scale–and it wasn’t ever intended to. For us to love our neighbor we must be in contact with our neighbors. We can care best for those we touch. I suspect this was designed into our nature.

I am not sure I agree…completely, but in practice I think he may be right. Read it all.


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3 thoughts on “Liberalism: Biblical but not scalable?

  • John Mark Harris

    I compleetly reject the assumption that it is a “liberal” idea to care for those around you. The liberal ideal is to force everyone to pool their resources so that a central force can care for everyone else.

    Liberals are looters who pillage wealth from those who work and give a portion to those who don’t produce. The biblical picture is of individual responsability for every believer to love her neighbor, NOT for the believer to force anyone else to do the same.

    We should promote freedom so that the church has room to love the nations, we van do a better job anyway.

  • Steve Brady


    First, let me encourage you to post comments about my blog post over at my blog (and in case you missed the link, it’s

    Second, I would suggest that your reading of the “liberal ideal” is just that–your reading of it. And I would further suggest that your reading is tainted by both the hijacking of the liberal ideal by those on the left who view it as an opportunity to seize power (reference Napoleon from Animal Farm, and from those on the right who have worked hard to imbue the perfectly good word (and perfectly good ideal) with the stink of the opportunists.

    Let’s set aside the current manifestation of liberalism for a second, and look at the early church. From the earliest of days the fellowship would gather, share meals, and share their belongings. Acts 2:45 makes this clear “Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.” While I agree that their giving was (largely) voluntary, we cannot assert that it was a picture “of individual responsibility” at the exclusion of collective responsibility of the Body of Christ.

    In fact, one doesn’t have to go much further in Acts to see what happens when members of the body choose to exercise their “freedom” as individuals and retain some of the money earned from the sale of their property. Obviously there are deeper spiritual issues here dealing with lying before God, but the outcome of the action to withhold is clear–DEATH.

    Let me be clear, in the case of the early Church, this was the local Church, as a body, caring directly for those in need around them. (which I may point out, was one of my points…) And lest we forget, the Church leaders ultimately made the decisions on how best to share the resources of the fellowship. That is an example that all Christian Churches follow to this day.

  • mamnnbrady

    the idea of the church caring is like a pebble in water. It starts a ripple effect. It spreads from those we know to those around us but unknown and then to the world.