Conservative Christians: Quit Screaming. Liberal Christians: Quit Drinking So Much Wine.

I just put up a sweet Tweet: “Too many conservative Christians’ lives are too limited; too many liberal Christians too readily dismiss fundamentalism.”

Ahh, quoting yourself. Is there a surer sign it’s time to swallow a bug bomb?

But the point is that I’m exhausted with conservative Christians thinking that liberal Christians wouldn’t know God’s will from a venti soy caramel latte with extra foam, and with liberal Christians thinking conservative Christians are inbred morons.

Christians should have a national Reverse Your Views Day. On that day, conservative Christians would appreciate the righteousness of God’s unconditional love universally applied to virtually everyone. They would feel for themselves the Spirit-smothering oppression of too many rules, too much judgment too fervently applied. They would take the time to appreciate the important differences between The Good News and Fox News.

Likewise, on Reverse Your Views Day liberal Christians would appreciate what it’s like to actually have a conviction. They’d experience the liberating clarity of knowing exactly who God is and what He wants, the release that comes with full obedience. On that day, liberals would understand the Bible as God’s word, instead of history’s toy. They’d stop guessing the vintage of the communal wine.

The day after Reverse Your Views Day, conservatives could again take up their signs and bullhorns, and liberals could again resignedly shake their heads and turn up the volume in their Volvos as they drive by.

And God could go back to wondering whether creating people was such a good idea after all.

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About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is co-founder of The NALT Christians Project and founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here). His blog is here. His website is JohnShore.com. John is a pastor ordained by The Progressive Christian Alliance. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. And don't forget to sign up for his mucho awesome monthly newsletter.

  • http://skerrib.blogspot.com skerrib

    Fantastic idea. To facilitate this, the conservative Christians should go live in Massachusetts for 3 years. The liberal Christians should go live in Wyoming for 3 years. OK maybe not that last one…

  • Latoya

    The man in that picture kinda looks like you John

  • Latoya

    ..except God wouldnt be reversing His views in the first place :)

  • zoofie

    hahaha! A friend posted this blog on facebook. Usually things people post for others to read are either offensive or empty of real content…..much like the nature of the people on these two extremes you have just described. The sad thing is each side has taken their world views from real truths, but each side has left out parts of the story. However being that their arguments were based on real metaphysical truths they can feel that much more justified in ignoring the rest of the facts. I’m in for having a view changing day. After all both sides ARE Christians aren’t they? What could be so bad about seeing another brother or sister in Christ’s point of view? We act like our family is our enemy! Thanks for posting.

  • http://ricbooth.wordpress.com ric booth

    …The Good News and Fox News… haha

  • http://helly.tripod.com Helly

    Love it. Yet another example of why being on either end of any sorts of extremes is never good.

  • http://www.sharpiron.org Christian Beyer

    OK, I don’t know if ‘conservative’ and ‘fundamentalist’ are the same thing (they’re not) but let me try and solve this problem for everyone, as I am an expert on the subject.

    My qualifications?

    First, and most importantly, my name is Christian. I was born with this name. When I was baptized as a Christian the priest baptized me as “Christian”. This alone should be sufficient.

    Secondly, for most of my life I have been politically conservative. I’ve been a subscriber to National Review for over thirty years and (still am) a great fan of Bill Buckley. I voted for Reagan and would do so again. And even when during most of this time I was an atheist I was still known as that Conservative, Christian.

    When I converted back to Christianity (alternately referred to as when I found Jesus / turned my life over to Christ / was born again / accepted Christ ) I found myself in a very conservative fundamentalist Christian congregation which required little change in my political or social world views. In fact they meshed quite nicely, thank you. We were very Republican, thought GWB was a Godly Man of God, despised welfare and anything that smacked of socialism, thought MLKJr was a hypocrite, opposed female leadership in the church (or most anywhere else) and draped the cross in the American flag. I was very comfortable. But I was never stupid.

    But….I ‘ve found that really trying to follow the teachings of Jesus makes it really, really hard to remain a fundamentalist (who are not altogether that ‘fundamental’. btw) You are right, that we should try to be nice and courteous to one another. And we shouldn’t go around claiming that the other ‘side’ is an inbred moron or going to hell. But…I gotta tell you; after having been on both sides of this philosophical fence, I don’t think that sharing the same moniker (Christian) is usually accurate nor is it productive. As a “liberal” Christian (by the conservative definition of the word liberal) I can’t find too much value in the “Good News” of the neo-evangelical fundamentalism that I once embraced. Been there, done that, know what they are thinking and feeling.

    They’re usually very, very nice people. And they love God very much. But that’s only one half of the necessary equation.

  • jrc

    Reminds me of Oscar Wilde…”I sometimes think that God, in creating man, rather overestimated his ability.”

  • http://hopeinhealing.wordpress.com hopeinhealing

    I like this. :)

  • Leonardo

    What is the origen of this division? I only know about Christians

    "And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch."

    "He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked."

    "one Lord, one faith, one baptism;"

  • Greta Sheppard

    good answer, Leonardo…..the church has wandered from it's roots….the teachings of Jesus are not very popular today, but, boy, oh boy, do they ever free you up when you do them….. the church thinks more of obeying their statement of faith, than they do of 'obeying the teachings of Jesus…who spoke what the Father told Him to speak. The Holy Spirit lives in those who invite Him in…and He teaches those same people the teachings of Jesus…..if they would only listen up!!!

  • http://mkjenson.wordpress.com mkjenson

    I'd settle for a Listening Day, where one side would be allowed to complete its arguments and the other side would have to follow with a classic therapy response, as in, "So are you saying that…?" What bugs me most is INCIVILITY, WHERE PEOPLE ARE SCREAMING ALL THE TIME (is that what I just did with all those caps?).

  • christine

    John, am forwarding this to many of my liberal and conservative friends at seminary…..they don't even eat meals together!!!! I am so in the same place as you, sick of the quarrelling and seeing the good and bad points of both. Think I might start quoting you in essays :)

  • http://christianranter.wordpress.com Des

    Is it possible that God could love both conservatives and liberals? If he could then why can't we? Our church had a series on grace last weekend (liberal) and the speaker couldn't help but portray conservatives in a negative light. I got to thinking about how the conservative speakers in other churches were talking about liberals in a negative light. Each congregations spouting "amens!" (more in the liberal one)

    Does a rainbow have trouble with it's colors arguing with each other about who has the one true color?

  • http://wotsthis.blogspot.com micki

    Good post! Except, that as a Progressive, I find that I already have very deep convictions. They're just not the same ones as conservatives.

  • http://www.wix.com/zacheus/Timothy-Fowler/ Timothy Fowler

    Hilarious! One day liberal Christians will know the difference between our "journey with God" and Sojourner's Magazine.

  • http://www.charismanglican.com The Charismanglican

    Can post-liberals be smugly self-satisfied on that day? I LOVE being smugly self-satisfied.

  • http://www.spiritualriver.com/ Victoria – SpiritualRiver.com

    So much wine, so much addiction. Well, my opinion is whatever we have done, God will always love us. Different argument is a common thing, we have to appreciate each other.