Is Jesus Really a Liberal?

Numerous times on this site we say we think Jesus was, and is, a liberal. Frankly, this seems blatently obvious -- even after taking into consideration some valid concerns about labels.

Jesus (and the early Christian Church) consistently emphasized community good over individual rights and sharing over keeping. This is essentially the defining distinction between modern liberal and conservative political ideologies. How many times did Jesus say that pursuit of wealth and riches would keep rich people from joining the Kingdom of God?

Remember 1 Timothy 6:10: "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil."

Yet, isn't the conservative economic philosophy built on the idea that the love of money is good? Conservative ideology at its core is based on the concept of objectivism promoted by Ayn Rand which holds that:

the proper moral purpose of one's life is the pursuit of one's own happiness (or rational self-interest), that the only social system consistent with this morality is full respect for individual rights embodied in laissez faire capitalism.

Surely this is far from the beliefs of Jesus. In fact, this modern conservative ideology seems nearly the opposite of what Jesus taught and what Christians should believe.

[Note, I used to be a conservative and probably still would be; it's a very popular thing to be among most of my family, friends and the culture I live in. The problem is I don't think conservative economic and political philosophy is very popular with Jesus. I really don't. So, that's the choice I had to make.]

Jesus' focus, even in matters of public policy, was always on taking care of others, especially the poor, rather than on taking care of ourselves. When you look at what Jesus said, as recorded in the gospels, and then apply his sayings to the issues of our day: health care; economic inequality; taxes; and the environment -- (note he never mentioned gay marriage or abortion) -- Jesus took what today would be considered the liberal position.

We document that as we discuss political issues throughout this site. Honestly, if you can show us we are wrong about what Jesus would do -- we'll change our position -- because following the lead of Jesus is what this site is all about.

For the Christian, nearly every political issue comes down to whether we want to prioritize love for others (common good) or ourselves (individual liberty). Jesus was all about the former; not so much the latter. Which is exactly why Jesus was, and is, surely a liberal.

By the way, this doesn't mean you have to choose between the values of Jesus and the values of our founding fathers. Fortunately, the founders of the United States of America also believed in "Jesus values" and were also quite liberal.

Here's an interesting debate about whether Jesus would vote Democrat.

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