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Conservative Towards Ourselves, Liberal Towards Others — 16 Comments

  1. "First they realized how important fellowship is, and did not tell me how terrible I was for eating cheese or tell me I could not bring it into their home. They were liberal towards me, but conservative towards themselves."

    They sound like a really nice family. I hope people who like to scold people for eating cheese also personally denounce people who gossip and are prideful. Proverbs 6:16-19

  2. Mrs White ate Pipi soup (Clam chowder) at the home of one my extended family ancestors in New Zealand when she visited there in the 1890s. It is a testament to her ability to get on with people that so many of our family became Seventh-day Adventists. We often think of Ellen White being critical of "our behaviour" but forget how supportive she was of those growing in the faith.

    When she lived here in Cooranbong, Australia, she was known for her helpfulness to neigbours and the needy in the district. She was critical of Avondale students playing cricket but I can understand that with her being American.

  3. Thanks William for this wonderful post on conservatism v.s liberalism. Which one should then guide us on Sabbath observance? Can relying on one as whole especially conservatism lead to legalism? Thanks

    • I became vegan when I first joined the church. it was a radical change. I was blessed to have my new wife do the same. Soy milk gave me gas. I lost a lot of weight and friends. Being ultra conservative we started a health food store to share our bliss. What I learned made me very knowledgeable, and almost unapproachable. Then Walmart moved to town and we sold it as it slowly died. I became a nurse. I can be unhealthy in my conservatism, but God was leading me to know Him better. Listen to his counsel for your situation, there are many irrelevant voices spouting personal preferences that God is not saying for you right now. Be as conservative as you can, and let God lead!

  4. This is how I describe my social political views. Jesus gives us the power of free choice. He does not force us to be "conservative", but attracts us towards Him with His love. By beholding Him, we become changed. It is a natural by product of a relationship with Jesus. We must stop trying to force others to think and behave in a certain way. That is un-Christ-like.

    • Interesting, I agree. I need a lot of growth in that area, especially when I am of the view that individual is being deliberately malicious. When we think about the murder and the rapist.

      I also, wonder about David's prayers. Can someone comment on this regarding God's mercy to all?

  5. Alden Thompson expressed a similar idea in a way I can relate to when he described himself as "theologically liberal and behaviorally conservative".

  6. Thanks William, for another of your thoughtful insights on the practicalities of 'Conservative Towards Ourselves, Liberal Towards Others', sometimes we need a wakeup call as to realise where we stand. I made a decision when 18 and a non Adventist that I would stay within the Livitical food laws and have tried ever since to keep them. About 5 years ago I was in Vanuatu at an Accommodation House in a village that had no food on the shop shelves. My lady host served me prawns and rice which I ate with a grateful heart. She did her best for me and I was hungry. I felt no guilt at all, as the keeping of these laws are not going to get me to heaven, but how I treat my 'neighbour' will be judged (I still do not eat prawns as routine for me).
    And Maurice I laughed when I read your comment about Mrs White and cricket. No one else seems to have picked up on that one!
    In our house when the kids were young, TV was not allowed on a holy rest day. I still follow that one too, and was astounded when my Pastor and an elder reported that not only do they watch TV, they send and receive emails too. I have to remember not to judge how others keep the Sabbath or the food laws but to love others and be liberal toward them in the name of Jesus.
    Godbless today, Mrs A Stolz.

  7. First time posting on this site. Thank you for all of your comments, it has helped me to reflect about my own attitude to others.

  8. The words liberal and conservative mean different things to different people. Some folks see conservative as narrow minded, legalistic while liberal is often thought of as nominally committed and spiritually careless. In Lukes account of the sermon on the mount,Jesus tells us to be merciful as our heavenly Father is merciful. We should ever be mindful of the golden rule and apply it in our associations and contact with others. The second great commandment is to love our neighbor as ourselves. Too often if we are too rigid with ourselves we tend to be likewise with others. We should live and proclaim a balanced religion

  9. Thank you Brother William. It inspires us to reexamine our faith attitude towards ourselves vs towards others. I think the balance is: Lets be liberal to others the way want them to be liberal to us and be critical to them the way would want them to be critical to us. Jesus said "And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise", Luke 6:31.

  10. The comments helped me to reflect on my own spirituality and I have concluded that it is by the precious blood of Jesus Christ that we are saved, whether we are conservative or liberal in our approach to how we walk out this journey, in the end Jesus will get the glory and we will all declare in all of our wretchedness that heaven is cheap enough. The heart and intent is the measurement by which we are judged. I will never in my own strength make heaven, even with striving to keep all of the law. It is by grace we are saved through faith and that not of ourselves, it is a gift of God. Celebrate love, joy, peace and compassion.


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