The ultra conservative believes that nothing should be changed.   The ultra liberal thinks that everything should be changed.  The source of our polarized differences does not lie in racism and religion.  It comes from a simple fact that some things are better when they are changed, and some become worse when they are changed.  There is a middle ground that works.   

Here is an example.  The liberal says that we should not treat other humans as beasts.  Yet, the same person may believe that we are all beasts as defined through Darwin’s writings on evolution.  Survival of the fittest does not allow for niceties and moral conscience.  It does not care for anything except a linear progression to the perfected human.  Frankly, I have not seen much progress in that regard during my lifetime.  There is biblical support for this contention in Job 15:14-16; it says, “How can anyone be pure?  How can someone born to a woman be good?  God places no trust in his saints or angels and even the heavens are not pure in his eyes.  How much less pure is someone who is terrible and rotten, and drinks up evil as if it were water?”  

The conservative believes that we are all capable of being moral individuals and can rely on that categorization for the solution to all our problems.  Unfortunately, not everyone is moral, and therein lies the challenge. The conservative errs on the side of excluding individuals who fall outside the parameters set by the conservative.  That punishment can manifest in hiring biases, inclusion in status circles, judgement about dress and deportment, and a myriad of other criteria.  There is biblical support for this contention in Jesus’ reference to the Pharisees when he asked, “why do you break the commandments of God for the sake of your traditions?”   The Word of God is the more conservative, yet the New Testament is highly inclusive for those who accept its unchanging truth.  

Liberalism is more inclusive; conservatism is more exclusionary – until the moment that the discussion turns to politics, religion, or money.  Then each individual wraps his or her arms around the brothers and sisters in their camp and builds walls against those in the other camp.  You can rapidly get included or excluded based on what you believe.  This is universally true.  In some cultures it is taken to the extreme.  The untouchables in India cannot get jobs because of their cast.  Christians in Egypt cannot get jobs because they are not Muslim.  Don’t even ask about Ireland where one can be excluded because he or she is a Protestant or a Catholic even when it is the worship of the same Jesus on which the two dominant faiths are based.  

Here is a good personal question to ask yourself, “Will a proposed change bring me closer to God and His will for my life?”  Let’s use a car as an example.  If the car is old, and constantly breaking down, it may be time for a change.  If it isn’t working properly, a newer car is probably needed.  If the car is working just fine, and I decide to make a change because I WANT a different car, then no change is needed.  This dips into the realm of gratitude.  Am I satisfied with what the Lord has provided me?  

So how do we know when something should be changed?  By studying the Bible, we can have a foundational knowledge that helps us make good decisions.  As far as exclusion goes, “do not associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality, greed, is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one.”  (1 Cor. 5:11)  As far as inclusion goes we look to Jesus who said, “Love one another as I have loved you.” (John 13:34)   

I recommend that you examine your heart when questions arise.  Step outside of your predisposed traditions, whether liberal or conservative, and ask, “What would God want me to do?”

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