What does the political liberal left have in common with the theological legalistic right? It seems that the two would be diametrically opposed. Actually, they are opposed in many ways, but surprisingly, they do have some common ground.
Before probing this common ground it is important to clarify that what is sometimes called “the far right” is not right. If you go farther than God, you are not right. Going beyond the Word of God creates and becomes the traditions of men. While traditions in their proper place can be of value, when they become more important than what God says, they are problematic. Jesus warned of this in Mark 7:6-8.
What is the common ground between the political liberal left and the theological legalistic right? I see at least two points of commonality.
First, the germane issue at hand is obscured by intentional focus on a peripheral matter. When a given issue is called out, the focus is shifted to how something was called out or said or done instead of why it was said or done. This gets everyone’s attention on something other than the real issue.
I do not know the motives of men’s hearts, but documentaries have substantiated that in regard to the political left, this tactic is intentional misguidance. Someone calls out an obvious error regarding the liberal left. But before they look too bad, they throw a volley of rhetoric that shifts the focus off their error, and gets the public’s attention off-focus to something peripheral to the germane issue.
For the legalistic right, the motive would be different. It often arises from a false premise of assuming they are always right, therefore there must be something “wrong” with those confronting an error. So they find something to counter-volley and, in so doing, shift the focus to something other than the real issue.
Second, reality is inverted. Both the liberal left and the legalistic right do this, but in opposite ways.
Liberals call evil good. They exalt murdering unborn babies, fornication, homosexuality, and so forth all in the name of freedom and choice. Yet the Word of God clearly calls all these practices sin. The Bible condemns this inverted thinking by warning, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil” (Is. 5:20).
Legalists call good evil. They label legitimate positions and practices that differ from their own as wrong. In so doing, they smear the innocent. Jesus warned the Pharisees because they “condemned the guiltless” (Matt. 12:7).
It is just as wrong to call good evil as it is to call evil good. It is just as wrong to condemn the innocent as it is to commend the guilty.
Interesting common ground between polar opposites! Of course, some of this would apply to the far left and the so-called far right within just the political realm or just the theological realm.
John Van Gelderen
Very interesting. This’ll help me to think.
Excellent and very accurate. Thank you John for being brave and willing to take on this issue.
There is something about human nature that makes us want to believe that we are better than others. The liberal left has their method about making themselves feel good about their immoral and often irrational political positions. The legalistic right does this by assuming that everyone who is not in their “camp” is compromised. This makes them feel good about their self-righteous and often hateful way of dealing with others.
I am trying to wrap my head around exactly what you are saying. Could you define terms and groups as well as what specifically you are referring to? Perhaps it is meant to be vague but I think I may be a little confused to exactly what you are getting at.
Yes, I am seeking to keep it principial, not personal. The written Word clarifies what is absolute for all. The Holy Spirit leads to applications within the absolutes. If everything was black and white we would not need the Holy Spirit. But the applications may vary from person to person within the absolutes. This is the realm of soul liberty. When someone demands that an application they are convinced of be universal for all, they are now condemning the innocent who simply have a variation of application within the absolutes.