Liberal And Conservative

Liberal And Conservative

I appreciate your site. While there are many factors involved in deciding for whom I will vote, your site gives some additional information which I believe is important. Thank you.

I have a concern. My favorite candidate was Fred Thompson. Sadly, he had a slow start and did not have the charisma to move the voters. You mentioned his being married in the United Church of Christ in a manner that seemed to put him down for that association. Though I am a conservative Presbyterian Minister of Word and Sacrament (USA - and there are many of us!) and though I do not agree with many things the UCC practices, I do know that like my own denomination, they have their liberals and conservatives. Many in that denomination do not like their liberal policies, but have chosen to stay in their churches for a number of reasons, including hoping to be a changing remnant. I would hope that simple association with a denomination would be explored more thoroughly. "Does the candidate endorse or believe in the liberal or conservative stance of their denomination?" would be an appropriate question (or something similar).

Thank you for your work.

The Reverend John Barkett
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) response:

Thank you for your email. While it is true that most denominations have liberal and conservative factions today, such liberal-conservative division and even the existence of denominations is unbiblical since Jesus prayed for His church to be "one":

"I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me."
(John 17:20-21)

The only division mandated is between those who remain faithful to biblical doctrines and practices and those who do not, with the latter being put outside the body of Christ and administered to as other non-believers until they repent and seek re-incorporation:

"... Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth."
(1 Corinthians 5:6-8)

While a case could be made for Christian missionaries who infiltrate cults like Mormonism and Scientology, their aim is to bring out of the cults those being saved, as opposed to changing the cults themselves. We are well aware of the painful dilemma facing those in lumps increasingly being leavened.

Because your question is warranted, we invited Fred Thompson to comment on his affiliation with UCC, as well as other faith topics. The former Senator has yet to reply. But if he does and clarifies or disavows his UCC affiliation, we will be pleased to amend his profile accordingly.