Some background information to help understand the Procession of the Holy Spirit.
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Liberal Christianity does not refer to a political movement or Progressive Christian views. Rather, it is a broad area encompassing many views that all seek to interpret the Bible as an ancient text that is the product of its time.
More traditional interpretation of the Bible saw all scripture as ‘God Breathed’, inspired, divine revelation. They were not so much to be interpreted as simply learnt and obeyed. This was felt to be supported by 2nd timothy 3: 16-17. Liberalism saw the Bible text as allegorical; it was symbolically important, but not literally true. The virgin birth and resurrection were literary devices, something only a simple mind might take literally.
The moral teachings of Christ were respected in Liberal Christianity. Christ’s teachings were often conveyed by stories that illustrated his concepts, using analogies such as fishing, harvesting or sheep grazing that would have been familiar to the people of the time. Christ’s life, or the recorded version of this, was interpreted in the same way – an illustration of his moral idea.
The recorded history of Christ’s life (the gospels) was interpreted by the Liberal Christians as a product of the Disciple’s wish to further their mission. The disciples were thought to have fabricated the miraculous stories in order to give their teaching and authority more weight.
Hell is either downplayed or considered fictional in most Liberal interpretations; no loving God could send people to Hell. More tradition, and literal, interpretations considered mankind to be doomed to Hell after having fallen from grace. Christ’s intervention was to set people free from something they had bought upon themselves. God was not sending people to Hell, he was offering them a way out of this otherwise inevitable fate.
Because of their disbelief in Hell the Liberal Christians had no need for a literal resurrection. Traditional and literal interpretations had Christ’s death and resurrection as the conquering of Hell and death. Liberal interpretations saw it as symbolic only, perhaps symbolic of the teachings surviving their creator.
Liberal Christians believe those traditionally thought to have written the Bible were not the actual authors. As prophecies about the future were not taken literally the Liberal Christians believe that the books were added to or rewritten afterward, after history had already unfolded, to make the predictions appear valid. Historical evidence sometimes supports the existence of historical figures that Liberal interpretations consider fictional.
There is a great deal of emphasis on loving thy neighbour. While every Christian denomination approves of this there are two problems. One is that traditional interpretations consider mere human beings incapable of loving all without God’s assistance; but that things impossible with man are possible with God. The other is that the liberal view tends to accept addiction, perversion and other human failing without question. Traditional views accepted human individuals, but wanted to remove the human faults that held them back, as a parent loves a child and wishes the child to develop well. The difficulty in doing this is acknowledged.
Traditional and literal interpretations of the Bible note the scriptural references to false prophets and those who would deny the deity of Christ. Liberal theologies do exactly that.