Moderates, liberals, and fundamentalists are all quite different, however, moderates generally end up getting classifies as either fundamentalists or liberals depending on the stuff they emphasize in their statements. Some of what this looks like of moderates getting misunderstood is when Pope Francis I says things like “Who am I to judge [gays]”, liberals take this as meaning that he’s approving of homosexuality. Or when Rob Bell writes chapter 4 of Love Wins which ends up demolishing and devastating the heresy of universalism, he gets written up as a liberal by other liberals (I doubt they’ve ever read the book by the way considering that Rob Bell makes it his point that the writers of the Gospels were who they said they were which is not something liberals agree with). Another point is when a moderate states a belief in the Trinity or Hell based off tradition, they’re marked by liberals as fundamentalists.
For those of you don’t know me, I classify myself as a moderate Christian. Not a liberal or fundamentalist. However, I have been associated in both camps. Maybe it’s just simply because us moderates are much too sophisticated for both the liberals and the fundamentalists that they struggle to reason that we couldn’t possibly be against both of the heretical groups. Or maybe it’s because both are extremists looking for enemies or allies to make so they can sound smart and so they take someone out of context in order to tweak them to their side. I don’t know. Regardless, all three of us view the world so differently that it’s wrong to assert a moderate is a heretic.
Views on Truth and Ultimate Reality
Fundamentalists see that there is one and only one truth. Those who reject this one and only one truth are seen as out of synch with reality, conspirators, or evil.
Moderates are similar to fundamentalists in that we also see that there is one and only one truth. However, we believe that people are on a never-ending journey to find this truth and our journey doesn’t just end when we find it. We believe that portions of this truth can be found wherever you look though the fullness may not be there.
Liberals see a multiplicity of truths and have no strict idea of an absolute truth. Liberals see people who reject this as out of synch with reality, idiots, or stupid.
Views on God
Fundamentalists believe that if there is a God, someone who doesn’t believe in him or has doubts is an idiot and needs to be yelled at. Fundamentalists who don’t believe in a God, see those who do believe in him or classifies as an agnostic, is an idiot, a moron, or stupid.
Moderates who believe in a God see him as someone who is powerful, who has energies of love, grace, and beauty emanating from him. They see him moving in people’s lives and ready to meet them where they are at in spite of what they believe. Moderates who don’t believe in a God see religions as beneficial for human society and believe that religious moral values do have a high standing in people’s lives.
Liberals who believe in a God go to all-out war against anyone on their right. If you have a right hand, you are oppressive and evil, get over it. They believe their God is the most sophisticated thing ever. Liberals who don’t believe in a God are atheists. They are generally victimologists and their scholarly work reflects on how people have been poorly treated by religions and only religions (never mind Mao, Stalin, and Pol Pot). Liberal deists (another variety of atheists and also called “liberals who believe in a God”) buy everything that the liberal atheists say and use this to trounce everyone else as being “pseudo-scholarly” (never mind the fact that some of the best scholars from the best schools aren’t liberals – Eamon Duffy, N.T. Wright, Alister McGrath, Rowan Williams, etc.).
Views on Love
Fundamentalists see love as a version of dominance.
Moderates see love as self-sacrifice. One gives and allows the other to be their own individual. Love gives and if this giving means giving space, space is given. Moderates not only aren’t addicted to sex, they don’t need to sex to fulfill ideas of love. When they do embrace sex, it is within a certain, self-sacrificial, moral confinement. People who are gay, bisexual, or transgender should not be mistreated and those who mistreat them are committing unforgivable sins.
Liberals believe that we should reduce ourselves and succumb ourselves to our animal instincts. We need sex in order to be fulfilled. Some of us need lots of it. Have at it, just remain safe.
Views on Materialism
Fundamentalists say they oppose materialism, however, all they do is reduce the non-material to the material. Fundamentalist atheists attack fundamentalist theists.
Moderate theists view miracles and the supernatural operating in our daily lives along in a communion with us. The supernatural is very real and they aren’t afraid of being assaulted by non-materialists. Moderate non-theists may or may not believe in miracles and the supernatural but can at least see the theistic view and the value it has to one’s life.
Liberal theists are with the fundamentalists on this one except in reverse. They deny supernaturalism yet can’t mature enough to throw away belief in God. In essence, they turn into overly drunk rationalists who are “God’s frozen ones”. Liberal atheists at least aren’t hypocrites. They are also called “fundamentalist atheists”.
Views on Science
Fundamentalists hate science and dismiss it as an atheist conspiracy (and it partially is).
Moderates love taking scientific statements and using them to show the fundamentalists and liberals who’s boss. They use sophisticated terms of theoretical physics to show how God can be all-knowing and yet allow free will at the exact same time. They have no problem accepting the theory of evolution given specific qualifications are met. For instance, God must breathe a soul into humanity, Original Sin must be maintained, and, because of the soul, monogenism isn’t refuted. Atheists really get riled up about this and they hate us because of it. It’s fun to watch.
Liberal theists use science to disprove key doctrines of Christian faith especially. Liberal atheists (also called fundamentalist atheists), do likewise.
Views on Hell
Fundamentalists view Hell as torture.
Moderates generally view Hell as important to maintain human freedom. It’s not torture done directly by God but rather by the individual himself. Moderate non-theists see points in this. They acknowledge problems in all theories from universalism to annihilationism to Hell and remain unconvinced by any view.
Liberal atheists attack the fundamentalist view and classify all moderate views as evil as well. Liberal theists are dogmatic universalists and worship a god of serial rape (coerced love). They like attacking and waving their banner high that they contend in favor of God’s love all the while turning him into a rapist. Liberal theists generally spotlight no problems in this theology and believe it to be superior, recycling the same arguments and attacking the alternatives as being apart of the extremist fundamentalist view.
Well, these are just some of our views comment on other views as well. Thanks for listening!