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Conservative or progressive?

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Are you conservative or progressive? Behind this question is a world of ideas. But I am beginning to see more and more that first of all (obviously) this is just perception, time- and culture-dependent. But secondly - and more importantly - it often says nothing about the progressiveness of ideas; "being ahead of your time," beautiful ideals or actual progress.

Rather, it is a polarization - us versus them - and thus a standardization of the other group. It is the negative labeling of one group over another. It is the accusation of backward and/or outdated ideas versus a normless, anti-traditional and unsettled (truth does not exist) value system. The advances of one era, are the outdated ideas of the next.

Now let's leave this behind and enter into the conversation on substantive, moral and/or intuitive grounds, but always connecting, valuing each other. This is not toothless, rather it requires more courage to look beyond one's own horizon and be open to other values, people, ideas - without necessarily letting go of one's own ideas altogether.

Keep an open mind but not so open that your brain falls out - Walter Kotschnig

An open and honest conversation about abortion (master of your own belly?), homosexuality (diversity?), euthanasia (hot!), creationism (evolution?), racism (Black Peter!). Is that too much to ask? Is that unmentionable? Is anyone who - still - struggles with that retarded? Right, that.

We don't have to stop being critical, but perhaps especially - and primarily - of ourselves. We don't have to keep our mouths shut, afraid of an opinion. We may (must!) still allow ourselves make angry about injustice And address each other. But let's stop pigeonholing each other and start the conversation without demonizing the other.

Or is that too conservative / progressive ? (cross out what does not apply)

Me too.

I think I fell for it again myself in my last blog 'Trump's beatitudes'. After all, I place Trump in the dock and make him the opposite of Jesus. Not on the basis of argument, but on the basis of the same sentiment, assumptions, prejudices and populism that he himself likes to use.

In addition - what's worse - I place Jesus words in the wrong perspective, I realize when I read some of Dallas Willard's work on the Sermon on the Mount. After all, Jesus does not put poverty and despair on a pedestal to commend them. It's not if you're poor that the kingdom is for you, any more than if you're rich it passes you by. It is precisely about Jesus. If you are poor you are more likely to realize that life has no meaning, is not fulfilling. And there Jesus is - in the midst of circumstances. If you are sick-then you are happy, because Jesus is there. When injustice strikes you, there Jesus is. When you are spiritually bankrupt, you don't know anymore, you hunger and thirst for righteousness; happy you are, because Jesus is the water, the bread, the righteousness.

If Jesus were to speak to Trump you have a good chance that he would say "Happy are you ...", as he said to the tax collector, the whore, the sick, ... to me. But remarkably not to the clergy of his day, who knew it all so well themselves.

That is only conservative / progressive of Jesus. (Strike out what does not apply)


Erwin de Ruiter

"One man tries to express himself in books, another in boots; both are likely to fail." - G.K. Chesterton

0 thoughts on “Conservatief of progressief?”

  1. When Jesus calls tax collector Levi, the latter leaves everything behind to follow Him. I still wonder then what Trump would do at a meeting. I can't say anything with certainty about that. So before the eyes of the world, I don't see him (immediately) giving up his earthly fame. In my view, he is a man who first of all needs long-term prayer for softening. Prayer is the preliminary preparation of the ground, only after which you can sow. Jesus said about people that you may judge them by the fruit they bear. Again, I think judging behavior is different from condemning people. With his way of speaking, Trump has already condemned himself. We don't have to do that anymore. Although this is easier said than done, I admit.

    1. I agree with you that Trump brings some things on himself by his speaking and behavior, Anne. And I am certainly curious what an encounter between Trump and Jesus would look like 😉 Yet I think it looks different that we are quick to think. Jesus is so radically different that He keeps surprising me.

  2. That could very well be the case Erwin. That is why I say there is nothing I could say with certainty about it. I go by stories from the Bible; Levi the tax collector, the rich young man etc. It is clear from the Bible that money is a power/afgod. We even know his name: Mamon. Therefore, I do think it is difficult for Trump to come to faith. But again, I am not sure. After all, God is able to soften hearts.

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