I have been in VA at my parents for a week now. And I know I'm an oddity but I don't have a FaceBook account. And I have to confess that this past week I used both my Brother's and Mom's accounts just to keep up with the world. And what I've found has asked for much reflection.
Real friends come hard for me, but in all the many churches and groups of people I have been through in my short life there is acquaintances and casual friends that have helped to shape who I am. Of my real friends growing up all but a few were over 40 years old but there was always the crowd at church or Home school group that was my age, that I hung out with.
In my searching to see where all these people have ended up I was both inspired and saddened by their lives. I could categorize them according to denomination, education ect.. but I will refrain so as not to seem bias or dogmatic. But for the sake of profiling I'll label them liberal and conservative because at the core I believe what I see is the true definition of these words.
Liberal: Of these casual friends those that are still serving God with all their heart are still solid. They are holding to truth. But those that (of my humble opinion) have pursued their own way have not completely rejected God and Christ. But they have blurred the line of truth. They have stretched it, redefined it and reasoned it to fit the perimeters of their lives. They would not say they have strayed from God's word but rather that they know better now or maybe they have been 'enlightened'. But the fact is the inherent authority of God's word has no place in their lives. They define truth by how they feel, what others are doing or with science or psychology.
Conservative: Of these casual friends those that have stayed true to God's word their lives continue to burst with fruit of their faithfulness. Though trials have come and the world around them groans with uncertainty and blasphemy, the word of God still holds all authority in their lives. Truth is their stability and their strong tower. But those that have not stayed true to Christ are different from those above. They have completely rejected faith and the Gospel. They dismiss it as inapplicable or as old fashion. They have run full tilt away from God and into the arms of humanity and this world.
Those in the Conservative group that have rejected God have not attempted to redefine truth. It has been carved so deep into their heart that the only way to leave it is to completely reject it. Chet Plimpton outlined this well when he said "When people come into knowledge but do not allow God to turn that knowledge into spiritual reality. They are unknowingly preparing themselves to despise the truth they were taught because they know it clearly stands opposed to what they really want to do."
Those in the liberal group on the other hand have in reality rejected God though they would not admit it. For them truth stands in question thus it can be redefined to justify their lives. The foundation of truth was acknowledged but not laid deep in the soil of their hearts.
Christ taught us in Luke 6 that the foundation laid in the truth of the Gospel will stand in the onslaught of all storms. No man can pluck us from our Fathers hand and thus the only way to lose that foundation is to make a contentious choice to abandon it. So may I suggest that the 'liberal' camp is on shaky ground for they have yet to receive God's word as unchangeable inherent authority. In myself I would say that this is a educational or theological problem (which it is). Could we stop to consider the Jews, Hindus and Muslims. Their piety and commitment puts Christ's church to shame. By the time they are 12 years old they have committed to memory more of the Koran or Torah than any Christian ever dreams of memorizing the New Testament. Today Christians define who they are through their denomination. When the storms of life come they confide themselves Socially and Ethically in that denomination. This is what defines who they are, we see this time and again. As soon as a denominational distinctive is challenged their is division and strife. They say 'we are losing the faith of our fathers', only they do not realize they are admitting that their faith is not in Christ's Gospel but in their denominational ethnicity.
I realize I have little ground to state as such, considering I have no denominational heritage. And thus I cannot say that in its self that such a heritage is wrong or unhealthy. Because I really do not know what its like to have one. But I can say that the second that heritage defines who we are religiously (whether consciously or subconsciously) The foundation of Truth is no longer our stability. Isaiah 33:6