Are liberal Protestants hypocrites?

I was once a liberal Protestant and my family is starting to lean toward liberal Protestantism although my extended family is far more fundamentalist. I was just wondering if liberal Protestants were hypocrites. For instance, my father would state believes we should interpret the Bible in light of the creeds but nevertheless, still feels the need to write up the notion of Mary as Theotokos completely unnecessary and keeps referencing some sort of turtle. My family meets with a couple of friends of ours every weekend to discuss different current issues and how Christians should deal with them. Penal substitutionary atonement is always enforced. Statements about the Catholic faith are brought up that I look up afterward and find out were eggregious errors (Catholics struggle with works, Catholics added the “apocrypha” into the Bible, Catholics added to the traditions). Statements are made about homosexuals and they insist one moment that it’s all right and the next moment that it’s not all right. Of course, they maintain to conservative viewpoints on the historical Jesus as well and fight for women in ministry (which for them means women pastors, priests, bishops, etc.). All based on their criticisms of Biblicism which they seem to still maintain.

It makes no sense. Are liberal Protestants hypocritical in this sense? Are they actually living up to their own standards?

Based on what you have provided it doesn’t sound like those people specifically are hypocrites. (or even Liberal)

But the ones who interpret the Bible to say that Homosexuals can have sex, sex outside marriage is a okay and justify their actions in order to appear more progressive (and somehow make them think it makes Christianity more appealing) is hypocritical.

I would say they’re seriously confused and they never cease to confuse me. I forgot to mention that they have full support of universalism and will read universalism into every statement that they get a chance to as well (whether it be a Catholic source repudiating universalism and explaining what Hell is or an Eastern Orthodox source or, dear me, everyone who describes Hell in a non-violent way or suggests that non-Christians can be saved, is “Rob Bell-ish” even though Rob Bell himself says his view is not old nor his own).

I’d say they’re quite liberal even if they haven’t made up their minds. They’re more then okay saying homosexuality is okay in order to “keep with the culture” (and if it can be scientifically proven that a gay cannot change, they’ll change their minds for sure). You should hear their confusion on abortion as well.:eek:

Idk what to make out of them. At least help my situation though.:hey_bud:

Although another interesting idea is what exactly is a liberal in the first place.:shrug:

When Christians speak of, “liberalism” we usually are referring to those who go against traditional principals in order to feel more, “progressive.”

Being a fundamentalist Christian usually is as anti-liberal as one can get (as well as being Catholic.)

Universalism could be liberal if it’s only to appease those who are of a different Religion. However, Universalism could also just be a poor interpretation of the Bible with no intention to make Christianity an appealing Religion to all.

Basically if your parents are re interpreting the Bible in order to appease other Religions and moral standards then they are acting like Liberals. It’s dangerous, and I would recommend you learn what Paul wrote about homosexuality in order to prove that such acts are wrong. Try to stay away from Leviticus as others will likely point out shellfish and mixing fabrics and whatnot. Stick to the NT teachings on it.

Also, understand what the Bible says on more controversial topics that non-Christians and Christian Liberals like to twist to make a point, namely slavery. “Well the Bible condones Slavery so why should I care what it says about homosexuality?” of course this is false. Also, women’s roles as wives and as Christians; know how to defend those as well while remaining that homosexuality is immoral in practice.

Don’t be confused with the temptation of homosexuality though. There’s nothing wrong with being tempted as long as one turns to God, prays and stays away from sin.

What right have we to judge?

The patterns of thought presented are somewhat muddled-hypocrisy would be believing one principle but acting in a manner that is against the principle you supposedly believe-

Mainline Protestants can be called confused -shallow thinking -heretical and other things when interperted thru a Roman Catholic lens but hypocritical ?-no more than anyone else

I wouldn’t say hypocritical, but rather most protestants like to cherry-pick the Bible verses that fit their world view and ignore the ones that don’t.

I would have to agree although my family wouldn’t say that.

Don’t think of them as hypocritical. Is is the natural result of thinking everyone can interpret the bible for themselves.

The one thing I see as hypocritical is a protestant thinking other protestants are wrong in their interpretation and that they are correct.

Why would that be hypocritical?

Protestants believe that Scripture is God-breathed, that it is the primary authority by which doctrine and conduct should be judged, and we believe that there is a correct meaning to the text. What is hypocritical about telling someone that they are wrong about a particular Scripture passage or an entire method of “interpretation.” If someone is twisting Scripture to suit their own ends, I think its incumbent to call them out on it. Now people may disagree, but that’s not being hypocritical.

It is, because to “call them out” means you do not grant to the other the gift you claim for yourself. Maybe the Holy Spirit is moving the other…and not you. Or visa versa…who knows?

You should hear Protestants quick to condemn Jehovah’s Witnesses. Yes, my family would state people lik JW’s, Christadelphians, Mormons, Westboro Baptists, and things of the like are not “true Christians”.

Oh, and the only reason I think they still see a need to defend PSA is because without it, I can’t even begin to make them think that sola fide is wrong. When they talk about moving away from PSA, they’re talking about that whole “child sacrifice” position on it, not Jesus taking the place for humanity’s sins on a cross. This means, Jesus died so we didn’t have to go through works salvation, we could just be faith alone saved.

According to them, Catholics are stuck in Old Testament times of soteriology which is utterly ridiculous.

FYI, their view by default makes Fred Phelps and the Devil both saints.

What “gift” is that?

Infallibility? Authority?

Well, I don’t grant myself any such gift. I reserve that to the Bible. Which is why its necessary to study the word and have it taught by capable teachers. If Scripture is the Truth, then it isn’t open to any and all interpretations. There must be one interpretation that is correct.

We rest on the authority of Scripture and the power of the Holy Spirit. Pointing out that someone is reading the Scriptures wrong (or isn’t even looking to the Scriptures to justify their actions) is not placing yourself in authority. It is raising up Scripture as the authority.

What that person does then is up to them: they can continue to believe their interpretation is right and answer to God on judgment day, or they can find that on closer examination of Scripture they were wrong, or they can just give up on Scriptural interpretation and just say they are going to do what they want to do. Either way, they will have to answer to God for whatever action they choose; just as I will.

Likewise, someone my tell me that I’m wrong about my conclusions about the meaning of Scripture. I will listen to their arguments and re-consider the Scriptures, but ultimately my authority is Scripture. God will hold me accountable, so I will seek his will.

One could easily ask the question to liberal Catholics. To claim the authority of the Church and then to live and work against the priciples one claims one also sounds hypocritical. And we all know politicians who do that.

  1. This has nothing to do with authority or infallibility…
  2. If you would actually reconsider the scriptures, how can you say scripture is the authority??

100% agree.

Then what “gift” are you claiming that Protestants claim for themselves individually and deny others? Apparently, its the authority to read and interpret the Scriptures. Tell me where I don’t understand you?

I’m talking about re-considering whether my interpretation of Scripture is logical or warranted given an informed and educated knowledge of the text. For example, if a Catholic points me to Scriptures where Jesus says, “This is my body” then I will seek to understand that the best I can and see if the Catholic’s understanding actually makes more sense than the meaning I was taught.

You are a Pentecostal. They typically believe that a sign that one has the Holy Spirit is that they must speak in tongues. Hence, people who don’t have this gift don’t have the Holy Spirit and therefore aren’t saved.

Hence, your interpretation is ridiculous.

So you are not 100% sure what you were taught is correct? Maybe other Protestants think as you do.

Your knowledge of Pentecostalism is what is rediculous. I, and the majority of Pentecostals throughout world, don’t believe what you claim we believe.

Some of us believe that the normative physical sign of being baptized with the Holy Spirit is that one will speak in unknown tongues. Many more of us believe that speaking in tongues is just one gift among many and not a sign of Spirit baptism or empowerment.

However, that is not the same thing as denying that other Christians have the Holy Spirit. We believe that all born again Christians are indwelt by the Holy Spirit and are members of the Church. We believe, as other Protestants believe, that justification is by faith alone. Those who have faith and repentance will be saved, whether they speak in tongues or not.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit