Is liberation theology still alive and well today?
what are the primary distinguishing features of liberation theology. it is a beast i have not gotten my arms around yet
Is it the sortof jazz that says Christ wants us to be liberated and go messing around sexually with anyone, anytime?
Liberation theology was a distortion of the social justice teachings of the Church, with Marxist overtones. It wanted to empower people by liberating them from their oppressive governments, and it wasn’t too picky about the means used to achieve the desired ends. It was not above encouraging armed violence in countries (mostly in South and Central America) in an effort to throw out the tyrants. Note: they may very well be corrupt tyrants, but sound Catholic doctrine does not endorse the deliberate use of evil as a means in order to achieve a desired end. The Left LOVED liberation theology, which (in my opinion) simply used religion as a thin veneer to make the Marxism easier to swallow.
The pope (JPll) cracked down on liberation theology at some point and it’s been waning ever since as the dissenters grow long in the tooth.
[quote=quasimodo]what are the primary distinguishing features of liberation theology. it is a beast i have not gotten my arms around yet
There are two very contradictory views of freedom, or “liberty”: one kind is promoted by Christianity; the other by Satanism.
True Christian liberty is the freedom to do as we ought; that is, it is the freedom to obey the will of God. This freedom is primarily a freedom that comes from within. It is the freedom to obey our reason, formed by the faith, rather than the sinful tendencies of our fallen human nature. There is a battle within man between the flesh and the spirit. As long as we are following the inclinations of the flesh, we are not free. We only attain true freedom when we have overcome our lower nature, and obey God. That is true Christian liberty.
The person who “obeys” the sinful and disordered tendencies of their lower nature is actually a slave to them, and therefore is not truly free. That is why our Lord said that “he who sins is the slave of sin”. We are only truly free when we have overcome our lower nature and are obeying God. That is Christian liberty, and only those who have attained to it will be saved: “not all who say Lord, Lord shall enter into the kingdom of God, but only those who do the will of My father”. Christian liberty is the freedom to do the will of God, without being entangled in the sinful tendencies of our disordered lower nature.
Whereas Christian liberty is the freedom (from the sinful tendencies of our lower nature) to follow God, Satanic “liberty” (which is actually slavery), is the “freedom” to do what one wants.
Christianity teaches “not my will, but thine be done”.
Satanic liberty teaches: “Do what thou will”.
Man is only truly free to obey God. Any so-called freedom that allows man to disobey God is not true freedom, but license.
So far we have seen true freedom, which is the freedom to do as one ought; and false freedom, which is the freedom to do as one pleases. There is a third kind of freedom, which is known as physical freedom. This is the freedom to act without any human restraint. This can be either good, or bad. If the physical restraint restrains one from acting sinfully it is good; if it oppresses someone from acting within the law, it is not.
Liberation theology falls under the category of physical freedom, in that it pretends to free the “oppressed”, from social conditions that oppress them. The poor are liberated from their poverty, etc. This “liberation” from “social injustices” is accomplished by way of a social movement.
Liberation theology is a deception; not because delivering the oppressed from that which oppresses them is bad in and of itself; but because it reduces the gospel and salvation to that level.
The following is one definition of liberation theology: * “A theological movement, popular in the Third World, which interprets salvation, particularly as seen in the Exodus, in political terms. Therefore, the tendency is to believe the church’s primary purpose is to assist in changing oppressive social, economic, and political structures”.*
In liberation theology personal sins are no longer considered. It is only “social sins” that matter. When you really examine the movement, you find that it parallels, and leads to, marxism.
Warning against the dangers of liberation theology, Cardinal Ratzinger wrote: “Liberation theology is a phenomenon with an extraordinary number of layers [Containing] a whole spectrum from radically marxist positions… The biblical concept of the 'poor" provides a starting point for fusing the Bible’s view of history with marxist dialectic; it is interpreted by the idea of the proletariat in the marxist sense and thus justifies marxism as the legitimate hermeneutics for understanding the Bible”.
It is very typical of the deceptions taking place in our day, which always exalt a lesser good to the exclusion of a higher good in order to bring about an evil end.
Cardinal Ratzinger: “An analysis of the phenomenon of liberation theology reveals that it constitutes a fundamental threat to the faith of the Church. At the same time it must be born in mind that no error could persist unless it contained a grain of truth. Indeed, an error is all the more dangerous, the greater that grain of truth is, for then the temptation it exerts is all the greater”.
Similar to Marxism, liberation theology is a movement that focuses exclusively on “social injustice”. It is a deception that seeks to marxize Christianity, reducing it to the level of a social movement working for the betterment of man in this world, rather than a supernatural society that seeks the salvation of souls.
As Cardinal Ratzinger wrote, there are many layers to this movement. When you examine it closely, you will find that it implicitly, and sometime explicitly, promotes the second kind of liberty discussed above: the liberty of “do as thou wilt”. This is promoted on the individual, not social, level. As long as one is not committing a “social injustice”, they are at “liberty” to do as they will, since there is no such thing as personal, but only social, sin.
In the book A Theology of Liberation, the liberation theologian Gustavo Gutierrez wrote: “Sin is not considered as an individual, private, or merely interior reality. Sin is regarded as a social, historical fact…”.
Liberation theology is not concerned with personal sins (which destroys the life of grace in the soul), but only with “social sins”. It is not concerned with offending God, but only with offending man. “The biblical notion of salvation is equated with the process of liberation from oppression and injustice. Sin is defined in terms of man’s inhumanity to man” (Liberation Theology, Elwell Evangelical Dictionary).
As was said above, liberation theology is very typical of modern day errors. It is based on a certain amount of truth, yet, at the same time, undermines a higher truth. The following article discusses this form of deception, which is often difficult to put your finger on, since they contain, and are based on, a certain amount of truth. Although the author does not discuss liberation theology in this article, the principle is the same: the exaltation of a lesser truth to the exclusion of a higher truth. This article should not only be read, but studied.