Catholic does not mean liberal. Catholic means comprehensive and universal, but this universality is the promise of God, which Christians look forward to (that is, it is an eschatological concept). But meanwhile Christians must say that this is not yet the world they anticipate. They live by faith and in hope, and look forward to what they don’t yet have. This present world is full of false totalities which cut people out. It is not true and not kind to say that everybody is already in, or that all are saved and included. The liberal creed is that there is no ‘in’ and no ‘out’, and no distinction between Christians and non-Christians, and that it is rude to suggest that there is. It is the law of the liberals church that there may be no preaching, and that we should not try to teach anyone anything or impose our views on others. The liberal creed is that that it is rude, wrong, unacceptable to suggest that the gospel converts. Indeed the liberal creed denies that there is anything we can learn from listening to any part of the Christian or Western tradition, and thus that there is any point in studying that tradition – so no point in exploring the lives and thoughts of previous generations. There is nothing new for us to hear or learn.Philip Turner puts this better than me.
Many, if not most, of the classical themes associated with pastoral care can find no place within a theology dominated by the notion of radical inclusion. The atoning power of Christ’s death, faith, justification, repentance, and holiness of life, to mention but a few, appear at best as an antique vocabulary to be either out grown or reinterpreted. So also does the notion that the church is a community elected and called out by God from the peoples of the earth for a particular purpose. That purpose is to bear witness to the saving event of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection and to call people to believe, repent, and live in an entirely different manner. It is this witness that defines what many call “the great tradition”, but a theology of radical inclusion must at best trim such robust belief. To be true to itself it can find room for only one sort of witness, namely, inclusion of the previously excluded. Indeed, the connection of the existence of the Church to a saving purpose makes little sense because salvation is not an issue for a theology of radical inclusion. God has already included everybody, and now we ought to do the same. Within a theology of ‘radical inclusion’, Christianity is no longer presented as a religion of salvation. Salvation, which normally refers to the restoration of a right relation between God and his creation, cannot rightly be the theme of Christian witness because God has accepted us all already (save perhaps those guilty of exclusionary practice).
Philip Turner on the ‘theology’ of the Episcopal Church in the United States
But the liberal view is wrong. One opinion is not just as good as any other. Not all views are equally valid. It is not sheer conceit that makes me think I can tell you somthing you don’t know, and vice versa. I dont know everything already, so I really should go and get find someone who knows better than me when, say, my computer is playing up. I should listen to that expert and be guided by him – it is not demeaning for me to do so, for he really does have knowledge that I don’t, he has the relevant craft skill, that corresponds to the reality of the functioning of my computer.
Of course this liberal creed is self-contradicting, for prohibits teaching, while it is itself a teaching. And it is contradicted by real life. You know that you don’t know how to fix your broken computer. Only someone who has undergone the training to receive the knowledge that you don’t have, can help you. You want him to instruct you on this, you pay him and demand that he gives his verdict. In just the same way, surely, you concede that there is a lot about life that I don’t know about, but I want to know about it, and I am prepared to listen and even to undergo the discipline and training that makes me more competent, whether with my computer – or at life.
It costs effort to refute every day the liberal untruth, the falsehood of the view that all views are equally valid. it is tiresome, and Christians are doubtless tiresome when they talk about truth, and insist that truth is worth talking about and worth the unpleasantness of these daily little disagreements.