top of page

Church History Series: Liberation Theology Takedown

Introduction

The Latin America Liberation Theology is a “tossed by the wind” doctrine that should not be practice among Churches located in America. The Thesis is the Latin America Liberation Theology is inherently harmful to individuals and countries alike. This paper will look at the definition of liberation theology, who founded the liberation theology movement, and dive into different “isms” such as socialism, Christian Socialism, Surveillance Capitalism and others. These “isms” all play an important role in understanding Latin America Liberation theology. This article using some peer-reviewed sources to back up some of my claims while other claims are based on physical evidence such as the conditions of Morocco.

Definitions

To understand Liberation Theology in context, people must understand the Moroccan Intimidation case study. As the wave of the Arab Spring spread to Morocco in 2011 with a series of protests demanding democracy and more accountability from the government, King Mohammed’s regime feared that this “Moroccan Spring” would destabilize the security of the state. In turn, the Government hacked into the websites and email accounts of journalists and activists in order to intimidate them into shutting down a citizen media site that disseminated information about the protests. According to one of the Targeted journalists, “Knowing your phone conversations are constantly listened to is disturbing. It restrains my private life.” When the government tramples individual privacy in the name of national Security, it empowers the government to suffocate free speech, which creates a toxic environment for democracy and greatly compromises the quality of life. This is an example of how the Moroccan regime scorched the dreams and aspirations of the dissidents who longed to be liberated from the injustice that the Moroccan regime is ensuing on them.

What is Liberation Theology?

Liberation Theology arose in the late 20th century and was centered in Latin America. It was also a religious movement that came from Roman Catholicism. Liberation Theology “sought to apply religious faith by aiding the poor and oppressed through involvement in political and civic affairs.”[1] It also “stressed both heightened awareness of the ‘sinful’ socioeconomic structures that caused social inequities and active participation in changing those structures.”[2] Communism, Socialism, Marxism, and Nazism all stemmed from Liberation Theology because they believe the West embraces the wrong socioeconomic structures that needs to be changed.

Kira Dault believed that Liberation Theology is “a social and political movement within the church that attempts to interpret the gospel of Jesus Christ through the lived experiences of oppressed people”[3]

Latin America Liberation Theology

The Latin America liberation Theology was established in the Mid-20th century because “disenchanted members of the clergy and the oppressed classes of Latin America united together to reinterpret the role of the Catholic Church is everyday society and to reclaim religion towards the pursuit of social justice”[4] Singer also mentioned that liberation theology “encouraged a break from a elitist notion of the church and the return of control to the people.”[5] How would Singer describe “the elitist notion of the church?” In essence, in personal experience, the elitist notion of the church refers to the fact that the church is the final authority and everyone is subjected to the decision of that church. The Latin America Liberation Theology forerunner is a Peruvian priest that goes by the name of Gustavo Gutierrez. The heart of the Latin America Liberation Theology is “involving the poor in their liberation and offering Christianity as a tool towards a more perfect society.”[6]

Singer also provided some facts on how Gustavo Gutierrez went about his quest to pursue liberation. Singer wrote, “Though ultimately opposed by the Vatican because of its radical learnings, liberation theology both permanently implicated the Church in the destiny of the oppressed and allowed for the participation of the poor in the future of the Catholic Church.”[7] Later on, Gutierrez, under the UNEC (the National Union of Catholic Students), gained “essential connections and networking opportunities that would later assist in the dissemination of liberation theology.” Gutierrez also was elated by the Cuban Revolution in 1959 because it increased the pressure for change. Singer notes, “Moved by the Cuban Revolution of 1959 and increasing pressure for similar change, progressive clergy members began meeting to discuss the future of the Church and its role in the politics of society.”

This movement and several other political movements led Gustavo Gutierrez to write a piece on Liberation Theology which combined both politics and Christianity together. They, referring to the liberation theologians, believe that salvation rests in liberating the poor and needy from tyrannical governmental regimes. Gustavo Gutierrez, one of the founders of Liberation Theology wrote:

“My purpose is not to elaborate an ideology to justify postures already taken, or to undertake a feverish search for security in the face of the radical challenges that confront the faith, or to fashion a theology from which political action is “deduced.” It is rather to let ourselves be judged by the word of the Lord, to think through our faith, to strengthen our love, and to give reason for our hope from within a commitment that seeks to become more radical, total, and efficacious. It is to reconsider the great themes of the Christian life within this radically changed perspective and with regard to the new questions posed by this commitment. This is the goal of the so-called theology of liberation.”[8]

Gustavo Gutierrez goal is to eradicate poverty and unjust situation by liberating them. What he means by liberating them is to build a freer society. However, in those countries that embrace liberation theology, are less free and more restricted. He wants Christians to view the Bible from the vantage point of Liberation Theology.

The Results/Consequences of the Latin America Liberation Theology

Latin America Liberation Theology is inherently harmful to individuals and countries alike, which indirectly leads to consequences. When a country or individual embraces Latin America Liberation Theology, it can poison their mind to accept radical ideas that will lead to a poor and unprosperous country. Latin-America Liberation Theology can also reduce one’s trust in the government because when they liberate the poor and shifting the burden onto the rich. Latin-America Liberation Theology radically shifts one mind to accept socialistic tendencies. One of the prime examples of Latin-America Liberation Theology working is the Netherlands.

In March of 2015, The Dutch decided to suspend a metadata surveillance law that would have violated privacy, because it would have required the government to store metadata for police to abuse the citizen’s right to privacy. According to the Open-Net Initiative, the Netherlands has little to no surveillance and is atop the Human development index which measures the quality of life. The countries of Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria, China, and North Korea conduct the most surveillance on their citizens and, as a result, repress the people’s rights. When people revolt against the government and try to liberate from the government, it causes unduly harm to the citizens and cause the government to persecute those who want to be economically free.

In the modern-day world, protests only leads to more chaos. When the government is trying to liberate its citizens, it can create an atmosphere for socialistic weather. Socialism, in laymen’s term, is the concept that everything is owned by the government. Dr. Meyers, President of Summit Ministries, defined Socialism as “an economic system based upon governmental or communal ownership of the means of production and distribution of goods and service.”[9] The government has control over property, over small businesses, and over everything. Socialism is a direct hit to our economy and to citizens’ quality of life. Citizens’ quality of life does not increase when the government controls everything, citizens’ quality of life increases when we have the option to succeed or fail. Sometimes, Christians wonder if the government is planning to attack citizens’ economy, so that they can enter into a one world monetary system.

The Liberation Theology is not the best practical doctrine to follow because it can lead to Surveillance capitalism and restrict the citizens’ free speech. Surveillance Capitalism “describes a market driven process where the commodity for sales is your personal data, and the capture and production of this data relies on mass surveillance of the internet.”[10] When companies embrace Surveillance Capitalism, it can cause people to be religiously persecuted. They can “collect and scrutinize our online behaviour (likes, dislikes, searches, social networks, purchases) to produce data that can be further used for commercial purposes. And it’s often done without us understanding the full extent of the surveillance.”[11] This surveillance mechanism has caused Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platform to cancel the Christian and conversative movement and has replaced it with the liberal movement. Mike Lindell in God and Cancel Culture by Stephen Strang, wrote that “everything you are afraid of losing will all be gone anyway if you don’t stand up now and speak your mind.”[12] Stephen Strang notes “In our day, we live with the opposite possibility that, with a one-world government, there will be nowhere to go if surveillance and artificial intelligence help to enforce total submission.”[13] So, Surveillance Capitalism is one step closer to communism and socialism and is a direct result of Liberation theology.

Another result of liberation theology is Christian Socialism. Christian Socialism is the concept that incorporates Christianity and Socialism together. Christian Socialism is generally associated “with the demands of Christian activists for a social program of political and economic action on behalf of all individuals, impoverished or wealthy, and the term was used in contradistinction to laissez-faire individualism.”[14] Now, Britannica admits that “Christian Socialism came to be applied in a general sense to any movement that attempted to combine the fundamental aims of socialism with the religious and ethical convictions of Christianity.”[15]

Christian Socialism was first started by Frederick Denison Maurice, Charles Kingsley, John Malcolm Ludlow, and others. Their goal was to eradicate industry and trade for the Kingdom of Christ. Kingsley, according to Britannica, asserted “that the Bible had been wrongly used as ‘an opium-dose for keeping beasts of burden patient while they were being overloaded’ and as a ‘mere book to keep the poor in order’ (in Politics for the People, 1848).” So, the root of Christian Socialism was founded on non-scriptural means.

Conclusion

In Modern-day world, Liberation Theology breeds “isms” that are inherently harmful to the citizens because it lowers their quality of life. These “isms” include socialism, Christian socialism, and surveillance capitalism. When a country has given its citizens the right to individual privacy, it can help them feel safe and can express themselves freely. Liberation theology also breeds protests which again lowers their quality of life.

“Quality of Life” is a given right to every citizen. It should never be taken away. Quality of Life is life plus more. Sanctity of life (S.O.L) is a subcategory of Quality of Life (Q.O.L). Quality of Life is the standard of living where a citizen’s basic necessities are met and exceeded. It is measured by public health, material well-being, and social wellbeing.

In Conclusion, Liberation Theology heart is to replace Jesus Christ with a political movement. They reject the notion of Christianity and replace it with a notion of governmental control. This philosophy has been taken down and should not be practiced among the churches in the United States of America. Please stand and reject the notion of the Latin America Liberation theology.



Biography

Britannica, T. Editors of Encyclopaedia. "Liberation theology." Encyclopedia Britannica, February 5, 2020. https://www.britannica.com/topic/liberation-theology para. 1.


Kira Dault. (October 14, 2014). “What is Liberation Theology?” US Catholics. Retrieved from https://uscatholic.org/articles/201410/what-is-liberation-theology/. Para. 2.



Britannica, T. Editors of Encyclopaedia. "Christian Socialism.” Encyclopedia Britannica, February 5, 2020. https://www.britannica.com/print/article/115206. Para. 1.


Donnell Holloway. (June 24, 2019). “Explainer: What is surveillance Capitalism and how does it shape our economy.” The Conversation. https://theconversation.com/explainer-what-is-surveillance-capitalism-and-how-does-it-shape-our-economy-119158

Stephen E. Strang. God and Cancel Culture. (Lake Mary, Florida: Frontline, 2021). p. xv.


Jeff Myers and David A. Noebel. Understanding the Times: A Survey of competing Worldviews. (Manitou Springs, CO: Summit Ministries, 2017), p. 100.


Gustavo Gutierrez. Theology of Liberation. (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1988). p. xiii.


End Notes:

[1] Britannica, T. Editors of Encyclopaedia. "Liberation theology." Encyclopedia Britannica, February 5, 2020. https://www.britannica.com/topic/liberation-theology. Para. 1 [2] Britannica, T. Editors of Encyclopaedia. "Liberation theology." Encyclopedia Britannica, February 5, 2020. https://www.britannica.com/topic/liberation-theology. Para. 1. [3] Kira Dault. (October 14, 2014). “What is Liberation Theology?” US Catholics. Retrieved from https://uscatholic.org/articles/201410/what-is-liberation-theology/. Para. 2. [4] Olivia Singer. “Liberation Theology in Latin America.” Brown University. Para. 1 https://library.brown.edu/create/modernlatinamerica/chapters/chapter-15-culture-and-society/essays-on-culture-and-society/liberation-theology-in-latin-america/ [5] Ibid., para. 1. [6] Ibid., para. 1. [7] Ibid., para. 10. [8] Gustavo Gutierrez. Theology of Liberation. (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1988). p. xiii. [9] Jeff Myers and David A. Noebel. Understanding the Times: A Survey of competing Worldviews. (Manitou Springs, CO: Summit Ministries, 2017), p. 100. [10] Donnell Holloway. (June 24, 2019). “Explainer: What is surveillance Capitalism and how does it shape our economy.” The Conversation. https://theconversation.com/explainer-what-is-surveillance-capitalism-and-how-does-it-shape-our-economy-119158 [11] Ibid., para. 2. [12] Stephen E. Strang. God and Cancel Culture. (Lake Mary, Florida: Frontline, 2021). p. xv. [13] Ibid., 4. [14] Britannica, T. Editors of Encyclopaedia. "Christian Socialism.” Encyclopedia Britannica, February 5, 2020. https://www.britannica.com/print/article/115206. Para. 1. [15] Britannica, T. Editors of Encyclopaedia. "Christian Socialism.” Encyclopedia Britannica, February 5, 2020. https://www.britannica.com/print/article/115206 . Para 1.

19 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Defenseless to Defended--The Preface

Have you ever felt like you were stuck somewhere, longing to be somewhere else? Do you feel like someone else is controlling your mind (Trying to change your viewpoint into something that you are agai

Comments


bottom of page