In our current world of political divide, we often find ourselves categorizing everything as either “us or them.” Opposition and difference are taken as personal offense, and radicalism is common place. We know from experience that such actions benefit no one, but we continue to act this way.
When it comes to Christianity, there isn't a “liberal” or a “conservative” view; there is only Christ's view. We must remember that Christ called all people, and the “Catholic” of “Catholic Church” is a word that means “universal.”
One of the most divisive Biblical passages among the politically minded is Mark 10. In it, a man comes up to Jesus and asks how he can enter into Heaven. Jesus responds (in Mark 10:21): “You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to [the] poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”
On its own, this is a really tough command. To give up your previous life and immediately turn to a new path would be hard in any situation. However, Christ goes even further when he explains (Mark 10:25): “It is easier for a camel to pass through [the] eye of [a] needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”
It is easy to assume that Christ is demanding radical poverty or is attacking a particular economic system. However, this interpretation applies material considerations to Christ's divine teaching, which misses the point.
Throughout the New Testament, Jesus makes it clear that he speaks of the next world, not this world, and those who hold attachment to this world will miss out on salvation. Even if the individual in Mark 10 was poor, he would have still beeen told to give up his attachments to this world. After all, even Peter was called to give up his life as a fisherman to become a fisher of men.
When we try to make a political issue out of a Biblical statement, we fall into an obsession with materiality. We try to confine the divine to this world, and we miss out on what is truly important. What matters in Mark 10 is not that the man was rich but that he was so consumed with what he had now that he couldn't bear to be parted from it. Regardless of the economic system or an individual's wealth, obsession with materiality will always be common.
Although this life is temporary, we are obsessed by it, and it is hard to break free of our attachments. Christ called us to give up everything for him: our previous careers, our family and friends, and even our life. Not all of us must do all of these things, but we must prioritize Christ above everything else.
We should focus on divine love, not material politics. We must always look to the next world and realize that our attachments take us away from the truth that we are all called to follow Christ. In the end, there will be no liberals or conservatives in Heaven, only children of God.