The liberal would be foolish to give uprnthe great advantages of membership inrnan old and wealthy and respected churchrnjust because he knows more than thernother members of his church, who are inrnthe nature of things usually complacent,rnignorant, or reactionary. The church isrnhis as much as theirs, after all.rnFor liberal Christians, their church isrnthe earthly institution that bears this processrnof discovery, evolution, and growth,rnand thus they may stay in it with a clearrnconscience. From their point of view,rnthey need not leave their church just becausernthey “have moved beyond” arnmythological understanding of realitvrncodified in its past but now knov’n by anrnenlightened vanguard of its members tornbe inadequate or mistaken. Indeed, ifrnthe}’ are right, they must stay in theirrnchurch to use her status and wealth andrnauthority to bring more members intornenlightenment. In helping their churchrnto see new truths, they believe they arernhelping clean the waters, not muddyrnthem. In accepting new truths even atrnthe cost of losing old certainties, they arernacting with integrity.rnNow this makes sense. It is logical andrnfits the facts. One could believe it. Acceptrnthe premise that truth evolves andrngrows, and you may reject and innovaternas much as you like with no need tornchange your institutional loyalties. Yournmay be a loyal Episcopalian or Presbyterianrnor Roman Catholic while rejectingrnanything or everything your predecessorsrnheld because you know better than they,rnor live in a different age. Liberals are beingrnperfectly logical and acting withrncomplete integrity’ in refusing to leaverntheir churches just because they don’trnaccept some or all of their traditionalrnteachings.rnSo skeptical liberalism has an integrityrnof its own. Liberals are not cheating:rnThey are contending for an alternativernworldview with the tools and weapons atrnhand. It is a principled position. Thernproblem —the problem that so manyrnconservatives don’t or won’t see—is thatrnthis principled liberalism happens to existrnwithin the same churches as does thernequally, but differently, principled orthodow,rnand churches are not simply collectionsrnof diverse people but fellowshipsrnwith certain rules and duties and commonrnends that do not allow such deeprndifferences over what the rules and dutiesrnand ends are.rnA church is not a club, in which a robberrnbaron and a communist can talk geniallyrnabout baseball or the weather, norrnit is a large field in which sheep and goatsrngraze together without bothering eachrnother. In the liberal images of thernChurch, which so many conservativesrnhave accepted, community is more essentialrnthan doctrine. A church is morernlike a team that needs to wear the samernimiforms and run the same plays andrnshoot at the same basket. It may be a veryrnbad team, whose players often forget thernplays and hate to pass the ball, but it mustrnbe a team.rnThis is expressed in the New Testamentrnimage of the Church as the Bodyrnof Christ. A church is a body, not a set ofrnarms and legs and chests and heads scatteredrnaround the room. It is a body designedrnto move, and movement reqinresrnthe unity and coordination of the parts.rnIt must have one Head, whose will everyrnmember obeys, in coordination with thernothers. The belief that the Church is arncollection of people answerable only tornthemselves assumes that each knee canrndo what it wants and each foot what itrnwants, and the body will still walk.rnTo recognize the integrit)’ of liberalismrnmay mean that orthodox Christiansrnmight respect some liberals more thanrnthey have before, but they also ought tornbe divided from them far more deeply.rnOr rather, they ought to recognize the divisionrnthat their difference in principlesrncreates. Liberal churchmen are notrncheaters who may be publicly shamedrnand then ignored until they repent, butrnsoldiers in an opposing army ordered torntake the ground we’ve been given and orderedrnto defend.rnThis is why orthodox Christians mustrnimderstand what they are sa’ing and doingrnby remaining in communion withrnthose who are so fundamentally opposedrnto the Christian revelation. To put itrnsimply: How can they join at the Lord’srnTable with those who do not believe inrnthe Lord, or claim to believe in Him butrndo not believe what He and His authorizedrnspokesmen say? Breaking communionrnis simply giving liberal Christiansrnthe great compliment of taking them seriouslyrnand believing that they meanrnwhat they say. (It is a compliment somernof them may not want, of course.)rnLiberals are not confused or ignorantrnor mistaken or cheating: They are committedrnto a coherent and thorough understandingrnof what it means to be arnChristian. That faith is not orthodox.rnThe problem is not that liberals err in thernconclusions they draw from assumptionsrnand principles they share with those stillrnfaithful to the tradition; the problem isrnthat they hold different and incompatiblernassumptions and principles and actrnaccordingly.rnThat being so, orthodox believersrnwithin a denomination cannot tell liberalsrnto be honest about their skepticismrnand leave their church but remain, at thernsame time, unequally yoked to them inrnthe intimacy of communion. The onlyrnthing to do with liberals is to respectrnthem for their convictions, and for thosernsame convictions excommunicate them.rnDavid Mills, the director of publishing atrnTrinity Episcopal School for Ministry, isrnthe editor of The Pilgrim’s Guide: C. S.rnLewis and the Art of Witness (Eerdmans)rnand an associate editor of Touchstone:rnA Journal of Mere Christianity.rnRevolution andrnNatural Lawrnby Robert D. HicksonrnTo what extent (if at all) does naturalrnlaw entail religious libert)’? To putrnit another way, is religious liberty a naturalrnright? An attempt to answer this questionrnshould elucidate the long and sometimesrnequivocal tradition of natural law.rnWhat, for example, is the proper relationshiprnbetween tolerance and therntruth? When does tolerance become arnlax permissiveness that breeds indifferencernand the moral relativismrnsometimes concealed in the word “pluralism”?rnTo what extent is the Enlightenmentrninterpretation of natural law itselfrna distortion and truncation of therntraditional understanding of naturalrnmoral law, wherein the fundamentalrnChristian concept of “natural” alwaysrnmeant “by virtue of the (Creation” andrnwas bound to a sacred and Christian conceptionrnof the world, which stands inrnsharp contrast to the impersonal, deisticrn”absentee landlord” notion of God as thern”Deus Extramundanus”?rn”Nature” is an elusie and very equivocalrn”norm” of judgment and conduct.rnFor example, is there such a thing, as thernhigher speculative Masons would argue,rnas a “true, primordial, natural religion”rnto which we must return? Or is there, asrnSt. Augustine asked, such a thing as anrnalternative “true religion” — a verarnDtCEMBER 1998/39rnrnrn