Great, brief article by Ron Highfield on the history and nature of liberal Christianity. No one should ever refer to someone as a “liberal” Christian without first reading this.
In the Churches of Christ (and we are hardly alone in this), it’s become standard practice to refer to someone as liberal if he approves something you don’t. If I’m okay with supporting orphans homes out of the church treasury, and you disagree, to you, I’m a liberal. If I accept some people as fellow Christians and you disagree, then I’m a liberal.
As a result, in Church of Christ discourse, “liberal” means nothing more than “Raca” or “You fool!” It’s just an all-purpose insult, used by Christians who are commanded not to insult each other (e.g., Matt 5:22, 15:19; Eph 4:29; Col 4:6).
But among serious students of the Bible, “liberal” has a very particular meaning, and Highfield explains it very well.