The term liberal Christian is used in a theological and moral context, and not necessarily a political one. It comes from the 19th century in which Christians sought to liberate themselves from traditional orthodoxy in favor of a more progressive interpretation of doctrine in a modern world.
There is so little that distinguishes today’s liberal Christians from the ancient Pagans to whom the gospel was originally preached, they would be more honest in dropping the name “Christian,” and adopting once again the title of Pagan.
Before I continue, the term liberal Christian is used in a theological and moral context, and not necessarily a political one. It comes from the 19th century in which Christians sought to liberate themselves from traditional orthodoxy in favor of a more progressive interpretation of doctrine in a modern world. It is possible for a political liberal to hold orthodox views on Christian theology, but the correlation against shows it is very rare. Furthermore, one can hold conservative political ideology and be very much a “Liberal Christian.”
One of the reasons Christians were so despised in Ancient Pagan Rome was because of their claim to exclusivity in the quest for eternal life. They were actually called atheists because they denied the validity of other (the Romans’) religion’s claims. They were intolerant of the pantheistic ideas Rome held, and were persecuted because of their arrogant claims that Jesus was the only way to eternal life.
Today, religious pluralism is once more in vogue, and to deny the validity of non-Christian claims to salvation – or to affirm the exclusivity of Christian claims to salvation – makes one almost immediately an arrogant bigot, and worthy of scorn. Pushed by popular culture icons such as Oprah, liberal pastors began to adopt the idea, and congregations soon followed. A Pew research poll found that 52% of professing Christians believed that even non-Christian faiths can lead to eternal life. Of course that doesn’t make their opinion correct (it only makes it unorthodox), but it does indicate how far the reach of religious pluralism – Paganism – has spread today.