Friday, 9 April 2010

Whoever said theological liberalism was wrong?

Many theologically reformed conservatives hold, and sometimes even articulate, this viewpoint.

But sadly, they no longer believe that it is unchristian and, in essence, antichristian. Their opposition to this erroneous system is pure rhetoric to keep the troops on side; they no longer believe that theological liberalism is spiritually toxic, and Christ-rejecting.

Further, it is evidence, if any was required, of four facts:
(1). Lack of love for the souls of men
(2). Lack of love for the well-being of the church of Christ.
(3) Lack of love for the truth of the Gospel, the Gospel of redeeming grace.
(4). Failure to value the truth and to expose and oppose soul-damning, God-offending error.

But why do reformed evangelicals fail in their duty to uphold the Gospel? Well, peace at any or no price comes to mind, as does the embracing, wittingly or unwittingly, of the current philosophy of inclusivism. Also, the fact that many of these brethren minister within theologically compromised denominations where liberals have sold their philosophy to their evangelical colleagues, who have dutifully bought it - after all, they want to be 'good churchmen' at all costs and not jeopardise their 'promotion prospects' within the church for anything.

But they always keep their eye on their paymasters. 'He who pays the piper calls the tune!' Their main concern is to keep their homes, protect their pensions, and ensure income to provide for their families - all laudible things in themselves.

But where the very credibility of the Gospel and the honour of Christ are concerned, then other considerations kick in. Or, do they? If we take a look at Christian history, we'd be painfully challenged. For in the olden days, Christian ministers and members were single-minded in their commitment to Christ and the Gospel. They did not even consider their own lives as precious, when God's precious Gospel is being attacked and/or distorted. These valiant servants of Christ, who know who their Master is, live only for His honour in this world. Where Christ's honour is being attacked, they did not sit back and say or do nothing. They acted, they spoke up, they made their voices heard. And they were hated by the church authorities as a result.

What a rebuke these good men were in the sides of their 'ecclesiastical superiors'! So much so that the church authorities were provoked into action against them.

How seldom do we hear of this happening in today's lukewarm church! Why? Because few care enough to make a fuss! They do not care about the souls of sinners, the church of Christ, the Gospel of God, or the difference between truth and error. Nothing matters today, least of all these things that really matter! Nothing that would involve standing up for Christ and the Gospel.

Indeed, it is yet another example of reformed evangelical dishonesty. When theologians are prepared to distort the teaching of the Bible through dodgy exegesis, in order to defend some sort of theological orthodoxy, then anything becomes fair game. If the Gospel of Christ is dishonoured, why ought anything be held to be sacrasanct? If Christ's words can be perverted to suit some scholastic purpose, then why ought there to be any concern about theological liberalism? Can not the same intellectual reasoning be employed to defend liberalism as a true and accurate exposition of the Gospel?

On reflection, it appears that this is, indeed, the case. The sheer breadth of the church's (mis)understanding of the everlasting Gospel allows for theological pluralism. It is argued that because we are limited in our grasp of the truth, we must be 'gracious' enough to accommodate other men's understanding of the truth. Here, grace is used (dishonestly) to allow liberalism to be embraced as a true and accurate exposition of the Gospel.

Another defense of theological pluralism within the church is the view that the true evangelicals are the upholders of the truth, so why should they leave? No mention is made of contending for the truth, or of cleansing the church of known and identified theological impurity. While liberals would be quick to take action against evangelicals (as history testifies to so clearly), thus demonstrating the illiberality of the liberals, reformed men will not do that. They are prepared to tolerate error within the church.

Now why is this the case? First, they no longer believe that such a category exists, therefore you cannot move against a non-existent spectre. Sounds reasonable.

Second, the peace of the church is more important than truth.

Third, there are so many other common enemies to fight, that we do not believe in starting inter-nicene wars within the Body of Christ in the world. The sad reality is that this is just an excuse for doing nothing, for nothing is ever done so far as fighting these supposed enemies is concerned.

Fourth, the visible unity of the church on earth must be protected at all costs. Liberals and ecumenicals of all theological shades hold this view. Appeal is made to Jn.17 and Eph.4 as defense.

However, dishonest exegesis comes to the aid of the ecumenicals. Make Scripture say what you want it to say, and you're home and dry!

No, theological liberalism has been embedded happily within those churches that boast of a growing number of evangelicals. The latter do not seem to have any difficulty regarding as minsterial colleagues those men (and women) who essentially deny the Gospel. Now, there's an interesting anomaly, is it not?