By the 1800’s some new and persuasive ideas in the field of philosophy and science began taking root.
Charles Darwin brings forth the theory of evolution and now the stage is set for a group of influential German theologians to share their ideas of ‘higher criticism’ against the Bible. American theologians bring these teachings to the states and liberal Christianity is born. It’s the birth of the ‘social gospel’.
What is the ‘social gospel’? It’s a focus on social issues rather than focusing on spiritual transformation.
So what’s the problem with liberal Christianity?
Jesus is all affirming: ‘LC’ teaches that Jesus hung out with sinners so He has no problem with their sin.
However, Jesus never affirmed people in their sin but He came to save us from our sin. As stated by Dr Michael Brown "He practiced transformational inclusion not affirmational inclusion". The message is 'come as you are and be transformed by the love of God and be set free from sin, no longer a slave to sin.' (Ref. John 8:11)
Everyone goes to Heaven: ‘LC’ teaches that eventually everyone will make it to heaven.
The Holy scriptures are clear that we have one life to live in the natural and then we are judged. (Ref. Hebrews 9:27, John 5:24 & Daniel 12:2)
Paul writes, ‘Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.’ 1Corinthians 6:9-10
There is no Hell: ‘LC’ teaches that Hell is merely bad circumstances or the struggles of life on earth.
Jesus speaks of the unrighteous being cast out into a place of outer darkness and tormented with everlasting punishment. (Ref. Matthew 25:30 & Matthew 25:46)
Jesus never said anything about Homosexuality: ‘LC’ teaches Jesus never addressed the issue of homosexuality so he must be fine with it.
Jesus said that He came to fulfill the Law. The Law of Moses which Jesus came to fulfill condemns all forms of homosexuality. (Ref. Matthew 5:17 & Leviticus 18:22)
Jesus confirmed the definition of marriage in Mark 10:6-8 ‘But from the beginning of creation, 'God made them male and female.' 'Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.' So they are no longer two but one flesh.’
Jesus also said that sexual immorality defiles a person. (Ref. Mark 7:20-23)
There is a multitude of sinful behavior that Jesus didn’t name while teaching, but there’s no reason to believe He affirms those sins just because he didn’t mention them.
Good works trumps repentance: ‘LC’ puts an unbalanced emphasis on the benevolence scriptures to the point that if you mention sinful behavior they will attack you with accusations of not ‘selling all you have and giving to the poor’, ‘feeding the homeless’ or ‘living like Mother Teresa’.
The Bible is clear that putting good works before repentance will void the credibility of those works and be seen as filthy rags in God’s sight. (Ref. Isaiah 64:6) Ephesians 2:8-10 says ‘For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.’
First we get right with God through faith, and then He directs our steps into all kinds of wonderful acts of benevolence. Notice that the earliest followers of Jesus were not all called to give or serve the Lord in the same way. Some gave up property and houses while others kept theirs. Some went on missions and others stayed home. Everyone’s calling from the Lord is personalized. (Ref. The Book of Acts)
Believes evolution is a fact: Despite the fact that no evidence confirming macro evolution has ever been found, ‘LC’ puts blind faith into this theory and teaches it as fact.
The fact remains that no form of cosmic, chemical, stellar, organic or macro evolution has ever been proven. What we do see are variations within the same species called micro evolution. When analyzing the fossil record, there are no transitional examples hence the term ‘missing link’. What is seen in the fossil record is more in line with the Biblical narrative of a global flood in the days of Noah. (Ref. Genesis Ch. 6 & 1Corinthians 15:39)
Secular science trumps Biblical interpretations of science: Because ‘LC’ does not view the Bible as the final authority in all areas of life, secular science is the foundation for their world view.
Secular scientist and creationist both have the same scientific data to analyze. If your presupposition cancels the idea of supernatural evolvement by God then your interpretation of the data will automatically be bias. Thankfully, the scientific community of today has seen an increase of Intelligent Design proponents who question the validity of Darwinian evolution. (Ref. Colossians 2:8)
Men decided what books make up the Bible: ‘LC’ will focus on certain regional councils that voted which books of the Bible should be the cannon of Scripture. This is used as a tactic to bring doubt regarding the reliability of the Bible.
God decided the cannon of Scripture and has been confirming it in various ways since the beginning of Church history. Just look at the writings from Church fathers of the 1st and 2nd century to see their acceptance of our current 66 books and their denial of false gospels. (Ref.2Timothy 3:16)
By denying the authority of the Holy scriptures and the deity of Jesus, Liberal Christianity is nothing more than a works based religion. The social gospel is in danger of accomplishing nothing more than making the world a better place from which people will to go to hell.
Despite the fact that many Liberal Christians don’t believe in the supernatural events of the Bible there is one supernatural event that must take place for one to be accepted by God. Jesus said “unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." & “unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” (Ref. John 3:3-5)
Believe that God did the most loving act imaginable when He took on the form of a man to experience human life first hand. Jesus was tempted like us but did not sin. He died on the cross to pay the price for our sins and was literally raised from the dead on the third day so that whoever believes in Him and commits their life to Him will have eternal life with God and escape the torment of everlasting separation from His kingdom.
For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 2Peter 1:16
Follower of Jesus