Saturday, November 13, 2010

On Liberal Heresies

When I say 'liberal heresies,' I do not mean anything to do with who you vote for in an election. I mean taking the faith which has been given to us by the Lord of Hosts and 'progressing' it into what you want. Today I will focus on false, manmade doctrines in general. Tomorrow, I will discuss the heresy of men and women as 'equal' rather than 'complementary' specifically. My odds of winning a popularity contest with these posts are slim. However, I  will repeat what Paul wrote to the Galatians and pray I mean it:
For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.

(Gal 1:10)
Unfortunately (I have reservations about the word), sometimes what the Bible teaches does not agree with our modern sensibilities. Perhaps nowhere is this gap so apparent as in the role of women. Indeed, despite the Bible's clear teaching on the matter, half of Protestant denominations ordain women[1]! The battle is not just over this particular doctrine, but over whether we may adjust the Bible's teachings as we see fit to please ourselves. To that, I point you again to the passage in Galatians and quote Augustine of Hippo's very wise remark: "If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself." God's striking prohibition on idol worship applies just as well to the labor of our ideas.
Another shapes wood, he extends a measuring line; he outlines it with red chalk. He works it with planes and outlines it with a compass, and makes it like the form of a man, like the beauty of man, so that it may sit in a house. Surely he cuts cedars for himself, and takes a cypress or an oak and raises it for himself among the trees of the forest. He plants a fir, and the rain makes it grow. Then it becomes something for a man to burn, so he takes one of them and warms himself; he also makes a fire to bake bread. He also makes a god and worships it; he makes it a graven image and falls down before it. Half of it he burns in the fire; over this half he eats meat as he roasts a roast and is satisfied. He also warms himself and says, "Aha! I am warm, I have seen the fire." But the rest of it he makes into a god, his graven image. He falls down before it and worships; he also prays to it and says, "Deliver me, for you are my god." They do not know, nor do they understand, for He has smeared over their eyes so that they cannot see and their hearts so that they cannot comprehend. No one recalls, nor is there knowledge or understanding to say, "I have burned half of it in the fire and also have baked bread over its coals. I roast meat and eat it. Then I make the rest of it into an abomination, I fall down before a block of wood!" He feeds on ashes; a deceived heart has turned him aside. And he cannot deliver himself, nor say, "Is there not a lie in my right hand?"

(Isa 44:13-20)

When we make our 'god' after what man considers beautiful, using some of our ideas to work and the left-overs to create our own version of 'god', we are commiting the same sin God condemns here. We are making ourselves idols and it is stupid. How will the god you have created by pasting different religions together answer your prayers? That god never existed and never will. "They do not know, nor do they understand." Have you been so blinded by pride that you cannot see you are devoting your life to a lie? That is exactly what spurs idolatry - pride. The prideful belief that I can create something myself of supreme value and that I may be my own god. What a temptation!

But we may not experience Christ's protection while we are denying His truth. The God of the Bible does not accept half-way faith. To quote an old preacher: "To be almost persuaded is to be almost saved. To be almost saved is to be entirely lost." If you have placed your trust in Jesus as "the most reasonable option" or you have placed your faith in someone names "Jesus," but with characteristics you dreamed up - that god will not save you from Hell. Jesus told us the truth in plain, powerfully graphic language:

"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. "Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.'

(Mat 7:21-23)
"Christians" wrapped in good works, done in the name of Jesus, will be damned unto an everlasting Hell. Because they never knew Him. Look inward - is this you? Will you, on the last day, be trusting in the name of a different Jesus, in a different gospel and on your good works to save you? It is not enough. The very thought makes me tremble at how many people will take their last breath without really knowing the real Jesus Christ.

Liberal Christianity would spit on the miracles of Jesus in a way which makes no sense to me at all. If there is an all powerful God, why would He not be able to turn water into wine? They remove miracles so they might reduce God into something which they can understand and can make allowances for. Something they can aknowledge and walk around. My God is not like that. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you are familiar with this quote:

For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.

(1Co 15:16-17)
Paul writes to the Corinthians that if Jesus was not raised from the dead - literally - then their faith is in vain! The apostle to the Gentiles says that the entire Christian faith hangs on this miracle. Liberal Christians argue miracles are unnecessary. They either call them 'metaphorical flourish' or 'alterations' in the Scriptures.

To deny that the Scriptures we have are in any meaningful way different from the autographs is to have your neck deep in the sand. Liberal Christians will fall back on the fancy sounding Documentary Hypothesis (based on the belief that writing could not have existed when Moses lived - the basis was disproven, but the theory lives on), but there is no credible, intellectual support for their position. If you need plain evidence that the Bible we have now is the same Bible which has always existed and is free of doctrinal edits, look at this website: Manuscript Evidence for the Bible . It has a clear, intellectually honest list of proofs. Most Liberal Christians will not accept the authenticity of the Bible in spite of the evidence, because then they would have to accept the doctrines therein! (Some cults also attempt to claim the Bible was corrupted, in plain opposition to the evidence, so they may substitute their own doctrine.)As discussed earlier, if we may not treat the things we do not like in the Bible as later additions, we must then take the Word of the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the Apostles on its own terms. We must set aside our idols and accept or deny Christ for who He is. As I have shown in this blog previously, that decision is very easy to a mind looking for the truth.

Liberal Christianity is intellectually phrased self-worship. While it is logically untenable, it is extremely dangerous in that it gives its adherents a false sense of security. I know a guy named Jesus. Having faith in him will not save me from Hell. Only the Jesus of the Bible can. The evidence for that Jesus is too strong. We may not, then call ourselves Christians while living according to our own moral code. We must follow the elevated standard given to us from on high.

Liberal Christianity is no Christianity at all.

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