Implications of Liberalism, Part Five
It’s easier to complain about brethren who want to change the church instead of doing the work to figure out how they arrived at their conclusions. Liberals are sincere and love the Lord. However, their worldview differs greatly from conservatives.
In fact, if we accepted their presuppositions and worldview, we would see their conclusions as axiomatic. They aren’t out to intentionally destroy the Church, just change her to meet their view of how things should be.
The qualities of liberalism we’ve outlined come together in discussions of the church. They’re inevitable based on their presuppositions. Anyone who spends any time studying liberalism can’t be surprised at them.
As these articles have highlighted, they care very much about people’s feelings and souls, in that order. They want to be loved by everyone and they don’t want anyone to feel bad or hurt. They feel they must stand up for the oppressed and the maligned.
Their magnanimity is impressive. We could learn a lot from liberals in this respect.
God teaches us to love in a way that transcends the fleshly (1 Corinthians 13:4-8; 1 John 4). We must stand against intolerance, ignorance and abuse. It’s imperative that we are socially active as long as it does not violate God’s will (Acts 4:19-20).
However, that tender-hearted love must be in line with God’s will since He demands complete subjection (Romans 12:1-2; John 14:15). God loves everyone (John 3:16) but He established consequences (Matthew 25:35-46).
We can’t place people’s feelings above their soul. In our rush to protect people, we can doom them to an eternal destruction.
A natural consequence of their beliefs comes to a focus in the Church. They hold unity services with denominations, dilute doctrines, redefine words, and rename movements to try to level the playing field for everyone. They can’t bear excluding anyone from the fold.
They believe it so strongly that they filter the words of Scripture through their heart-felt views. Exclusivity invokes far too much guilt for them to tolerate. Accordingly they’ll reshape their terminology, teachings, names, anything to appear inclusive.
When we put feelings over souls, sermons or articles, for example, comparing the Church to Noah’s Ark will send this guilt into a rage. No clearer illustration exists of what will happen to those outside of the body of Christ (Genesis 6-9; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Galatians 3:26-27).
God decided who had lived faithfully and obediently enough to be in the ark and everyone else, no matter how sincere, died a terrible death.
We’re given stories like the Ark to show the exclusive nature of God’s people. We can’t remove the story from the Scriptures. Instead, we work with all God has given us to see how we should live (Ephesians 4:1).
Revelation 20:11-15 provides a glimpse of what will happen in the end. Because of our works, we’ll either enter heaven or hell for all eternity (cf. Matthew 25:31-33, 46). Christ will be coming back to receive those in his body and everyone else will be lost (John 14:1-6).
Sincerity, loving hearts, benevolent acts, titles, education, and a host of other concepts will have no bearing on our eternal souls. The only criterion will be whether we’re in the Church belonging to Christ and whether we have been faithfully obedient in shining his light and proclaiming his Word to a lost and dying world.
This is too much for liberal guilt to handle. It is too narrow-minded and exclusive. The doors must be flung open so all can be saved. Christ was of love and grace, not rejection and hate. We must all come together on what we agree upon and be one, they say.
Platitudes aside, creating artificial criterion for entering the Lord’s Church and the eternal heaven will win points but will have no effect on God. God doesn’t read polls nor engage popular opinion. God has never been the Lord of universalism.
He wants everyone to be saved (2 Peter 3:9), but He knows it will never happen (Matthew 7:21-23).
Before time began, God decided how we would enter the church and remain within its borders. Before liberalism, progressivism and conservatism, there existed the “settled word” of God (Psalm 119:89). We’re hopeless to change God’s mind.
Since this loving, authoritative act preceded man’s opinions, excuses and obfuscations, it continues on unabated without them, as if they didn’t exist. God’s ways are not man’s ways (Isaiah 55:8-9).
We must resign ourselves to this fact and work with God (Matthew 28:18-20) to help as many people to heaven as we can instead of trying to force God to let us decide who should be saved.
Let’s be more worried about being left out of God’s heaven than we are in being separated from the fellowship of the larger religious world (Galatians 1:8-9). Being a saint is far removed from being a snob and we must get that straight in our minds.