Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Liberal Church

Perhaps as never before we see the dividing line in the political world between liberals and conservatives. Liberals believe in equality above all. Monarchies and state religions - those principles which exalt one class above another - are rejected thoroughly. Liberals view government as a tool to level the playing field, thus creating the large American welfare state. Conservatives on the other hand focus on maintaining the natural hierarchies within church, family and state. They believe that man is at his best when allowed to fully express his own work ethic; the government should not do for a man what he can do for himself.

The large majority of those in the churches today are professed conservatives, who take their political stand on issues like abortion and homosexuality. They look with disdain and distaste upon anything joined to liberalism. They truthfully cannot understand how anyone who calls themselves a Christian could ever be a liberal. Therein lies both the problem and the hypocrisy, because the modern church has become exactly what it claims to despise ... liberal.

Today's church is about progress. The old ways wouldn't be good enough even if they believed they were good enough. They believe in change for change' sake. They believe in the freedom of expression, with services designed to level the playing field and include everyone. They believe in tolerance, and easily set aside any portions of the Scripture deemed bigoted or prejudicial. They look for and support leaders who are like them,and who will please them, and who will work for them,  and who will support their causes. They will push aside any who are seen as too strict or traditional. Leaders in mainstream churches are not shepherds who feed and protect the flock, but representatives who work to alleviate the perceived problems of their constituency.

I'm sure there are many so-called conservative churches which would disagree with me - declaring themselves "conservative Christians" - but the proof as they say is in the pudding. In spite of overwhelming evidence, the addict always says, "I don't have a problem," and then proceeds to blame their problems on someone else. "These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage" (Jude 16). Isn't it amazing how good Satan is at his job? He has manipulated the "Christian" masses into becoming the very thing they claim to oppose.

The church of the day screams for tolerance, even though Christ praised the church in Ephesus for a lack of tolerance - "... you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false" (Revelation 2:2) - and chastised Thyatira for theirs - "I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray ..." (Revelation 2:20).

The overriding theme of the mainstream church is love. "God loves everyone!" Yet Jesus praises the church for their hatred, "Yet this you do have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate" (Revelation 2:6).

"But we must move forward!" the church will say. "We must be relevant to our culture. We have to find new ways to reach a contemporary generation." Is that what Christ said, or did you read that in the latest bestseller from the Christian bookstore? Jesus' instructions to the church make no such declaration. In fact, we see just the opposite. "But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 5 Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place — unless you repent" (Revelation 2:4-5). "... what you have, hold fast until I come" (Revelation 2:25). "... remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent" (Revelation 3:3). "Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. 11 I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown" (Revelation 3:10-11).

I will never forget Haley Joel Osment's famous line in The Sixth Sense, "I see dead people." Yeah, kid ... I do, too ... within the professed church ... claiming to be the body of Christ. It's sad and appalling that the modern church - a liberal church if ever there was one - is more focused on themselves than their Liberator. "For speaking out arrogant words of vanity they entice by fleshly desires - by sensuality - those who barely escape from the ones who live in error, 19 promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved" (2 Peter 2:18-19).

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