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Liberal Christianity

Liberal Christianity. . .

Scary stuff, and when you dig deeper, at least for me, it gets even scarier.  First of all, the two words, “liberal” and “Christian” don’t really go together.  Christianity is full of absolutes, truths, yes’s and no’s.  It is not a way of life that is ever-changing according to one’s own beliefs and interpretations of what it should be, or what someone, personally, would like for it to be.  The fundamental truths of Christianity are un-changing.  The definition of “liberal” is as follows:

lib·er·al/ˈlib(ə)rəl/

Adjective:
  Open to new behavior or opinions and willing to discard traditional values.
Noun:
A person of liberal views.

 

First off, it seems to me that by its very premise, liberal Christianity is built upon a broken foundation.  Liberal Christianity is an attempt to meld the theology of the church with the ‘wisdom’ and positions of the world, an attempt to help the two “mesh.”  Liberal Christianity would like to make things like evolution, moral issues such as tolerance towards abortion, gay rights and other sin issues, and ecumenicalism with other “faiths” all fit in with Christian teaching.  But to do so, they have to do away with some of the basic truths of orthodox Christianity.  It is not about one fitting their life to the instructions and teachings of Christ, it is an attempt to take those teachings and instructions and mold them around one’s own beliefs, desires and world views.  This is plainly evident in some of the testimonies written by ‘liberal’ Christians.  Most of them seem to have one thing in common;  A dismissal of biblically-based traditional Christian views because of a wish to compromise moral values, appear tolerant, or accommodate a scientific world view, such as evolution.  It sounds wonderfully ‘modern’ and ‘free-thinking’ on the face of it, but therein lays the problem.  Jesus never tells us our beliefs, practices and morals should change as society changes.   Liberal Christianity would have us believe that the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to Jesus, when Jesus says just the opposite:

Matthew 7:13-14 13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

What are some of the earmarks of liberal Christianity?  Well, one of the biggest is the fact that their beliefs are fluid.  Their beliefs can and do change according to the present course of society.  Here are some facets of liberal Christianity:

1)      They deny the inerrancy of scripture.  They consider some teachings in the Bible good, but others are not, and it is up to liberal theologians, and liberal Christians themselves to determine which teachings are good, and which are bad, or no longer relevant in today’s world.  Some of the Bible’s instructions are inspired, others were simply written by well-intentioned but flawed men, and their flaws colored the text.  Instead of relying solely on scripture to shape their beliefs and faith, they rely on scripture they deem acceptable, tradition, reason, and experience together as shaping their Christianity.  What does the Bible say?

2 Timothy 3:16, 17 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

2)      The Virgin birth, the Atonement, the Trinity, the deity of Christ, and the Resurrection are in most cases given new interpretations by liberal Christians.  Liberal Christian’s views on any of the above tenants of Christianity bear little resemblance to what the Bible says about them.  The Virgin birth is simply a mythological story. The Trinity and deity of Jesus are turned into a form of panentheism where God is seen as being part of everything, instead of an all-powerful creator God with a plan for saving a fallen and inherently sinful creation.  The Resurrection was not the resurrection of Jesus in bodily form, it was simply spiritual.  The Bible states the subjects very different than the liberal Christian views above.  It also has something to say about abandoning sound doctrine in favor of adopting doctrine that sounds good and is world-friendly:

2 Timothy 4:3, 4  3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

3)      There is no literal hell, and even if there was, our God is a loving God who would never send anyone there.  Liberal Christians, by and large, are Universalists.  They believe that everyone will be saved, no matter what their relationship to Christ.  My Bible says differently, when you interpret it literally, as it was meant to be interpreted.

Matthew 10:32-34 32 “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven.  33 But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.  34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.   John 14:6  Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.  Acts 4:12  Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”

I could give myriad scripture for a literal hell, and who winds up there, but I think most of us know they are there.

This movement goes under several different names.  The newest one is called “progressive” Christianity.  This is what one website, www.progressivechristianity.org says about their position:

“Progressive Christianity is an adaptable art form, not a rigid “explain-all” dogma that over-literalizes and distorts the grand mysteries it seeks to illuminate…

  • Do you find more grace in the search for meaning than in absolute certainty, in the questions rather than in the answers?
  • Do you have religious interests and longings but cannot accept the beliefs and dogmas you associate with Christianity?
  • Are you repelled by claims that Christianity is the “only way”?”

What is described here is not Christianity.  It isn’t even close.  These are their 8 Points, their creed as to what they believe:

“By calling ourselves progressive, we mean we are Christians who…

1.  Believe that following the path and teachings of Jesus can lead to an awareness and experience of the Sacred and the Oneness and Unity of all life;

2.  Affirm that the teachings of Jesus provide but one of many ways to experience the Sacredness and Oneness of life, and that we can draw from diverse sources of wisdom in our spiritual journey;

3.  Seek community that is inclusive of ALL people, including but not limited to:

  • Conventional Christians and questioning skeptics,
  • Believers and agnostics,
  • Women and men,
  • Those of all sexual orientations and gender identities,
  • Those of all classes and abilities;

4.  Know that the way we behave towards one another is the fullest expression of what we believe;

5.  Find grace in the search for understanding and believe there is more value in questioning than in absolutes;

6.  Strive for peace and justice among all people;

7.  Strive to protect and restore the integrity of our Earth;

8.  Commit to a path of life-long learning, compassion, and selfless love.”

This is nothing more than secular humanism masquerading as Christianity.  It’s New Age philosophy wrapped up in a different package and calling itself something else.

We see many liberal denominations today pretty much abandoning biblical teaching on subjects such as abortion, homosexuality and other sins and in some cases, actually saying that these behaviors are perfectly acceptable.  And they do so in total opposition to what the Bible actually says.  To be both ‘Liberal’ and ‘Christian,’ something has to get tossed aside.  There has to be a compromise and that compromise always comes at the expense of Christ and biblical values.  These are sacrificed to allow worldly views to be accommodated.

This stuff is frightening, and it’s why we see so much divisiveness in “Christian” circles.  You have ecumenicals, the emergent church, New Agers and so-called “Progressive” Christians saying that just about anything goes in the name of tolerance and reason, and you still have conservative Christians who still believe in being totally dedicated to Jesus,  that the Bible means what it says and says what it means, and the two groups are at lager heads.   Looking at the 1st century Church as established by the Apostles, and the gospel they preached, which position would be wrong?

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What is a Christian?

What is a Christian?

The answer these days seems to be:  Whatever you say it is or want it to be!  Let me begin by saying that I do not view or accept Christianity as a “religion” in the secular worlds definition of the term.  The secular world sees it as, and classifies Christianity as such, but I accept the reality that being a true Christian is the only way that one can be reconciled with God and receive eternal life.  But looking at it in the secular world’s view as a religion, it is still clear that to be a “Christian,” there would be a certain criteria that had to be met.  A couple of brief examples to set the stage:

Muslims have very specific beliefs.  The two main cornerstones of Islam are the Quran and belief in Allah.  If you do not believe in the Quran, and you do not believe in Allah, you are not a Muslim.  You can call yourself a Muslim, you can tell others you are Muslim, but in reality you are not Muslim.

Buddhists believe, universally, in the teachings of Buddha, and they do not believe in a creator God, so if one does believe in a creator God, and does not believe in the works of Buddha, one can say they are a Buddhist, but in fact, they are not.

Being an adherent of any “religion” requires a specific set of beliefs and teachings be believed in and adhered to for one to actually be an adherent of that “religion.”  So let’s look at the Wikipedia definition of Christianity:

“A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, a monotheistic religion centered on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as presented in the New Testament  and interpreted by Christians to have been prophesied in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament.”

The above definition is the secular world’s litmus test for what being a Christian means.  You have to be a follower of Jesus Christ, and follow the Bible.

To illustrate what I am talking about, here are a couple of actual examples from an un-named blog.  They are some examples of people saying what they think makes them a Christian:

1)        “Secondly, in response to the trolls that seems to have come out lately let’s really have a talk about what it means to be a Christian. I am a “small c” Christian. I live a life that Jesus would be proud of. I raise my children and my family. I work for children with disabilities and I am my brother’s keeper. I show my faith through deed rather than by word. I believe that the bible is a book with many many important teachings but I also know enough history to know that by no means is what you are reading now a factual document to be taken literally. Some of the things in the Bible MAY have occurred, other probably not. Politics then just as now effect things. We know there were other gospels. We know that there were other movements within Christianity but unfortunately evangelicals have taken over the word christian.”

2)       “i am christian because i believe in being a good person.  i am christian because i am accepting of all people, no matter what race, religious background or ideals.  i am christian because i apply myself, as a kind, loving person to everything i do and have made my own successful path in life.”

Now to point out a few things:  As to the first one, this person is 100% correct in that we should certainly be displaying our belief in and love for Jesus through deeds and not just giving Jesus lip service, per James 2:14-22.  That assertion is correct.  However, notice what is missing, a personal relationship with Jesus and this person does not believe in the Bible.  As for “other” gospels, Galatians 1: 8 & 9 are pretty clear on “other” gospels.  Do not pursue them and do not accept them.  If they contradict the Gospel already given, they can’t be true.

In the second example, the person thinks they are a Christian because they are a “good person.”  There is nothing about Christ, nothing about the Bible.  There is nothing about repentance or salvation in either example.

Simply put, being a Christian means believing in Jesus Christ, and believing in the Bible.  This is the secular world’s definition, so even from society’s viewpoint, if one does not believe those two things, one is not a Christian, so why do so many people wish to view themselves as Christians, or call themselves Christians when they, by definition, are not Christians?  Why do these same people object, become angry or still profess to be Christian when given the actual definition of what being a Christian is, and being  shown their assertions do not stand up when held up to the light?

Christmas Commercialism

Christmas is rapidly approaching.  We all look forward to it.  We all hold anticipation of the Holiday season.  We all say how “commercial” the season has become.  We all express sorrow and frustration that the season has become so commercial.  And most of us contribute to that very commercialism.  Double standard?  Yeah.  And we have all been exercising this double standard for years.

Ask yourself, this year, as Christmas approaches, is it really worth it to stand in line for hours at Wal-Mart during Black Friday just to save a few bucks on a television or DVD?  Is it really a constructive use of time to be jostled around in lines and check-out crushes just to buy someone a present?  It sounds so trite and cliche, but it is none-the-less true:  The best gift we can give anyone, whether it be friend, family, spouse, child, is to give of ourselves.  To give of our time, our attention, our caring, and our love for them.  How I wish, personally, that this Christmas, the best present we gave each person we know would be a kind and loving word of encouragement, support, love, perhaps even forgiveness.

What has engendered this Christmas musing?  I work retail.  Wal-Mart retail, to be exact.  The upcoming Black Friday will be my 4th.  The first one I spent guarding a stack of big screen televisions.  The madness ensued at midnight as the items were actually handed out.  And I turned and saw what had been an empty isle filled with a sea of rapidly-approaching humanity.  It looked like a dry Arizona wash bed after a torrential summer down-pour.  All would be washed away before it.  The next year I was in charge of keeping order in a Q-line.  After that, I handed out computers and watched an entire pallet of them disappear in the space of about 5 minutes.  Last year was the worst.  I stood guarding a stack base of DVD’s.  And madness ensued when a noise was heard and people began ripping and tearing at the movies before it was officially time to start.  A co-manager and I then spent a half hour literally pinned up against a stack base of movies because the human crush in the aisle was such that we literally could not move.

Things like Black Friday encourage greed, selfishness, and general rude behavior.  People have been killed in crushes during Black Friday.  And yet stores continue to pursue this big sale day year after year.  And it is not lost on me that to do so goes totally against what the season is supposed to stand for, even when you remove it from a spiritual viewpoint.  A season of giving is transposed into a season of selfishness and greed and an abandonment of values.  How I wish it were not so.

There was a popular saying in the 60’s that said:  “What if they gave a war, and nobody came?”  Starting this Christmas, I would love to see it changed to read as follows:  “What if they gave a Black Friday, and nobody came?”

 

Blessings, my friends. . .

 

Joy Behar

Wow.  This lady is one angry person.  I have long been a non-fan of Ms. Behar when I discovered what a rabid devotee of abortion she was, but her behavior lately passes all bounds of acceptable behavior.  Yet ABC still sees fit to allow her to remain on the View in spite of her daily rants and bouts of cursing openly anyone she doesn’t like.  She accuses others constantly of hate speech, when they are often not even guilty of any such thing, but she actually does engage in hate speech and does it often.  She hates conservatives and she hates evangelical Christians and most of her ire and vitriolic bile is reserved for these two classes of people whom she treats with utter contempt.  She walked off of the View when guest Bill O’Reilly had the nerve to call the people who flew planes into the Twin Towers on 9/11 Islamic terrorists.  That is the act of a petulant child.  She later stated that calling a terrorist exactly what they are is “hate speech.”  But when she calls a conservative running for office in Nevada who is against illegal immigration and wants our borders controlled a “b***h” on national TV, that is perfectly acceptable.  I do not know what standards Ms. Behar uses to gauge whether her behavior is acceptable or not, but they are no standards that I recognize beyond a glaring double standard.  It goes something like this;  “OK for me, not ok for you.”  Folks, this is the Liberal’s definition of tolerance.  Liberal tolerance only works one way with the Left.  You have to not only be tolerant of their beliefs and point of view, you have to totally accept them.  But they feel no compunction to extend you the same courtesy.  You will get shouted over, called foul names, be cursed at and accused of hate speech.  Some of the more out-spoken ones will even call for your death or wish for you to contract some debilitating disease.  As someone else said in their blog on the same subject, Ms. Behar makes the perfect ex wife.

   Planned Parenthood, the institution that should be renamed “Murder is our business” has been caught in yet another scandal. Surprise, surprise. Planned Parenthood was caught this time helping a pimp who was trafficking in under-aged girls. The last scandal before this one was under-aged girls coming into the PP clinics and the workers not reporting the abuse, which would be statutory rape. Now I am not going to focus so much on the actual scandals, I am going to focus on something else. The actions by this organization are horrifying. They are wrong, and the entire organization itself should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law instead of being given a free pass like it has been given time after time. Oh they fire a sacrificial employee here and there and go right back to business as usual, which for Planned Parenthood means murdering unborn children, and breaking sexual abuse laws. The question I found myself asking earlier last evening was “Why are we surprised?” Planned Parenthood itself is a 100% amoral institution based on amoral principles, so why does it shock and surprise us when they continually behave in amoral ways? It is all they know. It is all their business practices are based on. Planned Parenthood makes its money off of the murder of unborn children, so they are already desensitized to human suffering. If they do not care about the sanctity and value of a human life before it even gets a chance to live, they certainly are not going to care about the well-being of an under-aged girl being used for money in the sex trade by her pimp. And they re-enforce this fact every time they are caught in another one of these scandals. They are not going to change, because they do not understand, or wish to realize the root of the problem. The root of the problem is that they simply do not value human life at all. Not surprising, given their foundation.

   Planned Parenthood has its foundational roots firmly resting upon the work of a 1920’s social justice advocate named Margaret Sanger. Margaret Sanger pedaled what she called “family planning” but what she was actually pedaling was contraception in the form of preventative abortions. And it wasn’t just abortions for abortions sake, it was abortion with a purpose. Because Planned Parenthoods founder, Margaret Sanger, was also a big fan of eugenics. In other words, Sanger believed that the only race of people who really deserved to live were healthy and affluent white people. No other race, culture or economic group need apply. She advocated prolific abortion for races that needed to be culled, controlled or, if necessary, eradicated. In the case of poverty or mental issues, she advocated sterilization. In Margaret Sanger’s world view, there were a good many people who just didn’t deserve to live. Those people were mostly poor and black. That is why I find it so amusing that our sitting president, Barrack Hussein Obama is such an ardent fan of abortion, because if Margaret Sanger and her ilk had had their way totally, he would not even be alive, let alone president. We hear the black community fervently decrying a black woman’s right to an abortion and I find that ironic that they are championing a process that wishes to see all of them dead. Because Planned Parenthood has not lost its racist roots and all they really care about is a fast buck made off of human suffering. And we have allowed this horror to become the law of the land. Shame on them, and shame on us.

   So when all this is considered, can we really be surprised when a bad tree bears bad fruit? You will know a person, and an organization by its fruit, and the fruit on Planned Parenthood’s tree is about as rotten as it can get. And until legalized abortion is repealed and until Planned Parenthood is dissolved, they are going to continue to run the women of this country through the wringer any time they get a chance, because they have a clear-cut agenda, and there is a dollar sign at the end of the process. Fervent prayer is in order.

   The entire Soulforce issue has bothered me lately.  Soulforce, for those who do not know what it is, is an organization of homosexuals who claim to be “spiritual” and wish to force the Christian community, at large, to accept their lifestyle as valid and normative.  To do so, Soulforce adopts some rather questionable practices and tactics to achieve their stated goal, something I see as akin to “the end justifying the means.”  Some of these tactics include the groups founder, Mel White, redefining what biblical scripture on the subject of homosexuality means, and “Freedom rides” to certain churches and Christian colleges where a group of activists board buses and first attempt to talk to the people there.  If they are not welcomed, they then try to intimidate the people at these institutions by trespassing on their property and get arrested.  They openly accuse anyone who does not agree with them of hate speech, violence against homosexuals, and intolerance.  In other words, they paint anyone who refuses to accept their outlook on the subject and has the fortitude to call homosexuality a sin with a broad brush.  Here is an examples from their “Mission Statement” page:

”Soulforce, guided by the spirit of truth and empowered by the principles of nonviolent resistance, works to end the religious and political oppression of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning people.”

   There are some problems with this statement.  First off what would be the “spirit of truth” they reference?  What is this “spirit of truth?”  Who’s truth is it?  Where does it come from, according to who’s definition?  Soulforce claims to be a ‘spiritual’ group, and many of it’s members, including it’s founders Mel White and Gary Nixon claim to be Christians, so I would think that their reference to “spirit of truth” would refer to the only source for truth that Christians have, that being the Bible, but we have no way of knowing that, because it isn’t defined or explained.  I would surmise that that is not what is referred to because Mel White himself works tirelessly to re-define the Bible into a book which would allow homosexuality as an acceptable and normative way of life.  He does this by using really poor hermeneutics, exegesis, omission and in some cases, lies.

   When you read “religious oppression,” what they mean is any opposition to what they believe.  In the Soulforce world, simply stating that homosexuality is a sin is akin to oppression.  It means you are intolerant, oppressive, violent and that you hate homosexuals, not simply the sin they practice.  And by their very own words, in both their statements on their main page, and by members of their forum, if you oppose their beliefs, you should be forced to change your views to conform to theirs.  Yes, I said forced, because that is what they say themselves.  ‘Forced’ is the new tolerance when it comes to Soulforce’s definition of the term.  When they use catch words like “tolerance” or “dialogue” or “understanding” please understand that they view these terms in completely diffent connotations than we do.  Their “tolerance” has only one end goal and it is certainly not tolerance as most people understand the term.  It is for conservative, evangelical Christians to give homosexuals approval and total acceptance of their lifestyle in clear violation of scriptural dictates on the subject.  What Soulforce wants you to do is lay aside beliefs laid out clearly in the Bible, impressed upon your heart, mind and spirit by the Holy Spirit, and accept their sin as being perfectly acceptable, to both you, and God.

   Let me be very clear:  Homosexuality is no better or worse a sin than any other sexual sin.  Adultery, or any other sexual sin one can name is just as bad.  Homosexuals should not be oppressed, ridiculed, harrassed, attacked or anything else.  They are loved by God just as anyone is and His hope for them is just as it is for every other human being.  That they wholey accept Jesus Christ as their Savior, commit themselves to Him, repent of their sins and turn from them.  Homosexuals are trapped in a life of bondage that each of us were trapped in before we came to know Jesus as our Savior.  But we are not to allow them to live under the delusion that what they do is acceptable to God.  It isn’t, and more people need to be willing to openly tell the people at Soulforce so in a loving but firm way.