The Liberal Captivity of the Church, Part 2
The liberal concept of Christianity can get along just fine without the inerrancy of scriptures or the exclusivity of the atonement unto salvation. This is not a recent divide, but one that’s been brewing for centuries. Unfortunately, the heretical views are not as recognizable as they’ve been in the past.
Yet, almost a century ago, the same theological wars were waged. It was a battle in which the core doctrines of the faith were at stake. In the end, separation (and ultimately schism) would rule the day, as it was the only way Biblical truth and scriptural accuracy could be preserved. Thus it was.
“Three points of difference between liberalism and Christianity…The two are different (1) in their view of God, (2) in their view of man, and (3) in their choice of the seat of authority in religion. A fourth difference concerns the view of Christ…”
Liberal Christianity and Theological Modernism is essentially one in the same. It’s a movement that purges Christianity of its offense.
“To the modern preacher Jesus is an example for faith…To the Christian, on the other hand, Jesus is the object of faith, and upon Him alone depends the eternal welfare of the individual soul and of humanity.”
Biblical Christianity goes against our natural, carnal sensibilities. So what the liberal handlers of the faith essentially did was rethink what it means to be a Christian. The miraculous would ultimately be exchanged for the arbitrary, as Jesus was demoted from God to moral guide.
“Finally, liberalism differs from Christianity in the account which is given of the way of salvation…”
The liberal deconstruction of the faith ultimately strips Christ from Christianity, while maintaining much of the language of biblical orthodoxy. There is a religious agenda at play here for sure, but there is nothing Christian about it.
“To modern liberalism the Cross of Christ is an inspiring example of self-sacrifice. But since there have been many acts of self-sacrifice in the history of the world, why should we pay such exclusive attention to this one Palestinian example?”
Jesus was no humanist. He did not come to celebrate us; He came down to save us!
“It is no wonder that men adopt this patronizing attitude toward the Cross; for the liberal conception of the Cross follows naturally from the liberal conception of man and the liberal conception of Christ. If there be no such thing as sin, no such thing as the just condemnation of God’s law, then of course we can get along perfectly well without a sacrifice for sin.”
It is to be expected that an accurate depiction of who Christ is and what He must be for us is a concept that would be rejected in mainstream, secular society. However, a Church divided will not stand. Those who remain strong and steadfast in their faith will be lifted up, beyond the heretical proclamations of an apostate church.
*All quotes from “Liberalism or Christianity’ by J. Gresham Machen, The Princeton Theological Review, Vol. 20, No. 1, 1922.
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