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Dangers of Liberal Theology in the Church

Discussion in 'Wesley's Parish - Methodist/ Nazarene' started by GadFly, Mar 23, 2011.

  1. GadFly

    GadFly Newbie

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    The definition of liberal theology is given in the thread "What is Liberal Theology?" In short liberal theology uses human reasoning as its primary premise in religion. By the Church we are referring to the churches that make up the Wesley's Parish. Although what we say might apply to all denominations, we are specifically addressing those that adhere to John Wesley's theology. In membership in the USA the UMC is second only to the Southern Baptist Conference. When you consider the the Baptist and other Wesleyan churches together which all hold to the proposition that the Word of God is the primary premise in Christianity and if you add to this all other denominations, it appears that most Christians in the USA are Bible believing Christians. Some of you may have some up-to- date statistics on this subject. Please present.

    The point being, the Wesleyan churches have a tremendous influence on American theology and an equally great opportunity and the resources to take the Gospel to all the world-society. Keep in mind that the word of God is the power of God unto salvation: Mk:12:24: Jesus said, "ye ... err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God?" IN Romans 1:16, Paul said of the Gospel, "... for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth. . " and in Corinthians 2:5, Paul said "That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men . . .". Did you get that wisdom of men thing? That was Paul denouncing liberal theology, the same of which Christ denounced many times throughout the Four Gospels.

    Jesus Christ himself and gave an intimidating warning to the churches in Asia minor in John's Revelation, chapter 22:18 &19:18: "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book."

    In short, God says, don't add to or take away anything from the word of God.Here is another study hint for you when interpreting the the Book of Revelation, all the plagues and curses in this book are of such a nature that these can be received by the individual person that stands against God's word. If that is not an intimidating warning to "Liberalism" in the church, to whom would the warning be?

    There are many areas where liberal theology has interfered with the preaching of the Gospel. Since I would like to spark fervent discussion on this topic, I am prepared to point out many areas where liberal theology has been dangerous in our Churches, but I would rather have others speak first on this topic to test the waters to see how many share my opinion or not. If others don't speak to this topic, I'll certainly be back to speak for the position of the Wesleyan Churches.
     
  2. cavell

    cavell Senior Veteran

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    I appreciate you brother in Jesus.

    I am proud of my Weslyan roots. I am proud of the bible based teaching that such rooting afforded when I was a young man.

    Over the pond I may be but I prayerfully support you in my quote.

    The U.S.A. and the Western world have a history based upon the high ground and principle of scripture. Such base of life have afforded prosperity and plenty.
     
  3. GadFly

    GadFly Newbie

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    Speaking of the dangers of liberal theology, these dangers or threats are visible on the Wesleyan sub forum, in our churches and in every conversation most Christians have. I liken it to Job:2:1: Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD. Notice who showed up when God's people gathered together. That old devil, he seems to be around to take part in every conversation he can and when he presents himself, he makes trouble for the faithful. Every Christian that wants to view liberal theology in action needs to read the Book of Job. When Satan shows up, it often means long time persecution for the family.

    On one of these threads, I pointed out how large of the American population was influenced by Wesleyan theology or better yet, the Gospel according to Jesus Christ, On the threads in Wesleyan sub forum, our conversation has been short circuited with the intrusion of liberal theology, that is, theology based on human reasoning as opposed to scriptural premises. This cutting off the power of God is obvious in most current threads posted on the Wesleyan sub forum.

    In the thread "What Type of Christian are Ye?" over 1970 participants reviewed the thread and over 50 left short comments as to what type of Christians they were. When several liberals voiced such ideas that certain conservatives that believed in the authority of the word of God were in no ways really Christians and liberals used the thread to take shots at fundamentalist, the Gadfly responded with the scriptures and the philosophy of Christ. It was noted there was a controversy emerging. There have been no post since that time. People have been reluctant to fellowship on that thread since then. Controversy shorted out this thread. Several other threads have met this same fate.

    My contention is that the purpose of the Wesleyan forum is to engage each other with our ideas about God and the scriptures, which is the power of God unto salvation. The end result should be that the Church is united in the idea that the "way of Christ" according to the scriptures is the only acceptable theology for our forum and our churches in the Wesleyan theology.

    Don't misunderstand this proposition. The devil said Job could not stand real test of life and still serve God. God proved the devil was wrong. We need liberals around so the scriptures can be used to demonstrate that the Word of God is far superior to modern man's wisdom and man's new morality that society says is better suited for these days. The argument is framed for us as the world, or the formations of society, are against the Christian philosophy of Jesus Christ. IMO, I say, let the debate rage on as I have no doubt who will win this debate. We can not allow fellow church members to tell us the church will be better off without Bible believing Christians in favor of humanism or any other moral or political theme that does not include God.

    Christians, please return to all the threads that are of interest to you and kindly voice your opinion. Don't allow a few controversialists to stifle your spirit and fellowship. If Christ had withdrawn from controversy his message would have never been spread around the world today.
    .
     
  4. Amisk

    Amisk Senior Member

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    Liberal Theology has always seem to arise of the ashes of a failing Christian church, and out of its Theological Schools. Churchmen have always caved into false doctrine in hopes of maintaining a dying church. In reality they would have been better off to have let the organization die and returned to the Bible, and the teaching of Jesus Christ.

    When Christian ministers have failed to preach the full gospel of Jesus Christ sin has slipped into the pulpits and from the pulpits into the church board, and on into the pews. It would have been better to have fired the minister on the first hint of hell's damning theology and locked the church doors.

    We need to realize that Liberal theology begins with the Devil's question to Eve "...hath God said........?" Genesis 3:1

    It appears the same question is usually on the liberals lips just before the church steps on to the icy slopes of damnation.

    The modern liberal breaks forth with:

    Creations as the Bible teaches is questionable.
    God's opening of the Red Sea for the Israelites can't be true.
    A loving God would never send a sinful unrepeated man to Hell, so there can't really be a Hell.
    Jesus never really died and rose again, he just swooned away to return from the grave.
    As long as you live a good life you'll make it through some how.

    By the end of the last century the weekly prayer meeting was replaced by busy week day plans, Bible studies gave way to kid's hockey practices, and the Sunday nite service was replaced by gatherings of friends or another evening of smutty sex filled, gangster killing booze advertising Hollywood T.V. shows.

    Gospel hymns were replaced in most churches by chorus which praised the man in the pew more than the God and Saviour of Heaven.

    Liberal theology is rampant in all Christian denominations of the 21st century. If there is not a revival to Biblical teaching and beliefs there may well not be a Biblical Christian church with a message of salvation when we cross the threshold of 22nd century.
     
    cavell likes this.
  5. GadFly

    GadFly Newbie

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    Satan began his career here on earth in a very subtle way as Amisk has just pointed out. The Devil does not take strong positions against God's ways. He first attempts to minimize what the word of God says. Surely, Satan said to Eve, if you eat of the fruit on the forbidden tree, you will not really die. If Eve really thought she would have died, do you think she would have eaten of the forbidden fruit? Of course not.

    Liberal theology is just like earing poison fruit and it prevents the power of God's truth from doing what God intended for his word to do. As far as we know Satan was nowhere to be found in the Garden of Eden when God came to fellowship with Adam and Eve but as soon as God left the Garden and left it for Adam to manage, Satan showed up to sew seeds of doubt. Otherwise. after sowing his seed, old Satan hides from the searching word of God.

    That is exactly the way the so called liberals do who float around on the Wesleyan threads. What the liberals say before they desert these various threads has a threatening effect. Liberal theology has a way of making Bible believing Christian look ridicules and narrow minded when they speak about actually believing what the scriptures say. While discussing whether or not homosexuals should be ordained or not, the liberals said society had grown beyond Biblically condemning sexual styles that modern society accepted.

    Those who adhered to the scriptures on this issue were branded as fundamentalist and it was flatly stated that the Church would be better off without those who view that the Bible should dictate a strict adherence to what the Bible taught. After such comments, that post was challenged on the bases of such liberal complaints. That thread is still on the current boards here, but once the philosophical position of Jesus Christ was announced by me, that thread effectively closed.

    Once the liberals are challenged to openly defend their position in opposition to God's word, like that old Devil in the Garden, they run and hide. The sad thing is, those who believe the Words of God are too discouraged to speak out the truth of God. The fact is, when I try to encourage common folk to attend the UMC, the first thing they often bring up is the fact that we ordain gay ministers. We are of the Wesleyan theological theme and that practice is so far from the scriptures that those who know about John Wesley's teaching can not believe what they are hearing about our beloved church. Then, we believers are welcomed out of the church by the liberals!

    Participation on a number of threads on this sub forum have been limited by comments by liberals which implied conservatives are not real Christians.By this they mean you need to have more liberal ideas and be more in tune with society. Many Christian's voices are restrained here and actually choose to post on different sub forums. Nobody enjoys being made to look foolish but what these liberals do is that they make it to look foolish to follow the scriptures. To them, you see, society knows best what is good for us and they actually think that Christ would be just like them, if he were here today.

    By the way, any liberal Christian in the UMC or any church, is welcome to present your theology on this thread as long as you respect the rules of this sub forum. I have this belief that liberals in general hide and will not openly discuss the bases or premises of their epistemology. Am I correct about that?
     
  6. Amisk

    Amisk Senior Member

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    I don't think you can find any Liberal Theology in John Wesley' writings. Nor in Charles Wesley's hymns. I would be interesting in looking at any Liberal Theology that you might quote from either John's Works or his Jounrals.
     
  7. WiredSpirit

    WiredSpirit and all God's people said... meh

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    Yah, fundamentalist support group. Remember to send $$$ to IRD to fight the liberal monster that's gonna eat your children and make your worship Satan!
     
  8. GadFly

    GadFly Newbie

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    Dear WiredSpirit, your anger and frustration is very apparent. If you object
    to this discussion, please be so kind to point out the reasons for your objections. I would like the opportunity to actually discuss your reasoning for the liberal position you maintain throughout this forum and especially on the Wesleyan sub forum.

    Do you have a special insight that other Methodist and Nazarenes don't have? You have an opportunity to take a leadership position on this thread and light a candle for other liberals to walk in the light. It has been my experience on different forums that liberals often make accusing, condemning and sarcastic statements and then run off and hide before they can be challenged.

    WiredSpirit, it is ok to vent on this thread but it is not the best thing to do if you really want to share your faith or lack of faith with fellow church members. Whatever your theological position is on liberalism, it looks pretty lame as long as you keep secret your true beliefs. You have mustered up enough courage to vent so go ahead and speak your true mind. Don't let your frustration be your last words.
     
  9. tsr

    tsr Newbie

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    Liberal theology is a interesting subject and in many cases can be dangerous in the context of christian beliefs. Here is the definintion of liberal theology.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Liberal biblically informed religious movements and ideas within Christianity from the late 18th century and onward. The word "liberal" in liberal Christianity does not refer to a progressive political agenda or set of beliefs, but rather to the manner of thought and belief associated with the philosophical and religious paradigms developed during the Age of Enlightenment.

    Liberal Christianity, broadly speaking, is a method of biblical hermeneutics, an undogmatic method of understanding God through the use of scripture by applying the same modern hermeneutics used to understand any ancient writings. Liberal Christianity does not claim to be a belief structure, and as such is not dependent upon any Church dogma or creedal statements. Unlike conservative varieties of Christianity, it has no unified set of propositional beliefs. The word liberal in liberal Christianity denotes a characteristic willingness to interpret scripture without any preconceived notion of inerrancy of scripture or the correctness of Church dogma.[1] A liberal Christian, however, may hold certain beliefs in common with traditional, orthodox, or even conservative Christianity.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
     
  10. Sidheil

    Sidheil Senior Member

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    Not to interrupt anything, but that's hardly a modern idea. Both Augustine of Hippo and Origen believed the creation account in Genesis is meant to be taken allegorically as opposed to literally. Again, not saying I support liberal theology, just pointing something out.
     
  11. GadFly

    GadFly Newbie

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    What we have here is a semantical difference in the use of "liberal theology"
    which did begin in the 18th. century with the separation of dogma of the Catholic Church. The individual began to assert his right to interpret the scriptures in place of the Church only. This independence made the person a liberal Christian. However, as you point out the liberal Christian still used the scriptures as his entomological foundation.

    The 18th. century definition has outlived its usefulness in modern day spiritual protestantism. In the thread on the Wesleyan sub forum called "What is Liberal Theology?" the source cited there defines liberal theology for today. In that definition, the theologian defines liberal Christianity as abandoning not only the Church as the main authority in doctrine but it abandon's the scriptures in favor of human reasoning. "
    1) The Bible is not “God-breathed” and has errors. Because of this belief, man (the liberal theologians) must determine which teachings are correct and which are not........
    2) The virgin birth of Christ is a mythological false teaching. This directly contradicts Isaiah 7:14 and Luke 2.
    3) Jesus did not rise again from the grave in bodily form. This contradicts the Resurrection accounts in all four gospels and the entire New Testament.
    4) Jesus was a good moral teacher, but His followers and their followers have taken liberties with the history of His life as recorded in Scripture (there were no “supernatural” miracles), with the gospels having been written many years later and merely ascribed to the early disciples in order to give greater weight to their teachings
    5) Hell is not real. Man is not lost in sin and is not doomed to some future judgment without a relationship with Christ through faith. Man can help himself; no sacrificial death by Christ is necessary since a loving God would not send people to such a place as hell and since man is not born in sin.
    6) Most of the human authors of the Bible are not as traditionally believed.
    7) The most important thing for man to do is to “love” his neighbor. What is the loving thing to do in any situation is not what the Bible says is good but what the liberal theologians decide is good.

    There are different ways to use the word liberal. For example, the Lord loves a liberal giver but that is not what we are talking about on this thread. There is an 18th. century definition of liberal and many other definitions of liberal but to confuse a liberal Christian for a secret Bible believing Christian is very different.
     
  12. GadFly

    GadFly Newbie

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    The point is, even if you think allegorically or not, if your conclusions are based on scripture, that keeps you away from being a liberal. What a liberal does today is to determine his Christianity through human reasoning rather than scriptures or at least scriptures are not primary.
     
  13. Sidheil

    Sidheil Senior Member

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    Oh, I think I see. If you start from reasoned out conclusions and interpret Scripture in light of them, that's liberal. If you start with Scripture and reason out conclusions from that, then you are not. Correct?
     
  14. tsr

    tsr Newbie

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    This is a little info on Augustine of Hippo
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Augustine was born in a Roman province and educated at Carthage. As a young man he became interested in philosophy, with little interest in Christianity until a religious experience in his early thirties. By 396 he had become bishop of Hippo, and his sermons and writings gained fame, notably his Confessions and the treatise City of God. His notions of God's grace, free will and Original Sin had a great influence on Christian theology. Best Known As
    Influential Christian thinker
     
  15. tsr

    tsr Newbie

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    I disagree with the statement liberal is the only reasoning process rather than scriptures. I also firmly belive conservative thinking is much the cause of the problems today. Conservative thinking is like putting blinders on yours eyes you can't see the entire picture. To my dismay many denominatrions take and twist the bible around to suite their needs and some take word for word without examining the whole picture. Liberal thinking when its used correctly opens your eyes to Gods Word.
     
  16. GadFly

    GadFly Newbie

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    Sarcasm does not clarify a definition. Nobody is devaluing a logical process; but to allow the mind of Christ to be in that process is a major difference in Christianity and a liberal religion, which is based on the interpersonal relationships of the world. The conclusions of Jesus Christ's reasoning is to be taken into the world or society. Even if it is socially embarrassing to teach Christian ethics, the Great Commission makes no excuses for us. Jesus said for us to be aware of the leaven of religious leaders. He stressed following the whole law and forbid others to teach otherwise. I make no excuse for using God as my premises for reasoning. If you know of a more absolute premise for arriving at conclusions, give it to us and suspense with the sarcasm, which does keep us from the truth.
     
  17. GadFly

    GadFly Newbie

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    We must be careful how we define our terms. We do not differ in anything my brother. What you view as conservative reasoning is not good reasoning at all. It would be more correct to call what you refer to as conservative reasoning as irrationality.

    Theologically liberal reasoning proceeds without God. Conservative reasoning proceeds with the premise that there is a God. People who call themselves conservative and those we label as right wing do make many blunders. But that is not what we are talking about when we talk about the danders of liberal theology. To be logically consistent, what this thread is saying is that it is dangerous to go forward without God.

    This thread is not a defense of right or left wing religious nuts. It is an attempt to put the word of God in the correct Christian perspective.
     
  18. GadFly

    GadFly Newbie

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    One more point, if I may. Using the definition given by the OP and his theological sources, it is not possible to use liberal thinking correctly and to open eyes to God's word. According to the definition of this thread, liberal and God are in opposition to each other. Otherwise, using another definition, I agree with you.
     
  19. Sidheil

    Sidheil Senior Member

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    Honestly, I intended no sarcasm. All rational thought processes need a viewpoint, a foundation. You can use Scripture as that foundation. Or, you can use a different foundation and look at Scripture in light of that. That's all I meant to say, no sarcasm..
     
  20. Amisk

    Amisk Senior Member

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    I would disagree with the thought that "liberal thinking when its used correctly opens your eyes to God Word".

    There is too many parts of liberal theology that completely contradicts the Scriptures. If you find yourself in disagreeing with any part of scripture then the entire Bible has to come into serious question.

    I find that the reason that most people like to question parts of the Bible is to cover up the sin in their own lives. The Bible was given to us to set a road map to Heaven and no place that I have read between its covers are we given the right to pick and choose the parts we want to accept and reject the parts that fits our theology.
     
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