The Liberalism sweeping through Evangelicalism did not spring up overnight.
Its spread started when the Evangelical movement first formed in the early 1900s. When Evangelicals made their break from the things within Fundamentalism that they didn’t want to be associated with.
They thought that their doctrinal faith and practice would remain solid as they began to dabble in relationships with the apostasy of the mainline denominations. They thought they could remain pure even while disobeying the biblical command to remain separate from error.
They thought that Infiltration into the mainlines would work. Instead of the Separation that the scriptures commanded.
But the spiritual compromise and the social/political Liberalism of those denominations had its corrupting effect on Evangelicals. It’s inevitable and predictable effect.
Evangelicalism did not change the mainlines. The mainlines corrupted Evangelicalism.
And now, we see the fruit of those mainline associations as Liberal/Progressive beliefs are increasingly accepted within Evangelicalism.
The Not-so-Hidden Agendas
Leaders like Tim Keller are leading the church away from is Conservative moorings. They are doing this specifically. They are doing this with full intent.
And, they are moving us toward (again, with full intent) both support of and cooperation with Progressive/Liberal activism.
Activism which is now called, social engagement.
These leaders promise a more kind and thoughtful type of Christianity. And a more loving and tolerant gospel. One that is not isolationist like the evil, nasty, Fundamental Pharisees. (Place a sarcastic emoji here.)
Too bad it’s not the gospel of the scriptures.
The Mainline Gospel of Good Works
Maybe it’s because my own mainline background just makes all this painfully obvious to me.
Where many in Evangelicalism see nothing to be alarmed about, I see things happening that send up red flags all over the field.
Back when I was within United Methodism, I was very involved in the ministries and thinking of people just like Tim Keller. Working with the nursing homes, the Children’s homes, the Inner-City ministries, the Urban Reconciliation programs, and the total social engagement that was popular back in the 60s and 70s.
This was what the mainline churches do. This is how they keep busy.
If you don’t believe the literal gospel, you have to put something in its place.
So, enter good works. Enter love. The Great Substitutes.
Because the mainlines denominations do not, as a rule, believe the biblical gospel. They deny the literal interpretation of scripture, and they deny that a person must be born again. Salvation to them is generally a combination of love, good works and some religious rituals. And even then all that is fuzzy.
They just believe God is a loving God who will take all things into consideration. Weighing the good works with the bad. And looking more to a man’s heart. Whether he is loving or not.
And, even then, only casting someone into Hell if they were terribly bad. If even then.
And then, there are some folks, like Jimmy Carter, who say they are born again. But who deny the literal inerrancy of scripture. (Check out his autobiography if you want to see this in his own words.)
These folks are deeply involved in the Liberal social/ political world. And, if my memory serves me right. Jimmy is a Southern Baptist.
So the label, Baptist, really doesn’t mean anything. Most of these big denominations have gone into unbelief. Regardless of the born-again lingo they use.
These days, one must listen carefully to what a man says; and to what he does not say. To determine if he is truly saved or not. Or at least to determine if he truly believes in a gospel that saves through faith alone.
As opposed to a gospel of good works.
So then, what gospel do you believe?
Is it based upon the specific words of scripture. Do you believe the truth and inerrancy of those words?
Or, are you leaning more toward putting something else First in the gospel- requirement list?
Do you believe a gospel of good works is more important to God than faith in His words? Is a person’s demonstration of love or acts of love in his life more important than what one believes in his soul?
Such as the doctrine one believes?
Be careful how you answer that question.
Because that is the same crossroads where the Evangelical church stands right now.
Playing with Fire
Evangelicalism is once again playing around with another gospel.
It is denigrating doctrine in preference to good works; pushing social engagement with the culture, cooperation with other religious groups to do good deeds, and placing “love” above truth.
It is emphasizing the story of Jesus and living the life of Jesus rather than the specific doctrinal truths of God’s word; and of keeping and defending His words.
It is downplaying truth so that the compromise can take place. It is removing the barriers that God’s word places against dialoguing and associating with false religious leaders and groups.
Back Under the Law
And it is placing people back under the Law. Because, we are either saved by faith alone, in Christ alone, according to His word alone.
We are back trusting in our own good works. Our own social works. Our own works of love. We will always fall short in the love department. Trusting in good works of any kind places us back under the Law. Trusting in dead works.
Do you remember how love is called, the Royal Law? That is because it is key to the Law. But we are no more able to fulfill that law of love than any other of the commandments.
There is no mixing of the two. The Law will always condemn us.
The gospel, however, if it is the gospel according to Truth, saves us.
So, what is it that saved you? By what method and means were you saved? How were your sins forgiven?
Which gospel are you following?
What are you trusting for the salvation of your soul?
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