What is a Liberal? A liberal is defined in many ways but the specific definition for what we are addressing is: “Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry. Favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded. Of, relating to, or characteristic of liberalism. 3. Not strict or literal; loose or approximate: a liberal translation. 4 …Obsolete. Morally unrestrained; licentious.n. 1. A person with liberal ideas or opinions” (American Heritage Dictionary)
Liberal or liberalism is often associated with a political party but it has been found in the church and today it has become a strong influence on peoples thinking that crosses denominational distinctions.
Here are some of the explanations that are carried by this word when used in this manner:
3. lacking moral restraint: licentious 4: not literal or strict: loose -a liberal translation 5: broad-minded; esp : not bound by authoritarianism, orthodoxy, or traditional forms 6 a: of, favoring, or based upon the principles of liberalism. A political philosophy based on belief in progress, the essential goodness of the human race, and the autonomy of the individual and standing for the protection of political and civil liberties” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
Applying this to a biblical composition instead of a political one: A liberal is one who is open to new ideas and practices outside biblical orthodoxy that is found in the Bible. They lack biblical parameters- they are not constrained by the boundaries of Bible doctrine. In liberalism the person’s individual choice is always right for them. It does not matter if the Bible instructs them in a different way, they determine what is true for themselves; what is correct is determined by their own feelings and concepts. There have always been liberals in the church that say sin is not that destructive. They tell their congregants that doctrine, truth are not as important as love.
Liberalism makes one open to other teachings outside the Bible for their spiritual life and instead ruins ones relationship with God.
How to recognize Liberalism and liberal teaching inside your church
A liberal will accept other religious practices (practices like yoga, meditation, mantras etc.)
A liberal does not see it necessary to witness to other religions or cults. They don’t believe they can say they are wrong because they think that the Bible is not absolute on these matters).
A liberal will teach that each God in the different cultures and religions is the same, only having different names.
A liberal will accept the idea of evolution and deny the Bibles account of the 6 days of physical creation calling it ages of unknown amounts of time.
A liberal will have some drastic reinterpretation of the main points in Scripture. For example, Liberal scholars often identify the rider of the white horse that is first among the 4 horses in the Book of Revelation as the Lord Jesus, pointing to his crown and the fact that he's a conqueror.
A liberal has a non- biblical theology and is often sides with Biblical criticism. They do not consider the Bible to be literal divine revelation. Many reject the Bibles claim of miracles (including the virgin birth and physical resurrection of Jesus from the dead), and any claims of miracles today. On the other side there are Charismatic Liberals that believe one can have all kinds of experiences outside the Bible parameters and allow for anything to be attributed to God.
A liberal allows services to become disorderly by laughter, shaking, convulsions, screaming (calling it a visitation from God). A liberal is open to teachings that are from revelations that are not in the Bible and go against the clear teaching in the word of God.
A liberal denies Jesus as the only way; he will accept Catholic ritualism; accept Islam as a valid religion, and allow for other ways to worship and be justified with God.
The liberal believes man is good by nature. The Biblical view is that man is sinful by nature but can do good.
Liberals are those who are willing to accept the idea of universal salvation. A liberal church teaches there is no longer sin, and everyone will [probably] be saved by Christ’s death on the cross. Most rejected the concept of an eternal hell.
It is the liberals that protect the false teachers among them (Acts 20:29) by telling others not to judge their teachings and to leave them alone to prosper.
A liberal will work toward ecumenism and inter-faith cooperation instead of upholding the church being separate from other religious influences.
A liberal will place a high value on social justice in the world and see this as equal or even more important then the gospel. There are many so called Jewish outreaches that refuse to give the gospel to the Jews but will help them to come to Israel.
An example of a Liberal group that call itself Christian is the Jesus Seminar. They concluded Jesus did not rise bodily from the dead. The scholars also agreed that there probably was no tomb and that Jesus' body probably was disposed of by his executioners, not his followers. They are featured in the Tabloids every Christmas to bring doubt to those who may consider Jesus at this one time of year.
They will present Jesus without the cross so that sinners won’t be offended (or saved). There are two fronts of which it is especially perilous. The “progressive Christian liberal movement” in the church borrows ideas from other philosophies uses other religious practices, this synthesizing is probably the most dangerous we face today. It may be popular in the world to be liberal and tolerant but it is not how Jesus asks believers to live. Ignoring that Jesus said that the way is narrow (Mt.7:14), that He alone is the way (Jn.14:6).
Second- they avoid judging on issues and would rather use an excuse of letting God be the judge on teaching (that he tells us to judge) than have a Biblical stance and protect the sheep from harm.
These are just a few examples of liberalism in the church and the world. Once we understand what they are about we can identify it as simply a departure from the clear teaching of the word of God and replacing it with mans opinions.
Liberalism has the church in its clutches. Liberals are more concerned with appearances; their image and their reputation than actually caring for people and the truth; they care more about their own feelings than others, feeling good about self.
They are not listening to content but delivery- style over substance. We see this in politics and it is certainly true in the Church. Liberals are impressed with outward images, oratory skills and showmanship. A mature discerning believer is more concerned with content, truth and upholding the integrity of the gospel.