Wisdom shouts in the street, she lifts her voice in the square; At the head of the noisy streets she cries out; At the entrance of the gates in the city she utters her sayings: “How long, O naïve ones, will you love being simple-minded? And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing and fools hate knowledge? “Turn to my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you. “Because I called and you refused, I stretched out my hand and no one paid attention; And you neglected all my counsel and did not want my reproof; I will also laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your dread comes, When your dread comes like a storm and your calamity comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you. “Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me, because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord. “They will not accept my counsel; they spurned my reproof. “So they shall eat of the fruit of their own way and be satiated with their own devices. “For the waywardness of the naïve will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them. “But he who listens to me shall live securely and will be at ease from the dread of evil.”Proverbs 1:20-33
God Is Great, Good, And Holy
Have you ever stopped to consider how wondrous—miraculous—it is that our Lord of unlimited power is a God of love, truth, light, order, justice, and life for those who believe in Him?[i] He does not command death nor terror to evangelize unbelievers nor to bind followers. He sees both men and women as equals. He disapproves of oppression and slavery in all its forms. He is patient in order that even those who have lost their way might have time to find salvation through Him (2 Peter 3:9). He does not encourage laziness nor sloth but wants everyone to enjoy life productively.[ii]
Our one true God is great, good, and supremely holy (Isaiah 45:5; Leviticus 19:2). He is a God of light standing resolutely against the darkness of evil wherever it is found.[iii] He causes “all things to work together for good to those who love Him and who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). He calls upon us to confront our sins and make the attempt to overcome them in our quest to become more Christlike with the assurance that when we stumble or fail, He will lift us to our feet again through the power of the Holy Spirit by virtue of our faith in Jesus Christ. In contrast, Satan sows in his wake the discord of the world— hatred, falsehood, confusion, chaos, darkness, and death as is witnessed by the endless enmities fomented across the centuries by the world’s many false philosophies, creeds, and religions. Satan calls upon us to discount the harm of sin and embrace the ways of the world by entering through the wide easy gate “that leads to destruction” (Matthew 7:13-14; See also, Luke 13:24).
The Bible is in many respects the story of God’s stand against evil and how evil will ultimately be utterly defeated through Jesus Christ at the end of the Age. The Bible walks us through the trials and tribulations of the human story and God’s unfolding plan for the redemption of mankind. Its pages mark the path that will eventually take us through the very gates of heaven and into eternal life as believers in Jesus Christ. God calls to us through the voice of Lady Wisdom, “But he who listens to me shall live securely and will be at ease from the dread of evil” (Proverbs 1:33). Where better to seek the wisdom of God than in the pages of His Holy Scriptures?
The Pages of the Bible Reveal the True God, the Authentic Jesus Christ, and the Real Holy Spirit
No one has ever seen God. We can only know what God has chosen to reveal about Himself. One can know something of God through the beauty of His creation (Romans 1:20), but this knowledge can take mankind only part way into a relationship with God. For this reason, God clarified His expectations for human life within His will through direct revelation found only in His Holy Scriptures—the Old and New Testaments.[iv] The worship of Jesus Christ on the part of a sincere believer is thus derived from the revealed knowledge contained only in the Holy Scriptures. The quest to meet and understand God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and heroes like Moses, Elijah, and the Apostles Peter and Paul begins in the pages of the Old and New Testaments. The most accurate eye-witness account of the earthly life of Jesus, His crucifixion, His resurrection, and the flowering of Christianity in the first century can be found nowhere else but the Bible.
Jesus, His Apostles (including Paul), the patriarchs, Moses, and the prophets have long been in heaven. Their words would have long ago been lost or twisted by false teachers had not God provided mankind with the Bible. After ascending to heaven, Jesus sent believers the Holy Spirit— one of whose jobs is to urge us to read the Bible. The Holy Spirit inspired the forty individuals who penned the Old and New Testaments over a period of approximately sixteen hundred years pursuant to His promptings. As one third of the triune Godhead, the Holy Spirit never contradicts God the Father, Jesus Christ, or Himself. He brings us into a deeper understanding of what the Bible really says and what it means to be an authentic Christian living under the lordship of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit inspired the New Testament to bring to our remembrance the ways and teachings of Jesus Christ.
The Bible Was the Source Most Cited by the Founding Fathers of Our Nation
The Bible is the most consequential book ever written and everything that is positive and good in Western civilization rests squarely upon its foundations. The Bible is the source most often cited in the documents of our Founding Fathers.[v] The cultural stability and success for which Western civilization has been acclaimed has always been rooted in the moral imperatives and voluntary self-discipline of its traditional, orthodox Judeo-Christian heritage. As noted in The Beginning of Wisdom, the Judeo-Christian values, ethics, morality, faith, and voluntary self-discipline derived from God’s Holy Scriptures cannot be discarded without fatally compromising the peace, security, freedom, tolerance, and opportunity for which Western civilization is famous.[vi] The truth of this statement has already been aptly demonstrated by the chaos of the last few years.
Billy Graham called the Bible “the constitution of Christianity.”[vii] Graham noted that, “True Christianity finds all of its doctrines in the Bible; true Christianity does not deny any part of the Bible; true Christianity does not add anything to the Bible.”[viii] Jesus Christ accepted the Old Testament as authoritative and quoted from twenty-two Old Testament books including references to people and events scorned by liberal critics of the Bible such as: the story of Lot’s wife, the flood of Noah, manna, Jonah being swallowed by a great fish, the bronze snake, and the Queen of Sheba’s visit to King Solomon.[ix] Even though Jesus (who was present in His preincarnate form at the Creation) accepted the accounts in the Old Testament as reliable and true, many modern theologians disdain the Old Testament and many pastors rarely preach its timeless messages.
The New Testament was completed by AD 100 and may have been complete before the destruction of the Jewish temple in AD 70 by the Romans. This means that even if one accepts a completion date of AD 100, it would have been finished within at most seventy years of the time of Jesus by individuals who had either known Jesus or His original disciples. Therefore, it is based upon eye-witness testimony.[x] The existence of Jesus Christ was also documented by non-Christian sources such as Josephus and Tacitus. Josephus even references the reports of post-crucifixion appearances and the claim that Jesus was the Messiah. In the New Testament while Jesus does teach of heaven, love, forgiveness, mercy, and salvation through His name, He also teaches about Satan, Hell, obedience, and the need for repentance. And yet, the complete portrait of Jesus as actually described in the New Testament and the teachings of the Apostle Paul are often neglected in the pulpits of many liberal churches.
God’s Truth is Not Relative, but Absolute. God Does Not Change.
The Bible is a book of moral standards and imperatives. It has always been hated by those who chafe at its exclusivity and accountability. British theologian and pastor, Brian Edwards has noted:
No book has ever been written that maintains such a consistently high standard of morality over such a long period of time. It is what it claims to be, the reliable, inerrant revelation of God whose message is demanding. Its message must be destroyed or obeyed.[xi]
The Bible is still relevant, reliable, and utterly true. It is God’s guidebook for life as He intended—a life that glorifies God and leads to eternal life in the kingdom of heaven for those who believe and obey (1 John 2:3-4; John 14:15,21,23). God’s truth is not relative but eternal just as He is eternal. His moral and ethical commandments were fixed from the moment He proclaimed them and do not change over time to accommodate the declining morals of a given generation.[xii] God does not change.[xiii] He is eternal, everlasting, and exists outside the realms of time and space as we know them.
God Does Not Contradict Himself in the Name of Love
As just noted, the Bible is a book of high moral standards. In modern times it is often forgotten that it is God who defines truth, sin, justice, and the rules for life within His will—it is God’s will that defines, not mankind’s (See, Romans 9:20-23). God’s definition of love never involves parley, compromise, appeasement, or surrender to the forces of evil which seek to undermine the truth of the Scriptures and the ancient teachings of the traditional, orthodox Christian church. God would not be loving if He permitted violations of His moral law to go unpunished. Justice and accountability are aspects of His love which bring balance to His creation.
Biblical love always seeks the highest good for us as it looks forward to eternal life in the pure and holy realm of God’s heaven. The love constantly parroted by liberal theologians and pastors seeks earthly satisfaction in line with current cultural trends. This secular or earthly love often makes accommodation for sin claiming that God is simply wrong or has made mistakes. Sin is then left undealt with thus threatening the hope of eternal life. William Barclay wrote that the Apostle John stressed “the necessity of obedience, the only proof of love.” He further noted that, “it is to the man who keeps his commandments that Christ reveals himself.” Hence, according to Barclay’s analysis, for the Apostle John, “Fellowship with God and the revelation of God are dependent on love; and love is dependent on obedience.[xiv] “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3). God will not deny nor contradict Himself nor the mandates of His Holy Word in the name of love. Those who renounce the salvation and mercy offered through Jesus Christ, and those who depart from the commandments of His moral law without turning and repentance will be judged. This creates the situation identified by Brian Edwards that so frustrates the modern theological liberal—the Bible must be “destroyed or obeyed.”
Today, many progressively liberal theologians, ministers, and congregations have decided that, although destroying the Bible may not be practical at the present time, they can at least hide it under the pews, twist its words, subtract verses with which they disagree, or even add new ones to accomplish the progressive agenda. Yet, when one rejects or discards portions of God’s Holy Word one is in effect rejecting any sort of sincere effort to discover God’s true nature and His desires for life within His will. The progressive path leading through the wide easy gate (Matthew 7:13) becomes a religion of mankind’s will and carnal desires rather than God’s will and desires. It makes Christianity into a religion of me, myself, and I rather than the only true religion that seeks fellowship with God through the truth of God’s divine revelations as documented and preserved in the Bible. Such false teaching or progressive revision may include: a disrespect for the Bible as divinely inspired; a permissive stance with respect to virtually all sexual sins including the LGBQT movement; a tolerance of abortion; a preference for social justice rather than biblical justice, and collective salvation rather than individual salvation. These revisions require altering the biblical message preached for centuries and often condoning practices forbidden across both the Old and New Testaments.
There were false teachers active even in the time of the Apostle Paul and he defiantly stated: “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed” (Galatians 1:8). In our time, Franklin Graham states that Paul’s first century warning applies to those promoting progressive Christianity today which is “not a gospel at all” because it “denies the divinely inspired, authoritative truth of the Bible as it intersects every facet of living.”[xv] For Graham, “the real, ultimate danger is that progressive Christianity can send a person to hell.”[xvi]
Undermined From Within—The Fifth Column in the Church
Charles Spurgeon the great minister once said, “None have hurt thee, O, Christianity, so much as those who profess to be thy followers.” Over the past one hundred-fifty years Christianity has suffered more harm from its own liberal theologians and pastors than all of the pagans, communists, atheists, and agnostics put together. These quislings have secretly gone into the service of the Enemy (some perhaps without even realizing it) even as they continue to receive their paychecks from the very congregations that they now betray with their false teaching. Like termites, the liberal clergy subtly undermine the frame and structure of the Christian faith from within with their unbelief, scoffing, misdirection, and false teaching. They have perfected a form of godliness, while effectively denying God’s majesty and power (See, 2 Timothy 3:1-5). Many denominations and churches have eventually discovered, when their house has finally been brought down, that the heart of their church has been devoured from within by these smiling, subtle, often eloquent, internal saboteurs. Perhaps few of these individuals started out intending to become servants of the Enemy, but that is often where taking the wide, easy path of least resistance takes one. They slowly bind themselves to the darkness by a thousand acts of capitulation great and small wherein they fail to stand firm for God’s Word.
The erroneous counsel of these false teachers has left many on the road to eternal separation from God, feeling no need to turn from their sins nor to repent. This willful misleading of their flock is a grievous sin. These words may seem harsh, but the consequences are potentially damning for all concerned. The messages preached each Sunday from the pulpit do have consequences both for good and for evil. The joys of heaven and the perils of hell often hang upon the beliefs and biblical interpretations pressed upon the congregation from the pulpit.
Often many of these false teachers may have started out as faithful servants of the Lord only to be deceived by false professors in seminary, or some of the great reprobate philosophers. Others were broken by the pressure of wealthy donors or powerful board members who want their children or other loved ones absolved of their sins. Sometimes church leadership simply pressures the minister to become more politically correct and come more in line with the moral values of current culture or lose his or her job. Others may have strayed due to the hard cases of life with which they have to deal as pastors in this fallen world. It is not easy to be a faithful Christian minister. Blessed are those who actually turn out to be the man or woman they hoped they would be when confronted by the temptations and rigors of life.
Everything in our culture seems to be pulling away from the truth and values of the Judeo-Christian faith. It has always been this way since the time of the original Apostles. It is for this reason that James warned, “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that such as we will incur a stricter judgment” (James 3:1). And yet, against all the odds and persecution far worse than we face today, the early church fathers persevered and passed down to us the authentic Gospel. Today, even the minister or theologian who has strayed from God’s truth can still repent and return to the flock of the true Jesus for Jesus Christ rejoices over a lost sheep or a prodigal son who has returned to His grace (Luke 15:4-7, 11-32). The services of Christ’s prodigal sons and daughters who have truly returned to God’s light are much needed on today’s spiritual battlefield.
There Is No Biblical Basis for the Liberal Theory of Evolving Scripture
To sidestep existing Scripture, the liberal, progressive revisionist often claims to be led by the Holy Spirit into new knowledge that corrects God’s mistakes and supersedes the original scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. This new knowledge is called evolving scripture. Under evolving scripture, the Old and New Testaments would thus be constantly changed to be more in line with current moral and social trends in our modern secular society. There is, however, no scriptural basis for the liberal notion of evolving scripture.[xvii] Nowhere in the Bible did God provide provisions for the Bible’s ongoing amendment. The Holy Spirit inspired the forty individuals who penned the Old and New Testaments pursuant to His promptings. As one third of the triune Godhead, the Holy Spirit never contradicts God the Father, Jesus Christ, nor Himself and He does not reveal new truths.[xviii]
The Holy Spirit never authorizes nor condones unholy things. He does not adapt nor change God’s moral laws based upon what humanity’s latest poll says about God’s popularity. He brings us into a deeper understanding of what the Bible really says and what it means to be an authentic Christian living under the lordship of Jesus Christ. The canon of the Old and New Testaments is closed.[xix] When the theology, advice, or policy taught by false teachers subtracts from, adds to, or contradicts God’s Word as revealed in the Bible, it can never be inspired by the Holy Spirit, Jesus, or God the Father. Perhaps Charles Haddon Spurgeon said this best when he noted:
I have heard many fanatical persons say the Holy Spirit revealed this and that to them. Now, that is very generally revealed nonsense. The Holy Ghost does not reveal anything fresh now. He brings old things to our remembrance. ‘He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have told you.’ The canon of revelation is closed, there is no more to be added; God does not give fresh revelation but rivets the old one.[xx]
But what would Jesus think of evolving scripture? We know that Jesus roundly chastised the Pharisees and scribes in Mark 7:6-9 for similar behavior:
And He said to them, “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me. But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’ “Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.” He was also saying to them, “You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition.”
Jesus also noted that “the Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35) and went on to say:
Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill…. not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever the annuls one of the lease commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:17-19; Luke 16:17)
Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ “Ans then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’ (Matthew 7:21-23; Luke 13:24-28)
The easy-going, ever tolerant, milquetoast Jesus who has been reimagined by the left-wing clergy is not the Jesus of the Bible as they will one day discover. The Jesus they reimagine would be little more than the tollkeeper at the wide and easy gate that leads to eternal destruction (Matthew 7:13-14). The real Jesus sternly warned us to, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves” (Matthew 7:15). He knew that the ravenous wolves of which He spoke would seek to devour nothing less than human souls. When the ancient Israelites were likewise slipping into apostasy, God said through the Prophet Jeremiah: “An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land: the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule on their own authority; and My people love it so!” (Jeremiah 5: 30-31). The liberal notion of evolving scripture has been as destructive to Christ’s church as the liberal notion of an evolving constitution has been to our nation.
The Holy Spirit Never Condones Unholy Things
Jesus last commandment was that we “make disciples of all nations” and “teach them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20). This sacred charge by Jesus has been honored for two thousand years across almost all denominations but is now being changed by liberal theologians and ministers from a command that the church evangelize the world with God’s absolute truth to one wherein they evangelize the church with the world’s constantly changing notions of both truth and morality. Christians are meant to overcome the world—not join it (1 John 5:4; Rev. 21: 7-8). A truth that is not absolute is no truth at all. Many liberal theologians and pastors have thus become evangelists toiling to convert the Judeo-Christian church to the ways of the world rather than the world to the ways of the Judeo-Christian faith.
It is not the Holy Spirit who whispers into the ears of liberal ministers and theologians telling them to abandon, in the name of love, the scriptural prohibitions that constitute God’s moral law such as those against “fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, effeminates, homosexuals, thieves, the covetous, drunkards, revilers, and swindlers” (See, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10). As noted before, the Holy Spirit never authorizes or condones unholy things. In fact, the Bible instructs us “not to believe every spirit, but to test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1; See also, 1 Timothy 4:1)). Tips on how to discern legitimate promptings of the Holy Spirit versus false teaching can be found in The Beginning of Wisdom.
The Bible is the “God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16-17) inerrant revelation for God’s will on earth. It is God’s blueprint for learning about God and His rules both for life within His will, but also for salvation and mercy through His Son, Jesus Christ. His moral commandments and laws are a template for the type of people God would like us to be. The impossibility of anyone ever fulfilling such exacting standards is meant to bring us to the end of ourselves and awaken a realization that our only path to salvation is through Jesus Christ. Once saved through faith in Jesus Christ the Christian is free to honor God’s moral law out of love and gratitude without the crippling fear of failure. Such revelations are not intuitive. We would not know nor understand them without the insight and knowledge provided by the Bible
The Bible is the most important book in the history of the world. Those who claim that it is no longer essential or simply a nonbinding guide are guilty of gross and prideful heresy. When we reject, discard, or say that the Bible is no longer essential, we are in effect spurning the opportunity to discover God’s true nature and requirements for fellowship with Him. The progressively liberal theologians and ministers will often attempt to prove that the Bible is not essential by saying that a Christian will still be a Christian even if his or her Bible and church were to be burned. This is a trite, disingenuous, unworthy argument. If one is a true, orthodox, traditional Christian, his or her Christianity was taught to them by someone who had read and understood the Bible even if they themselves could not read. One could never have been a Christian in the first place without the revelations contained in the Bible.
Today, it seems that much of the mainstream American church is dancing openly and defiantly with the devil in the noonday sun, while much of its membership taps its foot absentmindedly to the tune of the fiddle. Charles Surgeon once famously observed that there was enough dust on most peoples’ Bibles that they could write “damnation” with their fingers.[xxi] These are the prairie dog dwellers of the pews who pop up on Sunday mornings to see and be seen, but generally do not take a deep interest in the theology and governance of their churches. As the Apostle Paul noted, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). Spurgeon once observed that people “cannot believe what [they] do not know.”
A basic knowledge of the content of God’s Holy Word (The Bible) is the best defense we have against false teaching, heresies, and rank apostasies such as those described above and constantly preached from many liberal pulpits. The progressive liberals and socialists have highjacked much of the mainstream church throughout the United States and the other countries of the West because most people in the pews have virtually no idea what the Bible really says. In fact, the audacity of the progressive liberalism of many modern seminaries and pulpits both assumes and is predicated upon the biblical ignorance of the average person. No one who has read the Bible is apt to readily believe the heresies, apostasies, and blatantly false teaching that is often preached from progressive pulpits. This is the real reason we are often told the Bible is no longer essential. This is why the Bible is often tucked away beneath the pew or taken out of the pews altogether. The traditional Christian minister will urge his congregation to take out their Bibles and read along with him. The progressive minister rarely gives this invitation because a progressive sermon can rarely stand the test of Scripture.
Many People in The Pews Are Spiritual Innocents Who Must Open Their Eyes
The people in the pews are not bad people for the most part. They are often spiritual innocents who long to hear the truth of the Gospel and know that they are saved. Most would shun the false teaching of modern theological liberalism with a shudder if they had the biblical knowledge to recognize it. It rarely occurs to them that something other than God’s truth could be preached from the pulpit and taught in the Sunday school of the church they have loved. In most cases these spiritual innocents have failed to realize that the traditional, orthodox Judeo-Christian church in America, and virtually every other country in the West, is in a spiritual war with progressively liberal forces that are eager to reevaluate, reject, or alter God’s Word as preached for over two thousand years. The Apostle Paul famously urged the people of the pews in his day to:
Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His Might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness. (Ephesians 6:10-14)
In Romans 16:17-18 Paul issues another warning:
Now I urge you brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.
The Apostle Paul, thus, warns us to keep an eye those who cause dissensions “contrary to the teachings we have learned.” The progressives in the liberal pulpits often accuse traditional Christians, who attempt to stand firm for Scripture and God’s moral law, of causing trouble and dissension, but it is the progressive liberals with their revision and amendment of God’s Word that have caused the great falling away from many of America’s denominations and mainstream churches (1 Timothy 4:1). We know that the advocates of progressively liberal, non-biblical theology have split churches and denominations that managed to survive the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and the Great Depression. Jesus cautioned us that a “tree is known by its fruit” (Matthew 12:33; Luke 6:43). For, “The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his treasure what is evil” (Matthew 12:35; Luke 6:45).
The people in the pews are, however, the people who by their acquiescence, scriptural ignorance, and inattention empower and support the false shepherds and the wolves in sheep’s clothing who have soiled Christ’s church with the godless and utterly false hope of progressively liberal theology, social justice, and collective salvation. As noted in The Beginning of Wisdom, “we each have a personal fiduciary responsibility for the fate of our faith, our nation, and the culture in which we live.” Edmund Burke taught us that “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”[xxii]
It is incumbent upon each of us to do the good within our power as the opportunity presents itself or the opportunity may be lost forever. If one knows the right thing to do and remains silent, it is accounted to them as sin (James 4:17). The people of good faith in the pews can return their churches to the Jesus Christ described in the Bible if they are willing. It is time for the people in the pews to ask themselves if their tithes, offerings, and donations are being applied to win souls and advance the kingdom of Jesus Christ or are their contributions being used to fuel a church in full revolt against the God of the Bible.
Symptoms of a Progressively Liberal Church
Do you find yourself confused as to whether the person in your church’s pulpit is an ambassador for Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God or an ambassador for the up-and-coming forces of the antichrist? Is the leadership of your church or denomination substituting its own definitions of morality and ethical behavior for those mandated by God in the Bible? Does the leadership flatly contradict Scripture with respect to liberal issues such as sexual sin including adultery, homosexuality, and gender-binding? Do sermons sometimes appear to be a replay of the temptation of Eve in the Garden of Eden where the serpent urges Eve to substitute her definition of right versus wrong for God’s?[xxiii]
Godly pastors preach through the entire Bible on an ongoing basis including both the Old Testament and the Letters of the Apostle Paul in order to educate their flock on the contents of the entire Bible and demonstrate how the whole Bible slowly over time unveils God’s plan for the salvation of mankind. Does your church do this or does the pastor simply preach the passages that he or she feels is compatible with the new liberal narrative? Is your church leadership denigrating God and the Bible with a tone of superiority, celebrating the LGBQT agenda, stating that it is time for an all-knowing liberal clergy to clean up the many mistakes in God’s Word, and ridiculing those who seek to a return to a ministry grounded in the absolute truths of God’s moral law? Does it appear that your denomination or church has ceased “to stand under the lordship of Christ in any meaningful sense”?[xxiv]
Are young families with small children fleeing your church? Did the church jump at the chance to stay closed throughout the extended pandemic period even after it became apparent that many churches were safely able to resume their ministries to meet the great and very real spiritual needs of the time? Is attendance declining as traditional members leave in search of a church that adheres to the teachings of the Bible? If so, it is time to “contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints” (Jude 1:3). If there is no hope for reform in such a church, then it is time for faithful Christians to leave and find a church that still actively preaches the Bible and espouses traditional Judeo-Christian values. Do not give your time and treasure to a church whose congregation “will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, [they] will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires” (2 Timothy 4:3).
Once a denomination, minister, or priest departs from God’s Holy Word (the Bible), denigrates God, and attempts to lead one down a different path of their own making, they have lost the spiritual authority of their calling and office. As we have noted before, Christianity is more than a historic building, a talented choir, and a lovely graveyard. Our allegiance is to Jesus Christ and no other. The quest to return our nation to its Judeo-Christian roots must begin with returning our churches to Jesus Christ and the eternal truth of God’s Word. Yes, the Bible is essential and in these dark times we should go down on our knees and thank God for preserving the Bible across the centuries that we might study it today.
Arise! Return to The God in the Pages of the Bible
As many have noted, a great revival of traditional orthodox Christianity is desperately needed if God’s blessings are not to be lost to us forever. Upon this depends the survival of our culture of unique freedoms and responsibilities. Perhaps an excellent place to start would be a return to the Reformation doctrine of Sola Scriptura which affirms that Scripture (the Bible) has precedence over church traditions and interpretations. The senior pastor of Cornerstone Chapel, Gary Hamrick, often notes that the best commentary on the Bible is the Bible. Sola Scriptura is the creed for which the Reformation saints died and which British theologian, Brain Edwards, summarizes as: “Scripture alone for authority; Christ alone for salvation; and Faith alone as the path to receive salvation.”[xxv] As John Wesley famously proclaimed, “In all cases, the Church is to be judged by the Scripture, and not the Scripture by the Church.”
This does not sound all that complicated at a time when the enemies of the Jesus Christ described in the Bible often try to make Christianity sound almost too difficult for the average person to grasp without their all-knowing guidance. A return to the doctrine upon which the Protestant Reformation was grounded might just get Western civilization out of the gutter and back on the track intended by God. We can no longer choose to trust people who criticize God and scorn the Bible. It is time to believe the Word of God that stretches back more than three thousand years to that far distant “time whereof the memory of man runneth not to the contrary.” “Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).
The choice is ours, but the hour is late. In recent decades far too many Christians have become salt that has lost its taste. The true Christian, like good salt, affirms and preserves that which is good (Matthew 5:13). We are to be the light in a dark world (Matthew 5:14). We are to “let our light shine before men in such a way that they will see our good works and glorify God” (Matthew 5:16). Arise! Return to the God that awaits you in the pages of His Holy Bible! “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me” (Revelation 3:20).
[i] Love: 1 John 4:7-8, 16; John 15:9; Truth: James 1:18; John 1:14,17; John 17:17; Psalm 119:160; Light: John 8:12; 9:5; 12:46, 1 John 1:1-7; Acts 13:47; Order: 1 Corinthians 14:33; Justice: Psalm 89:14; Psalm 11:7; Isaiah 5:16; Psalm 10:14-18; Deuteronomy 32:4; Micah 6:8; Luke 11:42; 18:7-8; Life: John 14:6.
[ii] Proverbs 6:6-1; 14:23; 18:9; Matthew 25:14-30, Colossians 3:23-24; 2 Thessalonians 3:10.
[iii] 1 John 1:5; Habakkuk 1: 13; 3:4; Proverbs 6:16-19; 8:13; Psalm 11:5; 5:4-5; Zechariah 8:17; Isaiah 61:8; See also, Hebrews 6:4-8;10:26-31; Matthew 13:19-23.
[iv] See, 1 W. Blackstone, Commentaries, sec. 2, “Of the Nature of Laws in General,” 39-43.
[v] David Barton, America’s Godly Heritage, 3rd ed. (Aledo, TX: Wallbuilders Press, 2007), p. 23.
[vi] Dennis R. Ayers, The Beginning of Wisdom, rev. ed. (Little Elm, TX: eLectio Publishing, LLC, 2021 ),76, 265.
[vii] William Franklin “Billy” Graham, Jr (November 7, 1918—February 21, 2018): Billy Graham was one of history’s most prolific and successful Christian evangelists and authors. He established a worldwide Christian ministry, authored books illuminating the Christian faith, and was noted for his televised Billy Graham crusades.
[viii] Billy Graham, “The Bible Our Highest Authority,” Decision The Evangelical Voice for Today, Vol. 63, No. 2 (February 2022):17.
[ix] See, Henrietta C. Mears, What the Bible Is All About, (Minneapolis, Minnesota: World Wide Publications (Published for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association) 1966 ), 12.
[x] Richard Bauckham, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony, (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2006), p. 7.
[xi] Brian H. Edwards, Scripture Under Scrutiny (DVD) (Hebron, Kentucky: Answers in Genesis-USA, 2008).
[xii] Proverbs 30:5-6; Matthew 5:18-19; Luke 16:17; Psalm 19:7; Psalm 119:160; Psalm 119:105; 2 Samuel 22:31.
[xiii] Hebrews 13:8; Malachi 3:6; Isaiah 40:8; 46:9-10
[xiv] William Barclay, The Gospel of John, rev. ed. (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1975) vol. 2, p.169.
[xv] Franklin Graham, “The Eternal Peril of Progressive Christianity,” Decision The Evangelical Voice for TodayVol. 63,No. 5 (February 2022): 07.
[xvii] Deut. 4:2; 12:32; Josh. 1:7-8; Is. 40:8; Prov. 13:13; 30:5-6; Psalm 119:160; Matt. 5: 19; John 10:35; 1 Cor. 4:6; Gal. 1:8-9; 2 Pet. 1:20-21; 2 Tim.3:16-17; Titus 1:9-11; Rev. 22:18-19.
[xviii] Mounce, Robert H. “John.” In Luke-Acts. Vol. 10 of The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, 569, 589; Kieffer, René, “John.” The Oxford Bible Commentary, edited by John Barton and John Muddiman, p. 990. (Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 2001); Kevin L. DeYoung, The Holy Spirit, ed. D. A. Carson and Timothy Keller (Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway, 2011), 17; Billy Graham, The Holy Spirit, Activating God’s Power in Your Life (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, 1998), 171, 222; See also, Charles F. Stanley, The Spirit-Filled Life (Nashville, Tennessee: Nelson Books, 1995, 2014), 236-240; Michael Youssef, Saving Christianity (Carol Stream, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers (Tyndale Momentum), 2020),170.
[xix] Henrietta C. Mears, What the Bible is All About, rev. ed.(Carol Stream, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2016 ), 21; Graham, The Holy Spirit, 171.
[xx] Charles Haddon Spurgeon, “The Comforter,” in Spurgeon’s Sermons (Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers Marketing, LLC,2019 ), 1: 79.
[xxi] Ibid, “The Bible,” 1:32.
[xxii] Russell Kirk, Edmund Burke, A Genius Reconsidered, (Wilmington, Delaware: Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 1997), 204.
[xxiii] Genesis 3: 1-5: “Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Similarly, the liberal pulpit often teaches that if the congregation will substitute liberal, progressive theology for the Word of God, the congregation’s “eyes will be opened” and they will discover that many things God declared evil are in fact good and things God declared good are in fact evil (See, Isaiah 5:20-21).
[xxiv] Robert A. J. Gagnon, The Bible and Homosexual Practice, Texts and Hermeneutics (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2001), 490.
[xxv] Brian H. Edwards, The Life of William Tyndale (DVD) (Hebron, Kentucky: Answers in Genesis-USA, 2008).