Roy E. Cogdill
Houston, Texas

Real liberalism is a denial of the existence of God, or a denial that God is the God of the Bible. Real liberalism is the denial of the inspiration and authority of the Bible. It becomes a book in which there are many errors and in which certain portions are simply mans opinions. It is a questioning of the authority of the statements of the Scriptures. Liberalism is the denial of the divinity and the messiahship of Christ. Christ was simply a great man, a marvelous teacher, a wonderful example, but his blood was not redemptive. He was not the divine Son of God. This is liberalism.

Liberalism is a down-grading of the church, or a minimizing of the importance of any of the clear-cut commandments of God. There may be honest differences among Christians about what a message means, but there can never be a question of the inspiration or the authority of the Scriptures, without it being dangerous liberalism. Anything in the direction of these aforementioned characteristics is a step in the direction of liberalism and must be resisted by faithful Christians everywhere. The Bible is Gods inspired authorative word. We may believe and do only what the Scriptures authorize. The Lord is the divine Son of God, God is and he is the God of the Bible. Anything that questions these basic tenets or tends to question such basic elements of our faith is a trend toward liberalism and must be opposed. -Batsell Barret Baxter

The above article on "Liberalism" by Batsell Barrett Baxter, preacher of the Herald of Truth T. V. programs is rather interesting. It is significant to note that most of those brethren who are responsible for the departure of the churches from the New Testament pattern of things do not seem to recognize what they have done. They equate liberalism in the church with outright modernism or infidelity and therefore think that they are not guilty. They border on the "Ketchersidism" of the present day in that if a man professes to believe in the Deity of Christ, the inspiration of the Bible, and the Authority of the Scriptures, it does not matter how far a field he may go in what he teaches and practices, he is still a "Fundamentalist" or "Conservative."

Sometimes they indict themselves by denominating some who are "modernists" among their number as "ultra-liberals." This of course means that they unintentionally confess their own liberality. The tragedy is that those who are responsible for the introduction of all of the divisive movements and practices that have destroyed the unity and peace of the people of God in this generation do not seem to be honest enough with themselves to recognize that they are responsible for it. Multitudes of them such as Guy N. Woods, Thomas B. Warren, Athens Clay Pullias, Batsell Barrett Baxter and others of their satellites have actually punched the hole in the dam and let the flood waters in and now find themselves about to be overwhelmed with what they call "Ultra-liberalism" and are shouting out their warning of danger without recognizing that the danger is one of their own creation.

These brethren have perverted the function or mission of the church, its organization, and propagated the false doctrine that "there is no pattern of authority in the Scriptures," until they have destroyed their own respect for their sufficiency and authority and that of multitudes of others until today the churches are practicing everything that denominationalism does and even more. They are now fighting against the monster of disregard of Bible authority and disrespect for the sufficiency of the Scriptures, which is a "Frankenstein" of their own creation and find themselves without weapons that are effective. They will be overwhelmed. The forces of outright infidelity have control of most of their schools and some of their papers and will ultimately suck all of them under the flood-tide of innovations and unbelief. They are too deeply involved now in their own conniving to avoid the limitations of Bible authority to ever be able to wade out of the waste and ruin they have created.

Think of a man like Baxter calling someone else "liberal." Imagine, if you can, what kind of a man can claim the liberty of organizing and trying to serve God through a missionary society like the Herald of Truth, all of the Benevolent Societies that they have helped to create and seek to justify, and the "church" schools to which they would tie the churches of Christ and obligate them for their support with the Lords money for all of which he cannot produce one Scintilla of Bible teaching and then crying out against "Liberalism." The whole cause of the departures that have swept many of the churches of this generation away from their mooring - "We will speak where the Bible speaks and we win be silent where they are silent" -- is the contention that we are at liberty to treat the Bible as a book of principles rather than recognizing it as the pattern of divine authority.

TRUTH MAGAZINE, XVI: 33, pp. 6-7
June 22, 1972