By James Boyd
Ridicule And Name Calling
With their claims of super love, you would think they would never do such a thing, but nobody is as mean and vicious as a liberal in ridiculing faithful brethren and calling them derogatory names. Unless you saddle up with them you are unloving, unscholarly, a hate monger, neo-Nazi, right-winger, spiritual dinosaur, gopher wood preacher, Bible thumper, five-stepper, legalist, traditionalist, knucklehead, power addict, victim of Southern theology, ignorant, dull, stuffy, racist, and a religious KKK. This comes from the mouths and pens of “loving liberals.” They attempt to discredit faithful preachers of the past, especially the pioneer preachers, unless they can use them to their advantage. They cannot distinguish between human tradition and apostolic tradition. Contending that we are under no law, but all grace, everybody that does not accept this is a bigoted legalist. Faithful brethren are used to being called “Campbellites” by the ignorant of the denominational world, and “water dogs,” and being the butt of jokes that disparage and impugn good motives. But the “loving liberals,” not able to meet the issues nor prove their positions, also resort to the low level of slander, misrepresentation and lies. Whoever suggested that lying is a necessary quality to a “good” liberal had it just right. Nobody is more evil than a liberal who undermines the church.
Nothing Binding Except .. .
They teach nothing is binding except what is explicitly stated. They consider their law binding. They deny establishing authority by command and direct statement, approved examples, necessary inference and implication. The truth is, they have no way to ascertain authority because their philosophy is, “I’m O.K., you’re O.K., everything is beautiful in its own way, do your own thing.”
Reject The Necessity For Authority
Colossians 3:17 is discarded by them. For instance, trying to inject instruments of music into the worship, they have claimed there is no authority for congregational singing but admit there does not need to be. We are “free” under Christ, evidently to do whatever we like and want. They whine, “It doesn’t say not to,” like that gives authority for something they want. Well, let’s have pork and beans on the Lord’s table. We can on their basis.
Doubt is the prelude to denial, and liberals know that. So they plant doubt regarding what the Bible teaches as much as they can. To hear them talk there is nothing we can know for sure, except that we cannot know anything for sure. They are absolutely sure about that. This allows for the possibility that anything might be all right, and that is what they want to establish.
No Law; All Grace
Grace and law, however, are not mutually exclusive. Grace does not deny law, nor vice versa. Grace is not permissiveness, as if there is no right and wrong. Law is a rule established by duly ordained authority. God has his law even now. Who made the law that we are not under law? The liberals made it, even as they denounce all law. We are not under the Law of Moses, but we are subject to the Law of Christ. Law infringes on their “freedom” to do as they want. They distort obedience.
Without a pattern, anything goes. That is their agenda. The Bible, to them, is just God’s “love letter” to his people rather than a light unto our feet and a guide to our path. Everybody is free to “interpret” the Bible any way he wishes and everybody is right whatever he concludes. They do not even know what it means to interpret. It means to get the meaning. God gave his Word and it means something. When we get that meaning, we interpret. Until we get that meaning, we misinterpret.
This fallacy is the backbone of what they call the “new hermeneutics.” Facts, logic, and truth are not important to them because they say we cannot understand the Bible alike anyway. Anybody would be insulted if others took their words and made them mean whatever the hearer wanted them to mean without regard to what the speaker said and meant. But liberals take that liberty with God’s word, and castigate as wicked judges anybody who would deny them the right to do that.
They deny there is any pattern for worship, church government, plan of salvation or anything else. Nobody can say what we ought and ought not to do. This reminds us of the days in Judges when “every man did that which was right in his own eyes,” but God was displeased. How they ridicule the “old paths.” Shelly asked, after having preached on the “old paths” for many years, “Where did we ever come up with that idea?” He knows where it came from, and the legitimacy of it, but when you have left the “old paths,” and cannot prove them wrong, you have to do some-thing, and this is what liberals do. As Coffman said, you have to wonder about the honesty of such people.
Jeremiah described liberals, “For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters; and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water” (Jer. 2:13).
Not only are the militant and arrogant liberals enemies of the cross, but so are the band of sympathizers with liberal digression who are constantly critical of those who contend for the revealed faith, but seldom, if ever, raise their voices against the error being promoted by false teachers. Sympathizers will fellowship with them, attend their hurrahs, speak of them in glowing terms, appear on their programs, march in cadence with their doctrines, display a pseudo-love for everyone except those who love truth more than money and fame, criticize the manner of opposition against liberalism, but never seem to find a way to oppose liberalism themselves.
They seem not to be grieved that liberals are tearing apart the family of God with their heresy. But when you defend the church and the truth it is ordained to uphold, these cowardly sympathizers claim you are showing our “dirty linen” to the world. No, the dirty linen is the trash of liberals, and we try to clean it up before it contaminates any more than it already has.
Some are heard to say of liberals, “I don’t agree with them but …” Can anybody really believe that? They had just as soon agree. They possibly have deceived themselves into thinking their cowardice is justified, but when error is running rampant and you cannot bring yourself to stand against it, you are no good for the cause of Christ. Probably, they have hardened their hearts, compromised their convictions, seared their consciences, and sought their fame and fortune until they are willing to let the will of God be trampled. As one has written, “The greatest mistake any Christian can make is to assume that teachers of error are sincere.”
A New Denomination
Liberals are creating a new denomination from the ruins of churches of Christ which they have led into apostasy. Whether you call it Worldly Church, Pilgrim Church, Family Church, Community Church, Jubilee Church, or Church of Heresy, it all comes out the same way. They are undeserving of being identified as church of Christ. They hold to that name so they can deceive people and take property.
What we are witnessing is like the days when the Christian Church was created from division caused by liberals. They are guilty of piercing the body of Christ with their swords of error. They crucify him afresh by their antics and doctrines (Heb. 6:6).
They are not guiltless before God or man, nor are those who condone, endorse, fellowship, and run along with them, bidding them Godspeed, or acting as if it does not matter.
We Shall Not Be Silenced
Faithful brethren, whether few or many, will not be silenced by their wicked wiles and manipulations, sinister plots, and lying manners. We shall persist in teaching what the Word teaches, opposing whatever is contrary to it and admonishing all men everywhere to the way and will of God through Christ. How could anybody seriously claim to be a follower of Christ and do otherwise?
Reprinted with permission from Knight Arnold News, 4400 Knight Arnold Rd., Memphis, Tennessee 38118-2948
Guardian of Truth XLI: 19 p. 4-5
October 2, 1997