What is wrong with liberal Christianity?
By S. Michael Houdmann, Got Questions Ministries
First, a point of clarification: this post is about theological, not political, liberalism. While the two often go hand-in-hand, that is not always the case. The issue I am addressing is the liberal approach to theology in general and bibliology in general. The other day I had someone contact me and encourage GotQuestions.org to be more accepting towards the JEDP Theory, aka the documentary hypothesis. The JEDP Theory essentially states that Genesis through Deuteronomy were not written by Moses, but by at least four different authors, identified by the letters, J, E, D, and P. This person was very respectful, and was definitely trying to be helpful. But, he is also terribly misguided, IMHO, and definitely inconsistent in his approach to the Bible.
The primary problem with the JEDP Theory is that in the New Testament, Jesus and the human writers attribute Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy to Moses. If the New Testament is wrong about the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch, it is in error, and therefore not infallible or trustworthy. If the New Testament authors were wrong about this issue, what else were they wrong about? Theologically liberal Christians accept, or at least claim to accept, some of the teachings of Jesus, and some of the teachings of Paul, and some principles from the Old Testament, etc., etc. But, liberal Christianity undermines its own viewpoint when it rejects the infallibility of Scripture. If the Bible is not the Word of God, how can we know Jesus and Paul actually taught those things? If the Bible is not trustworthy, why should we care what it says?
Liberal Christianity often denies the miracles recorded in the Bible. If there are no miracles, there is no Christianity, as the Christian faith is built on the resurrection of Jesus Christ. If the miracles in the Bible are not true, the human authors of Scriptures were liars, they were the false prophets Jesus warned us about (oh, wait, did Jesus actually say anything about false prophets?!?!)
If God decided to give us a book that is supposed to guide us through life and eternity, but allowed that book to be filled with myths, lies, half-truths, and misconceptions – is He a God who is worth following? What kind of God is that? How cruel, twisted, and … ungodly. No, if God is who the Bible says He is, He is perfectly holy, just, righteous, gracious, loving, and merciful. Giving humanity an error-filled book would not agree with any of those attributes.
Liberal Christianity essentially wants to pick and choose which parts of the Bible are from God. They want to accept "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows…" (James 1:27) and reject "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). I can't live my life like that. If God did not bother to give me a reliable instruction manual, why should I bother following His instructions? If God's Word is not infallible and trustworthy, why should I care what it says? That is where liberal Christianity goes wrong. Liberal Christianity destroys the very foundation of Christianity – the Word of God. Liberal Christianity essentially tells us to follow a book (or at least certain parts of a book) that they themselves do not believe in.
Image credit: tony; "Jefferson's Bible"; Creative Commons
Tags: Church-Issues | Controversial-Issues | False-Teaching | Theological-Beliefs