Social Gospel

Part 1: Why do Christian liberals loath Christian Conservatives?

Jim Allen

A liberal Christian blogger wrote, "For 20 years we have seen the growing domination of the radical right wing evangelicals on TV, on the radio and in the news, newspapers and magazines and in politics - claiming to own a virtual monopoly on Jesus. They have redefined what He meant and used His name to advance their...agenda.... We strongly object and disagree." [1]

While this blogger carries a tone of dislike and claims to be speaking for all liberal Christians, he is not. There are a number of liberal Christians who embrace the whole counsel of God and are loving and caring. They live in peace and grace and focus on loving God and caring for people; and, the same is true for many conservative Christians as well. But, there is some truth in his claim about conservative evangelicals we need to acknowledge.

First, a growing number of evangelical churches have devolved into an unholy alliance with the world, leaving behind the core principles of Christianity. They are turning away from the true gospel of Jesus Christ to other gospels. An American pastor once said during a European conference, "The Gospel came to the Greeks and the Greeks turned it into a philosophy...the Romans turned it into a system...Europeans turned it into a culture...and the Americans turned it into a business." [2]

Second, evangelicals who profess faith in Christ without possessing a solid, foundational view of the true gospel are vulnerable to the illusory snares set by the wolves walking among us.

One way to think about an illusory snare, and its captivating power, is the monkey snare. Though I've used this analogy before, it bears repeating. In Burma, villagers hunt for monkeys by removing the contents of a coconut and filling it with fruit or peanuts much desired by the primate. The villager attaches a rope to the coconut and ties it to a tree. When a monkey finds the coconut and reaches inside to remove the fruit, its closed fist becomes the trap. The villager made the opening big enough for the monkey to slip its hand through but not big enough for the primate to withdraw its clenched fist. The monkey's unwillingness to let go of the content seals its fate when the villager approaches to take its life.

The monkey snare analogy describes many evangelical organizations today. Their fists of greed and control are plainly visible to the world. Their hands wrap tightly around doctrines that produce unintentional consequences, one of which is to draw the ire of the liberals.

A close family member of mine was involved in a church focused on discipleship and obedience. For two years, this young college student underwent personal abuse by his spiritual mentors who took his money, food, automobile, and personal items for self-consumption. The daily grind of obedience included prayer, intense Bible verse memorization, free babysitting for leaders, and joyful completion of all assigned tasks. He was asked to donate his car for church transportation, told to fast frequently, and much more. Whenever he failed to measure up to his leader's expectations, a spiritual spanking was in order.

The spiritual spanking was nothing less than spiritual abuse, a way to guide wayward believers back to the path of total control. After two years of exploitation, the abused believer left the church to follow a path away from the living hell. His new path took him back to the ways of the world where he has found a measure of peace in non-Christian liberalism away from the madness. Today, he views evangelical conservative Christianity as an evil and abusive religion. For him, it was a horrible experience and he wants nothing more to do with evangelicals proclaiming the gospel of Christ.

Evangelical churches like these destroy individuals and families without shame. Control freaks fleece the flock with one hand while holding up a list of dos and don'ts with the other. The nastiness of these churches leaves a long trail of victims who have given up on the Christian faith. Jesus said abusers of the innocent would pay a heavy price for offending these little ones who believe in Him (Matthew 18:6).

Testimonies from the beaten down faithful are online and read by liberals and conservatives alike. I have experienced these heretical movements first-hand and openly attest to the loathsome impact these wayward evangelicals inflict on innocent souls searching for truth. While it is truly appalling, it should not be surprising because Jesus revealed to John that most churches would in the end time apostate from the faith (Revelation 2 and 3).

Because of these unintended consequences from self-serving controllers, lives are ruined, churches fail, and bloggers come online to expose the abusiveness of these wolves who twist doctrine to suit their distorted view of God (Matthew 13:24-30). When liberals and progressives learn about or experience these atrocities firsthand, who among us would argue with their scorn?

Of course, there are the exceptional evangelical churches we should not forget, though becoming fewer by the day.

The Christian liberal expressing his scorn for conservative evangelicals on the website is partly correct because the true Gospel has been hijacked by thieves and charlatans who do not belong to Christ, and herein our indefensible woeful shame. But, when I flip the coin it becomes increasingly clear that liberal Christianity has its own set of problems I will address in the remainder of this multiple-part series.

Next: Part 2: Does Social Gospel reflect our deepest held values?

2. World Affairs Council Press Conference, Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel, April 19, 1994

Image credit: Georgie R; Some rights reserved

The Social Gospel; The Series

Part 1: Why do Christian liberals loath Christian Conservatives?
Part 2: Does Social Gospel reflect our deepest held values?
Part 3: Did Jesus come to be a world-changer?
Part 4: What is the power of liberal theology?
Part 5: Is the "Spirit of Unity" Biblical?
Part 6: The End Time Gathering of Souls
Part 7: Too Bad for the Pretenders

TagsChristian-Life  |  Church-Issues  |  Political-Issues

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Published 12-31-13