Biblically Speaking: Neither Liberal Nor Conservative!
Many today in our beloved brotherhood, bemoan the fact that we currently live in a politically correct, biblically corrupt, “can’t-call-anything-what-it-actually-is” culture. This can be readily proven from practically every corner of our existence. For example, where once we had “used cars” we now have “pre-owned vehicles.” Where once we had middle-aged men “going bald,” we now have men who are “follically-unfruitful.” And where some of us may have once known overweight or obese people, they no longer exist, having been conveniently and non-confrontationally replaced by “gravitationally-challenged” folks instead. (And of course being considered “gravitationally-challenged” as opposed to being fat or “overweight” immediately relieves one of taking any personal responsibility or the actions necessary in order to alleviate their self-destructive habits.
Perhaps one of the most pervasive, persuasive, and soul-destroying examples of this perverted terminological (and “terminally illogical”) madness, comes in reference to the practice of homosexuality. While the ungodly world around us would seek to shame us into labeling it an “alternative lifestyle,” our God and Father unashamedly and eternally refers to it as a “very grievous,” “wicked,” “fornicational,” “flesh-defiling,” “ungodly,” “abomination;” the “inexcusable,” “vile passion,” of a “reprobate mind,” against God’s “natural order,” and “punishable by eternal fire” when God’s “wrath” is brought to bear (Please see for yourself, in: Genesis 18:20, 19:1-7; Jude 6–8; Leviticus 18:22-30, 20:13; Romans 1:18-28; I Corinthians 6:9-11; Galatians 5:19-20; Ephesians 5:3-7; Revelation 21:7-8; Psalm 119:89). “Alternative lifestyle?” I think not. “Eternal death sentence” is more like it according to God’s terminology.
Unfortunately, what some of those beloved brethren bothered by the onslaught of this pervasive perspective sometimes fail to perceive, is that the parasitical perversity of political correctness has also partially infiltrated and poisoned certain portions of the beleaguered body and bride of Christ when it comes to our worship practices and positions as well. This, by way of some very worldly-originated, totally unbiblical, but universally-accepted and utilized terminology, currently contaminating and contributing to many of the uncorrected corruptions wreaking havoc within the Lord’s church today. For a people who were once widely-known and highly-respected for the fact that they sought to “Speak where the bible speaks, and be silent where the bible is silent; calling bible things by bible names and doing bible things in bible ways,” oh how far we appear to have fallen when it comes to “political correctness” my beloved brethren!
Consider this. If a congregation utilizes female song leaders, prayer leaders, adult mixed bible class teachers or sermon preachers; if they allow and approve of the use of instruments in their musical praises and worship; and if they believe that certain portions of the New Testament pattern are no longer binding on us today, we generally label or refer to them as “liberal,” and/or their worship as “contemporary.” Conversely, if a congregation of God’s people today utilizes only male leadership in worship, sings acappella, and demands that every element preached and practiced must possess a “book, chapter, and verse” foundation because they believe every word of the bible to be divinely inspired and binding for all time (unless the word itself specifies otherwise), we generally label or refer to them as “ conservative. ”
But the word “liberal” only occurs once in Scripture and in a completely different context at that! It occurs that one time, in 2 Corinthians 9:13, wherein it is expressing an act and attitude of generosity financially, and certainly not an attitude of laxity (on any level), but especially doctrinally! And where do we even see the terms “ conservative ” or “contemporary” contained anywhere in Scripture? We don’t. They’re not. Neither one of them. Not even once. So why then, as a people claiming to “Speak where the bible speaks, and be silent where the bible is silent; calling bible things by bible names and doing bible things in bible ways,” do we use these three terms so frequently, in a fatalistic and ill-informed frenzy of political correctness?
For the love of God and the sake of the eternal souls His beloved Son died to save, we have got to stop pasteurizing, homogenizing, neutering, neutralizing, and watering and dumbing down the incredibly clear and concise terminology of God in an effort not to offend or upset those whom the bible clearly indicates are on the road to hell! We must be as straightforward in our terminology as the Scriptures are, so that they might have their hearts pricked; reconsider; repent and return to a submissive and obedient relationship with almighty God!
When an individual or group of God’s people chooses to follow the divinely inspired biblical pattern comprised of the commandments of God (See: II Timothy 3:12-4:4; 2 Peter 1:16-2:3; Acts 7:44; Hebrews 8:5; I Corinthians 14:37) such as: male leadership in the Lord’s church (1 Corinthians 14:33-37; 1 Timothy 2:8-15); singing without any mechanical instruments accompanying their songs of praise and worship at any and all times (Matthew 26:30; Mark 14:26; Acts 16:25; Romans 15:9; 1 Corinthians 14:15; Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16; Hebrews 2:12; and James 5:13); and always insisting that the doctrines being taught – whether they be about the one, true, New Testament church; the heinous sin of denominationalism; the essentiality of baptism exclusively for the forgiveness of sins and to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit; full and complete repentance and conversion; or any other biblical doctrine – are in exact accordance with what their God and Father commands through His holy word, then the bible has many far better and much more insightful terms by which these people should be referred to. Instead of the non-biblical term “ conservative, ” let us from now on, truly “speak where the bible speaks” and define and refer to these brethren and their worship with biblically-correct (instead of politically correct, corrupt, and inept) terms; terms like:
- “Faithful” (Matthew 25:14-30; Acts 16:11-15; Ephesians 1:1; Colossians 1:2; etc).
- “According to the Scriptures” (I Corinthians 15:3-4; James 2:8).
- “According to the will of God” (I Peter 4:19).
- “According to what is written” (2 Corinthians 4:13).
- “According to the commandment of the everlasting God” (Romans 16:26).
- “According to knowledge” (Romans 10:2).
- “According to truth” (Romans 2:2).
- “According to the Spirit” (Romans 8:1-5).
- Worshipping in “spirit and truth” (John 4:23-24).
Conversely, for those who would advocate or approve of the adding to, or even the contradicting of, the divine pattern as presented and preached by the prophets and apostles (2 Peter 1:16-21) – those we most commonly (as opposed to scripturally) refer to with more worldly terminology like “liberal,” and “contemporary” – God’s word also has many far better and much more insightful and inspired terms by which these brethren and their worship must be referred to as well. Instead of today’s terms and labels like “liberal” and “contemporary,” let us from now on, truly “speak where the bible speaks” and define and refer to these brethren and their worship, with biblically-correct (instead of politically correct, corrupt, and totally inept) terms too; terms God used, terms like:
- “Unauthorized” (Leviticus 10:1 – ESV)
- “Vain worship” (Matthew 15:7-9; Mark 7:5-13)
- “Empty deceit,” “tradition of men,” “false humility,” “doctrines and commandments of men” (Colossians 2:8-24).
- “Damnable heresies” (2 Peter 2:1-3 – KJV).
- “‘Depart from Me, I never knew you,’ to all who did not do ‘the will of My Father,” (Matthew 7:21-23).
You see, there is no such thing, biblically speaking of course, as a “liberal,” “conservative,” or “contemporary” Christian, congregation, bible class, or worship service.
- They are simply either “faithful,” or they are “unfaithful.” That’s it.
- They are simply either devoted and committed to doing things “according to the Scriptures” – that is to say, acting in accordance, obedience, and compliance with all the written will, truth, commandments, and pattern of the everlasting God – or they are not; instead, acting in accordance with the “doctrines and commandments of men,” and therefore conducting and participating in worship and devotion consisting of absolutely nothing but “false humility,” “damnable heresies,” and “empty deceit.”
- They are either worshipping in and with the proper spirit of humility and submission, to and before, the sovereign God and Lord of the universe (as readily evidenced by their complete compliance with God’s truth); or, they are using unauthorized additions, corruptions, and substitutions, and therefore entertaining only themselves with their vain and useless worship. And they desperately need to know it!
The great and godly prophet Isaiah pronounced some pretty nasty “woes” on God’s Old Testament people; on those who called “evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter” (Isaiah 5:20). We cannot afford – for the sake of our beloved Savior who died to set men free from just such satanic deceptions and temptations; for the sake of our own beloved but apparently misguided and misled brethren; as well as for the sake of our own souls – to fall into the politically correct but biblically-corrupting trap of simply referring to such soul-devouring, obedience-marginalizing, and vain-worshipping sins and those who commit them, with just the watered-down but politically correct term “liberal,” which is so soft, toothless, and truthless, as to be totally powerless to lead the erring we love to repentance in Christ! That terminology (“liberal”) is an eternal-life and death, soul-threatening deception! We must put these positions and those who practice them in terms that will get the undivided attention of their perpetrators! This, in hopes of getting them to see the error of their ways; to recognize and come to a better knowledge of God’s truth; and to hopefully reflect, respond, and repent of those sins while they still have time!
Conversely, we cannot allow anyone from now on – and especially any of our beloved but brutally-deceived brethren – to either casually, carnally, arbitrarily, or just ignorantly earmark those of us and the congregations we work and worship in which continue to faithfully follow the “old paths” of divine writ, as “conservative.” We are not – not biblically speaking anyway. We are “faithful,” and worship “according to the scriptures,” in “spirit and truth,” as “it is written” (Ephesians 1:1; James 2:8;John 4:23-24; Matthew 4:1-11)! Those are bible terms for bible things!
And I assure you, that the next time someone seriously says to me something along the lines of, “Oh, you’re just from one of those old-fashioned, conservative congregations,” then with all the love of the Lord for their eternal soul’s condition I can possibly muster (Mark 10:21), I plan to look them straight in the eye and respond something to the effect of, “No, not at all. I’m blessed to be from one of those scripture-fashioned, faithful congregations which worship in spirit and truth like the Lord is looking for, and whose worship He honors and accepts. Why; aren’t you? And if not, why aren’t you?”
We must stop referring to the worship conducted by some people and congregations (doctrinally speaking) as either “conservative” or “liberal,” and start referring to it as what it actually, biblically is called: either “faithful,” “spirit and truth” worship “according to the scriptures,” or, “vain,” “unauthorized” worship according to the “damnable heresies” and “traditions and commandments of men.” It can’t be both. And the bible is the complete and final authority for defining the difference, in “book, chapter, and verse” form.
May we all, from this day forward, myself included, earnestly repent, and commit ourselves to “Speaking where the bible speaks; calling bible things by bible names; and doing bible things in bible ways,” “in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perchance will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will” (2 Timothy 2:25-26). To God be all the glory; always and in all ways!
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