Liberal/Progressivism takes many forms but ultimately ends up in the anything goes category of Universalism. L/P slips in slow and in small increments it is like a cancer that destroys all it touches. Today just as in the past we can contribute this error to a lack of knowledge Hosea, denounced Israel’s ignorance and its consequence: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I also will forget thy children” (4:6). Ignorance of God’s law was their downfall, and it causes the same consequence today for the church. Those today who seek to justify L/P rely on the fact that most people do not study for themselves and are easy to lead like sheep to the slaughter. L/P is diametrically opposed to Christianity. We are told, all we need to have is a”conception” of God we should not seek to know God, but should merely feel His presence. If religion/Christianity consists merely in feeling the presence of God, it is devoid of any moral quality whatever. Pure feeling, if there is such a thing, is non-moral.
This can be seen even in the first century, Paul taught of God’s magnificence and one of his most emphatic censures concerns the dissemination of doctrinal error. As an example, he castigates Hymenaeus and Philetus, and their belief that the resurrection was already past (2 Tim. 2:15-18). This evil heresy is still alive today and the men that follow L/P doctrine are as I type leading others directly to hell. Paul clearly indicate that Hymenaeus and Philetus continued not among those whom the Lord knew as his and labeled their doctrine, “unrighteousness” (2 Tim. 2:19); it was opposed to the righteousness of God, that contained in the gospel. The L/P will give the argument that Paul did not say of Hymenaeus and Philetus, “These are brethren whom we love and who are saved in Christ, and since there is no condemnation in Christ, their error need not be condemned or stand in the way of fellowship.” This is how the L/P twists the scripture to their own destruction and yours if you follow it.
The apostle John wrote unto Gaius, and condemned Diotrephes for his “love for preeminence.” Then he told Gauis what he would do to him when he arrived. Diotrephes Loved To Have Preeminence (3 Jn. 9). He wanted to be first, to be chief of all, The L/P is the same way but we know Christ is the only one who is to have “all the preeminence” (Col. 1: 18). No one should be seeking to obtain preeminence in the local church or in the brotherhood. Just and in John’s day we see this far too often today. From these two examples we can see that L/P is not a new concept. Satan has used vain emotionalism since the garden and effectively too I might say.
The L/P’s are also very subtle and they can manipulate brethren in many ways. Some will always have a “partner” who will chime in every time so they look like they have more prestige for their view. These are what we call attack dogs the false accusers the one’s who will yell the loudest and cause the most commotion in order to keep others confused. Bill Reeves once wrote “The warfare between truth and error is between Christ and Satan (Rev. 17:14). Involved is the “wisdom that is from above” and the wisdom that “is earthly, sensual, devilish” (Jas. 3:15). False teachers and false brethren (2 Pet. 2:1; 2 Cor. 11:26) employ the carnal tactics of human wisdom in their opposition to those who insist upon submission to Divine wisdom. Paul says (2 Cor. 2:11) that Satan seeks to gain advantage over us; to this end he uses “devices.” We should not be ignorant of these devices, or schemes.” The L/P has become a master of Satan’s devices. The L/P movement is highly adept at bringing the world into the church when the true Christian knows the church is to take the Gospel to the world.
The L/P doctrine will argue for pluralism and variety not uniformity in “doctrine.” They claim that it is “legalistic” to require doctrinal unity. In other words, the very arguments which are used to destroy a uniform “doctrine” can be equally used to destroy a uniform gospel. The L/P will tell you the New Testament manifests a variety of patterns in regard to the church. Liberals say that early New Testament preaching exhibits a plurality of theologies not a uniform Gospel! For the L/P movement today there is no such thing as an absolute in scripture all is open to one’s own interpretation.
There always has been the controversy of who causes the division the L/P the one who call themselves the innovators or the Christians who oppose the innovations. The answer can be found in prophet Elijah, he settled that question many centuries ago. The wicked King Ahab said to Elijah, “Is it thou, thou troubler of Israel? And he (Elijah) answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy fathers house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of Jehovah, and thou hast followed the Baalim” (1 Kings 18: 17, 18). It is the innovator the L/P who drives the wedge that splits the log. Those who have contended for a “Thus saith the Lord” have forever been called legalists by the L/P’s.
One of the most popular propaganda tactics is the effort to make people think the faithful churches demanding book, chapter and verse are dying out. This is the reason the L/P movement came up with their own hermeneutic or what is now known as the new hermeneutics. L/P’s promote this theory that the old way of interpreting God’s word must be abandoned for a new and improved method of Bible interpretation. Hermeneutics is a big word but it simply means “interpretation.” Hermeneutics is the process of interpreting the Scriptures. According to the L/P, the old way of interpreting God’s word should be abandoned and a new and improved method of Bible interpretation is now needed. The “old way” or the “old hermeneutic” that advocates using direct statements, examples and necessary implications to establish Bible authority according to the L/P is old, man-made tradition dating back to the days of Alexander Campbell. The L/P advocates also want to abandon any method of Bible interpretation that seek to find a pattern of truth in the New Testament. The L/P seeks to do away with any pattern of truth for the church. In short, the L/P advocates that we are to abandon any rational, “systematized” method of Bible study. L/P seeks for “existential” (emotional) experience with Jesus and the Holy Spirit.