WORDS OF FAITH
“… nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine …”
1 Tim. 4:6
Central Church of Christ Naples, FL
March 06, 2011
THE MEANING OF LIBERALISM
“Liberalism” is a term which is being heard and seen with increasing
frequency. It is important that we clearly understand the sense in
which the word is being used. The tremendously wonderful Freed-Hardeman
Lectureship of two years ago dealt entirely with the problem of liberalism:
THE CHURCH FACES LIBERALISM. It was the privilege of
this writer to speak each day on that lectureship. In the early portion of
my work I made a special effort to try to explain the meaning of the word
“liberalism”– at least as was being used in the lessons which I was
presenting. Following is some of the material which was presented at that time.
- 1. What is the meaning of “liberalism”? How is the term being
used in the present study?
- 2. The term is variously used, and a brief definition is difficult to come by.
- 3. Some writers on the subject use “Modernism” as the general term with “liberalism” as a sub-division under “Modernism”. Others use “liberalism” as the general, with “Modernism” as a sub-divi sion. And, regardless of which term we regard as being the larger one, we must recognize that there are numerous sub-divisions.
- 4. A fairly general concept is to use “Liberalism” as the general term,
recognizing that it consists of two basic branches:
- (1) “Moderate” liberalism – which is called “Modernism,” and
- (2) “Radical” liberalism – which is called “Humanism.”
NOTE: Though there are many points of difference, there is basic agreement.
- 5. Liberalism, in this sense –
- (1) Denies the miraculous, word by word, inspiration of the Scriptures;
- (2) Denies that the Bible is infallible and authoritative; (3) Holding to the Graf-Welhausen Hypothesis and the Documentary Theory, it regards the Bible
as being a human product;
- (4) Tends to deify Science and human reason; to deify man and humanize God;
- (5) Denies the miracles of the Bible;
- (6) Vehemently rejects the records of the creation of man and of the universe;
- (7) Ridicules and rejects the Bible record of the virgin birth of Christ;
- (8) Subscribes to the doctrine of organic evolution;
- (9) Seeks a “natural” explanation for all things which the
Bible presents as being miraculous;
- (10) Is adept in using ordinary terms in very extraordinary ways – as,
- A. Liberalism believes in God, but not in the God of the Bible;
- B. Liberalism believes in Christ, but not in the Christ of the Bible;
- C. Liberalism believes in inspiration, but not in the inspiration the Bible talks about;
- D. Liberalism believes in salvation, but not in the salvation of the Bible.
- (11) Denies the resurrection of Jesus, and rejects the idea that there
will be a general resurrection of all the dead;
- (12) Denies there is a judgment to come;
- (13) Denies the existence of heaven and of hell.
– Roy Deaver, (deceased), Defender, March, 1972
Brother Deaver’s words are as timely today (2011) as they
were when he wrote them. Liberalism has engulfed the mainstream
so-called “Christian” religions. Our world is full of this insidious
disease. If you doubt it – just look at the world around you!
The remainder of this article will be in next week’s bulletin and
will be followed by more from brother Deaver concerning “liberalism.”