Understanding how and why people move away from the authority and sufficiency of scripture is not always easy. Their reasons seem to be sound but their defense is shrewd. The difficulty is that most of the time those moving away from the Biblical standard ask the wrong questions and as result always get the wrong answers. We must be careful that we
do not follow them through ignorance. It is just as important to know how a person arrived at a certain doctrinal position, as to know what they believe. One can not use a biblical hermeneutic and come to the conclusions that the “Neo Liberal” has. Further more, if a person has chosen to reject one doctrinal error, you can be sure that other doctrines will be affected. My grandfather used to say “the stripe on the back of a skunk runs from his head to his tail, just like evil does in any man who lets it rule”. Bad doctrine is like that. There is no such thing as isolated error. For anyone to apologize for error means that there are other hidden problems. “Men loved darkness (obscurity) rather than light, because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19a)
The old liberalism was viewed as a movement that had rejected the Bible as the Word of God. For them the Scripture had little authority, if any, in doctrine and practice. Not all modernist were the same in the level of their heretical positions. This is true of any theological position. But they all had turned from the Scripture and the doctrines taught
clearly therein. Those who had rejected the deity and the virgin birth, of Christ, were apostate and easy to identify. The moderates were not so brazen but had indeed accepted liberal doctrines.
A “New Liberalism” is now in our midst. They would not properly be called apostates but they have corrupted doctrine, (bible teaching) and rejected the authority and sufficiency of that Word. All of their doctrine is being affected and they are willing to tolerate heretical doctrine by others in the name of “Christian love and understanding”. The key to the “Neo Liberal” however is their willingness to accept “liberal doctrine” in others, as well as their own theological grid.
Doctrine that has long been understood to be liberal is now found acceptable and within the bounds of orthodoxy. It was the old liberal who viewed hell as non literal, just a state of mind and rejected Revelation 21 as a physical and literal city. They turned from the eternal sonship of Christ and scoffed at the importance or reality of the second coming. Their view was that all religions were headed in the same direction and that if God was providing some kind of salvation it would
have been because “we were worth so much to Him”. Their concept of forgiveness was human centered, not about God.
Now the “Neo Liberal” has taken many of these liberal doctrines as their own. Who would have thought that someone who called themselves evangelical, let alone fundamental, would have questioned the saving value of the shed blood of Christ. Just as astounding is the rejection of the physical resurrection of Christ or His any moment return.
Out of the many doctrines this movement has embraced two stand out. These are theology proper , the doctrine of God and the doctrine of man, anthropology. The Bible begins with “In the Beginning God” ( Gen. 1:1) and ends with “He which testifieth these things” (Rev. 22:20-21). For the biblicist God is what the Word is all about. This was not true of
the old liberal who, on the contrary, actively worked on the humanizing of God and the deifying of man. The neo liberal is on the same road. Almost every thing he says or writes pursues this path of changing the roles of God and man.
This is why the “Neo Liberal” has found it so easy to plunge without hesitation into promise keepers, marketing the church, psychoheresy, ecumenical evangelism, the music of compromise and many parachurch ministries. The heart of all of these movements is the rejection of doctrine (Bible truth) and the whole counsel of God. They all rest in an
unbiblical view of God and man. The rejection of Bible authority has led them to the dumbing down of sin just as the old liberals did. Mans primacy in their doctrine has forced them to call Gods standard of holiness “legalism”. In the effort to raise mans position even above God they “do evil that good may come of it”. Opinion and denominational acceptance led them to turn their back on the eternal Word of God despising doctrine and the holiness of separation.
The new evangelical ecumenism is little different than the old liberal ecumenism. Large meetings that place evangelicals side by side with catholics and cults hold little stigma for them. The neo liberal admonishes us “to say no evil of other denominations or religions”. Our holy God has little standing with these who want “no part” of anything
that is negative. With this movement anything is tolerated except the biblical, separatist believer. The record is clear they think that the “end does justify the means”.
“Neo Liberalisms” evil is not just that it has accepted liberal (faith) doctrine but that it has put it into action producing devastating compromise through, Evangelical Ecumenism, Evangelical Femenism and the associated errors of reformed theology. Even though this movement picks it doctrinal error with a bit more deception, than the old liberalism, what they choose to accept is indeed liberal doctrine. Their man centered ministries are justified by the old liberal one stringer “love”.
Popular as they may be their unity must sacrifice truth and doctrine often called unessential. In the end the “new” is not far from the “old” since they both hate biblical doctrine. The new however is much more dangerous than the old since it has become an acceptable way to turn from the Word while pretending to support it.
With heart so kind and gentle, and sympathetic eye,
With touching, deep affection, and loyal, tender tie;
Was LOVE betrothed to DOCTRINE,
to hold him all her days And walk the path of gladness united in His way.
Her younger siter also had qualities as fair,
Of caring, selfless, kindness, and warmth without compare;
Thus UNITY was drawn to the husband of her youth;
And pledged herself for ever to be the bride of TRUTH.
But time, with bitter envy, across the testing years,
Pursued the slow erosion of happiness to tears;
Till LOVE began to wear of DOCTRINE’S pleasant voice,
And UNITY grew cold to the partner of her choice.
Then LOVE began to notice the charms of HERESY,
An awed by his opinions, she wanted to be free;
And UNITY perceived that her virtues were desired
By many, many others whose ways she so admired.
At length, two precious unions, so promising, so blest,
Were darkened by delusion, disloyalty, unrest;
Till came the day of sorrows, and rending vows of youth,
When LOVE divorced her DOCTRINE, and UNITY her TRUTH.
Dr. Clay Nuttall