“There is nothing new under the sun,” says the writer of Ecclesiastes. This is certainly true when it comes to false teachings and those who seek to undermine true Christian faith. Throughout the centuries, the kicks against Christian doctrine and the twisting thereof come through various presentations, titles, and trickeries, but they remain the same lies, unbelief, and defiance of Christ’s Lordship they have always been. They are the same poisons, only in new bottles with catchy labeling.
What has changed, however, is the church’s confidence and discernment to call these poisons out for what they are—heresies, departures from authentic Christianity. This has not always been the case. Jude warns of those who infiltrate churches, “ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ” (v. 4), persons who follow the ways of Cain, Balaam, Korah, and fallen angels.
Ignatius (A.D. 30-107), writes, “For there are some vain talkers and deceivers, not Christians, but Christ-betrayers, bearing about the name of Christ in deceit…. For they speak of Christ, not that they may preach Christ, but that they may reject Christ.”
Years later, Irenaeus (A.D. 120-202) writes, “Certain men have set the truth aside, and being in lying words and vain genealogies … and by means of their craftily-constructed plausibilities draw away the minds of the inexperienced and take them captive.”
The apostles and early church fathers were not kind when it came to heresy, because they knew how serious and deadly these are. They understood the doom and severe judgment awaiting apostates. Today, the pendulum has swung the opposite direction, and much of what professes to be the church is nothing more than congregations that have swallowed the poisons of heretical teachings under the guise of Christianity. Many who profess to be liberal or progressive Christians are nothing more than charlatans who mask their own unbelief and unwillingness to yield to Christ’s lordship. In fact, when you examine their teachings and ideologies in the light of the Scriptures, they deny much of what the Bible affirms, condone much of what the Bible condemns, and reject much of what the Bible declares. If one will examine such teachings of so-called liberal or progressive Christians in light of the Scriptures, he will see the inconsistencies. For while false teachers seemingly profess Christ, they will reject His core teachings and those of His apostles—the ones He commissioned to carry forth His teachings. While the apostles stress moral purity, the liberals reject these as outdated, puritanical teachings to be cast away. While Jesus completely trusted the Scriptures and their preservation, the progressives have their wise men of “higher biblical criticism,” which is nothing less than academic unbelief. Leftist liberation theology is nothing more than a breaking free from the supernatural aspect of the gospel and bringing it into the bondage of Marxist ideas. And the so-called social gospel is simply trading the true gold of the gospel for fool’s gold of naturalism.
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. ~ Galatians 1:6-8
Jude tells us to “contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (v. 3). This faith was once for all delivered, and it cannot be altered or reconstructed. The impossibility of liberal, progressive, and Leftist Christianity is simply that these cease to be Christianity at all. Each of these reject authentic Christianity fundamentally. A liberal or progressive Christian is as nonsensical as a sacred prostitute, Christian satanist, or an atheistic theist.
When all boils down, one is either born again or he is not. One either believes that Christ died for our sins and was raised from the dead or he doesn’t. One either believes the apostles’ teaching or he doesn’t. One is either willing to yield to Jesus as Savior and Lord or else refuse to do so. Flapping one’s gums and offering rhetoric which conflicts with the Scriptures remains heretical, regardless how it’s packaged. It will never become Christianity. This is an impossibility. Unbelief and rebellion remain as such, regardless how much religiosity is mixed in.
For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry. ~ 1 Samuel 15:23
They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. ~ Titus 1:16
They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us. ~ 1 John 2:19