How you define "liberal"

Discussion in 'Fundamental Baptist Forum' started by michael-acts17:11, Oct 4, 2010.

  1. michael-acts17:11

    michael-acts17:11
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    I would like to know how you define "liberal" as it is used in our churches. When I was a fundamental bapist, I heard that word used thousands of times, from the pulpit & from individuals to describe those who do not ascribe to their set of beliefs & doctrines. However, none of the pastors or church leaders could/would give a satisfactory answer as to the definition & Scriptural use of such a derisive name.
    I left the IFB movement less than ten years ago, and joined a conservative SBC. In that time, I've never heard the term used against non-SBC'ers. Is the term only used by fundamental baptists, or do other denominations use it as a spiritual term as well?
     
  2. Fred's Wife

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    I found this definition of "Theological Liberalism"...not sure if this is what you are seeking, but I believe this is a really good definition:

    “Perhaps the most revealing critique of old liberalism was authored, not by a Fundamentalist, but by H. Richard Niebuhr. In his book, The Kingdom of God in America, he observed that in liberalism, ‘A God without wrath brought men without sin into a kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a cross,’ (p. 193). To these characteristics could be added that liberals knew God through a Bible without authority—a defect that Niebuhr also shared.”
    ---Kevin Bauder

    "In the Nick of Time"

    January 15, 2010​

    http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/separate/liberal.htm
     
  3. Thousand Hills

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    Excellent definition, Fred's Wife!

    To me, when I think of a liberal church, I think of one that is more concerned with appeasing society/culture, rather than following clear biblical guidelines. To me, a liberal church would be one that ordained women, married/ordained GLBT folks, and generally take the "It's okay to continue in sin, God loves you", and the "all paths lead to Heaven" mentality. They are probably more preoccupied with things like saving the environment and world peace than actually spreading the gospel.
     
  4. Fred's Wife

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    Exactly! Amen! :thumbsup:
     
  5. Thousand Hills

    Thousand Hills
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    Thanks, forgot to add "Social Justice"
     
  6. Fred's Wife

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    I also forgot "feel good gospel"!
     
  7. michael-acts17:11

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    Those who I heard wielding the accusation, spoke specifically of SBC, nondenominational, & Missionary Baptist churches. So far, I agree with every definition I have been given. Perhaps I should clarify, what is the fundamental baptist definition of "liberal" when used against any church or person that is not in lockstep with IFB teachings? On another site, I have been berated as a liberal for having the gall to suggest that a AV1611er compare his KJV to an actual 1611. Perhaps the IFBer's use the word liberal the same way that political liberals use the word racist...just a thought.
     
  8. Salty

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  9. John of Japan

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    In my church and the Bible institutes I teach in, by liberal we mean the definition of theological liberal commonly accepted for many years. Liberalism was spawned by German rationalism and developed into higher criticism. It is a theological position that opposes the fundamental doctrines of Christianity, in particular: the deity of Christ, His virgin birth (one liberal said Christ was fathered by a blond German soldier), His eternal salvation (and thus Heaven and Hell), His death for our sins and physical resurrection, the verbal inspiration of the Bible, etc. Every right thinking and obedient Christian will strongly oppose liberalism (2 John 9-11, Eph. 5:11, 2 Cor. 6:14-18, etc.).

    P. S. I'm an independent Baptist and come from a long line of them. Furthermore, my independent Baptist mission board, board members and missionaries (ab. 360 missionaries, I think) all take this position. Again, where my son and I got our M. A.'s (Maranatha BBC) and where my son got his M. Div. (Calvary Baptist Theo. Sem.) all agree with this position.
     
    #9 John of Japan, Oct 4, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 4, 2010
  10. TCassidy

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    That brings back some very fond memories.

    Dr. Myron Cedarholm. Dr. Richard Weeks. Dr. James Hollowood. Those were the days!

    Then at Calvary. I remember Dr. E. Robert "Bob" Jordan preaching one of the best messages I ever heard at Pillsbury Homecoming. Dr. Larry Thornton. Dr. Gordon Lovic. Dr. Warren Van Hetlo. All my old professors from my Central days. :)

    Where have this generation's great preachers gone?
     
  11. John of Japan

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    I was a Temple grad, with a year of seminary there, but our son went to MBBC for his undergrad, while I took credits over the Internet from Maranatha. Then we graduated together in 2005 with the MA. Fun!

    Dr. Cedarholm was on our board, and I had the privilege of riding with him to a meeting once. I believe I stayed with Dr. Weeks when I preached at chapel in ab. 1978. A prince of a man!
    Our son really enjoyed his time at Calvary. Another great school!
    America truly needs revival, including our crowd!
     
  12. Luke2427

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    No, Michael (jokingly). Those IFB type churches don't exist- or at least there are so few of them that the chances that you and I and several other guys who happened upon this site together can testify of the exact same experience- it must mean that we are in some kind of conspiracy together- or that we are lying- which is an accusation that has been hurled my way recently by some of those same IFB's.

    Of course the majority of the movement is characterized by these types.

    But there are two or three guys on here who act as though the IFB movement is almost devoid of these types.

    Isn't it strange that so many of us describe IFBs this way when really only a tiny percentage of IFB churches are like that (sarcastically).
     
  13. glfredrick

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    There are all sorts of ways that the term "liberal" is used.

    It can mean "culturally liberal" as used by many a pulpit to describe people that do not look (or act) like those particular people.

    It can mean "politically liberal" as in people who ascribe to a moving target with re-defined political and constitutional doctrines. We see this in the left-leaning political arena in the USA.

    It can mean "theologically liberal" as best described by John Gresham Machen in his book, "Christianity and Liberalism," where the doctrines of Scripture are tweaked and twisted to lessen their authority, placing more emphaisis on himan reason than scriptural revelation.

    It can be used as a perjorative, as is often expressed by those who paint everyone else as "iberal" (or extend to those who do not agree with a certain point) as is often the case with a "fundamentalist" who does not care to check facts or examine evidence.

    Or it can be some combination of all of the above and more...

    An interesting question is, "Is a church liberal if they hold to legalisms, such as OT Law instead of majoring on God's grace as established in the NT?" The legalistic church would claim that the grace-driven ministry is "liberal" but the grace-driven ministry is actually "conservatively" following the teachings of Christ in the NT, making the OT driven legalistic church "liberal" in their take on doctrines.
     
  14. glfredrick

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    I know that none of those IFB type churches where virtually everyone is hated exist... :tonofbricks:

    http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/wolves_in_sheep's_clothing.htm

    There are over 1000 other sites that are similar in content... :thumbs:
     
  15. Luke2427

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    I looked at the site. Can you believe that mess?????
     
  16. glfredrick

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    That site is so bad that it could be a parody, but sadly, it is not...

    I can post close to 1000 more sites just like that. I'm not sure if they are THE most faithful people to God's command to "be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth" or what. I also suspect that the average congregation size runs in the 30s... Someone has WAY too much time on their hands. Just finding all those links would take all day, every day.

    Note that they dislike just about everyone. Even some of the good guys!
     
  17. tinytim

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    LOL>.. on that site Paul Washer is a heretic!!! WOW....

    I did notice Beth Moore is left off... I wonder why?
     
  18. Aaron

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    :thumbs::thumbs:
     
  19. kyredneck

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    Wow. It's this sort of phariseeism that fouls the waters and drives the sheep away. Blows my mind.....

    I've said it before, I'll say it again; Paul had this to say of the Jews:

    For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you, even as it is written. Ro 2:24

    I am convinced that when all is said and done and over with, it will be seen that the gentiles, on the whole, have done no better with the tenets of the new covenant than the Jews did with the old. jmho
     
  20. glfredrick

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    I agree... From my study of the big movements of God throughout history, it appears that God does some sovereign event, the people or the church reap the benefits of God's unmerited favor, the people or church then codify into law (oral, written, unwritten, etc.) the steps they found that led to God's blessing, and forever after that is the _________ way (you fill in the blank).

    We seem to forget that God is infinite and sovereign, and just like He can create billions of human beings with individual patterns, from fingerprints and retinal patterns to our very DNA, He can also find new and creative ways to exercise His divine will to accomplish His divine purposes. Our calling, so to speak, is to keep our eyes focused on our King -- to learn of Him and to follow Him -- so that when He does the next great and glorious thing we do not miss Him because His move does not match our codified expectation of how He works.

    The really sad part about those web sites is that (from what I've seen here in debates) about a third or more of the regular posters on this board are checking out those sites and going, "Yeah Baby!" (if that sort of language is allowed for those so "holy"). :confused:
     

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