”I would repeat that liberal theology is only humanism in theological terms.” –Francis Schaeffer
In certain liberal churches, there is a tendency to accept the idea that there are “many ways to God”. The idea that there isn’t anything particularly special about Christianity, and the many kind and generous Muslims and Hindus of the world have found their own way to God and should be left to themselves.
I assert that this isn’t a sign of love, or acceptance, or tolerance. It’s a sign of cold indifference.
“I don’t think Christians know what they mean when they proclaim Jesus as Lord of the world. That is a massive claim. If you took that seriously, you would probably have to be a fundamentalist. If you can’t be a fundamentalist, then you should give up Christianity for the sake of honesty.” –Gerd Lüdemann, a former liberal Christian
Many of these same churches also hold to “progressive” views on issues like homosexuality, cohabitation, and the sacredness of human life. Passages of the Bible that are deemed offensive are either ignored or creatively reinterpreted. Rather than confronting sinful behavior like Jesus commanded (Matthew 18:15-17…also see Paul’s instructions in 1 Corinthians 5:9-11), openly sinful lifestyles are accepted – even celebrated – as normal among the congregation.
In the end, these kinds of churches cease to resemble anything like historical Christianity. They become social clubs.
On his blog, Andrew Collins contrasts this with the Evangelical approach:
“Many Evangelicals, if they’re honest with you, don’t like what the Bible says about things like God’s sovereignty, hell, or homosexuality, but they choose to believe them anyways. These Christians have a unique freedom to admit that their own perspectives, even their own moral sensibilities, may be a little tweaked. As such, they seek an external standard by which to correct themselves….what sort of relationship can you have with a personal God if He does not contradict your beliefs, assumptions and sensibilities every once in a while? If you find that your God is always exactly who you want Him to be, could it be that you haven’t found God at all, but rather created a god in your own image?” (emphasis mine; read the full post here)
Most recently, we’ve seen examples of liberal writers and theologians advocating for various forms of Universalism and denying the existence of hell. I’ve been getting a little carried away with the quotes – so I’ll close with an excellent video from Francis Chan addressing this issue. For the “short version” watch the two-minute segment starting at 3:32.