They Fill You With False Hope
“And among the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen something horrible… They strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that no one turns from his wickedness.” – Jeremiah 23:14
These are hard truths, and I take no delight in sharing them. However, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” How do we hold to the teaching of Jesus? We read His Word, day in and day out. We come to know His Word, which is the truth, and then, by His Spirit, we begin to live by it. In so doing, we are set free from the power of sin! And as we experience this freedom in Christ, we begin to realize that we have been set free from guilt and shame. That is why Jesus came into the world—to set the captives free. Have you experienced this freedom that can only be found in Christ?
The problem with modern liberal theologians is that they commit two errors in their theological teaching. As J. Gresham Machen explains, liberalism does not hold a high view of God’s transcendence and the gulf that separates us from God. Liberalism’s faulty view of God naturally leads to a faulty view of man. While liberalism holds to a low view of God, it holds to a high view of man in that it contends man is basically good. Furthermore, liberalism asserts that sin does not really exist. And this, according to Machen, lies “at the very root of the modern liberal movement—the loss of the consciousness of sin.” The liberal’s distorted view of both God and man, ultimately leads to Machen’s assertion that liberalism is not true Christianity.
Liberals are not willing to call sin, sin! I think part of the reason is because they desire to please man more than God (John 12:43). They have fallen prey to the idea that a loving God would never condemn anyone. Really? Have they read the Bible? Furthermore, they don’t realize that the most loving thing any preacher can do is teach the truth. Would you really want to go to a doctor who would never tell you that you are sick and you are going to die if you don’t take this medication or have this operation? The most loving act on the part of any preacher is to tell the truth. 1 Corinthians 13 is arguably the greatest chapter in the Bible on the subject of love. Verse 6 states, “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.”
The reason God is so angry with modern liberal theologians is because “they strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that no one turns from his wickedness.” When Jesus came into our world, He preached a message of repentance. To repent means to turn from one’s wickedness. Now please understand that God is not a kill joy. The reason God wants us to turn from our wickedness is so that we will actually find joy. In John 10:10 Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Do you want to have a full life? Then turn from your sin, and turn to Jesus. Then you will experience the freedom in Christ that only He can deliver. And that is the truth!