Flocking Away From The Church Pt. 4
Was the cross of Christ simply a lesson in tolerance? Is the Bible’s central message to: “Go ye into all the world and be tolerant“? Did Jesus say: “For God so tolerated the world, that he gave his only begotten Son”? And did He tell His followers: “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have tolerance one for another”?
An absolute travesty is unfolding before us in the church today through the ongoing amalgamation of lifestyles, beliefs, interpretations, principles, practices, definitions, rituals, religions, cultures and world views all for the purpose of forwarding the global gospel of “tolerance, diversity and unity.”
“But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes,’ or ‘No, no;’ and anything
beyond this is of evil.”
Yes he is spot-on correct, there is an absolute travesty unfolding throughout the church which is fueled by the “false gospel of tolerance.” What more specifically is happening here?
BY HOLY SPIRIT-INSPIRED MEN, BUT RATHER THE BIBLE
IS THE WORD OF MEN CONTAINING HERE AND
THERE WISDOM FROM GOD.”
If you will:
THE VOICE OF GOD.”
Bam! Because this viewpoint concerning the Bible is being TOLERATED:
DISHWATER GRAY SKIES OVER MICHIGAN IN THE
WINTER FROM WHICH THERE IS NO LIGHTNING
OR THUNDER EVER BREAKING OR SHAKING
FORTH, BUT JUST STUFF THAT WE
CONSTANLY HAVE TO SHOVEL
OUT OF OUR WAY.”
Second, because of this growing superficial attention given to the Word of God, what is happening is this:
BE ONE WITH EACH OTHER IN THE LORD.”
If you will:
TOGETHERNESS IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN TRUTH,
AND THEREFORETOLERANCE HAS BECOME THE
MANTRA OFAPOSTATE MODERN RELIGION.”
OF THE WORD OF GOD THAT SEPARATES SINNERS FROM
THEIR DEAREST LUSTS AND PERVERSIONS, BUT
THE WARM FUZZIES OF THE WORD OF MAN
THAT GATHERS EVERYONE INTO THE
OKAY CORRAL OF TOLERANCE
Father I have made known to you.”
The word “tolerance” never even appeared in scripture until the 1960’s and 70’s when the New American Standard and New International versions of the Bible came into being. In the King James and original American Standard versions the word used was “forbearance” which itself could imply something altogether different. It should also be noted that at the time the new versions of the bible were printed, Marxist liberals were tenaciously teaching tolerance as the new measure of morality in
America from kindergarten through seminary.
It would be natural to assume that as much as TOLERANCE is used today with respect to Christians, it would be found repeatedly throughout scripture. However, the reality is, it appears only once in the NIV and twice in the NASV as a brief encouragement for believers to put aside “personal differences and sufferings” for the sake of the Gospel. IT DOES NOT MEAN we are all to piously sit silent while the world’s humanists, heretics and homosexuals twist and trash the Word of God to satisfy their own appetites and ambitions.
“Tolerance“, as it is most commonly used today, is nothing more than a warm and fuzzy buzzword to confuse and disarm believers, undermine the Church and contradict everything the Bible teaches about sin from Genesis to Revelation. “Tolerance” was never meant to replace love, righteousness, forgiveness or redemption. It is STILL the will of God that sin be exposed, confessed, repented-of, forgiven or judged…not tolerated for the sake of peace and unity. (Ephesians 5:11)
Regardless of what today’s theological liberals might tell you to the contrary, “Tolerance” IS NOT the Gospel of Christ.
[Before my commentary and comments on this critically important section of Bruce’s Biblical and scholarly insights, let me just quote a fellow pastor who wrote to Bruce these words, “…I am seeing more and more people being disgusted with the church and either leaving or leaving in place because the church preaches nothing and stands for nothing. I just ate lunch with 6 people on Sunday, one a new Christian that came out.”
STANDS FOR NOTHING.”
INTOLERANT OF NOTHING.”
It does not surprise me that Bruce makes the very powerful and extremely important observation that in the Bible TOLERANCE is a totally non-existent theme. Why? Because God is a totally intolerant God and the Bible is a totally intolerant book. We read God’s Word about Himself in Isaiah 44:6,
of Hosts: I am the first and the last, and there is
no God beside me.”
How is that for intolerance? No wiggle room here whatsoever for aspiring gods. “The God” does not work well on committees with other gods. No others need apply for “The God Position.” All auditions are closed forever!
And as for His Holy Word, get a load of these highly intolerant statements in Revelation 21:18-19,
if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues
which are written in this book;”
“and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy,
God shall take away his part from the tree of life and the holy
city which are written in this book.”
When we speak of TOLERANCE, we must in the same breath speak of the absence of STRONG CONVICTIONS. When we speak of INTOLERANCE we must equally in the same breath speak of the presence of STRONG CONVICTIONS. The Holy Spirit is the GREAT CONVICTOR (John 14:8), and the strength or weakness of our convictions will be in direct proportion to the presence or absence of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
When the Holy Spirit ignites you with His fire, you will be the antithesis to the lukewarm Laodiceans talked about in Revelation 3:16 who populate the modern church in droves. They speak of “tolerance” as the gold-standard virtue, when all the while they are the most intolerant ones toward those who are fired up with Holy Spirit-burning convictions. Hear me:
UP FIERCELY STRONG INTOLERANCE OF CONTRADICTIONS
TO THE BIBLE.”
If you will:
THE TEMPERATURE OF THE LATTER.”
This is how it is:
CONVICTIONWITHOUT THE FIRE
I warn all of us that this is far more than just a little, innocent looking poop stain on a baby’s diaper. This is a cosmic load of heaps of decaying dung in the universal church, and it is going to require now world-wide uprisings against it in the local churches to clean it up a shovel at a time with the disinfectant of the truth of God’s Word.
24/7 we hear TV and grass-roots preachers who are substituting –
-cash in place of character
-riches in place of righteousness
-giving-to-get in place of loving-to-give,
-moral relativism in place of moral absolutism,
-health in place of holiness
-perversion in place of purity
-the temporal in place of the eternal
-the material in place of the spiritual
-the earthly in place of the heavenly
-success in place of salvation
-froth in place of substance
-‘I’m okay – you’re okay’ in place of sin-conviction
-self-esteem in place of broken-hearted repentance
-self-indulgence in place of self-denial
-bless me in place of bless Him
-greasy grace in place of amazing grace
-sloppy agape in place of tough love
-man’s abilities in place of the Holy Spirit’s gifts
-man’s word in place of God’s Word
-genie-god in place of Sovereign God
-for me in place of for Him
And on and on it goes. It is a totally false gospel, a man-centered theology (which is a blue-ribbon oxymoron), and a completely perverted bible.
Now then, be clear about and be sure of the following facts. First, the religion that is metastasizing throughout modern Christianity is basically TEMPORALISM, MATERIALISM AND AMORALISM. It is the exact opposite of God’s Word in Colossians 3:1-2,
“If then you have been rasied with Christ, keep seeking the
things above where Christ is, seated at the
right hand of God.”
“Set your mind on the things above, not on the things
that are on earth.”
The truth be known, masses of people in the modern church have for some time now been selling their birthrights for plastic bowls of stew made up of money and mammon. Which is about the same and as worthwhile as discussing the meaning of life over a cup of mud.
I am reminded of the words of our Lord Jesus Christ in Mark 8:36,
“For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world,
and forfeit (lose) his soul?”
In other words:
“NEITHER THE EARTH OR ALL OF THE HEALTH AND WEALTH
IT CONTAINS CAN SANCTIFY MAN’S INTELLECT, REFINE
HIS MORALS, PURIFY HIS SPIRIT OR SAVE HIS SOUL.”
Second, the REDEFINED CHURCH with its REPLACEMENT THEOLOGY is not a local fad that will pass away as fads do. It will not simply go away or pass over and be seen no more. No! No! No! This is not a mere passing fancy. And I guarantee you it will not be defeated by Bruce Wells or Bob Klingenberg mano-a-mano taking on a false prophet here or there. It will take all of those in the chruch who are commmited to Bible truth to rise up and come against the present apostasy.
I am getting the same feeling that the Indians must have felt when it dawned on them that the palefaces weren’t just visiting North America for a few weeks of fresh air and religious freedom. The massive scope of this thing should hit us in the face like a ton of buffalo chips.
Where these heresies are being TOLERATED not only but EMBRACED, they will spread and intensify to the highest pitch that Satan himself can raise them to. So that the false prophets (ringleaders of the mess) will continue by the tens of thousands to find proselytes eager to list themselves under their banners. Deluded people in droves shall be drawn to follow these imposters until entire churches become apostate cults.
Those denominations and churches, including those of my own Pentecostal persuasion, that continue to consume this counterfeit and deadly religion, it will be for them in the not-to-distant future the deathblow to true Christianity in their midst, no matter how glorious their church’s birth was so many years ago.
How far has the TOLERANCE of all of this brought us? Far enough that I am sure there are many Episcopalians, Methodists, Presbyterians, Congregationalists, and many others who are rightly saying that what they are part of now makes the church of their fathers no longer recognizable. They can’t feel at home in their churches anymore and are flocking away from them. It is not only intolerable, it is unbearable.
The screams of the pain and sorrow of the disenfranchised are viewed simply as annoyances to and by the apostate ecclesiastical leadership. And after all, people come and people go for multiple reasons all the time for you can’t satisfy everone. And the so-called “hyper-conserative” or “hyper-orthodox” are told that they should feel free to leave but to go with no hard feelings. And so they are throwing in their towels like a prizefighter who has had enough.]
Allow me now to explain what a theological liberal is, in order for you to be better equipped to identify any who are in your church.
A theological liberal is someone who turns aside from the Word of God and substitutes for it their own speculations.
A theological liberal is someone who judges the Holy Scriptures by their own subjective experience and not their experience by the Scriptures.
A theological liberal is someone who is infected with the deadly heresy of universalism, the belief that everyone is going to be saved anyway, Christ or no Christ.
A theological liberal is someone who cuts the Bible to pieces, denying the supernatural, denying the miracles and the revelations of God, and denying the divine inspiration of the Holy Word.
A theological liberal is someone who turns aside from the Great Commission and who feels no burden of soul to win the lost of the world for Christ.
The spiritual erosion caused by theological liberalism, humanism, syncretism, and universalism is both tragic and sickening.
[The terms “Liberal” and “Tolerance” are not little innocent and benign terms by which we categorize people. Given their full potential they are lethal cancers in the Body of Christ. “Liberalism” and “Tolerance” are being used as synonyms here as they are in Webster’s New Explorers Dictionary.
I would add in sync with these contagions the word “Apostasy.” A “theological liberal” does not adhere to strict Biblical givens. He is “tolerant” of all kinds of theological viewpoints and notions about anything and everything, but intolerant as to what the Bible really teaches. He is so loosey-goosey and open-minded in Biblical interpretation that his theological brains fall out. A “theological liberal” always becomes “tolerant” and evetually “apostate.” His brains first “fall out” and then he “falls away.” He apostasizes, that is, he “falls way” from the Word of God and therefore from the God of the Word.
A “theological liberal” looks at theology as the “modern artist” looks at art. If you will in either case:
“IT IS WHAT YOU THINK IT IS.“
“IT MEANS WHAT YOU THINK IT MEANS.”
“IT BECOMES WHAT YOU WANT IT TO BECOME.”
Just so we are clear here concerning terms that we are using interchangeably – liberalism, tolerance, and apostasy. One might say of the “theological liberal” that “liberalism” is his “stance,” “tolerance” is his “practice,” and “apostasy” is his inevitable “condition.” That is always the regressive pattern in the apostate’s devolution.
I am reminded always in all of this of the late Duncan Littlefair who for many years was the so-called “pastor” of Fountain Street Church” in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Duncan was brought up in Presbyterianism by his mother. He was no stranger to the Christian Faith and Christian Theology and Christian Catechism. He memorized the Westminster Shorter Catechism and much of the Bible as well.
Duncan got his Bachelor and Theological Degrees from McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario. He then became a student at the University of Chicago in the fall of 1936 where he began to lose his way and eventually fell away from the fundamentals of the Christian Faith.
Littlefair’s devolution into “theological liberalism” more than likely happened to him like it does to so many young people who go off to secular universities and colleges. It doesn’t happen all at once. The “theological liberal” at first begins to doubt, let us say, the Genesis account of creation. His professors mess with it in every way imaginable, and in so doing mess up his mind. He then begins to deny the Bible’s creation account as literal. Denial of “Biblical Literalism” is the seed bed of “Theological Liberalism.” Eventually he gives it an allegorical spin, and after that little by little he begins to butcher more and more the Word of God. One by one his childhood convictions begin to fall like “doctrinal dominoes.”
But here it all becomes very tricky. The “theological liberal” will use and even preach from the Bible to advance his liberalism. Never forget that! His context and frame of reference is still “theological.” He will in fact use and twist the Bible to refute the Bible. Sound familiar? Twisting God’s Word to refute God’s Word as did Satan with Eve!
A “theological liberal” is nothing more or less than Satan in disguise. It all reminds me of the tragic resident of Hell in C. S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce who was given the opportunity to take a bus trip to visit the outskirts of Heaven. He grew quickly impatient and wanted to get back to Hell ASAP in order to teach a class on theology.
Get a good load of Duncan Littlefair’s words as a “theological liberal” when he states, “The religion I preach is the religion of my culture – Christianity. I have never preached a sermon without a Biblical text.” Now get this as he goes on, “I have never, even slightly, encouraged any supernatural idea or belief. I have never taken refuge in any absolute.” There you have it, truth is relative and there is no absolute truth in the “theological liberal’s” mindset. That is the essence of true theological liberalism.
As a matter of fact, the only real mindset that the “theological liberal” has is that there should be no mindset. We should be open to everyone’s theological and philosophical points of view – tolerance! As in these words from Littlefair, “I still advance the notion that religiously we are all on our own. No one has the answers. No one speaks for another. No one controls another. No one speaks for God.” In other words, everyone’s ideas should be considered as valuable as everyone else’s in what he calls “the quest to find the meaning and worth of life.”
Now then we must never forget these principles when it comes to the devolution of “theological liberalism” and “theological tolerance”-
“WHERE THERE IS ‘THEOLOGICAL TOLERANCE OF’ AND ‘NON-
RESISTANCE’ TO UNTRUTH, THE CONTRARY IDEAS AND
IMPRESSIONS ALWAYS ENTER THE MIND WEAKENING
AND DESTROYING TRUTH AS WELL AS FAITH IN THE
GOD OF SCRIPTURE.”
And what is more, Duncan Littlefair was a master debater. He loved it! He reveled in the public spotlight. As I heard him debate Dr. Henry Stob of Calvin Theological Seminary on the theme “The Viability of the Christian Faith in the 20th Century,” it dawned on me:
OPPOSITION TO HIS UNTRUTH. THE LIBERAL HAS LITTLE
TO STAND FOR, BUT HE JUST LOVES TO STAND
AGAINST THOSE WHO STAND FOR. IT TURNS
HIM ON LIKE NOTHING ELSE CAN.”
Duncan Littlefair became not only a tragic “apostate” from the Christian Faith, but he became a restless and ill-spirited atheist when it came to the God of Christianity. He ended up believing in the eternity of matter, and called himself a “Naturalistic Religionist.” That is where liberalism and tolerant intolerance lead.
The last words I ever heard from Duncan Littlefair were in an interview of him by myself and my wife, when in response to my asking him what he thought of the miracles of Christ, he got out of his desk chair, came across his office floor, and bending over got within three inches of my nose and shouted at me, “Junk, Junk, Junk!!!”
My friends, our silence in the name of tolerance, only demonstrates cowardice and indifference to the One we call Lord; the very opposite of the love He teaches and not unlike what we see in so many churches today.
Because of these tolerance teachers, these “facilitators” and the counterfeit gospel they preach in many of our churches today, is it any wonder that practicing homosexuals are now “married” and “ordained” by a clergy who publicly question the very deity of Christ and casually bring His claim of being “The Way, The Truth and The Life” up for a congregational vote? This is a crude example of equating God’s love with today’s tolerance.
This, my friends, is the filthy fruit of tolerance and an undeniable sign of the desperate times we are now entering. If this isn’t the Apostasy then I don’t know what is.
The cross is a lot of things to a lot of people but it IS NOT a lesson in tolerance. If God were tolerant of sin He never would have sacrificed His “Only Begotten Son” to suffer and die so horrendously for the likes of you and me.
Yes, the cross of Christ was an act of divine love but it was also a vivid demonstration of God’s absolute intolerance for sin.
“Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty
deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the
basic principles of the world, and not according
to Christ.” (Colossians 2:8)
Bruce’s “Flocking Away from the Church, Part 5: Termites in the House of God” and my commentary and comments are forthcoming.
In His strong love,