Briefing # 8 The stronghold of liberal progressivism actively has been working against the Church since the 1900s. There is a major deception at the heart of this stronghold … that liberalism and liberal progressivism IS Christianity. In actual fact, though, it is not Christianity at all.
It is a different religion and a worldview that is completely opposite to the Biblical Christian faith.
The deception of this stronghold is that the language it uses often is from the Christian vocabulary, but its meanings are completely different. Satan, in collaboration with human sinfulness, has created a powerfully effective stronghold that truly is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
As we may surmise from the results of this demonic stronghold,Satan’s purpose is:
• A departure from the Biblical Christian faith that proclaims Jesus Christ alone as the Way, the Truth and the Life and the only way to have communion with God the Father.
• The loss of the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to change lives and to lead to salvation.
• Satan’s plan is to deceive the Church into so becoming the world that it has no power to transform the world according to the vision of the Kingdom of God.
• The weakening of the Church so that it crumbles before Satan’s assaults disguised as other faiths, such as Islam; so-called spiritual trends like the New Age movement; or ideologies such as socialism or capitalism.
We see the results of Satan’s purpose through this demonic stronghold most vividly in my own denomination, the Presbyterian Church (USA). Parker Williamson of the Presbyterian Lay Committee has documented the results of this stronghold in an excellent book titled Broken Covenant: Signs of a Shattered Communion layman.org/Resources/PLCPublications.aspx
The demonic stronghold of liberalism and liberal progressivism also has had devastating effects in the Presbyterian Church of Canada and the United Reformed Church in the United Kingdom, as well as in many other once-vital denominations around the world
To back up these claims regarding Satan’s purpose, we carefully must show that liberalism and liberal progressivism are, in fact, a demonic stronghold masquerading as a religion that is completely different from Christianity.
We shall find that liberalism and liberal progressivism have a different:
• Understanding of humanity.
• Way of Salvation.
• And, indeed, is masquerading as a religion that is completely different from Christianity.
Mark Patterson, a great pastor-theologian, clarifies these issues. His analysis is part of the videotapes that Presbyterian-Reformed Ministries created when it was fighting against the work of an official Peace Unity and Purity Task Force that developed an “Authoritative Interpretation” to the constitution of the Presbyterian Church (USA) that was guided by liberalism and liberal progressivism. In his analysis, Dr. Patterson clearly shows the contrast between Christianity and liberalism/liberal progressivism.
His analysis is supported by and, indeed, is a present-day application, of the analysis done by J. Gresham Machen in his brilliant 1923 book Christianity and Liberalism. As part of this briefing, there is a chart that highlights portions of Machen’s arguments to illustrate the contrast in worldviews between Christianity and liberalism/liberal progressivism. It is highly recommended that you read the whole book. biblebelievers.com/machen/
This analysis is extremely important if one is to understand the buildings blocks of liberalism and liberal progressivism. Undertaking a study of this analysis,in turn, will provide the “intelligence” that is needed to understand how the Holy Spirit may be leading us to pray so that the sham religion of liberalism/liberal progressivism may be overcome.
Satan has so cleverly woven this stronghold into the fabric of the Church that many Christians, including ourselves, sometimes may be blinded to its deception. It especially is important, then, to look at this carefully and through the eyes of wisdom and discernment.
Do you want your church to grow? The key is cooperating with the Holy Spirit who grows the church.
We have just published a new book called, Growing the Church in the Power of the Holy Spirit published by Zondervan which provides practical clear biblical guidiance as to how to nurture this dyanmic of cooperating with the Holy Spirit in the local congregation.
This book written by Brad Long, Paul Stokes and Cindy Strickler who have been involved in the equipping of thousands of pastors and lay people through the PRMI Dunamis Project.
It is amazing the way the Holy Spirit will give us invitations to do the work of prayer. When we say yes we find ourselves a part of God's work on earth.
The two important aspects recieving these invitations:
First it is wonderful the way God speaks to people in many different ways. We must learn how God speaks to us.
Second, these calls to prayer, will often come to us within our own "sphere of activity." This is the place whre God has called us and given us authority to cooperate with Him in advancing the Kingdom.
If we do not step into the gap when called we can actually block God doing what He intended to do through us.
The primary way that the Holy Spirit expresses His power is through opening our spiritual eyes. Prophetic vision and dreams is the way that God shows us what He is doing as well as the way He invites us into fulfilling the vision.
Dr. Zeb Bradford Long with Fred Reitsma give a testimony about how Fred was empowered by the Holy Spirit to speak into a person's heart as they were dying. It is amazing what we, as very ordinary people, can do when cooperating with the Holy Spirit.