Charles Augustus Briggs
Am I a Liberal?
John MacArthur, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, Michelle Malkin, Ronald Reagan and thousands of others have demonstrated over and over again that liberalism is evil. Their educational efforts are so successful that liberalism has tried a new method of deceiving people. Use the same doctrines, teach the same dogma, just change the name.
“Progressive” is an older term with the same meaning. Probably the oldest term is simply “leftist.” These terms come from the French Revolution, as we wrote about earlier in a blog titled Right and Left. http://elkjerkyforthesoul.wordpress.com/2011/09/22/right-and-left/
Before condemning someone unjustly it is important to allow the Holy Spirit to examine our own lives. What do we believe? Just as there are very few men like Hitler, Lenin, Marxor Chairman Mao in the world, so there are very few like John Calvin or the Apostle Paul. Most of us are liberal in some area of lives.
The Word of God and the truth of God’s Word can be likened to the center point in a sphere. When we move away from the truth it can be in any direction. One person can move away from God in one way while another person departs in the opposite direction.
Liberalism in America began in Colonial America. While many believed in some form of liberalism, the loudest voice, their most visible champion, was Thomas Paine. As the founder of the American version of Secular Humanism, Thomas Paine died clinging to his secular humanist principles.
Liberalism began as a religious principle and is still first and foremost a religious principle. It began as a denial of the inerrant authority of the Word of God. Probably the most famous and one of the most important, though certainly not the earliest, was the public attack of liberalism by Charles Augustus Briggs which resulted in his 1893 heresy trial. Dr. Briggs took a professorship at Union Theological Seminary and gave an inaugural address on 20 Jan 1891 titled The Authority Of The Scripture. The following are lines from that famous sermon which caused him to be found guilty of heresy by the Presbyterian Church.
“The first barrier that obstructs the way to the Bible is superstition….
But superstition is no less superstition if it takes the form of Bibliolatry.
The second barrier, keeping men from the Bible, is the dogma of verbal inspiration.…
It is claimed for these originals by modern dogmaticians that they are verbally inspired. No such claim is found in the Bible itself, or in any of the creeds of Christendom.
The third barrier is the authenticity of the Scriptures.….
Refusing to build on the authority of the living Church, they have sought an authority in the dead Church; abandoning the authority of institutional Christianity, they have sought a prop in floating traditions. These traditions assign authors to all the books of the Bible, and on the authority of these human authors, it is claimed that the Bible is divine.
It will ere long become clear to the Christian people that the Higher Criticism has rendered an inestimable service to this generation and to the generations to come. What has been destroyed has been the fallacies and conceits of theologians; the obstructions that have barred the way of literary men from the Bible.
The fourth barrier set up by theologians to keep men away from the Bible is the dogma of the inerrancy of Scripture. This barrier confronts Historical Criticism. It is not a pleasant task to point out errors in the sacred Scriptures. Nevertheless Historical Criticism finds them.
[Inerrancy of Scripture] is a ghost of modern evangelicalism to frighten children.”
Once the authority of Scripture is rejected, Pandora’s box is opened. With no moral anchor or compass you can justify anything.
Since almost no one is that depraved, almost everyone still retains some Scriptural principles. In the United States, there are laws against murder and theft. Why? Without any concept of the sacredness of life or the value of property, a civilized society cannot exist.
So even though there are various kinds of evil, America is warfare between Conservative and Liberal values. Conservative values are based on a literal reading of the Bible, the US Constitution and the founding documents of the United States. Liberal values are based on a wide range of documents and personal feelings, so the following list might not apply to your brand of liberalism.
One other important point: few if any people completely accept one extreme and reject the other. Liberalism is based on collectivism. Conservatism is based on individualism. Yet the most rugged individualist needs other people. And the most dedicated collectivist recognizes the need of individual responsibility. So while some issues are either/or, most issues are matters of degree.
Marriage: Liberals believe the human body is an amusement park and sex is the greatest joy. “If it does not hurt anyone, anything goes.” Orgies and homosexuality are not only allowed, but also encouraged. Conservatives believe marriage a union between man and woman until death do us part. While sex in marriage is enjoyable, it is also responsible. Sex outside of marriage is sin and there are consequences for sin.
Abortion: The strongest emotions of the Liberal/Conservative controversy center around abortion. This is because the issue centers on “what is man?” If man is a random accident and we are responsible to no one other than people (or sentient beings if you believe in extraterrestrials) then abortion is simply a matter of personal choice and government should have nothing to do with preventing abortions. If God created man and each of us is individually responsible to God at a final judgment, then abortion is murder. Most Americans are uncomfortable with either position and choose something in the middle that does not make sense when thought through.
The Responsibility of Government: Liberals know that many Americans reject what they believe, so they use government to force their beliefs on unbelievers. This is masked as Government providing goodies. Liberals believe in government (that they control) controlling education, healthcare, food supply, transportation and whatever else we can imagine as “good,” clean air, clean water and clothing. Conservatives understand that the government only has what it first takes from someone. The market will not give everyone the same food, clothing, education, housing or healthcare. But it does provide a continually rising standard. As stated many times, a rising tide raises all the boats. A poor American is better off than a middle class man in the Congo. Conservatives view the federal government as more than ten times the size it should be.
Liberals look for equality of outcome. Conservatives look for equality of opportunity. Liberals are Marxist. Conservatives are Free Enterprise.
Liberals look to lawyers and the courts as the ultimate arbiters. Conservatives point out that America does not have a Common Law court system like England. Courts should not be making laws. The responsibility of Courts in the US is to apply the law to the facts of the case. What other courts decided on similar cases should not matter to Judge and Jury deciding a case in front of them
Liberals want to limit, as much as possible, private gun ownership. Since the US Constitution allows private gun ownership, liberals rely on thousands of state and local laws to harass gun owners. Conservatives recognize that the militia of the 2nd Amendment is every male over 18 years old under the order of his state Governor and is not authorized to operate outside of his home state without explicit permission from his governor. The difference between a militia and regular army is who pays for it. Service in a militia is usually not paid for; it is a tax on your time and you must provide your own weapon.
Liberalism has controlled the US since Woodrow Wilson. So attempting to teach our children the Bible or the actual meaning of the Constitution is an attack on the established religion of Liberalism, also known as Secular Humanism. So, how Liberal are you?