For a long time, I have resisted using the terms “liberal” or “conservative” when it comes to both theology and politics. My experience has proven that those who identify themselves as theological liberals tend to also identify themselves as politically liberal and vice versa. My reasoning for skepticism in using the term “liberal” with theology is a deep conviction that either you are a true believer in the central doctrine that defines the Christian faith, or you are not.

I have now lived long enough to observe two generations of so-called “theological liberals.”

In the 1950s and 60s, those in mainline denominations who claimed to be theological liberals began preaching liberally from certain biblical texts. They used Jesus’ words to support their departure from the fundamental foundations of biblical Christianity.

“Love your enemies” (Matthew 5:44) is one of their favorite hobby-horses. They use it to water-down the clear exclusivity of salvation for those who acknowledge Jesus alone as their Savior. This wrenching of Jesus’ words out of their context led to full-blown universalism — the inevitable outcome of the misuse of these words of Jesus.

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