False Teachers - The Lures of Liberalism - Colossians 2:4   
June 15, 2022, 8:50 AM

“I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments.”  

Paul gives them another warning addressing man made philosophies. He warns them against fine sounding arguments. There are many who move the attention from Scriptures to what makes sense from a human perspective. I want to look at the “Lure of Liberalism” as one example. It is the philosophy of man, that is man-centered and filled with intellect.  Whatever does not make sense according to the sciences and man’s view is simply discarded. There are many religious leaders who take the fine sounding principles that appeal to the sense of mankind but take away all the miracles and all the wonder of the eternal. Since it doesn't make sense that Jesus can be both God and man, they have fine sounding arguments how He was just a good prophet.    

The lure of liberalism is that we recreate the Bible and the stories of Jesus to fit our pre-conceived ideas of what is true. We are the judges. Common sense becomes the final means of authority for religious beliefs.  Many love to argue the philosophies of atheism and evolutionary theories as if they are facts. How can anyone know there is no God? That seems to be an extreme position of pride that their wisdom and intellect is so superior that it is above spiritual insight. They know there is no God.  

The entire history of human race is a reminder that man continually uses poor judgment. Mankind seldom has the ability to make right decisions. Liberal teachings may have some religious activities such as helping others and working for peace and justice, but much of Scriptures are only considered by them as an anthropological and sociological commentary on the uneducated and un-enlightened people of that day.  

The Lord Jesus himself had to cope with this kind of thinking. In Mark 12 the Sadducees refused to believe in the resurrection based on reason. In verse 24 Jesus analyzed their reasoning. They were wrong because they knew neither the Scriptures nor the power of God. Were they really searching for truth when they came to Jesus? No. They were asking Jesus questions so they could display their superior knowledge.  

Theological liberals today have denied the deity of Jesus and the resurrection. They have eliminated much of Scripture as being fables and stories that cannot be believed as literally true.  

Paul knew that the proclamation of Jesus would be a message that was nonsense to liberals.  For what seems to be God's foolishness is wiser than human wisdom and what seems to be God's weakness is stronger than human strength.  

Christian faith that is honestly explored is definitely not anti-intellectual. Far from it. Paul had one of the most brilliant and highly educated minds of his century. He accused mankind not of having too much wisdom, but rather too little. He taught, if they had enough wisdom, they would not have crucified Jesus. If the Spirit of God understands the thoughts of God, He is the only means by whom to understand them.  

Have you received the Spirit of God? It is impossible for a person to find God through his own intellect - it comes down to a matter of the will.  

God gave to us wisdom that is from above. To ignore it is to decide against Jesus. Satan is sly and wants to lure people into liberalism.

Application:  Beware of how liberalism moves its focus from Jesus to self.  

Prayer:   Lord, guard my heart against thoughts of self and liberalism.  For strength to do this, I look to Your Word, "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God and we take captive every thought making it obedient to Christ." II Cor 10:5