In the first part of this series, the connections between Leftism and the mainline churches were explored particularly through organizations such as the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. In part two, a key error in the beliefs of those mainline churches was exposed. It was the error of denying the full trustworthiness of the Bible.
Inerrancy is the teaching which upholds faith in the full veracity of Scripture. This doctrine is extremely important for the Christian church and the individual believer. It is also often misunderstood.
An Examination of Inerrancy
Critics of the doctrine of Inerrancy have claimed that it means taking the Bible we have today and declaring it perfect. That is incorrect. Inerrancy only applies to the original writings of the Bible. According to the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy,
We affirm that inspiration, strictly speaking, applies only to the autographic text of Scripture, which in the providence of God can be ascertained from available manuscripts with great accuracy.
We further affirm that copies and translations of Scripture are the Word of God to the extent that they faithfully represent the original.
We deny that any essential element of the Christian faith is affected by the absence of the autographs. We further deny that this absence renders the assertion of Biblical inerrancy invalid or irrelevant.
The “autographic text” is the text as it was originally written down by humans inspired by God. As long as “copies and translations” are faithful to that text, they can be considered the written Word of God.
The claims of the Statement include first that the manuscript copies we have extant today are representative of the original text with “great accuracy.” It also claims that no “essential” of faith is “affected” by the absence of the original documents.
These are bold assertions on behalf of the evangelical scholars who composed the Statement. However, they are not without evidence to support them.
Evidence of Biblical Inerrancy
The evidence confirming biblical inerrancy falls into two categories, external and internal. External evidence includes factors like archaeological confirmations of biblical events and historical accuracy. For the doctrine of inerrancy, none is more important than the manuscript evidence of the Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic original texts.
The veracity of any ancient document rests in large part on how many copies of that document remain. The more copies that agree and the closer in date to the original these copies does lend great credibility to the authenticity of the document.
The biblical manuscripts extant vastly outnumber the amount of manuscript evidence for any other ancient document. The latest numbers total more than 60,000 manuscripts, scrolls, and translations of biblical material. The next best count belongs to Homer’s Illiad with a total of about 1800 manuscripts.
The earliest biblical manuscripts date to within 50 years of the originals. In ancient literature, the next closest is Thucydides Greek History with a gap of 200 years between original writing and the earliest copies.
Much more material is available on this subject. Recommendations for deeper study include the works of Josh McDowell, Lee Strobel, Norman Geisler, John Warwick Montgomery, D.A. Carson, and Ravi Zacharias.
Why Is Inerrancy Disregarded by the Leftward Church?
What I will call the Leftward Church is the aggregate of the variously named church organizations in the first article in this series. All of which lean decidedly Left in practice and advocacy.
If there is such evidence of scriptural inerrancy, why is this not recognized by the Leftward Church today? In fact, a whole list of what they would say are reasons could be supplied by any of these denominations for rejecting the truth of God’s Word.
All of them point to one conclusion. Leftward church organizations who deny biblical inerrancy reveal that their ultimate loyalty is given to someone or something other than Jesus. A look at the aims of the Leftward Church can further reveal the object of their loyalty.
The Aims of the Leftward Church
To discern the aims of the Leftward Church, examine what they support and oppose. In every case, the religious and social policies of the Leftward Church are identical to the policies of the political Left.
Both entities support abortion on demand, redistribution of wealth, gay marriage, illegal immigration, and any number of other leftist causes. Moreover, the Leftward Church inculcates these policies within their faith as well as advocating for them publically.
I can state this definitively because of both extensive research and personal experience as a pastor. One example of how Leftism becomes part of the religious practice is found at Grace Baptist Church in Chicago.
This church employed an openly lesbian pastor who lived with her partner. This organization of Christian name and claim chooses a leader whose lifestyle embraces radical feminism and sexuality. Both of which are cherished causes of the political Left.
The Goal is the Impossible Marxist-Socialist Utopia
These aims are small steps being taken ever-more rapidly toward the literal impossible dream. That is the dream of the Marxist-Socialist utopia on earth. The Leftward Church is marching in lock-step with the political Left today. They take their cues and direction from the purest political Leftist of all, Karl Marx.
Marx sought to create an economic and societal utopia via the mechanism of the forced redistribution of wealth. Marxism progressed to socialism and communism from the 19th through the early 20th centuries. It has to date resulted in the deaths of more than 100 million innocent people under the Nazi’s, the Soviets, and the Communist Chinese.
The Left, whether political, cultural or religious in form is still enthralled by the utopian dream of socialism. The historical evidence is that socialism is a destructive and oppressive system. The dream inevitably becomes a tyrannical nightmare.
Yet, in defiance of reality, leftists are drawn irresistibly to this nightmare. The draw is so strong in the Leftward Church that they operate in defiance of the One they claim to worship and follow. That is the tragic reality.
The Leftward Church Is Not New
Jesus warned us about the kind of faith the Leftward Church embraces. Here, He speaks to the Pharisees, but it applies in this circumstance as well.
You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said: “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’” Matthew 15:7-9 [ESV]
There have always been those who claim to follow God but teach human doctrine in place of Divine doctrine. Today, as they always have, they claim fealty to Christ but deny His Word. The Leftward Church’s claims of holiness and blessings for abortion clinics are merely another version of endorsing “the commandments of men” instead of God’s Word.
Moreover, today, as always has been, this diabolical alliance will end up self-destructing. All alliances with the devil end up in destruction one way or another.
The Leftward Church will fare no different. They may believe the socialist utopian dream will aid them. God’s Word and history do not agree.
The Holy Bible – English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001
Featured and Top Image courtesy of Elvert Barnes Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of Joe Flintham’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of Robert Cheaib’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 3 courtesy of Luiz Fernando Reis’ Flickr page – Creative Commons License
All other sources linked or cited in the text