You shall not make for yourself a graven image.
Today’s denominations have created a Tower of Babel (Gen. 11): together they have conspired against the Holy One. Rather than following the God described in Scripture, they fashioned a tower made up of a collection of many politically correct influences, usually labeled “liberal,” “seeker-sensitive,” “prosperity gospel,” or other such phrases. These things are man-made idols in God’s sight. But the greatest of all the idols of modern Christianity is its faulty, anti-Biblical view of God. Over the past 200 years or so, the image of God has been changed, largely through the influence of “mainline liberal” churches, with pastors who adhere to “liberal theology,” and not traditional evangelicalism.
The old evangelicalism was brought into existence by John Wesley, George Whitefield, and Jonathan Edwards. Coincidentally, during the same time that America was being born as a country in the 1700s–a Great Awakening in the United States and a Methodist Revival in England. This evangelical revival came from the framework of Puritan theology. Wesley gave birth to an Arminian Puritanism (the Methodist Episcopal Church), while Whitefield and Edwards continued the Calvinist strain, and revived religion among the Baptists, Congregationalists, and Presbyterians. Anglicans were also revived. This was the birth of the old evangelicalism: the true Biblical faith as it is laid out in the New Testament; an uncompromising, stubborn adherence to the doctrinal and practical statements of Scripture as totally authoritative over the Christian’s life; and to the doctrines of salvation that Martin Luther reintroduced to the church during the Protestant Reformation. The doctrines of repentance, penal substitution, justification, regeneration, sanctification, the moral law, perseverance, Heaven, and most definitely HELL. There was clarity in those days; if there was any confusion, it was only about Calvinist and Arminian differences. But even so, people could be friends; and families could be married with such differences. Biblical holiness, and the evangelical doctrines of salvation, were what held the body of Christ together in those days. In those days, they saw the Gospel as Good News to save sinners from addictions, temptations, the devil’s power, and Hell. They were anxious to experience the internal witness of the Holy Spirit; and to have genuine assurance of their salvation from Hell; and their fellowship with Jesus.
But the new evangelicalism that we have today mixed things up with liberalism; and Billy Graham, believe it or not, played his part in this blurring of the lines. When I say, “liberal” I am not referring to Democrats; I am referring to denominations who believe in “liberal theology”; people who deny the authority of the Bible, and pick-and-choose what they want to believe; and generally reject supernatural experiences; and deny or explain away miracles in the Bible; and are lawless and universalist; politically correct; tolerant of non-conversion; friendly and anti-evangelistic toward non-Christians; and overall, children of the devil (1 John 3:10). They are most at home in this world, not the spirit world; and tend to value material things over spiritual and theological things; they tend to idolize luxury items like mansions and expensive cars, Ivy League schools and high positions, expensive lavish vacations, athletic excellence, fine clothing, and all the toys of human fancy. When it comes to the Bible, they see it as a dry old book. It has no spiritual power. It is filled with legends that are untrue and superstitious; but hey, it might have some good social teachings, like the Sermon on the Mount. Politics and votes are more important to new evangelicals and liberals than Bible study and evangelistic preaching. They think they can influence the world more effectively through the ministry of king Herod than through that of the apostle Paul (Mark 8:15).
The new evangelicalism of today is not a religion of revival. It is a dead “form” of godliness that denies its power (2 Tim. 3:5). It’s a Jello mold with no Jello. It’s out of touch with God, angels, the Holy Spirit, demons, and the supernatural; it’s totally out of touch! It’s a dry, dead, hollow, lukewarm frame of mind (Rev. 3:16). Who’s at fault? Both the preacher and the pew. “They heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears” (2 Tim. 4:3), for sermons that do not challenge, uproot sin, and do not rain on their fleshly parades and vanity fairs. No flesh can glory in God’s presence (1 Cor. 1:29). The rich cannot brag in God’s sight. The intelligent cannot brag in God’s sight. The athlete cannot brag in God’s sight. The musician cannot brag in God’s sight. The author cannot brag in God’s sight. The scientist cannot brag in God’s sight. The pastor cannot brag in God’s sight. No man can brag in God’s sight. “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6).
The new, liberalized, antinomian, universalistic evangelicalism of today is pure idolatry. It’s not Bible-based. Sure, they bring their Bibles to church, but they don’t read them; sure the pastor has a Bible, but it’s all on the PowerPoint presentation; sure he quotes Scripture in his sermons (two or three verses). A far cry from Wesley’s sermons, which quoted the Bible nearly 100 times. It’s a Tower of Babel these new evangelicals have built for themselves; and their musicians are in on it too. They craft endless love songs for the radio to leave us with the impression that God has no almighty power, justice, and wrath to be saved from. They tickle our ears with sentimental ditties and happy-clappy cake frosting poems, to make us feel that everything’s always a-okay with God. False prophets. The quality of their music is below average: not even the world likes it: they hardly produce Platinum or even Gold albums; and forget about Diamond albums. It’s because there is no passion for the worship of the true God! Pastors follow suit. Christian books at the bookstores, same thing. There are no Puritans quoted in any of these books. There are no Puritan books hardly ever sold. The Banner of Truth Trust? Forget it! When was the last time you saw one of those books at LifeWay or Family Christian?
Today’s church leaders know what they’re doing. They know better; they know what they are allowing and rejecting. And God will judge them harshly for misleading the world. They will stand before God for every time they have “handled the Word of God deceitfully” (2 Cor. 4:2) and de-sanctified the entire Christian religion, and transformed it into a family-friendly social and political movement, rather than the vital spirituality that the Bible says its meant to be!
The word “Babel” means “gate of God.” The leaders from all these denominations (liberal, “evangelical,” and Catholic) have all rallied together in ecumenical delight, to create what they believe is a new “gate of God” for themselves. But because they have strayed–so very, very far from what kind of religion is described in the Bible, they will be sadly disappointed to find out when they die, that they were all idol worshipers who had made their own god, and followed their own way; and that the true God will call them to account for what was written in their Bibles; and will angrily throw them into Hell, as the true enemies of God, who had rebelled against the Scriptures, and handled them deceitfully, only now to be thrown through the “gate of God” into the gates of Hell, where they will suffer everlasting confusion of tongues.