The Bible cautions us to not turn to the right or to the left (Deut. 5:32). In politics or religion, the “right” connotes conservatism and the “left” points to liberalism. The point in Deuteronomy is that it is always wrong to move either to the right or left of God’s instructions.
Liberalism is the name given when persons are less strict than the truth demands, even though they may regard themselves as fair and honest in their handling of the scriptures. The “left” in religion will compromise essential matters of faith. They hold that there is no way to prove as true any one version of the Christian faith.
According to this view, Christianity is not unique but is only one religion among many world religions. They reject the Bible as being the actual word of God to man, and the Bible must constantly be reinterpreted in light of scientific evidence. They restate the doctrine of Christ to show that Jesus was subject to limitations of knowledge that only applied to the people of His day and time. They deny that mankind is lost and under the condemnation of sin. Their main concern is about reforming the social order through humanitarian efforts.
They have no concern for the New Testament concept of the church. They view the church as a useful social agency to be used in promoting universal justice and equality. The liberals say that love should make us tolerant of error.
Those on the “right,” conservatives, believe and teach that Christ established only one church (Matt. 16:18). All those who obey the gospel are added to that church when they are baptized unto the remission of their sins (Acts 2:38, 47). Christ’s church must abide in His doctrine (II John 9-11). Christ’s church is not on par with denominations established by men and perpetuated by false doctrine (Matt. 15:13).
CAN WE KNOW WHAT IS RIGHT OR WRONG IN RELIGION? Can people teach contradictions and both be right? Can two and two equal both four and seven? Can baptism be both essential and non-essential unto salvation? Can instrumental music be both authorized of God and sinful in New Testament worship?
How can we tell who is right and who is wrong in religion? Not by the number of people who believe and practice a certain thing. Not by our personal desires in the matter (Prov. 14:12). Only by the word of God, and it alone, can we know who is right or wrong in religion. The Bible is the inspired and authoritative word of God which is the absolute standard in all spiritual matters (II Tim. 3:16-17).
The “left” will argue that the Bible is subject to human interpretation, and we cannot see it alike! If we cannot see the Bible alike, then Paul required an impossibility when he wrote, “Now I beseech you, brethren, through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ that ye all speak the same things, and that there be no divisions among you, but that ye be perfected together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (I Cor. 11:10).
If we cannot see the Bible alike, John postulated sheer foolishness when he required Christians to distinguish between true and false teachers of the word (II John 9:11). The false notion that we do not have to be correct in our religious beliefs and practices is completely false!
Faithful elders, preachers and members of the church must cease being a silent majority when the truth of God is mocked and begin to speak out concerning the truth.