Today we face a multitude of dangers from forces that strive to pollute the Christian message. The invasion of cults and non-traditional faiths has deceived millions of people, but none of these groups is anywhere near as threatening as a certain lie that is able to freely travel beyond denominational or faith barriers. “Liberation theology” is one of Satan’s greatest soul-destroying tools.
Throughout the history of Christianity, we’ve seen a continuous cycle of apostasy and reform. Whenever the devil would deaden one denomination, he would create a void that would be filled by a new denomination that still held to the Gospel truth. It appears that Satan has finally realized he needs to replace the Gospel with something that will take the shape and form of the rebirth experience.
Liberation theology is the perfect substitute for true Christianity. It replaces the traditional message of salvation based on faith in Jesus’ death with one that is focused on salvation through political and social reform. Salvation is simply reduced to the goal of freedom from oppression in this life. Liberation theology allows the Gospel of Christ to be swallowed up by socialism. God is seen as a “hidden force,” and the New Testament is merely a collection of useful illustrations of Marxist truths.
Liberation theology began to appear in Latin America in the late 1960s. Theologians began preaching that sin was manifested in the unjust structures of one class of people dominating over a lower class. At first they were determined to implement the social implications of the Gospel for Latin America. It didn’t take them long to progress to the belief that political revolution was the best way to express Christian love toward suffering neighbors. Later, they concluded that God is using radical Marxist revolutionary movements to establish His kingdom of peace, justice, equality, and prosperity for Latin America.
The liberationist movement revives the doctrine of universalism. Adherents ignore man’s spiritual needs and concentrate on bettering mankind’s physical condition. Universalism is heretical and undermines the biblical doctrine of salvation through faith in Christ alone.
The passages of Scripture used to support liberation theology mainly center on Jesus’ identification with the oppressed: Isaiah 61:1,2, “The spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord has anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound. To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn.”
The theology of liberation shifts the emphasis toward liberating action, in a strongly political sense, in the context of the conflict situation of the world today.
Liberation theology may have begun in Central America, but it has found its greatest support in the black population of North America. In the last two decades, what has become known as “black theology” has gained an absolute stranglehold on black consciousness. To be oppressed is to be black, and to be an oppressor doesn’t necessarily relate to a person’s skin pigmentation. What matters is one’s attitude and action towards the liberation of the oppressed black populous. Individuals who stray from the fold are labeled as being traitors to their own race.
Under black theology, all oppression relates to physical, economic, psychological, and political repression. Black theology seeks to speak to “this-world” problems rather than “other-world” issues. The sinfulness of man’s plight in a ghetto is viewed as being more important than sin in man’s heart. People are taught to look for an earthly savior who will deliver man from earthly slavery rather than for a Savior who saves man from spiritual bondage.
Liberation theology fails on both the earthly and the spiritual levels. Some of the most oppressive governments on the planet have been proponents of the principles of liberation theology. Marxism is very much related to this doctrinal view, and it leads to the deaths of untold millions of people. If you ignore the need for morality, you’re headed down a path toward self-destruction.
Nowhere in the Bible does Jesus Christ promote liberation through social and political reform. He did identify with the poor, but I hardly see how empathy for the downtrodden could be seen as a sign to take up arms against the ruling authority.
The only hint of a liberation gospel came from the people who surrounded the Savior. Most people, including the 12 disciples, expected Jesus to overthrow the Roman Empire’s rule and set up an earthly kingdom. If you look at His words, you will find the main focus of Jesus’ ministry was on the eternal Kingdom:
Matthew 5:3-10: Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Matthew 5:12: Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
Matthew 22:21: Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.
John 18:36: Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
After nearly exhausting all the potential gains that can be derived from racial and social class grievances, liberation theology has found the liberation of planet Earth to be full of great potential. We repeatedly hear from environmental warriors that rain forests are being stripped of their vegetation, the atmosphere is being contaminated with greenhouse gases, and toxic waste is blighting our major waterways.
No one in his right mind wants to see all the forests cut down or the air and sea polluted. We need to be good stewards of the earth, but we don’t need to make environmentalism into a religion where Mother Earth takes on the role of the Supreme Being.
The idea that the earth needs to be saved from human activity is laughable. Without God’s intervention, man might wipe himself out, but the earth is in no great danger. We don’t need to find salvation for the earth; we need to find it for ourselves.
Matthew 16:26: For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?