OceanSide church of Christ
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Victor M. Eskew
The first time this writer heard anything about liberation theology, he
was working nights at Federal Express (FedEx) in
Liberation theology dates back to 1955. Its origin was in
Since 1955, many special interest groups have taken hold of liberation
theology. In the
Liberation theology involves the interpretation of the Word of God. Those who hold to liberation theology, therefore, quote the Bible often. It must be remembered, however, that their interpretation begins with the social concerns of the oppressed and not with spiritual realities. Thus, every aspect of their religion is used to address social injustice, poverty, and human rights. We have already noted their slant on John 8:32. Jesus said: “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” The truth about which Jesus spoke was the gospel of Christ. This truth, when known, sets mankind free from sin, Satan, and wrath to come. This is not how liberation theology views this verse. Jesus is perceived to be a non-white, social liberator. “Truth” means “knowledge of those who are oppressing and how the oppression is taking place.” “Freedom” is liberation from the oppressor and the oppression. Freedom is the ability to be the person you were really intended to be.
Another key passage used by the liberation theologian is Luke
4:18-19. In the context, Jesus is
in a synagogue in
The approach of liberation theology toward Bible interpretation is a warped and perverted approach. Those who use it are described by Peter as being “unlearned and ignorant.” They “wrest” the Scriptures “unto their own destruction” (II Pet. 3:17). The ends of their doctrines show just how perverted this approach to Bible interpretation really is:
Jesus is seen as a non-white liberator instead of the Savior of all men.
Political freedom is exalted above the salvation of the soul.
Social reforms are more important than spiritual conversion.
Personal sin is acknowledged, but it is said to exist because of oppressive political and social structures.
The Bible is interpreted in light of social “class” struggle.
Groups of men are pitted against each other under the descriptive terms of righteous versus unrighteous. These words really stand for poor versus rich, black versus white, lowly versus the powerful, and moral versus the immoral.
The church is viewed as a political institution designed to assist with political and social reforms.
The pulpit is used as a political platform to incite the masses against the prevailing class, race, and administration that is oppressing the poor.
The pulpit preaches rebellion and insurrection against the oppressors instead of subordination to the higher powers.
Inequality is an evil, except when the special interest groups are in power.
If an individual is part of one of the special interest groups, it is easy to get caught up in liberation theology. The theology is designed to lift one out of his immediate misery and affliction. Too, it has the appearance of being rooted in the Scriptures. However, it is a warped and slanted interpretation of God’s Word that is geared toward the social and economic needs of the masses.
There is no doubt that God is concerned about the poor. The psalmist wrote: “I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and the right of the poor” (Ps. 140:12). It is also true that the righteous are called to assist those in need. “Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy” (Ps. 82:3). This being said, it must be understood that the gospel of Christ is not focused solely upon this issue. In fact, this concern pales in significance to the spiritual plight of mankind. Any theology that misses this point has missed the aim of God in sending His Son into the world. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:16-17).
God has not called His people to be political activists. He has called us to be preachers and practitioners of the gospel of Christ. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23). If something is not done to bring mankind out of sin, God’s wrath will come upon them (Rom. 1:18; 6:23). The gospel is the power of God unto salvation (Rom. 1:16-17). It must be taught boldly and continuously to the lost, giving them the opportunity to respond to its call to redemption. This is the mission of God’s people (Mark 16:15-16). The poor will be with us always according to Jesus (Mark 14:7). Their physical plight will end at death. On the other hand, if mankind’s spiritual condition is not addressed, their eternal misery will begin at death. Dear readers, let’s embrace a liberation theology that frees man from sin and wrath to come in the realms of eternity.