Arteries carry oxygenated blood from the heart, under pressure, to every cell in the body. Veins carry oxygen-depleted blood from every cell back to the lungs to receive oxygen and then to the heart to repeat the journey.
Most people have never seen arterial bleeding. Venous bleeding looks like a dark red version of leaking, dripping, or even running water. On the other hand, arterial bleeding sprays scarlet jets of blood, spurting in time with the beat of the heart. It’s hard to die from venous bleeding. But you can die very quickly from an arterial wound.
When a person proposes an inadequate solution, you may have heard it said that his proposal is akin to “slapping a Band-Aid on a bleeding artery.” Band-Aids don’t work on arteries. A doctor may put a Band-Aid on a scraped knee. But he must stitch together the ends of a severed artery.
Liberal Protestantism in the United States lies in its death throes. Covered from head to toe with Band-Aids, its arteries lay flayed open. These self-inflicted cuts represent mortal wounds.
Repudiation of biblical history slices an artery. Denial of the bodily resurrection of Jesus severs another. Disdain for biblical morality cuts more. As life bleeds away and attendance plummets, the leaders of such communions—blind in their unbelief—grope for more Band-Aids.
The Bible is the Word of God, the sure and only authority for the faith and practice of the Church. When a given church or denomination maintains and promotes that truth, it will still sin. It will err. It will falter. It will inflict wounds. But its wounds will be venous cuts, and it will go back to the Word of God to select the biblical Band-Aid. It will heal and thrive.
But when a people turn from God’s Word, reject its authority, or begin to “interpret” the Bible to fit the cultural whims of the day, then the bleeding changes. Scarlet jets spray. Death is near.
No liberal denomination started in unbelief. They all began as faithful, Bible-believing churches. Be warned.
Historically, the first people in any denomination to lose confidence in the Bible are the ministers. Solid, Bible-believing, orthodox lay people form the heart of every sound church and denomination.
If that describes you, then demand of your pastor, your leadership, and your denomination that they stand on the inspired, inerrant, and infallible Word of God, that they refuse to tamper with it, but instead interpret and proclaim it in Christ-centered fidelity. Make your minister prove his teaching from the Word of God.
Even a faithful minister’s teaching occasionally errs. But the cuts will be shallow.
If your church or its leadership begins severing arteries, leave. Find a Bible-believing communion of Christians in which to work and worship.
Because no number of Band-Aids will stop the bleeding.