I saw this great metaphor over at Lone Star Times about how those who don’t believe the essentials of the Christian faith have taken over many churches and propped them up to suit their motives.
In the not-so-classic movie “Weekend at Bernie’s,” two friends prop up a dead guy to make him appear alive so they can throw parties at his house. In the same way, liberal theologians don’t believe in the essentials of the faith (Jesus is God, He is the only way to eternal life, the Bible is authoritative and accurate, etc.), so they think they have a dead church on their hands. They don’t have faith that God can still work through his Word to transform lives and cultures.
They prop it up, though, because they like the money, the influence, the buildings and the status that comes with their leadership roles. But they are really frauds. They either lied at their ordination vows or changed their minds later. Either way, if they were honest they would stop accepting payment from their members for teaching the opposite of the beliefs the church was founded upon.
Their teachings are like salt water, leaving you thinking that you are having your spiritual thirst quenched but all the while killing you.
For a better analysis, read this by Charles Spurgeon. He wrote it in 1870 but the message is still fresh and applicable.