September 25, 2011 Q & A

Liberal and Reformed?


How is it possible to be liberal and Reformed? I've read a lot of information on this site and others like it but I still don't understand why some Reformed churches are liberal and others not.

I've also noticed that the OPC seems to be quite conservative but you don't seem to be legalistic like some Baptists, Church of Christ and some Pentecostals. In fact my SBC seems liberal when I compare it to the local OPC. How is this?


Thank you for your questions. I think the answer lies in which definition of Reformed one uses. There are a number of churches that have that term in their name, but have forgotten what it means. It comes from the Reformation slogan that "The Reformed church is always reforming" according to the Word of God. In other words, we are consciously seeking to change anything in our thinking or practice that is not rooted in the Scripture. Understood historically, it is impossible to be Reformed and liberal theologically. We test all things by the Word of God, and that Word only. With that singular authority, we cannot stray from the Gospel.

As you also note, this also protects us from legalism. We are not free to design manmade standards to promote holiness. We find our righteousness entirely in Christ. We are not free to invent mandates or prohibitions. What God requires is required; what he forbids is forbidden; all other things are indifferent.

May God protect us from our own pride, and bring us as students to his Word!



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