For years Christians have used the slippery slope argument as a warning against progressivism, and for years we’ve been met with the argument that the slippery slope is a logical fallacy. To be fair, sometimes it is. Sometimes it’s nothing more than pointing to things that could happen without any proof that they will.

But sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes it’s more than just some appeal to extremes that could happen. Rather, it’s a calculated prediction based on study of the past. “Those who fail to study history are doomed to repeat it,” they say. We claim that becoming soft on certain biblical truths will lead to denying more biblical truths because we’ve seen it happen over and over.

Capitulation begets capitulation. When convenience, personal desires, or societal pressure get us to back down from one biblical truth, it gets that much easier to back down the second time. When you’ve given in twice, what’s going to stop you from doing it a third time, and a fourth? It doesn’t take long before a person finds him or herself standing for nothing. The slippery slope turns into a free fall before you know it.

Why? Because when you reject one plank, the rest fall apart. Core beliefs of Christianity like the inspiration of the Bible, the resurrection of Christ, salvation not by works are a package deal.

One recent example shows exactly what I mean: In a New York Times interview from Easter Sunday (2019), Union Theological Seminary president Serene Jones championed the questioning of Christ’s resurrection:

For Christians for whom the physical resurrection becomes a sort of obsession, that seems to me to be a pretty wobbly faith. What if tomorrow someone found the body of Jesus still in the tomb? Would that then mean that Christianity was a lie? No, faith is stronger than that.

As Paul spelled out in 1 Corinthians 15, without the resurrection of Christ we’d be hopeless. Our faith would be worthless, in vain. But once you’ve rejected the Bible’s foundational teachings, you’re free to say and think anything you want.

Therefore, it should come as no surprise that in the same interview Jones 1) denied that Jesus’ death was payment for our sins 2) denied the virgin birth 3) denied that God can be successfully petitioned in prayer 4) denied the existence of hell 5) couldn’t give an answer for what happens when we die and 6) called God “vulnerable” in contrast to omnipotent and omniscient.

Another article recently appeared in USA Today claiming that churches “admit we got it wrong” and reject literal interpretation of the Bible. His aim: to convince Christians to embrace gay marriage despite the clear biblical teaching on the matter.”Being a faithful Christian does not mean accepting everything the Bible teaches,” the writer argues.

Even within our own fellowship there are those challenging the idea of Biblical literalism and the traditional concept of biblical inspiration.

Statistics tell us just how many are being caught up in these errors. The Barna Group does regular research on the worldviews of those who claim to be Christians based on these 6 criteria:

believing that absolute moral truth exists; the Bible is totally accurate in all of the principles it teaches; Satan is considered to be a real being or force, not merely symbolic; a person cannot earn their way into Heaven by trying to be good or do good works; Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth; and God is the all-knowing, all-powerful creator of the world who still rules the universe today.

In this 2017 release they found that only 17% of those who claim Christianity hold to all 6 beliefs, meaning 5 out of 6 who identify as Christian in some sense are vulnerable to falling down that slippery slope.

Theological liberalism isn’t a slippery slope that’s exaggerated or hypothetical. We have countless real-life examples from the past and present, and we have all of those folks primed to fall prey to it in the future.

For this reason it’s imperative that our elderships embrace the foundational truths of Christianity and make sure their congregations’ preachers and teachers don’t waver for a second on such core truths. As we help disciples grow to maturity, we must make sure they aren’t being built on a culturally-approved foundation of sand but instead on the principles discussed above. Of all people, parents must be constantly reinforcing the Bible’s key truths with their children in a society where they’re constantly met with pressure to compromise online, in movies and TV, and in school.

The slippery slope is real, and it’s a path that leads to limitless compromise to the point one’s faith becomes indistinguishable from the world. We can’t be salt if we aren’t any different. We can’t be light if we look exactly like the darkness (Matthew 5:13-16). Be different. Stand firm against theological liberalism.