On Weddings, Theological Liberalism, and Discernment

OK, this is now my third article on the royal wedding, and hopefully the last – but you never know! My first piece offered a look at the real royal wedding at the end of the ages that all Christians so much look forward to. My second piece examined the message delivered by the head of the American Episcopal Church, Michael Curry.

It is that man and his message that has generated the greatest bulk of controversy and commentary, both here and elsewhere. As I stated, this is now one of the most liberal and apostate denominations in America. And his keen support of homosexuality is just one example of this.

Yet I have seen and heard countless Christians (even Bible-believing evangelical Christians) singing his praises, gushing all over him, and defending him fully. So I have to ask myself, where has all the biblical discernment gone? Why have we not learned anything from church history?

Let me explain. Back in 1923 the American Presbyterian theologian J. Gresham Machen released an enormously important book entitled Christianity and Liberalism. In it he brilliantly demonstrated how the liberal gospel is no gospel at all, and that it has nothing to do with biblical Christianity. Let me offer just two short quotes from it:

“In the sphere of religion, in particular, the present time is a time of conflict; the great redemptive religion which has always been known as Christianity is battling against a totally diverse type of religious belief, which is only the more destructive of the Christian faith because it makes use of traditional Christian terminology. This modern non-redemptive religion is called ‘modernism’ or ‘liberalism’.”

And again: “[L]iberalism in the modern Church represents a return to an un-Christian and sub-Christian form of the religious life.” This is all part of a movement which denies the basics of the gospel. But I have written on this more fully elsewhere, eg: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2017/07/15/theological-liberalism-progressive-christianity/

Machen was exactly right to show how the liberals will take biblical terms and strip them of their biblical content, and thus promote a false, anti-Christian religion. His warnings back them were so very important, but it seems they have fallen on deaf years today.

I have to wonder, where is our discernment? Indeed, anyone with a bit of theological awareness would have had alarm bells going off all over the place when they heard Curry quote the Catholic theistic evolutionary philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin!

One Catholic said elsewhere that we should be aware of what he believes. I wrote back and assured him that as a theologian I sure do know a few things about Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955). Yet most Christians hearing Curry would not have had the slightest clue as to who he was and what he taught.

But even aside from quoting him, the entire sermon, as I have said repeatedly now, was little more than an extended version of the Beatle’s pop hit, “All You Need is Love,” from their 1967 album “Magical Mystery Tour”. Um, the fact of the matter is, we need a lot more than that. First of all, we need love and truth together.

And the biblical truth about love is a million miles away from the understanding of love offered by theological liberals. It is because they have strip-mined it of all biblical content that they can go on about how homosexuality is just peachy and all Christians should affirm it. Hey, love is all that matters!

Speaking of which, we need to be aware of the fact that Harry and Meghan have both made it quite clear that one of their activities as a royal couple will be to promote the homosexual agenda. See here for example for more on this: https://www.vanityfair.com/style/2018/04/prince-harry-and-meghan-markle-stand-up-for-lgbt-rights

And of course it makes perfect sense to realise that they specifically invited Curry to preach, knowing full well what he believed on this issue. As one article puts it, he “was hand-picked by the couple to deliver a sermon at their wedding”. He was a chosen vessel here, pushing an agenda.

Moreover, as one friend just reminded me, too often folks simply hear what they want to hear. The current debate over Yanny vs Laurel might be a good illustration of this. It isn’t the first time people hear different things from the same message. Jesus can say we must repent and turn from our sins and many folks just hear “love, love, love – everything is groovy baby”.

Please Christians, stop being naïve here. Too many Christians are missing the bigger picture: this is all about the white-anting of the church, and the insidious move to homosexualise the faith. This is how the church so often loses in the West: by activists doing their thing while most Christians are clueless or asleep at the wheel.

Curry is a pro-homosexual activist and a theological liberal, who was invited by the couple to offer his spin on things. It does not matter in the least that he did not mention “gay” this or that. By offering a watered down and unbiblical understanding of love, he did all he needed to do.

As just one indication of this, consider this remark: “‘I can totally see why Meghan chose Michael Curry to deliver the address. I am not religious but am totally engrossed,’ Royal commentator Charlie Proctor said.”

Image of Christianity and Liberalism, new ed.
Christianity and Liberalism, new ed. by Machen, J. Gresham (Author), Trueman, Carl (Foreword) Amazon logo

Exactly: when non-Christians praise a preacher, chances are really good that he is not offering a biblical sermon, but a man-pleasing and mushy sermon. We expect non-Christians to have gotten all soft and mushy over his talk. But I would have expected better from those who see themselves as biblical Christians.

Gavin Ashenden, an English Anglican clergyman, and former Honorary Chaplain to the Queen, just wrote a terrific article on all this. He said of Curry’s sermon, it

offers us all an insight into the dramatic difference between the two kinds of Christianity that are at odds with each other in the Anglican Communion. We will call them for the moment, ‘Christianity-max’, and ‘Christianity-lite’. Credit where it is due. ‘Christianity-lite’ can be very appealing. It reaches out to where people are hurting and it encourages them. It reaches out to where they are longing for good change, and it promises them that change can come. It speaks continuously of love and hope. Everyone likes to hear of love and hope. But it has three serious flaws. It doesn’t define love, and it never delivers on the hope. It isn’t what Jesus preached.

His entire article is well worth reading: https://ashenden.org/2018/05/19/michael-curry-the-royal-wedding-a-star-turn-offers-the-world-christianity-lite/


I have already had a steady stream of Christian critics and criticisms on this. Many said that some good can come from his sermon, and we should not have expected an altar call and the like. But I have said several times now that a full gospel presentation is NOT necessarily expected at all weddings, and some folks likely heard some biblical themes there, even from Curry – although Welby gave us much more of that than Curry.

And as mentioned, it is the very nature of theological liberalism to distort basic Bible terminology, resulting in people being led away from God and truth, not toward them. And that is a real worry indeed. Various other objections were raised.

Many others protested: “But God can use it.” Well, yes and no. As I already said, God can use Balaam’s ass. Or even someone like Judas. But we should not seek to have a lot of Judas’s being used! Better to have someone God can properly use, instead of just being used in spite of himself!

And again, while some non-Christians and some believers may have benefited to some extent from his remarks, the real question is this: how many folks were further moved AWAY from the gospel, because it was more Beatles than biblical?

There were also plenty of critics who trotted out the usual line heard at times like this: “Bill, you are so negative!” Um, to seek to warn people about the ongoing satanic homosexual agenda of taking over the churches is hardly being negative or unloving or harsh – it is the height of biblical responsibility and care to make such warnings.

But as we well know – or should know – the prophets were always accused of being too bleak and negative. They were always told to lighten up and tell the people happy things that they wanted to hear. Indeed, God even warned the prophets ahead of time, telling them that they and their message would be routinely rejected. Some things never change.

In sum, it seems the ability to be deceived, or at least to be open to deception, is at an all-time high in far too many churches today. So many Christians just want the feel-good, non-controversial stuff. “All you need is love” will do. No conflicts or dramas there. Everybody goes along with that sort of message.

But what folks want to hear and what they need to hear is almost always two different things. Sadly, I am often reminded at times like this of the words of Jesus when he said: “When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

Good question.

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28 Replies to “On Weddings, Theological Liberalism, and Discernment”

  1. Agree with this as well and would just like to elaborate on 2 passages of scripture
    Firstly ‘Song of Solomon’.. the reading – and the basic tenant of the mini-sermon-lite

    It was defining … ‘Song of Solomon’ has dignity in it’s passionate message to stirrup the First Love … the Love Christ Jesus has for the true church and our LOVE for HIM as the righteous creative passion that is the extended invitation from father God to take part in increasing His Creation … again another travesty of ‘Love is Love ‘ and devolving it into a lurid pseudo message with ‘acceptance of BLASPHEMY’ at its core

    Romans 8:28 (KJV)
    28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

    People misrepresent Romans 8:28 as a get out of Jail card – cure all … but GOD is LIMITED by HIS TRUTH so unless the consequences of Satan’s actions are perpetrated on “…them who are the called according to his purpose.” … He can not make “all things work together for good” …

    He can always work A Different Miracle … but again … it is within HIS defined framework… Hence the prayer that the Name of Lord Jesus doesn’t return void, and there is an increase of sheep!

    then the last point … which most people have missed

    Unification under Love is Love …This was the START of their political agenda.
    Harry has been made ‘youth ambassador to the Commonwealth.
    In the same way that God’s will is enabled through our freewill … so is Satan’s.
    We have been notified of it (In a blasphemous wedding service … call it a ritual saluting Satan/Lucifer … if you like … )
    As the ‘masses are accepting it and agreeing with it’ – Satan/Lucifer can now bring it forward.
    ALL of the 59 Commonwealth Nations are now under this apostasy.
    This is the end of Covenant with Joseph through Ephraim and Menassah
    (NOT talking British Israel apostacy here, talking Bible Covenant).
    And in closing, it was fitting that the veil of spiritual blindness that will now be cemented in these nations were embroidered as flowers on her veil … it’s in the detail


  2. The fact that the Archbishop of Canterbury aligns himself with TEC is very bad news for reforming the apostate West. The Curry sermon went out to millions and confirmed their belief that you don’t have to go to church to be a Christian or a good person. An opportunity to point to God as our creator and saviour through repentance and divine forgiveness was missed.

  3. Hi Bill, I was so sorry to read your comments that the Harry/Meghan bandwagon will be actively promoting the homosexual movement. More and more we need the expertise and the abilities of The Holy Spirit to equip and encourage all of us to get the REAL MESSAGE of The Gospel out there. The fact that the prolific use of social media is now driving many folk from all age groups into a lonely and isolationist existence, should give all of us the opportunity to engage on a face to face basis. We can win our friends & neighbours for Jesus one at a time. BUT we better get a wriggle on, most of the cults such as the JW’s have the same idea. Bill you are to be commended for using this latest royal wedding to highlight lies and delusions being dished out by the high church. Best wishes & blessings to you & your family, Kel.

  4. An inevitable undermining of the true Gospel. The Protestant Truth Society had the courage to get our complaint in BEFORE he preached that tosh. He may have said it with apparent passion, but he didn’t actually say anything at all. Lots of damage done, evidenced by the numbers of evangelical church members who thought it was good (until they had what he didn’t say, and why, explained to them).

  5. Welby wanted to give a pro homosexual ‘all is love’ message but couldn’t because it would alienate the traditionalists who are still (just about) hanging on in the Church of England. How brilliant to get the head of the US Episcopalians who started the homosexual clergy bandwagon (Bishop Gene Robinson and all that) and declaring that it is OK for clergy to be homosexual. The Episcopalians thereby caused a fundamental split with the Anglican Church in America which I believe is trying to hold to the Biblical line on homosexuality and the true gospel. The true message is – love the LORD you God and KEEP His commandments !! This global free publicity for the false prophets, wolves and hired hands given by the Megan and Harry wedding is very telling indeed.

    Particularly beware of the subtle lie of the Living Out crew of Sam Allberry and Ed Shaw. Check it out.

    The antichrists have also used this opportunity brilliantly to play the multiculturalism end of white male supremacy card as well. Brilliant. Don’t be fooled every detail of the subliminal and implied message was carefully crafted by Welby and his social justice marxists and homosexual friends that circle around him at Lambeth Palace. Harry and Megan have been played like a fiddle by powers too clever and devious, a situation totally beyond the young couple and their level of understanding. The Queen is too old and tired to do anything, Charles is totally compromised by his immoral and Godless lifestyle and is not a believer anyway. A visit to his country home, Highgrove, with all its hindu and muslim and greek pagan shrines confirms his belief system and believe me it is not in the One True God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

    The evil antichrist spirit has had a clear run here in the top of the Church and State in England. There is huge work to do.

  6. Both Prince Harry and william are heroes of the LGBT magazine, Attitude. William “wined and dined” the transsexuals at Kensington Palace and ended up on the front cover of Attitude.
    When one then looks inside the magazine (which I do not recommend) one finds it is full of erect penises and homosexual filth.
    William and Kate have children. Are they mad, or just stupid?

    Harry received an award from Attitude for services rendered to the LGBT movement.
    The wedding was a show case for queers and their supporters.
    David Skinner UK

  7. Thank you, Bill, for highlighting the truth and graciously posting my comments.

    2Th 2:9 whose coming is according to the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

    In this scripture we see the demonic power (Greek dunamis) which is highlighted by the attempted unifying of great western powers and public opinion in the marriage of a British royal to a Californian. The term “signs” (Greek semion) is related to where we get the term semaphores from. It basically means an indication and is essentially the nod and wink type stuff we see from people like Michael Curry when they get a message across without actually saying things outright. It is the same term we see in Revelation 19:20 where the false prophet does signs to deceive those who worship the Beast. This is, I believe, incorrectly translated in some versions (including the KJV) as doing miracles.

    Rev 19:20 But the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who had performed the signs on its behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur.

    Doing signs can be a way of deceiving without being so obvious as to be easily detected and is something that is prevalent in the media and in how Islam is portrayed without having to face up to easily refutable, hard facts.

    Back to 2 Thes 2:9, the term “lying” (Greek psuedos) simply means untrue. The term “wonders” (Greek teras) is interesting because it is a root word that, according to Strong, means a prodigy, an omen as well as a wonder. How something could be all three really goes to the point of the scripture and what we are seeing here. It is the prodigy of a false, lying world view, an omen to those who see the truth and a wonder to those who are deluded by the New Age view of what love is. Jesus was clear that if believers remained awake and looked they would see the signs (omens) of the times (Eg. Luke 21) and Paul, in 2 Thes 2, was describing exactly how people at the end would become deluded. This is how the term “teras” can be all three things and why Paul used this term. Unfortunately we don’t have an equivalent term in English that can convey all this. I believe the translations that call these things “miracles” are missing the point of what “lying wonders” are. A lying wonder is something that true believers, who trust in God, can see is a sign of the times and what is happening and is concurrently something that is used to deceive unbelievers. While Jesus’ miracles were also described as signs (Greek semion) showing who He was without actually saying it (remember who Jesus was had to be revealed to Peter by the Holy Spirit) it does not follow that a sign or indication is necessarily what we would consider to be a miracle, so be aware. Some translations, because Jesus’ signs were miracles, translate all signs as miracles but something can be a sign, especially a lying wonder sign, without being a miracle.

    Luk 21:36 Watch therefore, praying in every season that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things which shall occur, and to stand before the Son of Man.

  8. I agree wholeheartedly with the contents of this article and the previous article dealing with the contents of the sermon at the wedding. Too often, Christians are looking to anything to have their ears “tickled” rather than the truth. Well done, Bill!

  9. As Defender of the Faith the Queen should and could have put her foot down and not allowed this. By attempting to have mass appeal they will cause many to err. I also think it’s wrong that Charles was allowed to marry Camilla and Harry Meghan as they don’t set a good example of fidelity in marriage and people do look to their leaders for standards to uphold.

  10. I was surprised at those who were so pleased with him. Remember most were not expecting great theology. And most of us need more time to digest the ideas than one has in midst of wedding excitement. Presume he gave what they wanted.

  11. What Curry says about himself …

    The preacher responsible for a show-stealing 14 minute sermon at the royal wedding has explained what inspired his much-talked about address. While all eyes were initially on Meghan Markle, Bishop Michael Bruce Curry quickly became the talk of the town following his lengthy sermon. The head of the Episcopal Church delivered a passionate monologue with nods to American history including a quote from Martin Luther King.

    Curry, who was hand-picked by the couple to deliver a sermon at their wedding, told the bride and groom Saturday that there was “power in love” and that “love can help and heal when nothing else can.” But Curry, a champion of civil rights causes and outspoken supporter of gay rights, continued “it’s not just for and about a young couple, who we rejoice with, it’s more than that.”

    Following the wedding, the Bishop opened up about his enthusiastic address, saying it was a message descending from Jesus Christ. “You know, it really was, to be honest, the good news of Jesus Christ,” he said. “The good news not only that we are loved, but that this love isn’t just simply a sentimental thing, this is actually a way of life.”

    Answering to those who thought the sermon was “unconventional”, Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said it came across as “raw God”. Curry says the bride and groom thanked him for his words, with whom he shared a connection with throughout his address. “Their eyes and their smiles and their reactions were talking back. It was non-verbal communication throughout the whole thing,” he said.

    The 600 guests appeared bamboozled at times with the sermon, no more so than Zara Phillips who could be seen with a puzzled look on her face. Harry and Meghan seemed to enjoy the delivery, appearing to hold back their natural reactions at times while breaking into controlled smirks. And they weren’t alone, with social media awash with comments hailing Curry as the “star of the show”.

    “Bishop Michael Curry giving me life,” model Naomi Campbell proclaimed. “I can totally see why Meghan chose Michael Curry to deliver the address. I am not religious but am totally engrossed,” Royal commentator Charlie Proctor said. “The good news not only that we are loved, but that this love isn’t just simply a sentimental thing, this is actually a way of life.”

    Answering to those who thought the sermon was “unconventional”, Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said it came across as “raw God”. Curry says the bride and groom thanked him for his words, with whom he shared a connection with throughout his address. “Their eyes and their smiles and their reactions were talking back. It was non-verbal communication throughout the whole thing,” he said.

    Curry, who was hand-picked by the couple to deliver a sermon at their wedding, told the bride and groom Saturday that there was “power in love” and that “love can help and heal when nothing else can.” But Curry, a champion of civil rights causes and outspoken supporter of gay rights, continued “it’s not just for and about a young couple, who we rejoice with, it’s more than that.” Following the wedding, the Bishop opened up about his enthusiastic address, saying it was a message descending from Jesus Christ. “You know, it really was, to be honest, the good news of Jesus Christ,” he said.


  12. Bill, I’m just not getting how bad things have gotten. If I had, I’d not have been shocked by so many criticisms you mentioned from adversaries of the true gospel. The vastness of scriptural ignorance and outright encouragement of spreading a mamby-pamby, limp-wristed, lovely-dovey, all-inclusive gospel of sappy universal acceptance and love is still beyond my ability to grasp. I was gagging and sputtering all through the royal wedding sermon and downing Pepto-Bismol. Despite the preacher’s self-deception that his message was thinly and rosily-veiled, I understood exactly what misleading, heretical manure he was shoveling. Thank the Lord for you writing about this. May God use your article to reach those who thought Curry’s soft-peddled, “all you need is love,” propaganda appeal contained a roadmap to eternity with the one, true God as revealed in the scriptures.

  13. Hi Bill,

    I watched the wedding and was not expecting much real Christianity to be preached there. It was as I expected, pretty dissappointing gospel doctrine wise. I was appalled by Rev Curry’s talk, as it was not a sermon to me. I saw through his message right away but knew I could count on you to fill in the blanks as I was not familiar with him or his beliefs. I had felt that the couple were quite liberal in their beliefs so none of it came as a surprise. One look around the invited gallery could tell you what to expect before any speeches were given.

    So I must agree with you very strongly that many who heard them thought all was peachy and dandy. Unfortunately I also hear the same criticisms as you do from others who are more liberal thinking telling me to lighten up and don’t be so biblically exacting in your beliefs. I am often disheartened to see people go by the wayside, and you can’t even beg them to reconsider.

    So I must ask you to keep up the good work and not to relinquish your gift and duty to keep warning and teaching those of us who so desperately want and need your exhortations to learn and discern. I really appreciate how thorough you are but also your style of telling it like it is.
    So please keep up the good work and expect some ongoing monetary and prayer support from me.

    With great love and admiration,


  14. Welby was only reading the marriage service and doesn’t believe it should be one man and one woman, but as The Queen was 30 feet away he couldn’t really change it. Shame the following words were not used… for a remedy against sin and to avoid fornication; that such persons as have not the gift of continency might marry, and keep themselves undefiled members of Christ’s body

  15. Amen, Rm Stevens.

    … for a remedy against sin and to avoid fornication; that such persons as have not the gift of continency might marry, and keep themselves undefiled members of Christ’s body.

    Pity about her first and still living, husband.

  16. The Queen has created Prince Harry the Duke of Sussex, but the title “Duke of Windsor” would have been more appropriate, given the parallels with the previous holders of this title, the former Edward VIII and Mrs Simpson. Like Mrs Simpson, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, is twice divorced. Like Edward VIII, Prince Harry has had numerous “wives” already.

  17. Hi Bill, all,

    I watched the wedding on Saturday night. When Michael Curry came at first I thought that he was a shallow American celebrity pastor. As time went on, I became more impressed by his expounding of love with these quotes of his: “They said if you cannot preach like Peter and you cannot pray like Paul, you just tell the love of Jesus how he died to save us all. ” and “Love can be sacrificial, and in so doing, becomes redemptive. ”

    At the time I thought it was great that the death of Jesus is being proclaimed to 2 billion people around the world. It is to my regret that I didn’t look more closely at his beliefs and glibly overlook the fact that he didn’t mention the complete gospel that we are dead in our sins, we need to repent and acknowledge and believe that Jesus took on my sin and paid the awful penalty for my wickedness, apply Jesus’ righteousness to my life, to live a righteous life being empowered by the Holy Spirit and becoming more Christlike as time goes on and thereby make Jesus LORD of my life. Not to mention believe in all that the Bible teaches.

    Our world is so far from Christ that people on Monday at work were offended at his preaching, and his isn’t even the full gospel! Maybe the fact that it isn’t the full gospel is what is missing and doesn’t draw people to Christ?

    I can now see the huge concerns with Michael’s beliefs and what he is teaching in full. Remaining on guard and diligently sifting what is said from any pulpit is vital in every circumstance.

    Our world is in a desperate place. It needs to hear the gospel – see Israel Falau’s recent tweet where he mentions David Wilkerson. If you need any motivation to spread the gospel, go and listen to David’s 11 minute presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ItSFit7wNCE&t=3s.

    Bill, can you check this out and if so, write an article on Pope Francis’ recent pronouncement?


    Whether private or not, if the head of the Catholic church is saying that God created one man to be a homosexual, then full blown apostasy has now arrived at the head of the Catholic church which must be identified and condemned in the harshest of terms.

  18. The point here on the Pope to my mind is that Pope Frances is excusing the childhood molestation/rape of this man as a young boy by Catholic clergy, by saying, “Its alright to be sexually abused by men in spiritual, emotional and physical authority over you because that is who you are”. How sick.

  19. Curry and John Lennon forget the saying that Love is Blind, without Truth. The physical Sun empowers our bodies and all life forms and we experience that power as heat which we feel and light by which we see. So too we experience Life by Love which we feel and Truth by which we see. Paul spoke of Truth separated from Love and this is often preached at weddings but Love without Truth to guide it is easily perverted into its opposite, Hate. Then Hate, realising its nakedness, will clothe or cloak itself in Falsity and once that happens it is hidden in plain sight. So far we are in the early stages of this process in some situations but nearing the end in other. The recent theatre had all aspects.

  20. High viz celebrities are often seen making signs to each other, bonded by their shared secrets, exchanging superior smiles that they know what we don’t know, like for example the hidden hand. In other words they are not who they say they are. Beware of ravenous wolves in sheep’s clothing.

  21. Even the elect will be deceived – discernment is such an important spiritual gift, especially as we see the day approaching.

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