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Why "progressive christianity" is an entirely different Religion.



As a pastor, I am deeply concerned about the growing trend of so called "progressive christianity", which seeks to depart from the core beliefs and practices of our faith in favor of a more humanistic and secular worldview. It's imporatant to understand that "progressive christianity" is a completely separate worldview from the Historic Christian Faith and this why I use quotation marks when using the term. By borrowing Christian terminology, concepts, and ecclesiology this worldview has had surprising success at deceiving people to think that it can be considered Christian in the Historic sense of the word. Nothing can be furter from the truth... As I reflect on this issue, I am reminded of several biblical passages that speak to the challenges faced by this worldview. 

One of the main concerns I have with "progressive christianity" is its rejection of the Bible as the infallible Word of God and the final rule of faith for Christian practice and belief. This worldview sees the Bible as nothing more than a product of human invention with a very limited and unclear level of divine inspiration. It values the subjective interpretation of the reader above and beyond the authoritative teaching of Scripture. As the apostle Paul writes in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work." By rejecting the authority and inspiration of the Bible, activists for "progressive christianity" discard the entire foundation of the Historic Christian Worldview. This alone makes "progressive christianity" an entirely different Religion. 

Similarly, the issue of affiriming the concept of subjective truth and morality is a major challenge for "progressive christianity." As the apostle Peter writes in 2 Peter 1:20-21, "No prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit." By prioritizing individual experience and interpretation over objective truth, activists for "progressive christianity" completely undermine the objective moral order that is grounded in God's nature and revealed through His Word, the Bible.

Furthermore, by rejecting the objective nature of truth and morality, "progressive christianity" endorses a form of relativism that denies the existence of universal moral standards. As the apostle Paul writes in Romans 2:14-15, "For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them." In other words, even those who do not have access to the Bible or Christian theology still have an innate sense of moral right and wrong. By rejecting this objective moral order, activists for "progressive christianity" reject Biblical teaching and even worse they reject the very foundation of right and wrong itself. 

Moreover, I am concerned about how "progressive christianity" co-opts Christian language in order to situate secular humanism under the "Christian banner." Even though they reject the authority of Scripture, the reality of sin, and the necessity of salvation through Jesus Christ, they still attempt to persuade people that they are Christian by borrowing our terminology. This is no different than what heretical cult groups like Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses do. Jesus warns us in Matthew 7:15, "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves." By using Christian concepts and terminology to promote a secular humanistic agenda, activists for "progressive christianity" confuse the real message of the Bible and distort the true nature of the Christian faith.

This leads to the heart of the matter... "Progressive christianity" distorts the Gospel by rejecting the idea of sin and the need for salvation. Many activists for "progressive christianity" believe that the traditional Christian concept of sin is outdated and oppressive, and they reject the idea that humanity is inherently sinful and in need of a savior. This perspective ignores the reality of human brokenness and depravity, as well as the biblical teaching that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). By downplaying the seriousness of sin, progressive Christianity also undermines the importance of the cross and the need for Christ's atoning sacrifice. As the apostle Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:21, "For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." The Gospel message of salvation through faith in Christ is essential to the Christian faith, and any attempt to distort or deny it is a serious departure from the truth of Scripture and a sign of grave deception, as the Bible says in Galatians 1:8, "But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed."

Finally, I believe that any departure from historic Christian belief risks undermining the unity and coherence of the faith. As the apostle Paul writes in Ephesians 4:4-6, "There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all." By departing from the core beliefs and practices of Christianity, activists for "progressive christianity" instigate apostasy through compromising its essential message.

In conclusion, I believe that "progressive christianity" is an entirely different Religion than Historic Christianity and we must take steps to unite orthodox believers in contending for the faith in our generation. We must be discerning in our engagement with activists for "progressive christianity", aiming to defend the unity and coherence of Historic Christianity in the face of these challenges. As the apostle Paul writes in Colossians 2:8, "See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ." May we always be rooted in Christ and the teachings of His appointed apostles. 

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