Several years ago, my husband and I began attending a local Evangelical, non-denominational church, and we loved it. We cherished the sense of community we found among the loving and authentic people we met there, and the intelligent, "outside the box" pastor who led our flock with thought-provoking and insightful sermons. Sadly, the church started going off the rails theologically, and after about a year and a half, we made the difficult decision to leave. Today that church is a self-titled "Progressive Christian Community."
Back then I had never heard of "Progressive Christianity," and even now it is difficult to pin down what actually qualifies someone as a Progressive Christian, due to the diversity of beliefs that fall under that designation. However, there are signs—certain phrases and ideas—that seem to be consistent in Progressive circles. Here are 5 danger signs to watch for in your church:
1. There is a lowered view of the Bible
One of the main differences between Progressive Christianity and Historic Christianity is its view of the Bible. Historically, Christians have viewed the Bible as the Word of God and authoritative for our lives. Progressive Christianity generally abandons these terms, emphasizing personal belief over biblical mandate.
Comments you might hear:
2. Feelings are emphasized over facts
In Progressive churches, personal experiences, feelings, and opinions tend to be valued above objective truth. As the Bible ceases to be viewed as God’s definitive word, what a person feels to be true becomes the ultimate authority for faith and practice.
Comments you might hear:
3. Essential Christian doctrines are open for re-interpretation
Progressive author John Pavlovitz wrote, “There are no sacred cows [in Progressive Christianity]....Tradition, dogma, and doctrine are all fair game, because all pass through the hands of flawed humanity." Progressive Christians are often open to re-defining and re-interpreting the Bible on hot-button moral issues like homosexuality and abortion, and also cardinal doctrines such as the virgin conception and the bodily resurrection of Jesus. The only sacred cow is "no sacred cows."
Comments you might hear:
4. Historic terms are re-defined
There are some Progressive Christians who say they affirm doctrines like biblical inspiration, inerrancy, and authority, but they have to do linguistic gymnastics to make those words mean what they want them to mean. I remember asking a Pastor, "Do you believe the Bible is divinely inspired?" He answered confidently, "Yes, of course!" However, I mistakenly assumed that when using the word "inspired," we both meant the same thing. He clarified months later what he meant—that the Bible is inspired in the same way and on the same level as many other Christian books, songs, and sermons. This, of course, is not how Christians have historically understood the doctrine of divine inspiration.
Another word that tends to get a Progressive make-over is the word "love." When plucked out of its biblical context, it becomes a catch-all term for everything non-confrontative, pleasant, and affirming.
Comments you might hear:
5. The heart of the gospel message shifts from sin and redemption to social justice
There is no doubt that the Bible commands us to take care of the unfortunate and defend those who are oppressed. This is a very real and profoundly important part of what it means to live out our Christian faith. However, the core message of Christianity—the gospel—is that Jesus died for our sins, was buried and resurrected, and thereby reconciled us to God. This is the message that will truly bring freedom to the oppressed.
Many Progressive Christians today find the concept of God willing His Son to die on the cross to be embarrassing or even appalling. Sometimes referred to as "cosmic child abuse," the idea of blood atonement is de-emphasized or denied altogether, with social justice and good works enthroned in its place.
Comments you might hear:
Identifying the signs is not always obvious—sometimes they are subtle and mixed with a lot of truth. Progressive Christianity can be persuasive and enticing, but carried out to its logical end, it is an assault on the foundational framework of Christianity, leaving it disarmed of its saving power.
We shouldn’t be surprised to find some of these ideas infiltrating our churches. Jesus warned us, “Watch out for false prophets” who “come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves” (Matthew 7:15). So if you spot any of these 5 danger signs in your place of worship, it might be time to pray about finding fellowship in a more biblically faithful church community.
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5/8/2017 08:08:19 am
Excellent. Always thankful to know there is hope among Christians who hold to orthodoxy and that we are not alone. Jesus brought love, but he also brought a cross.
5/10/2017 10:28:10 pm
Thanks Tammie. I like the part of the cross that you mentioned - i guess many have forgotten that the cross is not only love, but it was also Holiness!
5/11/2017 03:10:22 pm
Wolves in sheep's clothing has been around for centuries. Back to the basics of Christianity should be fundamental in a Biblical Church. A diluted gospel Waters down the blood becoming totally ineffective. Be wary of counterfeit churches.
5/14/2017 09:31:33 am
Although the author has mischaracterized some of it, Progressive Christianity sounds like something I can live with. I left Christianity because I can follow Jesus better without your politics. Your brand of Christianity impedes following the Sermon On The Mount.
6/28/2017 11:43:25 am
There it is! I recognize it! The author totally nailed it. There are also those who "left", are ardant athiests, or agnostics who still refer to the Bible, which they think is an oppressive and offensive fairy tale about the a narcicistic spagetti monster. Yet they continue to quote it as a defense. Why refer to a book you don't like from a God you don't believe?
7/30/2017 04:29:56 pm
Please do explore it, B. The author is more than a little narrow in her thinking. Progressive Christianity is a broad movement, which would include some more theologically liberal churches such as she is describing, but also a growing number of evangelical churches with a high view of Scripture and of the gospel. Many of us evangelicals recognize in Christ's teaching a call to compassion and courageous witness to justice and to stand with the vulnerable and marginalized. "Progressive" is not a dirty word! I hope you will explore further. God bless you as you search!
8/1/2017 01:38:47 am
I agree but have found that simply asking God what he would have me believe will open your eyes to truth. There are still many who believe that God didn't want Adam and Eve to eat of the forbidden fruit. Think about that! He has given us a Savior before the world was formed. He placed a highly desirable fruit in the middle of Eden. This talking serpent just happens to be in the right place at the right time to persuade Eve to partake of the fruit and oh yes, God created us with a weakened spirit. Eve sinned three times before she ate the fruit. She lusted with her flesh, lusted with the pride of life (she wanted to be like God) and lusted with her eyes.
8/1/2017 11:09:23 am
Firs: You never "left"Christianity if you still follow Jesus. Second: There are no politics in the original doctrine, that is, the TRUE word of God. Either you live you life in the word of God as it has been told for the last 2,000 years, or you fit the word of God around your lifestyle to suit yourself which is the current popular trend, and NOT how it was intended. To understand the Sermon On The Mount or any of the books of Mark, Matthew, and Luke (those who spoke to the masses directly on the instruction of God's laws) you also need to understand who they were speaking to, and the roles each particular audience had in society at that time. The history of that time is crucial to understanding how the same words apply today. You cannot simply read the bible and, presto, you understand everything. It is not only a study of God's word and Christ's ministry, but a study of the life and time of the people and culture.
8/1/2017 07:52:40 pm
"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one more easily traveled, And that made no difference."
8/1/2017 08:03:39 pm
Here is the problem, Boogaloo. Christianity is not "progressive" or "conservative" as we understand these words today. Christianity, IS, however, about the INDIVIDUAL. Once you start in with injecting a progressive worldview into it, you make it about the collective, and from there, it is but a short step to getting left-wing political and trying to make the State the instrument of the Kingdom, with the result that the Kingdom becomes an instrument of the State. Whereas, Jesus never told his followers to do it that way. It was always "YOU remember the poor." "YOU cast out the devils." This is not hard to understand. The whole idea was that it is a believer who speaks the Word that reconciles people to God. It not, in any way, about establishing a government to take care of anybody. It isn't about redistributing anyone's resources by force of law. It's about YOU doing it yourself out of love.
8/2/2017 04:35:21 am
The sermon on the mount is but one piece of God's Word.
8/2/2017 09:49:00 pm
Right you are, B. Boogaloo. American Christianity has almost nothing to do with Jesus.
7/31/2017 07:44:32 am
We are in the last days. 2 Timothy 4:3New International Version (NIV)
8/1/2017 02:55:42 am
Well, maybe your doctrine is not sound and mine is. Who knows.... #judgeandbejudged
8/2/2017 01:36:50 pm
8/1/2017 11:48:11 am
Progressive Christianity can be understood by this story: Two children, noticing flames in the basement, started shouting to their mother, "Mom the house is on fire, the house is on fire." The mother replied,"Be quiet kids, or you'll wake up your father!"
5/8/2017 10:30:28 am
Has your church ever stopped to ask its members how they are participants in systems of oppression and injustice? Does the Gospel speak to that? Or is that not one of the sins that Jesus died for?
5/8/2017 11:03:47 am
Hi Delina, thanks for your comments. If you read my post again, you'll see that I agree that defending the oppressed and helping the needy is an integral part of living out our Christian faith. Have Christians always lived that out perfectly? Of course not. But this is what makes the gospel so beautiful and important—there is forgiveness and new life for all who repent and put their faith in Jesus. The early Christians certainly faced being a part of "systems of oppression and injustice," with 90% of the Roman Empire being slaves. The Bible didn't command them to overthrow the government and bring social justice to the Empire. The gospel had to do with hearts—declaring that in Christ, all people were free and equal. This radically counter-cultural teaching began to play out in history and would eventually inspire people like John Wesley and William Wilberforce to oppose modern slavery and support abolition.
7/30/2017 04:31:59 pm
Alisa, Wesley was (gasp) a progressive, as were most evangelicals up until the fundamentalist-modernist debate. Today there is a growing number of progressive evangelicals with a high view of Scripture and the centrality of the cross. So, while your blog was well-meaning, I feel it missed the mark by characterizing all of progressive Christianity by a single sample.
5/11/2017 07:48:20 am
"Participants" seems intended to blur the line of culpability. What oppression and injustices do you think the members of her church are responsible for, Delina?
8/1/2017 09:14:07 am
I don't beat child-slaves personally, but I do have a cell-phone that uses rare minerals that may have been mined by such children. I don't lock women in flammable factories, but I buy clothes that may have been made by such women.
Christians have always sought to obey the commands of Scripture regarding the weak, poor, powerless, and oppressed. What makes it seem that Bible-believing Christians aren't doing so is that we do not do so using Marxist categories, and liberal/progressive Christians do. When we speak of liberation, we must do so as God does, and not as Marxist Liberation Theology.
5/15/2017 03:34:27 am
That is why the church must learn how to prosper in a godly way, so that it is in a financial position to do much of the welfare type work that governments currently do. Helping people in need was never meant to be the job of governments, it is supposed to be the churches job.
6/18/2017 01:40:19 am
I disagree vehemently with your premise that God expects us to only act within our own circles. Such exclusivity creates instances in which organizations 'select' who they help based on if they adhere to bibilical doctrine, which is not what Jesus did.
6/18/2017 09:24:22 am
Hi Andy, is your comment for Matthew or for me? Thanks
8/2/2017 09:45:40 pm
When it comes to these sorts of discussions, I always think of Tony Campolo's critique of the Southern Baptist Church, which goes something like this--"I love you Southern Baptists--you are more concerned about what people believe about the Bible than with actually doing what it says."
8/3/2017 08:19:48 pm
Actually, Andy, that is what Jesus did. Matt. 15:24ff. It wasn't until there was a humble acknowledgment of who Jesus was (a clear doctrine of Scriptures) with a statement of anticipated faith that He extended grace to those outside of the house of Israel.
5/8/2017 11:14:36 am
Good article overall.
5/8/2017 11:46:20 am
Hi Louie, I totally agree that the ideas of loving our neighbor as ourselves and the reality of Christ dying for our sins are not in competition with each other (as long as "love" is defined correctly). But my point is that that among Progressive Christians, the latter is often de-emphasized or taken away completely, which changes the definition of the first, turning it into a subjective and even shallow "social justice."
5/8/2017 11:56:36 am
I see what you are saying and agree.
7/30/2017 04:33:32 pm
based on what? What is your basis for defining "progressive Christianity" so narrowly? It seems to be based entirely on a single sample.
7/30/2017 04:40:17 pm
Hi Vickie. My definition of Progressive Christianity is based on a broad range of sources within the Progressive movement that have offered their own definitions, and by my own observations of reading the books and blogs of many prominent Progressive Christian leaders. You can learn more in my podcast, "What is Progressive Christianity?" found here: http://www.alisachilders.com/blog/podcast-1-what-is-progressive-christianity
5/11/2017 07:17:57 pm
I'm curious. Where would I find Christ's commands to "fight for the oppressed"?
5/11/2017 09:40:43 pm
Hi Carolyn, well this is a good question! For clarity, I didn’t say that “Christ” commands us to “fight for the oppressed.” I wrote, “The Bible commands us to *defend* those who are oppressed.” Of course, I believe all of Scripture is God’s Word, so technically, “Christ” works for my statement as well. But your question makes a good point. I can’t find an actual definitive “command” (at least in the New Testament) to "defend the oppressed." However, a consistent theme throughout The Bible is that we are not to oppress others, and an equally consistent theme is that God Himself will free the oppressed from their oppression— referring to both natural and spiritual oppression.
In addition to what Alisa said - It's often overlooked that in just about every reference Jesus makes to the afterlife, the determining factor between heaven and hell isn't usually faith in Christ, but action in this life. The most obvious example is the story of the Sheep and Goats, Mat. 25, where one group (sheep) is allowed to remain in God's presence, and the other group has to leave God's presence. In the story, both groups appear to recognize Christ, which indicates both groups are believers. The determining factor in their fate has to do with whether they "fed the hungry" "clothed the naked" etc.
5/8/2017 06:44:17 pm
One hears that sometimes there is some compulsion involved as progressives take over churches. Congregations might consider fighting back. Surrender is not an effective tactic.
5/8/2017 11:59:55 pm
I am glad that you recognize the difference because you should follow what you believe. It doesn't make their path wrong, just different than yours. Even the Catholic church since Vatican II recognized the bible as a book of faith and not of science or history. I am surprised that you still trust men who chose a collection of stories and then called it Inspired makes it so. There wasn't anything divine about that effort. The younger generation is going to look at things more objectively and not just believe what they are told to believe. Those that hold to the bible as literal will only drive the faithful away. Eventually, they will move beyond the faith of their fathers and recognize it all as mythology and appreciate it for what it is. The myth is that those that don't believe like you don't have as much moral values, but they seem to have more.
5/9/2017 11:31:34 am
Hi Ken, thanks for your comment. "The younger generation is going to look at things more objectively and not just believe what they are told to believe." - I hope you are right about this! If so, they will reject the illogical and self-contradictory religious pluralism and philosophical relativism that they are "told to believe" by their culture. If they follow the evidence, they will discover that Christianity is historically true, and indeed not mythological.
5/10/2017 08:02:37 am
The first part of your comment is interesting. When you feel the need to make the Bible some magical, clean cut source of ultimate divinity it makes you wonder what it was before everything was canonized. It makes the canonization almost as important as the resurrection.
7/12/2017 09:44:13 am
Prior to the Bible being canonized Paul said to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, All scripture is God-breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness so that the servant of God may be throughly equipped for every good work.We see that prior to cononizatin the Scriptures, where held in high esteem and believed to have been inspired by God.
7/31/2017 04:58:07 pm
5/15/2017 03:40:07 am
Any Christian that reads the Bible daily and believes that it is the Word of God would recognise progressive teaching as being wrong and start seeking God for a new church if it began being preached. The reason churches can teach unbiblical nonsense is because of Christians not knowing their Bibles, or thinking that those Bibles are open to numerous interpretations.
7/31/2017 12:09:22 pm
Excellent Matthew! So true! Too many churches are producing biblically illiterate Christians. Stick to the Word from the pulpit and in our daily lives.
8/1/2017 09:22:33 am
If the Bible is not open to multiple interpretations, then everybody who has studied it extensively and disagrees with your interpretation must be operating in bad faith. To be a part of the only denomination to have ever interpreted the Bible correctly must be a heavy burden to bear.
8/1/2017 11:30:31 pm
Matthew, I was thinking almost the same exact thing! Only someone not reading and studying the Bible on a regular personal basis would be easily misled by progressive teaching and "theology". It would be easily identified as error.
Tinus van der Merwe
5/9/2017 03:03:44 am
Thank you for this post Alisa.
5/9/2017 08:29:40 am
Hi Tinus, thanks for your thoughtful comment. I tried to word the last sentence of my post intentionally- "might be time to pray about" leaving was by way of not being too dogmatic about what God might lead a believer to do. Sometimes the signs are just starting to bubble up, and God might certainly call a mature believer to stay, pray, and bring some of the issues to light. However, if outright heresy is being preached from the pulpit, or the Word of God is being denied, I can't think of any biblical reason to stay.
Tinus van der Merwe
5/9/2017 08:33:58 am
Thank you Alisa, that makes sense.
5/9/2017 09:10:12 am
5/9/2017 05:43:08 am
I believe we are talking about what Paul described as another gospel about another Jesus
8/2/2017 10:12:59 pm
Well then. Given that Paul never actually met the earthly Jesus, and that he seems to have had only passing awareness of what Jesus actually taught (e.g. he almost never quotes Jesus public teachings in his epistles), one might well ask whether it was Paul who offered another gospel. According to the Gospels (which were compiled after Paul was writing), the primary theme of Jesus' preaching was the Kingdom of God, which, again, barely appears in Paul's writings. I'm not trying to entirely discredit Paul, but I do wonder about what appears to be a discontinuity between his teachings and Jesus'. I also find that evangelicals seem to be much more influenced by Paul's interpretation of Jesus than by Jesus himself. I find it more helpful to see Paul through the lens of Jesus rather than seeing Jesus through the lens of Paul.
5/9/2017 12:57:51 pm
While reading this post, I felt the "comments you might hear" sections contained gross mischaracterizations of what progressive christians would themselves say for each issue.
5/9/2017 01:40:40 pm
Hi Don, I appreciate the perspective you've brought to this post, and I'm glad you commented. You bring up some points that are worth discussing. When I read your critique of the "comments you might hear" section, I went back and re-read them. I can honestly say that I haven't written one line that I haven't heard a Progressive Christian express in person (many of the comments are direct quotes from Pastors), and some of them I copied and pasted directly off Progressive Christian blog posts. Sadly, I can confidently say that they are not gross mischaracterizations at all.
5/9/2017 02:20:33 pm
Thank you for the thoughtful reply.
5/9/2017 02:30:11 pm
I just wanted to clarify one thing I wrote above, "These are all age old heresies that just take on new clothing—a new veneer." I don't mean to say that every one of the points on my post are "heresy." Some are certainly heterodox, but not heresy.
5/13/2017 10:54:04 am
5/9/2017 03:27:00 pm
We need a radical and revolutionary message. No message is more radical or revolutionary than that which stands in direct opposition to the world spirit of our age. The Bible answers for us all of our deepest questions,
5/9/2017 03:58:47 pm
It seems like progressive isn't the most accurate word for what you're describing. Some of this is classic theological liberalism, which comes to us via 19th century German theologians and took root in some mainline denominations in the early 20th century. Other elements are basic post-modernism, with its emphasis on subjectivism and the death of absolute truth or metanarratives. I know many Christians and churches that might use the term "progressive" in order to connote concern for issues of social justice alongside the claims of historic orthodoxy, and to differentiate themselves from fundamentalism with its strong negative connotations. Terms are always problematic. I appreciate the content of the warnings, but maybe instead of assigning a label they could be signs that a church is losing sight of historic Christian orthodoxy.
5/9/2017 04:10:47 pm
Hi Miranda, I agree with you- Progressive Christianity is a bit tricky to define, and my interaction with it has been what could be described as a blend of the ideologies you've described above. I haven't heard of any churches that describe themselves as "Progressive" who also hold to historic orthodoxy, but if there are, they may find themselves isolated from that group as it becomes more defined from within. There are several high-profile progressive churches and websites actively doing that now, one of which I linked above from John Pavlovitz on point #3.
5/9/2017 05:51:47 pm
Good article, and serious warning. Thankful to report that our church scored 0/5.
5/9/2017 09:29:00 pm
I was just reading Richard Rohr's saying that we can only see with our "available eyes." What you've been taught about the Bible/church/God is all you CAN know about it unless something shocks you into radically re-thinking it.
5/9/2017 09:59:23 pm
Hi Jac. You wrote, “What you've been taught about the Bible/church/God is all you CAN know about it unless something shocks you into radically re-thinking it.” I can’t say I disagree, and this is exactly what happened to me in the Progressive community. It shocked me into radically re-thinking literally *everything* I believed. It was a long journey - I deconstructed and reconstructed. And I discovered that the historical claims of Christianity are true. I’m always stunned when Progressives assume that Traditional Christians like me believe what we do simply because we haven’t had a “shock to the system.” Why do you assume that being shocked into re-thinking would result in progressive theology?
5/10/2017 01:27:51 pm
5/12/2017 09:52:13 am
Because it never occurred to me that anyone who had faced such a shock--in the form of deep suffering or great love--would go down into the grave with Jesus and not arise with an inclusive understanding of the love of Christ who is all in all. I stand corrected.
8/1/2017 11:26:27 am
Excellent comments, Jac.
5/9/2017 09:55:22 pm
The term "Progressive Christianity" seems to me to be an oxymoron. The work of Christianity is done - Jesus himself proclaimed "It is finished". So who are we to change or progress it? The Bible is the inspired Word of God. Nothing more, nothing less. What is there to progress? We seem to want to make it applicable to our day and time instead of transforming our lives in compliance with scripture. It is finished. Believe it, accept it, proclaim it till the day He returns or calls you home.
5/12/2017 09:19:06 pm
Jac, by "historical claims of Christianity," I'm referring to the essential claims that Christians have affirmed from the beginning. Here's an example: "That Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures." This is found in 1 Corinthians 15, and it's considered by scholars (even very liberal ones) to be one of the earliest creeds (if not the earliest) of the Christian church, dating to 3-7 years after Jesus' resurrection. Paul said this was of "first importance." These are beliefs that have been upheld by Christians for 2,000 years. As I point out in my article, progressives tend to be open to denying the "for our sins" part (point #5), the bodily resurrection part (point #3), and the "in accordance with the scriptures" part (point #1). If you think I'm exaggerating, here is an article by a children's pastor in a progressive church here in town. One of their pastors was touted by prominent progressive Brian McLaren as being "One of America's best new preachers," so this isn't some backwoods church with no influence. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/unfundamentalistparenting/2017/04/trouble-easter-not-talk-kids-easter/
5/9/2017 10:57:33 pm
When I read articles like this, I sense such a desperate reach to hold on to and defend the familiar. Psychological principles of consistency in our worldviews can be overwhelmingly strong to the point that we slap the faith label on and stop exploring. I am truly envious of those who can live this life. I shake my fist at God and ask why can't I be like that. But modern Western Christianity has been so dismissive of some progressive ideas that warrant serious evaluation. To just laugh those concerns off as coming from false prophets is way more human that spiritual.
5/9/2017 11:01:55 pm
Hi Kris— I understand where you're coming from. I'm curious.... what is it in this post that makes you think I've "stopped exploring," and am "laughing off those concerns" rather than evaluating them seriously? Have you read any of my other blog posts?
5/9/2017 11:31:27 pm
Hey...no, I am new to your work. I also wasn't insinuating anything on you personally. But pieces like this don't seem interested in exploring the heart of the progressive movement. I think Modern Christianity suffers from survival bias and does not adequately deal with those that fall through the cracks. I can look in the mirror and say that I have been an honest and diligent seeker of Christ yet your recent tweet from the Psalms does not ring true for me. The God I used to be so sure of has indeed forsaken me as much as I wish I could convince myself otherwise.
5/10/2017 08:25:55 am
Thanks for sharing that, Kris. It certainly is difficult to address all sides of an issue in a 1,000-ish word blog piece for sure, and you’re right about the point of this post. It’s not about exploring the heart of the Progressive movement—it’s about helping people who are being confused and hurt by it.
5/10/2017 10:03:11 pm
You are very respectful and courteous, thank you for that.
5/10/2017 10:16:55 pm
I'd love that, Kris. Please email me from my contact page and fill me in on your story. Let's talk more....
5/9/2017 10:59:52 pm
I must say that i am frustrated by your description of the gospel message. You left out the most important piece, that Jesus became man. If not for Christmas, the taking on of the human form and being subject to human frailty and human temptation, his death and resurrection would mean nothing.
5/9/2017 11:37:14 pm
Nothing? Just think for a second how amazing the story of Jesus would be if he didn't rise from the dead. All of your disciples die for you and the most powerful movement in history starts. Just think about it, if Jesus was just a regular guy and all of that happened. Most days I believe in an actual physical resurrection. But the days I doubt are almost just as fascinating. Who was this Jesus then?! I'm not trying to rock the boat, it's just crazy to think about and for me at least, the resurrection isn't needed to acknowledge that something phenomenal happened 2000 years ago with this dude born in a manger.
5/10/2017 09:31:33 am
5/10/2017 03:17:40 pm
The Christianity of the 21st Century has evolved and changed, especially from the 1st Century. We no longer have slaves. We actually had a war against slavery although Paul stated that slaves should be obedient to their masters. Even you, as a woman, enjoy the freedom of Christ where you speak and teach other men through this blog, which many conservative evangelicals would consider heresy.
5/10/2017 11:13:04 pm
I'm glad to see someone warning about Progressive Christianity. Like you say, "it is an assault on the foundational framework of Christianity." I've come across many people, both in person and online, who adhere to the views you describe. It is imperative that true followers of Christ stand up against this movement.
5/11/2017 07:18:23 am
Well written article.
5/11/2017 05:05:38 pm
The only thing hurting Christianity is this kind of self-righteous certainty. I love that you think Christianity needs a defender of orthodoxy, like God needs defending. So there are diverse views within Christian faith, there are diverse views within evangelicalism. It is time Christians started looking for what they have in common and stopped putting each other down. John 17: 20-23
5/13/2017 05:23:28 am
Cameron, I agree, although I would not say the only thing.
5/13/2017 08:18:21 am
Hi Tim, thanks for your comment, but it just serves to prove my point #2, "Feelings are emphasized over facts." I'm sure Jule Ferwerda is a very nice person, and I have nothing against her, but she doesn't speak Greek or Hebrew. In regard to Bible translations, you are asking me to take the word of someone who based her conclusion on a revelation she received in her car over the word of the collaborative effort of distinguished scholars who are experts in the original languages? Her word over the many peer-reviewed articles and books written on hermeneutics and the subject of hell?
5/14/2017 09:37:12 am
Thank you, Cameron! Well said.
5/12/2017 06:54:51 am
My wife and I have grown weary of trying to find a balanced and Bible following church. The Emergent Church and the Apostolic Movements have infiltrated the church and it is increasingly difficult for us to find a place we can plant our roots in. We were forced to leave several churches because of infidelity on the part of the pastors. Yet being a "lone ranger" is not an option. Thank you for this article as it shows me that I am not alone, nor am I going crazy....
5/12/2017 08:58:05 am
I loved when George Carlin reduced the 10 commandments down to 3:
5/12/2017 10:44:38 am
Excellent article. Relevant examples. Good focus on authority of Scripture. Thank you.
5/12/2017 03:00:14 pm
Thank you Alisa. I think some of the responses to your article exemplify what you are identifying in your article - an attempt to self-justify or reason through a mixture of experiences, feelings, failures, rejections, self-expressed morals, ever-changing cultural norms, backgrounds and other variables and hopefully put faith somewhere in the middle of it so that it "makes sense to me" kind of religion.
5/13/2017 03:28:59 am
As touching what I am hearing more and more,"Jesus said not to judge others. In fact, His only command was to love everyone. After all, Jesus dined with prostitutes, etc." (Progressive Christianity 101) When I see someone hitting a dog, and call them an animal abuser, I am NOT judging them. I am simply stating what they are...someone who tells lies is a liar, and so on. And while it IS true that Jesus dined with sinners, there is not a single instance in which He said, "It doesn't matter what you do. I love you and you will live with me in Heaven no matter how you live, because I love you." (Which is the Progress view.) NO! To the contrary, Jesus ALWAYS said, "Go. AND SIN NO MORE!" (Emphasis added) God never SENDS anyone to Hell, they have chosen that route themselves by rejecting the TRUTH.
5/13/2017 02:27:09 pm
5/13/2017 05:11:51 pm
I have seen some of the commenters make the point that I thought of while reading this, but still-- my two cents, for what they are worth. You include in what you may hear at a progressive church this "quote"--"Sure, the Bible is authoritative—but we've misunderstood it for the first 2,000 years of church history..." Having grown up in an evangelical slipping into fundamentalist denomination, I would never hear this quote, but I would most certainly hear cherished and central evangelical beliefs espoused , to which, had the espouser known anything about the history of Christian doctrine, or been self-aware and honest, this quote could certainly have been applied.
5/13/2017 08:05:46 pm
Hi Ed, thanks for offering your thoughts here. Your comment opens some “worm cans” that this post didn’t directly speak to, particularly eschatology, which isn’t a test for orthodoxy, and substitutionary atonement, which is a slightly different animal than penal satisfaction, which Anselm refined in the middle ages. I’m not sure what the word “evangelical” even means anymore, so I don’t necessarily disagree with your assessment of many “evangelical” churches. I have opinions on these things, but it isn’t the point of this particular post.
5/13/2017 08:26:19 pm
I grew up in a fundamentalist church, and when I went through my high school and college years the church could not answer the questions I had. So I rejected it.
5/13/2017 08:44:28 pm
Thanks for sharing your story, Mark—I get where you're coming from. I'm curious.... do you think there is any theological litmus test for becoming a real Christian? Anything at all?
5/15/2017 08:18:22 pm
Hi Alisa, yes, of course, Personally I think that to be a Christian there has to be an affirmation of foundational beliefs centered around the Apostle's Creed, but with some room for interpretation, Just as important, I think we have to live out our faith: how we live our faith matters just as much as what we believe. I'm not comfortable definitively defining who's "in"and who is "out"....everyone who does that always starts out with the supposition that they're in.
5/14/2017 07:56:38 am
Alicia, I understand and appreciate your article. I agree that the teachings you have listed above are shocking and insidious to say the least, thankfully I have never come across them in a church, but I believe you that they are being taught.
5/14/2017 09:27:15 am
Hi Kaitie. First of all, thank you SO much for your comment. This is an important perspective that is not unsignificant. You wrote, "I think a missing piece of the puzzle of why people might be attracted to such progressive ideas are the equally extreme and unbiblical teachings of some fundamental churches." I totally agree with you, and this was a very common theme when I was involved in the progressive church.
5/14/2017 12:27:47 pm
I completely agree with you and this is exactly the type of 'christianity' (I used a small 'c' on purpose!) on some places where I sometimes post my blog. And people are so convinced that they are right and often have very clever sounding arguments to defend their foolishness.
5/14/2017 02:07:47 pm
John 1 says Jesus is the Word of God (capital "w").
5/15/2017 12:04:18 am
5/15/2017 03:28:39 am
The capital or lowercase letters were added by the translators - don't read anything into what is and isn't capitalised.
There is a very large distinction between the Bible being God's word and being God himself.
5/14/2017 02:16:04 pm
I am disappointed in articles like this one that desire to bring the faithful back into line by name calling and blaming. The ends do not justify the means and is a clear giveaway of pride over relationship.
5/14/2017 03:13:05 pm
Hi Stephen, thanks for your comment. Can you show me where in this article I've indulged in name-calling? And in regard to what I mean by historic Christianity, I'll refer you to previous comments as I've answered it a couple of times already.
5/14/2017 11:35:18 pm
Hey Alisa, I reread my original comment and it was harsher than I intended. Sorry about that!
5/14/2017 11:55:34 pm
5/15/2017 08:32:30 am
5/15/2017 01:11:55 am
Hey Alisa & Friends!
5/15/2017 09:45:25 am
Stephen, you are introducing a lot of topics that are not specifically relevant to my post. But for clarity, the opposite of "orthodox" is not "progressive." The opposite of "orthodox" is "unorthodox" or "heresy." I'm sure there are many people who would call themselves "progressive" who still hold to orthodox beliefs. I don't believe that rejecting inerrancy is heresy, but I do think it's a sign that someone's church might be heading in a dangerous direction. Christianity is true whether or not the Bible is inerrant—although I also believe that it is inerrant. Rejecting the deity of Christ, however, is heresy. But to stay on point—the main focus of my article isn't to decide what is and isn't heresy- it's to help Christians spot the signs that their church might be heading in a "progressive" direction.
5/15/2017 10:01:20 am
5/20/2017 09:49:27 am
I get you Alisa. You are just not ready for a "faith shift". You have not had the necessary events in your life for this to happen. I have, and all I can say is that I thank God for my shift into progressive theology. Your day may come. And we in the progressive community will welcome you, just as Jesus welcomed the rebels of his day. Peace.
5/20/2017 03:27:45 pm
Hi Yvonne, thanks for your comment. "Necessary events" is kind of vague, so I'm not sure which events in your life you are referring to. But I can tell you that my experience in the Progressive church didn’t offer me anything even remotely as deep, hopeful, helpful in times of trial, or satisfying— as the relationship I have with the Triune God of Scripture. Out of curiosity, which rebels are you referring to that Jesus welcomed?
5/22/2017 03:35:01 pm
I understand the difficulty of offering a definition of the term "progressive" ("even now it is difficult to pin down what actually qualifies someone as a Progressive Christian, due to the diversity of beliefs that fall under that designation").
Hey! Heard you today with joey on bad Christian podcast. I think you rather conclusively steamrolled him on nearly every front. But I think that speaks more to joeys lack of study and research, than it does to any inherent strength in your arguments.
7/11/2017 04:55:09 pm
Hi Dolphy, thanks for your comment and welcome to the blog. I'll go ahead and post the link to the Bad Christian Podcast so that readers can see if they agree that I steamrolled Joey: https://soundcloud.com/bcpod/295-alisa-childers-explains
7/11/2017 07:09:25 pm
Thanks ! BTW! steamrolled was the wrong word-- perhaps "owned" would be better. Lol
7/11/2017 07:38:33 pm
Oh... gotcha. Thanks then. :) (Although my goal is never to own anyone, but I get what you're saying.)
7/11/2017 06:47:05 pm
I enjoyed your conversation on the bad christian podcast. I am no scholar or theologian, but by your definition I guess I am a progressive. While I disagree with you on most of your points, I think this kind of dialogue is very important. The most baffling thing to me in the interview was when you said "If you view scripture like the church historically has, they are all red letters." I sure hope that is not true! What is your view on
7/11/2017 07:36:15 pm
Hi Eric, thanks for your comment. My view on 1 Timothy 2:12, is that in the context of the church assembly, women are not supposed to teach doctrine or have authority over men. When taken in context of the rest of Scripture, Paul clearly allowed women to pray and prophesy in church (1 Cor. 11:5) which clarifies the 1 Timothy passage. (Obviously he didn't mean women had to be silent all the time.) In fact, Paul expounds this idea even more in 1 Cor. 14, where the context is the assembling together of Christians as a congregation (church services). The church in Corinth was in chaos, and women weren't the only people Paul told to be silent. He also told certain prophets and tongue-speakers to be silent for specific reasons. The prohibition of women speaking seems to have to do with authority—a woman shouldn't do anything in church that places her in authority over a man.
7/13/2017 12:15:21 am
7/13/2017 12:55:51 pm
7/18/2017 05:42:33 pm
Alisa, Thanks for responding again. I have though alot about it over the last several days. Respectfully, I don't think you answered my question. I get how Jesus made the law more difficult to obey by saying even if you think lust filled thoughts you have comitted adultery in your heart. What I get from this is that sin is not just actions, but sin starts in our hearts. I think you would agree that actually comitting adultery is worse than just thinking about it. My question was about what Jesus did with the woman caught in adultery. If Jesus were to follow the law of Moses he should have said "Go get the man as well and put them both to death" (leviticus 20:10) That's not what he did.
7/20/2017 12:21:31 am
Thanks Eric. Regarding the story of the woman being caught in the act of adultery—this story is a textual variant, but I do believe it is historical. So according to Jewish law, the witnesses/accusers had to carry out the sentence of execution with their own hands. When Jesus asked, "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone," they were no longer willing to do so. Jesus didn't break any law—the law wouldn't have allowed Him to carry out her execution even if He wanted to.
7/12/2017 08:13:22 am
I guess I'm wondering:
7/12/2017 08:52:13 am
Hi Nathaniel. Your comment is a perfect example of "argumentum ad-hominem," which is a logical fallacy in which an argument is directed at a person, rather than the person’s ideas. If you’d like to interact with any specific point I’ve made in the post, I’m happy to do that. Otherwise, we can all learn from this exchange about how to spot faulty logic.
7/12/2017 09:23:12 am
Well aware of ad hominem, Alisa. Let's take a look at some of your personal blind spots you expose as you rail against progressive Christianity. You state:
7/12/2017 11:39:18 am
7/12/2017 11:41:51 am
7/12/2017 01:00:18 pm
Replying here because for some reason I can't reply below.
7/12/2017 05:58:16 pm
Nathaniel, just as you have a litany of problems with my points, I have a litany of problems with yours. Your credentials are impressive, and certainly you know that many people with credentials that are just as impressive as yours, disagree with your points as well. We aren’t going to agree on much, but for the sake of the readers, I’ll make a couple final remarks as well.
7/12/2017 02:07:27 pm
7/14/2017 04:43:45 pm
I included a link to 5 Signs Your Church May be Leading Toward Progressive Christianity on my blog post scheduled to come out on July 27. I had read your post earlier and felt led to write a post on Christian-Overeaters.blogspot.com about: Choosing a Facsimile Instead of the Real Thing! I wanted to make sure you don't mind me linking to it. I feel it can help enlighten readers, because I only touch on it briefly. Also, I am listening to your Podcast on this topic while I'm writing this, to make sure that my comments are aligned. Thanks!
7/29/2017 05:12:36 pm
I 100% agree with your counsel here Alisa. Progressivism is a man centered worldview rather than a Biblical Worldview. It has no place in a Local New Testament Church. In a church context there are many offshoots of progressivism - but overall it SLIDES the Church away from a Biblical worldview. In light of that Wikipedia is correct - Progressivism is the support for or advocacy of social reform (a movement that aims to make gradual change in certain aspects of society, rather than rapid or fundamental changes). As a philosophy, it is based on the idea of progress, which asserts that advancements in science, technology, economic development, and social organization are vital to the improvement of the human condition. Note: Jesus does not want us to "Reform" he wants us to be "Born Again" (New Creatures). There is no reforming DEAD people. James 1:13-15 is like a mathematical equation. Lust births sin, sin births death (interestingly there are no stillbirths when it comes to sin). Lust is going to bring forth something. An evil desire, an evil thought etc. and when that is joined to outward temptation, there is a birth -- a birth of the act, a birth of sin. And sin brings death. Death (Thanatos) in James 1:15 means “separation”. Dead in Ephesians 2:1-2 has a different greek word (Nekros) but still means: departed or one whose soul is in Hell. YIKES - that is permanent separation. But even if your not into Greek (thats ok :)) the Bible defines Dead in Ephesians 2:1-2 “While we walked (thats alive and kicking as we say in Texas) according to the course of this world” we were “dead in our trespasses and sins”. This is the Bible's definition of death - it is separation from God - its not being in a coffin six feet down. Why do we become separated (Dead)? Because of our own rebellion (resisting Him) - just like the prodigal son in Luke 15 was separated from his father because of his filthy living. You must be "BORN AGAIN". (John 3) All men need to be made alive (reconciled) by FAITH by putting our trust in Jesus Christ and admitting we are living in bondage (coming out of the pig pen in the prodigal son’s case) and REPENTING of our sin. This is the central theme of the BIBLE and is "how to be born again" forever into the family of God.. Those who are on the broad path and have not followed God’s plan of salvation do not have the one mediator between God and man. God loved us (all of us) and sent His Son to be the propitiation (appeasement of God’s wrath) for our sins; and not for ours only, but for the sins of the whole world” (1st John 2:2). The choice, will, decision, belief (chose your action word - I like Whosoever believeth - John 3:16) to go the narrow way is completely ours to make! God will not make us believe on Christ when it is our own decision to do so. If we refuse to be in Christ (resisting), then we are still in our sins “and the wrath of God abideth on us”. (John 3:36) Then (and only then) because we are "in Christ" and have a personal relationship with Him we need to be about the "Father's business" of making Disciples in and through the local church. This is the churches mission (By Grace through Faith) - not social reform (Works - Yuck). #DR4Christ #WhosoeverWill #StandintheGap #ThePowerofBiblicalThinking
7/29/2017 08:26:44 pm
So I am assuming the author seeks to vilify progressive politics - but my question to the "Christians" is how do you square your boy Donnie Trump's groping, multiple wives, kids out of wedlock, bragging about STDs, sexism, rape allegations and admitted groping? Are all those things cool because he put an (R) by his name? Did your Jesus tell you that you could let THAT slide? Sorry I don't think Christianity as its practiced today is anything I want a part of.
7/29/2017 08:47:06 pm
Hi Tony, thanks for your comment. I'm curious....what is it about my post that would lead you to think I supported or voted for Donald Trump?
8/1/2017 04:59:27 pm
8/1/2017 05:36:33 pm
Jon, This post is not political and I don't endorse any political candidate or party. I also don't publicly state who I vote for but I'm comfortable telling you that I did not support or vote for Donald Trump.
7/29/2017 11:16:28 pm
Dear Tony You asked "I am assuming the author seeks to vilify progressive politics - but my question to the "Christians" is how do you square your boy Donnie Trump's groping, multiple wives, kids out of wedlock, bragging about STDs, sexism, rape allegations and admitted groping? Are all those things cool because he put an (R) by his name?"
7/29/2017 11:41:15 pm
redeem mankind. (. . . .continuing . . . . (A Biblical Worldview) His plan is to do that through preaching (from the Bible) in a New Testament Church which is evident Alisa loves very much.
This is a great blog topic. One of the biggest problems is that the clergy has dropped the ball on addressing these issues on a regular basis. I watched Alisa's video and that is why she struggled against an Agnostic Pastor. The Agnostic knew Christians are weak yet why he continued to Pastor is beyond me. He taught, in his eyes, nonsense for a paycheck.
7/30/2017 11:25:56 pm
Thank you for your article. I see a clear disreguard by many to all of what acts 10 teaches us all. Our fellow gentile, the 1st gentile to be saved. Let's see what kind of guy he was. Acts 10:1-2 KJV
7/31/2017 12:20:04 pm
This article lacks awareness of the breadth and diversity of the Christian religion. Why must evangelicals believe that their particular way of understanding the faith is the only acceptable one?
7/31/2017 12:40:00 pm
"Progressive Christians are often open to re-defining and re-interpreting the Bible on hot-button moral issues like homosexuality and abortion"
8/1/2017 02:26:48 pm
7/31/2017 05:48:56 pm
While I agree with some of these things, such as that feelings are often overemphasized in many evangelical circles, and the misguided re-interpretation of core Christian doctrines, what I find troubling is the blog post's desire to pick and choose what "has been historically believed."
7/31/2017 05:55:06 pm
Many churches are "Surrendering" to the Lord.
7/31/2017 08:40:47 pm
You say this:
7/31/2017 09:53:26 pm
Hi Kwill. Thanks for your comment. I have to disagree that the core message of Christianity was never delivered by Christ. In Matthew 26:28 Jesus said that His blood was poured out for the forgiveness of sins. As a Jew, this was directly connected to the sacrificial system set up by God in the Old Testament to atone for sin. (Leviticus 16,17 and 23). Substitutionary atonement is all over the New Testament, and in particular, the letters of Paul. Key elements of SA were also present in some of the earliest Christian writings. (See the Epistle to Diognetus) It's a common claim that this idea didn't come until later, but it is simply not true.
8/1/2017 04:40:43 pm
I guess we can disagree about that. I know that the ancient traditions -- not just the Jewish ones -- often involved blood sacrifice, so it doesn't seem crazy that early Jewish followers of Jesus latched on to this explanation for the catastrophe in their world that followed his death. They'd been expecting an actual Savior -- one who would end their suffering under the Romans.
8/1/2017 10:11:01 am
In principle I would have to disagree with some things comments that are stated as though what are described in the document as “progressive” churches. For example Martin Luther believed the book of James should be omitted from Scripture. John A T Robinson, a bishop in the Anglican Communion wrote a book “honest to God” in which he effectively denied the literal resurrection of Jesus from the dead. For the author of the article, probably for most of his readers, I would be seen as a heretic. I accept the Scriptures for what they are. But how is it, then, that Calvin and Luther – both are paramount part in the Reformation – could disagree theologically to the extent they did? Which one was wrong? Or is it that they were both right in the theological stance? I ask this because I find it potentially arrogant for any one of us to assume we represent the fullness of the truth to the exclusion of anyone else who may disagree. Peter commented that Paul said some hard things, so even he had difficulty in understanding Paul’s theology. I would suggest, indeed, submit, theological arrogance is dangerous, divisive and potentially stems from a theologically hardened heart? Forgive me if you feel have overstepped the mark. I simply want to express that perhaps we need to examine ourselves and our intentions as well as our hearts as to why we write as is our tendency.
8/1/2017 01:07:00 pm
Hi Tony, thanks for your thoughtful comment. For clarity, I don't believe that I represent the fullness of the truth to the exclusion of anyone else who may disagree. I'm actually a little stunned that so many commenters believe that I am. I am a huge fan of many scholars and theologians from different denominational traditions and backgrounds. What I advocate for is the core definition of Christianity that has been affirmed by Christians for 2,000 years, despite the theological squabbles we've had along the way. This "core" is what I believe Progressive Christianity is eroding.
8/3/2017 03:50:50 am
Hi Alisa. I deeply, deeply appreciate your generous reply. On my own journey (now almost 50 years!) I had been through various phases of learning and changing. I was hoping to point out (without being lengthy!) That every Christian movement has had its flaws as well as its revelations. For me it is important that I remain teachable both from the Scriptures, what others are writing/saying and, above all through my relationship with God. I therefore shy away from dogmatic statements that only lead to dispute because there are others who have a different interpretation. I strongly believe that genuine revelation has continued to enlighten God's people. Perhaps in this we would differ: but I honour you, your position and, above all the integrity of your heart. I think we both remain seekers after the truth.
8/1/2017 10:13:58 am
my apologies for not including my email address
8/1/2017 10:59:58 am
I once thought at you did, that so called progressive Christianity had all of these terrible heresies and rejections of Christianity and, yes, they do exist. However, I have found many progressive Christians who take a high view of Scripture, still believe the basic salvific graces, and yet have no difficulty reconciling that with the social justice that is a major building block of both Old and New Testament theology. Indeed, especially after much study of the Scriptures and the early church fathers and mothers (especially the desert ones), I had to leave evangelical Christianity behind. The narrative of Scripture does include sin and death and punishment and sacrifice. However, it doesn't stop there. The Good News is truly good news! There is resurrection and transformation and hope that comes because of the sacrifice of Christ and we, as Christians or "Christ bearers" are called to not only spread the news of this great gift but to practice mercy, generosity, kindness, and love. Indeed, much of Paul's writings point to the reality that if the fruits of the spirit are not practiced first, then the rest is just baloney (I Corinthians 13). So yes, I am a progressive Christian because I follow Christ, not because of some dogma instilled by human minds. I have been freed from the shackles because I took the next step of accepting not only Christ but the spectacular life He created me for. Unfortunately, I found your blog post to be myopic and, most likely unintentionally, generalized ignorance of a greater movement in Christianity that has existed since Christ Himself walked the earth. Such luminaries in the movement included Augustine, who not only didn't believe in inerrancy but thought people who did were idiots (he didn't mince words); Luther, who didn't believe the canon of Scripture was accurate; Wesley, who felt that the message was for the people and so the message could be told anywhere, including outside of churches; Galileo, Copernicus, and Darwin, who all determined that the truth of science didn't contradict Scripture but added to its wonder (Copernicus was a monk and Darwin was a deacon-I encourage anyone to read his diaries, especially whee he struggles with faith and reason). Francis de Sales treatise on the love of God is brilliant but definitely progressive (he happened to be an inquisitor). Even the first church council in Jerusalem, as noted in the Acts of the Apostles, was progressive because it made a major decision, that the gentiles were accepted as part of the Kingdom. The Acts are chock full of "progressive" ideas of inclusion, social justice, and the sanctification of all things. These are just the tip of the iceberg.
8/1/2017 11:04:45 am
As a Progressive Christian, I have to say that your characterization is skewed. Although you are correct in some ways, you forget that what you consider orthodox was at one point considered heretical.
8/1/2017 12:40:26 pm
Hi rtgmath, I'm curious... why do you think I don't "listen to people explain why they don't believe in a literal hell etc...?" I actually spend a lot of my time doing just that.
8/1/2017 11:09:05 am
This article was disheartening to say the least.
8/1/2017 12:02:36 pm
Hi Rachel, you may find my post on Social Justice and the gospel helpful. It further clarifies my view: http://www.alisachilders.com/blog/is-social-justice-hijacking-the-gospel
8/1/2017 11:33:09 am
I find it interesting that this article is written by a woman. Hard core fundamentalists would never accept this, saying that this author was trying to teach men, contrary to Scripture.
8/1/2017 01:29:15 pm
I would think any rational person, whether fundamental or not, would accept truth as truth no matter the gender of the person speaking the truth. Do you have specific "hard core fundamentalists" in mind or are you just speaking generically? If a woman in your "hard core fundamentalist" group learned truth from her church, is she not allowed to pass that truth on to anyone outside of the church? Is it just inside the church that she is not allowed to teach?
8/1/2017 12:35:00 pm
I was attending a church that had this exact thing happen to it. We used to read Leviticus and Deuteronomy every fall...suddenly the pastor was reading the gospels as often as the Old Testament. We had worked with the legislature to enact a faithful monument celebrating the 10 commandments. Suddenly the pastor was more interested in the Beatitudes.
8/1/2017 12:49:19 pm
Hi friends, thanks for all the comments. Many of the objections found in the comments here are answered in these 3 podcasts I've done since the publishing of this article. You can find them here if you're interested:
8/1/2017 01:53:24 pm
Thank God, I've found a progressive church.
8/1/2017 03:38:55 pm
We can only hope and pray that ALL churches become "progressive" the way religion is supposed to be! God gave us a brain to think and the sense to question. No man should tell another how to believe...
8/2/2017 12:52:24 am
Did you mean to say "condemn" as opposed to condone in point number 1 ? "The Bible condones immorality"
8/2/2017 07:51:25 am
Hi Donald, no, sadly I've heard many Progressive Christians accuse the Bible of condoning immorality. There is a lot of confusion regarding some events in the Old Testament. Paul Copan's book "Is God a Moral Monster?" is a great resource to help clarify....
8/2/2017 08:19:11 am
Christine C. Scott The foundational beliefs of the Bible are no longer preached. For example,(1). Hell is a literal place of punishment for those who reject Jesus (2) Salvation is by faith in Jesus and (3) We are all sinners in need of a savior who shed his sinless blood (4) literal creation (5) Return of Jesus could be any day. These are ignored. There are no altar calls; no invitation to get your heart right with God. Just nice little God talks; no sin, no blood, no Hell. Nor is repentance is ever mentioned from the pulpit. Oh there will be a lot of "praise" music, which sounds like any worldly, rock music. I believe that this adulterated music will usher in the anti-Christ. We'll see.
8/2/2017 10:56:54 am
I loved what you wrote but Please explain this: you say Progressives say The Bible condones immorality, so we are obligated to reject what it says in certain places...
8/3/2017 02:14:56 am
I have found Signs 1 and 2 to be MUCH more prevalent among "historic" (pretentious much?) Christians than progressive Christians. But that doesn't fit the narrative, does it?
8/5/2017 08:45:20 am
Five signs your church MIGHT...
8/5/2017 08:20:22 pm
Great observation. I also noticed that many of the objections were based on assumptions, rather than what I had actually written.
8/8/2017 03:48:16 pm
Seems everybody's got an opinion.
Comments are closed.