I am not a progressive Christian, and I will NOT apologize for it.
First, let’s define a few things:
The definition of progressive, according to Merriam-Webster Dictionary is: “(of a group, person, or idea) favoring or implementing social reform or new, liberal ideas.”
The definition of Progressive Christianity from Wikipedia is as follows: (not the most reliable source… so take it or leave it…)
Progressive Christianity represents a post-modern theological approach, and is not necessarily synonymous with progressive politics. It developed out of the Liberal Christianity of the modern era, which was rooted in enlightenment thinking. As such, Progressive Christianity is a “post-liberal movement” within Christianity “that seeks to reform the faith via the insights of post-modernism and a reclaiming of the truth beyond the verifiable historicity and factuality of the passages in the Bible by affirming the truths within the stories that may not have actually happened.”
Progressive Christianity is characterized by a willingness to question tradition, acceptance of human diversity, a strong emphasis on social justice and care for the poor and the oppressed, and environmental stewardship of the earth. Progressive Christians have a deep belief in the centrality of the instruction to “love one another” (John 15:17) within the teachings of Jesus Christ. This leads to a focus on promoting values such as compassion, justice, mercy, and tolerance, often through political activism. Though prominent, the movement is by no means the only significant movement of progressive thought among Christians.
— Link to read more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progressive_Christianity
The definition of Progressive Christianity from the Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA) is as follows:
Progressive Christianity is a trend primarily among North American and other English-speaking Protestant Christians in the late 20th and early 21st centuries characterized by theological diversity, eclectic spirituality and a strong concern for social justice and related political issues. It currently exists not as a unified movement, but as a broad identifier used by a loosely related collection of organizations, individuals and online networks. Though historically related both to the social gospel tradition within the mainline Protestant denominations and to the emergence of left-leaning evangelicals since the 1970s, progressive Christians often self-consciously use this term to distinguish themselves both from conservative evangelicalism and from the traditional liberal mainline.
Link to read more, including a list of 14 “possible traits of Progressive Christianity”: https://www.thearda.com/timeline/movements/movement_29.asp
Secondly, have you heard anyone say something similar to the following?
- I’m not sure God really meant that when He was talking about sin.
- I don’t think God’s Word is the only truth.
- I’m not going to put God in a box and speak for Him.
- Yes, God spoke about those “issues,” but culture has changed, so it’s not relevant anymore.
- As Christians, we just need to focus on love. God is love, after all.
(The list could go on and on.)
A few things you need to know about me. I am 25 years old. I have earned a college degree. I have a job I am proud of and worked for. I can think for myself. I can acknowledge the different viewpoints that people have. I can see “where people are coming from.” My beliefs and convictions and viewpoints have been challenged by the diverse set of people I have come into contact with over the years. Yes, I was raised in a conservative Christian home. No, I was not brainwashed. I have made my own decisions. I have done my own research.
There are a few PRINCIPLES that I believe are vital to life right now in a 21st century world that is searching for “truth” and redefining history, Scripture, and stories.
- Jesus is the Truth. End of discussion. He’s also the Way and the Life, if you were wondering.
- God’s Word doesn’t need me (or us) to “culturize” it — God’s Word transcends culture.
- God hasn’t changed His opinion on sin.
- The 10 Commandments haven’t changed, nor will they ever.
- It isn’t rude, racist, bigotry, or “unloving” to call sin what it is.
- God is clear about those who change His Word. (Rev. 22:18-19/Prov. 30:5-6/Gal. 1:6-9)
What is the biggest thing you need to know about me? I am a Bible-Believing Christian. Old-fashioned, if you will. And, as stated earlier, I will NOT apologize for it. Period. End of story.
I will not change my stance on “life.” I will not change my stance on “marriage.” I will not change my stance on “eternity.” I will not change my stance on “gender.” I will not change my stance on “family.” I will not change my stance on “morals.”
And, frankly, neither should you. You can call me a radical conservative with an “out-of-date” compass. You can call me homophobic. You can call me a religious fanatic. You can call me brainwashed. You can call me a stick-in-the-mud. I am not any of the terms you throw at me. I am not prejudiced. In fact, I am not even religious. I hate the term “religious.”
I am a human being who realizes that God is King. He is the Answer. He will be the One to judge me some day… You won’t be the judge.
It is time we were Bible-Believing Christians… and proud of it!
Does this give us license to hate? Absolutely not! Does this give us a license to judge? Nope! Does this give us a license to condemn people to hell? Uhm, nope. Does this give us a license to be as rude as we wish to others? Of course not!
I will let the Bible speak for me and do the work. And, not just part of the Bible, ALL OF IT!
I refuse to be a “Progressive Christian.” I refuse to rewrite God’s Word. I refuse to use some of God’s Word to prove my points and ignore the rest of it. I refuse to be embarrassed by the “radical stand” of the Bible.
I recently listened to a statement from someone in the U.S. Congress. This person used the Bible to discuss “rejecting people medical care” based on the the facts that “all humans are holy and sacred unconditionally” and “we love all people.” Yet, out of the other side of the mouth, this same individual stands with the killing of the unborn, apparently leaving out what the Scripture has to say about life. Oh, the stark contrast!
Another startling find was the website of the Bethel Congregational United Church of Christ. They are proud Progressive Christians, stating the following things (and these are direct quotes):
- Christianity is the truth for us. But it is not the only truth.
- The power of the Christian faith to transform lives does not require it to be exclusively true.
- A phrase that points to our identity is that “we are a reformed and reforming” church.
- There is a dynamic aspect of our faith and practice. We believe that God calls us in each generation to use our minds, our hearts and our spirits to keep the Christian faith alive and relevant. Ancient traditions and practices shape who we are but they do not define who we are. God continues to shape us as the world changes.
- Our Christian faith is 2000 years old, but our thinking is not.
- The Bible: We take it too seriously to take it literally.
- The Bible doesn’t have to be factually true to speak to us, and to draw us to God’s heart of love. This view of the Bible liberates it and us.
Link to read more: https://www.bethelbeaverton.org/progressive-christianity
How dangerous and blasphemous this is.
You might say to yourself… I am NOT like that, and I never will be. However, if we are not careful, we too will find ourselves rationalizing and tweaking what we don’t like to see in God’s Word or don’t want to share with the 21st century world around us, who throw their views in our face without apology.
Here’s what I have to say.
It is time we stop changing God’s Word to fit our narrative. It is time we change our narrative to fit God’s Word.
I don’t have to be progressive to be relevant. I don’t have to be accepting to be kind. I don’t have to be sorry of my stance in order to be appropriate.
At the end of time, every knee is going to bow and every tongue is going to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. (Romans 14:10-12)
I’m not going to change God’s Word. I’m done trying to be politically correct. I’m not progressive. And, I’m OK with all of that.
I am a Bible-Believing Christian… and I’m fitting my narrative/my story to God’s Word, not the other way around.