One of the tragic changes that we see unfolding in our culture today is that people are increasingly placing themselves in a position of authority over the Word of God. It is now quite normal for people to think of the Bible as intolerant, bigoted and old-fashioned. The result is that clear teachings in Scripture become reinterpreted to fit their “enlightened” human wisdom. The Bible simply does not work this way. I want to plead with people to remember that the Bible does not need to be rescued, we do. The truth of the matter is that God and His Word are in a position of authority over every square inch of our lives and this universe. Instead of revising God’s Word to fit into our way of thinking or our lifestyle let’s humble ourselves before God and the timeless authority of His Word.
For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. -2 Timothy 4:3-4
If you hear that something is “progressive” you might think that it is a good thing. That is simply not the case when it comes to Progressive Christianity.
Let me share with you a few of my own thoughts about Progressive Christianity before I have you read the excellent article below by Alisa Childers. I believe that we need to be aware that there are a growing number of people, churches, denominations, universities and ministries that identify themselves as Christian but do not hold to what we would consider an orthodox or traditional understanding of the Christian faith.
Maybe you are thinking, “Michael, pipe down, don’t you know you are going to make some people angry?” That’s not my goal but I really am OK with it. I made peace with the fact that I will not make everyone happy a long time ago. We need to remember that the truth is not always warmly received. John the Baptist clearly taught the truth of God’s Word and the result was that he had his head cut off. Just sayin’.
He (elders in the church) must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it. -Titus 1:9
I need to state that defining Progressive Christianity is not easy. The reason for that is because it encompasses lots of people who come from very different theological backgrounds. You can check out THIS from Wikipedia.
So what is at stake with this whole discussion? What kind of issues are we talking about? I believe Progressive Christianity gets in wrong in a number of really important areas (same sex attraction, gender, marriage, hell, substitutionary atonement, absolute truth and the trustworthiness of the Bible). These topics, and others, are all currently being redefined and we need to know what we believe and why we believe it.
There is another side to this that I want to briefly mention. We need to be careful about stating our theological position and then shutting down all dialogue. For the person who is wrestling with questions about the Bible we need to be willing to listen and have genuine dialogue. God loves the skeptics and those who are intellectually curious and so should we!
HERE is the link to Alisa Childers article, “5 Signs Your Church Might Be Headed Toward Progressive Christianity.” I strongly encourage you to read it!
I would love to hear your thoughts, ideas and questions! Please leave me a comment!