You may not see it, but Progressive Christianity is not the right path for you. Here are signs that you are putting yourself at risk of going past what is written in Scripture. Solutions are also offered here.
This is one post in a four-part series.
Let’s quote important Scriptures, not just insert the references.
The ESV is used, unless otherwise noted. You can see other translations at biblegatewy.com, if you want.
This post comes out of these sobering verses:
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ (Matt. 7:21-23)
These are fuller signs that your church is going down the wrong path. You may be leading the way.
First, if any leader has performed same-sex commitment ceremonies (also known as same-sex “marriage”) in church, he is not doing the will of the Father. Jesus endorsed the Edenic model of one man and one woman (Matt. 19:4-6). The church leader who strays this far is a practitioner or worker or doer of lawlessness.
Second, any leader who endorses sexual misconduct because he is “evolving,” allowing, for example, two people to live together (e.g. same-sex couples or opposite-sex couples), is a worker of lawlessness. Yes, we can be patient with these couples, as God deals with them, but to endorse by allowing their lifestyle is lawlessness. Pastors who sexually abuse people, particularly children, are practicing lawlessness and not even close to doing the will of the Father.
Third, any leader who continuously teaches false doctrines and denies true ones, like the full significance of Christ’s substitutionary atoning death on the cross, is not doing the will of the Father. Jesus instituted the New Covenant by symbolizing it with the bread and wine and then ratifying it by dying in the cross. To deny the full import and the absolute necessity of the cross is to deny the whole purpose of the four Gospels.
We also need the other theories of the atonement:
Fourth, if any leader denies the full authority of Scripture for life and morals and doctrine—setting aside the debate between inerrancy in all its parts and infallibility in its doctrine and practice—is not doing the will of the Father. Jesus had a very high view of Scripture, saying David spoke by the Holy Spirit (Matt. 22:43). Obedience to Scripture and Jesus’s teaching is not optional. Though he came to fulfill the OT, he also said it’s a bad idea for teachers to tell people to break them. This is especially true of moral law, which has been imported into the New Covenant.
Fifth, any leader who says Jesus was just a good teacher and fine moral example and denies his full deity is not doing the will of the Father. The leader is really not understanding what “Lord, Lord” means. He does not understand what it means when Jesus says, “Depart from me” at judgment. This is a declaration of repudiation in Rabbinic usage current back then, but Jesus elevates the severity by placing those words at the final judgment. His being the judge show his full deity.
Here are other verses that explain his full humanity and full deity:
Sixth, any leader not obeying Jesus’s teaching in the Sermon on the Mount and the rest of the Gospel (and depending on God’s power and grace to help him) is bound for a crashing fall. This obedience to his teaching includes righteous living and actions. The hyper-grace teachers are revealing themselves to be workers of lawlessness. Yes, God is willing and loving enough to work with our failures (as he does mine daily), but our repentance must bring forth works worthy of repentance (Matt. 3:8; Acts 26:20), sooner rather than later. Any leader who says repentance is not so important is also a worker of lawlessness.
Seventh, any leader who says he’s an agnostic and is “searching” and is unable even to utter the words, “Lord, Lord,” yet remains in his pastoral duties, is a worker of lawlessness. He must step down until he gets things sorted out. He cannot lead people, when the NT totally affirms that these issues, like God’s existence, and doing righteousness and sexual restrictions to heterosexual marriage, have already been worked out and settled. If he cannot follow the NT, then he must remove himself until he has developed the conviction which the apostles had. The church belongs to Jesus, not a troubled pastor. And Jesus didn’t doubt God’s existence or teach same-sex “marriage” or have a lackadaisical outlook on righteous living.
Eighth, any leader who lives an extravagantly wealthy life from the donations of Joe Factoryworker and Jane Shopkeeper is in danger of greed and being a worker of lawlessness. He is not doing the will of the Father. Prosperity modestly defined is biblical; becoming wealthy by good business practices is also biblical (1 Tim. 6:17-19). But Christian leaders manipulating and pressuring Joe and Jane to give and then living in massive houses and owning conspicuously luxury items that Joe and Jane could never afford is wrong.
Ninth, discarding the OT is misguided. If you could time-travel back to the time of Jesus and then Paul, they would be aghast to hear that modern Christians are throwing out their Scriptures. Jesus is resurrected now and is Lord of his church, so I believe that he opposes such rejection right now. The OT’s moral law and Messianic prophecies, for example, are still relevant.
What Does the New Covenant Retain from the Old? (The NT for sure keeps moral law)
That list is not exhaustive.
God has never given up on moral law. It existed long before the law of Moses. It was his gift to humanity.
To conclude this Part, religious Progressivism is infiltrating and destroying the church, little by little. Advocating for those issues and doing them is to practice lawlessness and may deserve the sobering words: “Depart from me, you workers of lawlessness! I never knew you!” (Matt. 7:23).
Wise statement I read on Facebook: Popular Christianity is not biblical, and biblical Christianity is not popular.
God is love ≠ Love is god
Don’t turn love into a god.
You pastors of these progressive churches have a heart to reach out to people and not chase them away. But is this heart confusing you? Have you taken your inoffensive outreach too far?
You don’t preach righteous behavior. You don’t teach the biblical norm for marriage. You don’t explain why abortion is wrong (but forgivable). Ethics and morality are short-changed in your church. Maybe you trust the Spirit sovereignly to lead them out of their sinful behavior. But maybe God set things up so that pastors and teachers should exhort–with actual words and teachings–the people to leave behind their bad behavior. That’s why the Sermon on the Mount and the practical sections of the epistles exist. They should teach and guide us by their spoken and written words.
To conclude, “I am writing this not to shame you but to warn you as my dear children” (1 Cor. 4:14).
ARTICLES IN SERIES
Warning to Evolving, Progressive Churches: Danger Signs
Addendum: Warning! The left is destructive
Under each point is a further link, teaching what the Bible or simple morality says.
The left destroys or attempts to destroy the following:
Marriage: by demolishing the norm of one man and one woman
Babies: by advocating killing them in the womb (Yes, abortion is a forgivable sin, but it is still a sin)
Gender differences: by claiming boys can be girls (and vice-versa) and shower together and compete together in same sport
Religious liberty: by suppressing freedom of conscience or restricting church attendance. The next link is the foundation for America, and it can also be a fundmental right for the whole world.
Authority of Scripture: by not treating it respectfully or badly misinterpreting it to support the new leftwing norms or severing the New Testament from the Old Testament, to name only those three examples.
Truth: by denying there are eternal, bedrock truths and affirming that all moral truths are relative; facts and truth do not care about your feelings.
Goodness: by calling good evil and evil good (see Isaiah 5:20)
Sexual boundaries: by “exploring” “erotic theology,” for example
Here is a list of the destruction that the left–whether religious or not–imposes on or works into society, the church, and even entire nations.
The left destroys:
Cities: by burning them down
Entire economies: by government’s wielding as much control as possible, governmental theft
Political fairness: by crushing dissent
Careers: firing those who dissent from the leftwing norms
Free speech: by suppressing dissenting words and a free press and by deplatforming
Fair and honest elections
Objectivity in the news media: by hiring other leftists who hate conservatives and leftwing fact checkers who do not know much.
Western Civilization and America History: by omission, exaggeration and distortion (e.g. the 1619 Project)
Time-honored Traditions: by running roughshod (e.g. FDR’s four terms in office, denying George Washington’s example)
Religious Progressivism is infiltrating and destroying the church, little by little. Advocating for those issues and doing them is to practice lawlessness and may deserve the sobering words: “Depart from me, you workers of lawlessness! I never knew you!” (Matt. 7:21-23).
Wise statement I read in a meme on Facebook: Popular Christianity is not biblical, and biblical Christianity is not popular.