5 Signs Your Church Might Be Heading toward Progressive Christianity

 

 1. There is a lowered view of the Bible

1. There is a lowered view of the Bible

Slide 1 of 8

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:

  • ​The Bible is a human book…
  • I disagree with the Apostle Paul on that issue…
  • The Bible condones immorality, so we are obligated to reject what it says in certain places…
  • ​The Bible “contains” the word of God…

2. Feelings are emphasized over facts

Slide 2 of 8

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:

  • That Bible verse doesn’t resonate with me….
  • I thought homosexuality was a sin until I met and befriended some gay people….
  • I just can’t believe Jesus would send good people to hell….

3. Essential Christian doctrines are open for re-interpretation

Slide 3 of 8

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:

  • The resurrection of Jesus doesn’t have to be factual to speak truth….
  • The church’s historic position on sexuality is archaic and needs to be updated within a modern framework…
  • The idea of a literal hell is offensive to non-Christians and needs to be re-interpreted….

4. Historic terms are re-defined

Slide 4 of 8

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.


Including the Word “Love”

Slide 5 of 8

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:

  • God wouldn’t punish sinners—He is love….
  • Sure, the Bible is authoritative—but we’ve misunderstood it for the first 2,000 years of church history…
  • It’s not our job to talk to anyone about sin—it’s our job to just love them….

Alisa ChildersAlisaChilders.com

https://www.crosswalk.com/slideshows/5-signs-your-church-might-be-heading-toward-progressive-christianity.html?p=1

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