Progressive (Social Justice) “Christianity”

Discernment is the process of making careful distinctions in our thinking about truth. The discerning person is the one who draws a clear contrast between truth and error. Discernment is black-and-white thinking—the conscious refusal to color every issue in shades of gray. No one can be truly discerning without developing skill in separating divine truth from error.

Does Scripture tell us how to be discerning? It certainly does. Paul sums up the process in 1 Thessalonians 5:21–22: “Examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil.” There, in three straightforward commands, he spells out the requirements of a discerning mind. ~ John MacArthur

Do not be fooled by professing Christians who prefer either “Progressive Christian” or “social justice Christian” to the word Evangelical. It matters not what trendy terms people use to describe themselves, a progressive by any other name is still a liberal. So it should not come as a surprise to learn that some PC’s are avowed Marxists. Marxism is the theory of economics and politics of atheists Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels that holds that “actions and human institutions are economically determined, that the class struggle is the basic agency of historical change, and that capitalism will ultimately be superseded by communism.” Clearly, this theory is unbiblical.

The Center for Progressive Christianity’s homepage makes it abundantly clear how PC’s view themselves:

By calling ourselves progressive, we mean we are Christians who recognize the faithfulness of other people who have other names for the way to God’s realm, and acknowledge that their ways are true for them, as our ways are true for us.

That, brethren, is moral relativism. Again, unbiblical.

So here’s the bottom line: Progressive is simply a euphemism for socialism. 

Authority of Scripture

PC’s do not hold to a high view of Scripture. They out right reject the notion that all Scripture is God breathed — inspired, inerrant, infallible. PC’s will tell you that in their view a large part of the scriptures do not present a true understanding of God’s mind and heart, and much of the Bible is not inspired by the Spirit of God.

PC’s hold to a non-traditional view of the Bible. Because they question tradition, they’re willing to re-write Scripture to ensure that God’s written Word is cutting-edge and meets their politically correct criteria.

Environmentalism

Besides an emphasis on caring for the poor through social justice, PC’s are environmentally conscious and believe followers of Jesus are commanded to be the guardians of the Earth.

We Are One

Many PC’s believe in the “Sacred and the Oneness and Unity of all life.”

Who Are These People?

From “Liberals created the culture of evil and death.” Progressive Christians are:

…ubiquitous, aggressive liberals many of whom are renowned pastors, authors, conference speakers, missionaries, televangelists, radio hosts, and CEOs of Christian organizations. As of late, even some of our most beloved evangelical leaders appear to be morphing into theological liberals. The extent of the movement to liberal ideology varies with each individual, but in certain cases they have gone completely off the rails. False doctrine abounds in books, Bible studies and Bibles authored by notable Christians and promoted by so-called Christian publishers and book sellers. We have been duly warned about this sort of thing happening:

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils. 1 Tim. 4:1 (Source)

Social Justice 

According to Jeff Maples of Pulpit & Pen:

The social gospel advances ideas such as racial justice, open borders, and left-wing political ideology that has a facade of Christlikeness, but under the surface, merely replaces the gospel with social activism.

Moreover,

Social justice is not a missing piece of the gospel that has been recently discovered by progressive elitists in evangelical leadership positions. It’s a mass effort to appease large numbers of people who view biblical Christianity negatively by appealing to their sense of self-entitlement. Progressive entitlement ideology is rampant in liberal circles. It’s all about what society can do for me, and how society, instead of me, can take the blame and responsibility for my wrongdoings. (Source)

The religious left demands the redistribution of wealth under the guise of social justice. Beware when you hear terms such as “social reform” and “social justice” because those terms are doublespeak for the transfer of wealth. 

Emergent Christianity

From “Doublespeak: the language of deception, part 5”:

Progressive Christians brought us the emergence/emergent/emerging Church movement (EC). “The words Emergence and Emergent are often used synonymously,” says Carl Teichrib. “There is a difference: Emergence refers to the larger context of global change. Emergent is the new Christian reaction to this world shift. … there are various degrees attached to this church movement, making it difficult (and dangerous) to use a single brush stroke when dealing with this issue. This does not negate ‘contending for the faith,’ it does mean, however, that we must be careful when attaching labels.”

I have no problem labeling the EC apostate. I’m not alone. Listen to how Pastor Ken Silva describes EC:

“The term Emergence Christianity, which adherents such as Phyllis Tickle see as the new reformation, itself incorporates more than just a nod to emergence theory of evolutionary science; and many in the EC believe that, right now, mankind is evolving upward into a higher state of consciousness.

“For such as these, their practice of neo-Gnostic Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism is where they think that they’ll actually be receiving this “transformation” from God; that’s why, in their minds, meditation in an altered state of consciousness known as Contemplative/Centering Prayer is so important.”

To some EC leaders, words mean pretty much whatever they want them to mean. They are in fact master wordsmiths. (Source) 

Political Activism

According to Wikipedia:

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.[1] This leads to a focus on promoting values such as compassion, justice, mercy, tolerance, often through political activism. Though prominent, the movement is by no means the only significant movement of progressive thought among Christians.

Missions

“Emerging ‘progressive Christianity’ is changing the way evangelical/Protestant missions is being conducted,” observes Roger Oakland. “The idea is that you can go for Jesus, but you don’t have to identify yourself as a Christian or part of the Christian church. This concept spills over into some missionary societies too, where they teach people from other religions they can keep their religion, just add Jesus to the equation. They don’t have to embrace the term Christian.” (Source)

According to Gary Gilley, “The social gospel became the hallmark of the liberal church…because the liberals had emptied their message and ministry of biblical truth and were left with no other ‘good news’ than solving physical  problems.  Sadly, evangelicals today are increasingly adopting the missional, social gospel of liberalism.” (Source)

What Progressives Say About Themselves

From Patheos: “Who Are the Progressive Christians? 25 Faith Facts”:

Progressive Christians represent a more contemporary, diverse expression of Mainline Protestantism, and include a broad spectrum of interpretations of scripture, salvation, the person of Jesus, and the role of Christianity in the world.

  • Progressive Christianity can trace its roots to the early 20th century, a period of theological tension and social change in the U.S.
  • Modernists attempted to reconcile historical Christianity with new scientific findings and philosophy. They were also influenced by “higher criticism”—a way of looking at scripture that challenged its claim to be the word of God—that began in Germany and spread to the U.S.
  • What emerged was an approach to Christianity that placed less emphasis on theological doctrine and dogma and more focus on the humanistic attributes of Christianity.
  • These Modernist ideas were accepted by many Protestant denominations, but not all. Fundamentalism was a reaction to the growing acceptance of Modernist ideas.
  • Through the remainder of the 20th century and early 21st century, what would become known as Progressive Christianity would be further shaped by social upheaval, religious criticism, and the struggle for racial, gender, and sexual orientation equality.
  • Today, Progressive Christianity is a dynamic movement within the Christian faith that is marked by a willingness to question tradition, a tolerance of diversity, and an emphasis on social justice and environmental advocacy.
  • Recently, Progressive Christianity has served as a spiritual home for believers who have become jaded by more evangelical or fundamentalist strains of Christianity, or those who are looking for a belief system within Christianity that allows for more fluid, individual views.

From Progressive Christianity: The 8 Points of Progressive Christianity:

By calling ourselves progressive Christians, we mean we are Christians who…

  1.  Believe that following the path and teachings of Jesus can lead to an awareness and experience of the Sacred and the Oneness and Unity of all life;
  1.  Affirm that the teachings of Jesus provide but one of many ways to experience the Sacredness and Oneness of life, and that we can draw from diverse sources of wisdom in our spiritual journey;
  1.  Seek community that is inclusive of ALL people, including but not limited to:
  • Conventional Christians and questioning skeptics,
  • Believers and agnostics,
  • Women and men,
  • Those of all sexual orientations and gender identities,
  • Those of all classes and abilities;
  1.  Know that the way we behave towards one another is the fullest expression of what we believe;
  1.  Find grace in the search for understanding and believe there is more value in questioning than in absolutes;
  1.  Strive for peace and justice among all people;
  1.  Strive to protect and restore the integrity of our Earth;
  1.  Commit to a path of life-long learning, compassion, and selfless love.

If you feel inspired, learn more about progressive Christianity here!

These 8 Points were the focus in our latest progressive Christian Children’s Curriculum: Year Two of A Joyful Path, for ages 6-10.  (Source)

Leaders

Marcus J. Borg

Gregory Boyd

Tony Campolo

Shane Claiborne

John Dominic Crossan

Diana Butler Bass

Rob Bell

Hillary Clinton

Bart Ehrman

Peter Enns

Rachel Held Evans

Brandon Hatmaker

Jen Hatmaker

Bill Hybels

Lynn Hybels

Tony Jones

Timothy Keller

Ann Lamott

Brian McLaren

Carol Howard Merritt

Russell Moore

Barack Obama

Elaine Pagles

Fred Plumer

John Shelby Spong

Warren Throckmorton

Carrie Underwood

Matthew Vines

Jim Wallis

Rick Warren

Note: While some of the above are misguided, others (like Jim Wallis) are out right Marxists.

Organizations

Jesus Seminar

Patheos–Progressive Christian

Red Letter Christians 

Sojourners

The Christian Left

The Progressive Christian Alliance

Think Christian 

What Is The True Gospel Of Jesus Christ? 

The true Gospel of Christ has NOTHING to do with social justice as progressives would have us believe.  According to Ligonier Ministries:

The heart of the Gospel is that our holy, loving Creator, confronted with human hostility and rebellion, has chosen in his own freedom and faithfulness to become our holy, loving Redeemer and Restorer. The Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world (1 John 4:14): it is through his one and only Son that God’s one and only plan of salvation is implemented. So Peter announced: “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). And Christ himself taught: “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

Discover what the true Gospel is by going here.

Articles by Amy Spreeman 

A conversation with Christians who don’t like Christianity

Brian McLaren’s CANA Initiative marks new era for Neo Emergents

Brian McLaren’s “new music for a new Christianity”

Important Questions for Church Leaders

Jen Hatmaker: “Christians should open wide their churches to LGBT community”

Just in time for Gay Pride Month: the “Rainbow Christ Prayer”

Progressive Christians use the Bible to promote abortion

The Progressive Disease of Spiritual Deception in Our Time

Why and how the son of Tony Campolo became an agnostic humanist

Who are the Red Letter Christians?

Articles by Marsha West

Doublespeak: The Language of Deception, part 4

Doublespeak: The Language of Deception, part 5

Liberals changing word meanings with intent to deceive

Liberals created the culture of evil and death, part 3

Progressive Christians and their doctrines of devils

Purpose Driven dismantling of Christianity, part 3

The McJesus Seminar 

Other Helpful Articles 

Heil to the Coming Progressive Utopia by Peter Jones

How the Social Gospel is Becoming the Dominant Theology in Evangelicalism by Jeff Maples

Jim Wallis, Progressive “Cleric” Tortures Bible to Promote Intolerant Islam – Berean Research

The Coalescing of the Christian Right With Apostolic Dominionism by Ken Silva

The Immorality of Liberals by Selwyn Duke

The Left vs. Reality – Lee Duigon

The Social Gospel Yesterday and Today, Part 1 Part 2 by Gary Gilley

Helpful Sites 

Apologetics Index

Apprising Ministries

Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry

Christian Research Network

Deception in the Church

Herescope

Lighthouse Trails

Pirate Christian

Pulpit & Pen

Books 

The New Missiology – Doing Missions Without the Gospel

Living the Questions: The Wisdom of Progressive Christianity

Bringing together the voices of top [progressive] Bible scholars and church leaders—including Diana Butler Bass, John Dominic Crossan, Amy-Jill Levine, Brian McLaren, Helen Prejean, and John Shelby Spong—pastors David Felten and Jeff Procter-Murphy present a lively and stimulating tour of what it means to be a “progressive” Christian.

What The Bible Says

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. — Mat 23:27

Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, — 1 Tim 4:1

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. — 2 Tim 3:16-17

You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. — James 4:4