We may all be aware, at least to some extent, of misleading and unbiblical movements swarming over the Church today, including Prosperity Teaching (Word of Faith) and NAR (New Apostolic Reformation) but fewer have considered the movement loosely called “Progressive Christianity”.
The video I want to share with you is an hour long but is very much worth your while setting aside time to view it. The speakers clearly and with much evidence and personal experience show what is being taught, and show why it’s affecting new converts as well as older Christians.
The bottom line is this: it is a teaching that so downplays the need for salvation, and so removes faith in Jesus, the bible and the work of the Cross, that it amounts to a 21st century heresy.
Please watch this video. (If you get an error on the video, just refresh the page).
For your convenience I have listed below a few beliefs of the PC movement, but my comments are in no way exhaustive.
The speaker – her website: Alisa Childers
- Is Progressive Christianity a threat to your children’s faith foundation?
- Answering Questions
- Social Justice Issues
Six Ways Progressive Theology Is Destroying Biblical Christianity
This website quotes a Progressive Christian as saying: “Christians must STOP saying the following things -“
1. The Bible is the inerrant, infallible Word of God.
2. We believe the Bible.
3. Jesus is the only way to heaven.
“There is only one thing we should do to show we are believers: LOVE people”.
- Not our beliefs.
- Not our doctrines.
- Not our denomination’s distinctions.
- Not our preaching.
‘Unfundamentalist Parenting’ promotes parenting according to progressive Christian views. In an Easter post, the author said how difficult Easter is because she does NOT want to teach the kids that:
- Jesus died for you/your sins (this is “psychologically damaging”)
- God intended for Jesus to die (this is “confusing and jarring”)
- Jesus died to save them from God’s judgment (“an atonement theology of inborn corruption in need of redemption has no place in a conversation with kids about Easter”) [Source]
Hatred of Apologetics
Progressive Christians don’t like apologetics which “confines faith as doctrine,” explaining:
“Our faith is a dynamic experience that shifts and evolves for us … We cannot capture that experience and box it into a set of propositions to memorize and defend — that limits and denies the realities of the human experience.”
The Center for Progressive Christianity’s homepage makes it abundantly clear how they 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.” (Also see below)
Some Basic Beliefs of Progressive Christianity
- Authority of Scripture – reject the notion that Scripture is inspired, inerrant, infallible.
- Feelings rather than facts – what they feel/think is more important than bible facts
- Reinterpretation of Doctrine – deity, trinity, original sin, salvation, heaven and hell, resurrection, and much more
- Terminology – words like inspired, inerrant, heaven, redemption, redefined to mean what they believe
- We Are One – belief in the “Oneness and Unity of all life.” (God in is all)
- Collective Salvation – restoration of whole cultures and societies rather than individuals
- The Cross – atoning sacrifice seen as a kind of divine ‘child abuse’; ‘God would not do that to his Son’.
- Social Justice Gospel – not salvation from sin but ‘good works’ gospel of social issues, often radical.
- Deconstructionism – reinterprets scripture, challenges the idea of any ultimate or secure meaning in a text.
- Emergent Christianity – emergence theory of evolutionary science; mankind is evolving upward into a higher state of consciousness.
- Neo-Gnostic Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism – Meditation, Spiritual “transformation”, Contemplative/Centering Prayer
- Political Activism – promoting values such as compassion, justice, mercy, tolerance in society. God is love.
- Evangelism – not classic gospel, but loving all people, relating to them.
- Inclusivism – all religions are about the same God; nobody has to become a “christian”.
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.
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…
- 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;
- 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;
- 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;
- Know that the way we behave towards one another is the fullest expression of what we believe;
- Find grace in the search for understanding and believe there is more value in questioning than in absolutes;
- Strive for peace and justice among all people;
- Strive to protect and restore the integrity of our Earth;
- Commit to a path of life-long learning, compassion, and selfless love.
What’s Wrong Here?
Anything that seeks to be a nicer, more inclusive, gentler gospel seems attractive, but if it removes the very reason that Jesus Christ came into this world, it is at base a false gospel, and can save no one.
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).
I no longer pay attention to new Christian fads and trends. These paths lead many away from the crucifixion, resurrection and ascension of Christ. They are led to the confusion of heresies and a lifestyle of no eternal value. Believers will always err if they do not hold to the cross and to the initial apostolic foundations. We should never lose sight of our founder’s heart and mind.
THIS IS TRUE DAILY CHRISTIANITY (this is an excerpt from my private studies)
In light of this, it is not surprising that the Apostle Paul’s military language in Ephesians 6 is taken very seriously. Paul describes the Christian’s battles as ones not against “flesh and blood” but against “principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against the spiritual wickedness in the heavens.” These are the “battles” and “wars” which “await us after baptism” according to Origen (5.2). This war is distinctly and strictly spiritual as well. It is not a violent fight between bodies/humans. Origen tells his hearers that they do not need to look around for a battlefield:
You require nothing from without, beyond your own self. Within you is the battle that you are about to wage; on the inside is that evil edifice that must be overthrown; your enemy proceeds from your heart. This is not my voice; it is the voice of Christ. Indeed hear him saying, “For from the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false testimonies, slanders.” You see how great and what sort of army of your enemies proceeds against you from your heart. We must cast them out with the first onslaught; we must overthrow them with the first battle line. If we should be able to demolish their walls and strike them down to utter destruction so that we do not leave anyone to carry back word or recover…then through Jesus, that rest will be given us. (5.2)
The baptised Christian was called to engage in battle against the enemies that came from their very own heart.
In relating the way in which Joshua and the rest of Israel defeated Ai, Origen brought to his listeners’ attention the strategic importance of fleeing in order to achieve victory. In the Scripture passage, Joshua and the army intentionally fled into the wilderness. This retreat was part of their winning strategy. It may have been disconcerting to some that Joshua (Jesus) was said to have fled before the army of Ai. Origen answered them with the question: “Why do you think it is that Jesus is described as fleeing?” The reason he gave was that “there may be something that we may conquer by fleeing, and that there is perfect virtue in flight.” The fleeing Origen had in mind was to “flee fornication…flee wrath, flee avarice, flee greed and envy, flee detractions and slanders.” (8.6) It was a flight from vice. Origen imagined the Christian life to be centrally characterised by a rigorous fight against impurity for the sake of holiness.
ABOUT ORIGEN ADAMANTIUS “MAN OF STEELE”
Origen of Alexandria has often been called the church’s first systematic theologian. Much of the inspiration for this characterisation comes from his work Peri Archon (On First Principles). His stated goal in that work was to build upon the “elementary and foundation principles” of the Apostolic teaching. By employing “clear and cogent arguments,” Origen hoped to “discover truths about each particular point and produce…a single body of doctrine.” However, to classify Origen as a systematic theologian is a misnomer. That title evokes images of an academic whose life focused on scholarly work. Certainly, Peri Archon, which was one of the main avenues for Origen’s enduring influence on the church centuries after his death, was systematic in the sense that it was carefully structured according to a philosophical framework. Yet it was not a formal Systematic Theology in the sense that term is used today. Furthermore, calling Origen a systematic theologian not only misunderstands his purpose in Peri Archon but also fails to capture the whole of who he was. Origen was a skilled thinker, writer and speaker who used his gifts for the church. Although Origen was condemned in the sixth century, Jerome, at one point in his life, could say that Origen was only opposed “because men could not tolerate the incomparable eloquence and knowledge which, when once he opened his lips, made others seem dumb.” It is estimated that Origen published over 500 sermons during his lifetime. Thus, this paper intends to look at Origen as a preacher, paying special attention to the sort of life to which he calls his hearers. While Peri Archon may deal with conjectural matters, much of Origen’s output dealt with the basic Christian life. In order to gain a better understanding of Origen the preacher and the Christian life he promoted, we will focus specifically on his Homilies on Joshua.
Origen was a preacher who employed his interpretive method out of concern for the spiritual advancement of his hearers. We will also see how the principles put forward in Peri Archon are applied. Homilies on Joshua will provide clarification on a few things which are ambiguous in Peri Archon. Specifically, we will see that although Christ may have only played a minor role in Origen’s most famous work, Christ’s role was indispensable for the Christian in Origen’s preaching. Similarly, we will see that Origen’s grand proposals of apokatastasis did not result in moral laxity. Instead, the soul’s ascent back to perfection was presented as a gruelling battle.
I stick to the initial foundational doctrines established by Jesus-Christ and His appointed apostles. If a doctrine and teachings do not lead my soul to the genuine image and likeness of God, I know it to be dubious and false. All Biblical teachings must lead to the sanctification and salvation of the soul and to a face to face noetic (perception with the mind) encounter with God.
I haven’t listened to the Alisa Childer video yet, but Tricia’s article is very good.
Deb Hohenadel Sent from my iPad
Good Evening Tricia
Many thanks indeed for this very informative article and video.
On a separate issue, do you know of any reviews, or articles, about a book called The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry? by John Mark Comer? The brief overview we have been able to look at is very worrying.
Malcolm & Di
On Sat, 22 Feb 2020 at 17:07, What’s Happening…? wrote:
> Tricia posted: ” We may all be aware, at least to some extent, of > misleading and unbiblical movements swarming over the Church today, > including Prosperity Teaching (Word of Faith) and NAR (New Apostolic > Reformation) but fewer have considered the movement loosely called ” >
Unfortunately, I haven’t heard of this one.