Saturday, 18 January 2014

Define "Progressive"

I mentioned in a previous post that I was following a facebook page called Kissing Fish. The author uses the term Progressive Christianity to explain his position on various topics. Whilst I'd largely agreed with much of the subject I found myself in a pickle over the last few days.

The page posted a picture of a well with the bucket dropping down into the water below. Nothing wrong with that in itself. Jesus described Himself as the Living Water after all.

What made my head spin round 3 times and explode was the comment by the poster - a trained "christian" minister. The implication he makes is that all religions draw ultimately from the same source, just from different points.


I thought I'd mis-read the post, so I read it again.

I sounded out the words in case I'd lost the ability to read.

Nope. All from one source.

So here's what I said, and the author's response:

Me: Roger, that sounds a lot like universalism rather than Christianity. Jesus decalred nobody could come to God except through Him. Surely that excludes all other religions as NOT leading to the same source?

Reply: FYI, I am a Christian and I do not identify as a Universalist. Progressive Christianity, unlike fundamentalism, does not contend that Christianity has a monopoly on God, God's love, or God's Truth. It's non-exclusivistic. It also avoids the idolatry of saying that God can only work in one way. It refuses to put God in a box.

So now I'm stuck. I can't see this definition of "progressive" christianity (and I'm not capitalising deliberately) as being in line with the Bible. The Bible says that Christianity has the monopoly on God. It says that it is the whole Truth. It is exclusive.

Didn't Jesus say many would follow the broad road to destruction? That the elect would be deceived?

So what's progressive?

Do we re-classify the definition of God based on science? Do we remove the concept of an action being "sinful"?

It's a slippery slope this "progressive" behaviour is on.

And then there's the part where Jesus warned us that in the last days even the elect would be deceived.

And here's the problem. Who is the elect in this debate?

If Roger is the elect then he could be deceived, and when someone tries to correct him he'd be blinded by the deception and reject what was being said, irrespective of whether it matches up with the Bible.

And so would I.

So we have a choice to make. Personally, I believe there is only one way to God. Jesus said it Himself. Roger says he's not a universalist, and I'm certain he believes it. But the page is making me wonder.

Now don't misunderstand what I'm saying. I'm not trying to attack Roger for his opinion. What I want to do here is to remind us all to consider and choose. Does our definition of "progress" bring us closer to God or confuse us and pull us away from Him?

What is sin according to progressive christianity? If all religions draw from the same source then we need to redefine sin. Not all religious beliefs through history had homosexuality listed in the sin column. Not all of them had greed there either. Paedophilia? Cupid, that little cute guy with the wings and the bow and arrow was the representative of paedophilia in ancient polytheistic religion. The followers of Moloch threw children into the fire.

Where's the line? What is progression and what is regression?

Maybe I'm a "Regressive Christian". I want to go back to what Jesus said. Regression is moving backwards.

I think I just found my definition.

Regressive Christianity. Calling a Sin a Sin.