Where Do Progressives Want to Take the Church? (3)

by Richard Mansel, managing editor
bible44.jpgProgressives in the denominational world abandon biblical authority in their efforts to bolster and validate denominationalism and its manmade doctrines and methods.

“A fundamental principle of Liberalism is the proposition: ‘It is contrary to the natural, innate, and inalienable right and liberty and dignity of man, to subject himself to an authority, the root, rule, measure, and sanction of which is not in himself.’ This principle implies the denial of all true authority; for authority necessarily presupposes a power outside and above man to bind him morally.”/1

Refusing to be bound by Scriptural authority, these denominational progressives employ whatever methods work, no matter whether God approves or not (Colossians 3:17). In the words of the Center for Progressive Christianity, they “value the search, not the certainty” in their utilization of Scripture./2 They place results over reverence for Biblical truth. If it draws crowds, it becomes God’s will.
God’s true people have a higher calling than appeasing the hearts of men. We are drawn to bring glory to Christ by walking worthy of him (Ephesians 3:20-4:1). Paul said that we are to be “transformed by the renewing of [our] mind[s], that [we] may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:1-2).
Looking to God, above everyone on earth, we proclaim him through his word and our Christian walk. Sanctification cannot occur by man’s standards and the employment of worldly words and ways. God has a higher calling (Matthew 10:34-39).
God calls for absolute discipleship and devotion to his message, method and plan. All that we do is about him, not drawing crowds, pandering to rebellious minds or smoothing guilty consciences. The transformative gospel calls us to reject all that man offers in the way of peace and replace it with Christ the Savior (John 1:1-3,14; 14:6).
Progressives in the Lord’s church have not been as digressive as those in the religious world, as a whole. These brethren emulate and admire the denominational progressives. They borrow their methods and vocabulary and, in a lesser way, follow an adapted version of their progressivism. However, a bit of poison is still poison.
Remaining true to God’s Word in the face of such an onslaught will require a steel spine and a resolute faith. The culture abhors absolute truth and this heresy is being welcomed into the church with alarming alacrity. Books espouse it and blogs enunciate it. It is like a locust plague that devours everything in its path.
It is well past time for brethren who love truth to stand up and stand out in the church. We must not compromise to keep peace, no matter how much we are challenged to do so. Name-calling may buckle our knees, we must resist. We will be mocked and ridiculed, we must shut our ears and listen, instead, to God’s Word (2 Timothy 3:12).
We must preach and teach God’s truths like never before. However, we must do so with a focus on God and his way, taking the higher road (John 14:1-6). Obsessing about the progressives is to take time away from teaching God’s will. Making a hobby of hammering on people is never productive.
God’s grace and mercy needs to be taught more than ever. Let us also ensure that we walk in Christ, so that we do not give our detractors any fuel (Ephesians 4:1). The time is short, let’s be busy in the fields of the Lord!


1/ http://www.ourladyswarriors.org/dissent/defnlibr.htm

2/ http://www.religioustolerance.org/prog_chr.htm

3 Replies to “Where Do Progressives Want to Take the Church? (3)”

  1. I think the progresses are causing people to lose their identity within the churches of Christ. They are teaching them that the big band, etc are o.k. but the problem is that these progressive congregations do not do what they say is great well, so the young people go to the community churches for a better show. It is like they are teaching them to be ashamed of the churches of Christ.

  2. Brother Richard,
    I love what you’re doing for the Lord and hope you’ll take some encouragement in your work from ours.
    Progressives are here due to their warped worldview. But most of us have some syncretic problems in our own worldview, and simply need God’s word to straighten us out. I confess I did, and probably still do.
    To define “syncretism,” it is “Christianity” mixed with local opinions, superstitions and ordinary false doctrine that automatically forms a worldview, faith and thus behavior. It occurs because of what we “hear.”
    “Biblical Worldview” was best summed up in the words of our brother J. Lee Roberts: “The Bible view against all other ways of thinking,” Quoted by FIWL.
    Syncretism sneaks in through all the exposures we have to life.
    I am positive you know Romans 10:17, “Faith comes by reading and reading by the word of God.”
    Whoops! I goofed, didn’t I. That’s “hearing and hearing by the word of God.” I’m also positive you believe that the Holy Spirit knew the difference between those two words, “hearing” and “reading.” Do you believe He CHOSE “hearing” thus giving us our instruction?
    The faith that is established through “hearing” God’s word is the same way faith must be maintained.
    The biggest problem we have in the west is a pagan worldview (see Frank Viola’s book, “Pagan Christianity?” You don’t need to completely agree with him to feel the nerve he’s touched)! On that point, I left the States in 1995 and a year or so before that I had lived in Brazil and Europe on two separate occasions. Since then I have lived on five continents and six of the world’s islands. Sometimes we can’t see the forest for all the trees in our view. But the one thing I am able to see from my distance is that America is ceasing to be a “Christian nation” and our youth are turning by the droves to atheism — of ALL things!
    The churches of Christ provide the evidence of how this happened. We have depended almost exclusively upon expositive preaching and teaching. Expository teaching is not wrong, but we’re losing ground by having almost completely ignored the most lofty, excellent, and biblically approved method of sharing the gospel: Seventy-five percent of God’s word is narration. Only Ten percent of it is exposition. Fifteen percent of it is poetry, but “Song of Solomon” is also narrated. Ahem! Expository teaching is a weakness for the masses and is evidenced by the facts whose numbers don’t lie. Little wonder we are losing more members and churches every year.
    Why don’t we narrate it then? We’re in a rut, and most problematically our literate condition perceives the narrative method as being beneath our dignity. (!!!) In the meanwhile, our country has slipped into an abyss of debauchery, embracing atheism where every man does what is right in his own eyes.
    The churches of Christ are no longer toeing the line of our proclamations, and for one very simple reason. Syncretism has bred a pagan worldview in critical areas that break the church down bit by bit. Progressives are a fine example of it, and their syncretism is due to us preachers not narrating God’s word, but only preaching it expositively. It has become boring to an increasingly illiterate people. Using the “whole counsel of God” Acts 20:27, requires that WE follow the approved biblical example of narrating it to the churches, and narrating it with gusto. Here’s why:
    It comes as quite a shock to learn that the US and Canada has only 55% literate rates according to those who have the authority to know. Canada took exception to this and hired other testers. When they came back with the same 55% they hired yet another group. When they too reported it at 55%, Canada said, “Well then, we’re 55% literate.”
    TV is thought to be the principle reason for the decline in literacy in the west. And I think we know what the Tube is feeding them, do we not? Is our decline and wandering into progressivism any wonder then?
    If the reader of this post wants to test my “theories” the proof is easily and personally obtainable.
    FIWL has fifty narrations in chronological, sequential order from before the creation of the world through the final future appointment that man will keep with his Creator. READ THEM OUT LOUD, muttering if necessary, but not whispering them in order to “hear” them. Read them with as much feeling and vocal expression as we would if we were reading the story to children. Read them to our entire family, and bat the questions around at the end, (MOST important)!
    Let the reader come forth, who TESTS this from the link given below, who states that he did not have to remove any syncretism or pagan worldview.
    Let that reader give reasons of his own why it “didn’t work,” but let him also give reasons why it won’t work to bring America back to the church and finish the job we started of giving the church to the world. 2Co 13:5-10. Here are those narrations. Use them freely but maintain the copyright is all we ask.
    With love,
    Don Wood, Dir.,
    From India With Love

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