Do progressives love the church?


by Richard Mansel, managing editor

Evan Sayet writes,

“Imagine being in a restaurant with an old friend and you’re catching up, and suddenly, he blurts out: ‘I hate my wife.’ And you kind of chuckle to yourself because he says it every time you’re together and you know he doesn’t hate his wife, they’ve been together for 35 years. He loves his daughters, and they’re just like her. Ah, no, he doesn’t hate his wife. You’re having some dinner and you look out the window and you spot his wife, and she’s being beaten up and you grab your friend and say, ‘Come on, come on, let’s help her!’ and he says: ‘Nah, I’m sure she deserves it.'”/1

Sayet is telling this story in relation to politics but it has application to the battles we face in the Lord’s body. While progressives in the Lord’s body do not hate the Church, they certainly aren’t expressing much love for her.

Some take the Church of Christ off of their signs because they think it inhibits growth. Their writings and sermons often condemn and ridicule the church for all manners of evil.

Their first reaction is that the church is to blame. So, if they see the church being beaten up, they shake their heads and mutter that she brought it on herself.

Jesus built his church which bears his name (Matthew 16:18; Acts 20:28; Romans 16:16). Scripture clearly establishes that the church was singular and that denominationalism did not exist until the falling away from the faith (Ephesians 4:4; 1 Timothy 4:1-3).

Regardless of these clear principles, some progressives denigrate the Lord’s Church to the level of denominations. They argue vociferously that the Church of Christ is a denomination and dismiss anyone who disagrees as delusional. They claim that they are still in the Church of Christ, so they can fix it.

They conduct unity services with denominations and apologize for the Lord’s Church being divisive, despite the fact that the denominations left the Church, not the other way around.

Why the anger at the Bride of Christ? The reasons are the same as why Scripture is being mistreated. Traditions must be uprooted. Presuppositions must be restated and Scripture must be acculturated until it is accepted by the fleshly world.

The sharp edges must be dulled until it no longer causes discomfort to a lost and dying world. While appearing magnanimous and loving, it strips the Lord’s church of its identity and purpose.

Their love for hearts overshadows their love for souls. If we convert people using something other than God’s pure word, what have we converted them into? If Jesus is not there, why would we want to be?

We become the modern manifestation of the people of Israel who said, “make us a king to judge us like all the nations” (1 Samuel 8:5, NKJV).

When they grew displeased with God and his leaders, they headed down the same ruinous paths that the pagans trod. Why would we emulate them today?

2 Replies to “Do progressives love the church?”

  1. Some remarks:
    1) You claim taking the term “Church of Christ” off of a sign isn’t right and then criticize them for saying that the Church of Christ isn’t a denomination. The fact that you are instructing another autonomous congregation on the use of their yard sign sounds pretty denominational to me.
    2) The world’s view of the Churches of Christ is that they have a love for souls over a love for hearts (that’s even a generous statement). We are to love our neighbor as ourselves. I for one want a church to care for me not just check my name off as “saved”. Too many congregations today claim love without showing it.
    3) You are criticizing a group of people for taking God’s message of love and saving grace to a world that’s starving. They are only doing this in contrast to the general consensus in the church of having the truth but just sitting on it, only to pull it out to debate a dissenting thought. I do not necessarily condone the individual actions of some, but you can’t label and discredit an entire movement based on scattered stories and rumors.
    4) They are not angry at the Bride of Christ but at the traditions that refuse to be uprooted. You have even acculturated the Word in some ways or you would be requiring women to wear veils. Have you considered that some are simply being like “Jews to the Jews and Gentiles to the Gentiles” as Paul did? And that maybe you should do the same.
    5) Israel wanted a king only after the current system was mishandled. It seems to me that the group you’re talking about feels the same way and they are quickly revisiting what Jesus’ purpose was and what God would have them do, not really paying attention to the Church-of-Christ traditions. And for that, I commend them.

  2. Jared T.,
    You missed the point of the article. It is not wrong to go by another designation unless it is rooted in shame for effort to run away from what makes us Holy.
    He is not speaking of man made traditions here but the pattern of the Church.
    In regards to you statement in number 5, please go back and re-read. “God” was THE system. They wanted a worldly king. How could God mishandle anything?
    Overall, you are either naive, fallen for a lie or need to study more. Your conclusions are contrary to the pattern of the church in scripture.
    To follow the pattern is to love Christ and the world since the inspired Word, given through the Holy Spirit, is our teacher, not man.
    To abide is to truly love. To change or dismiss as you advocate is not loving but destruction to all those that rise up against God Given Pattern and Direction.
    I pray you study your bible more and let God do the speaking to you instead of some book written by a man or a preacher you respect.

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