Let me start by introducing the term “progressive Christianity” that encourages the “My life, my choice (as long as I’m not hurting anybody)” principle.
Modernism and post-modernism has contributed a lot in the creation of the term “progressive Christianity”. Through the neo years, humanity has come to accept a lot of new things, which some has overthrown the old things. And one is “progressive Christianity” that tries to overpower the message of the gospel, encouraging us to live not the way Jesus wants us to.
This idea look so appealing that many Christians cannot differentiate it from true Christianity that Jesus preached. [If you want to know about progressive Christianity, read here.] And here is a warning to watch out for those who preaches and encourages this ideology, because I believe that the enemy uses this to swerve, not only Christians, but also those who are trying to seek God, away from the truth.
Here, I will talk about one dangerous idea about progressive Christianity. It is the belief that focuses more on being morally right than sharing the saving grace that Jesus brought us through the cross. Let me share important points that serve as reminders as we follow and believe the true message of Jesus. (They’re my own personal lessons, too, so I hope we grow together.)
1. Once we decide to follow Jesus, our life is not our own anymore.
I’ve heard the statement, “It’s my life, my choice, as long as I’m not hurting anyone, then I’m doing the right thing,” countless times. Or at least I’ve read them a lot on social media. At one glance, this looks to true and good for humanity as we try to live in peace with one another. But when we look at it, it’s actually the pride that’s talking. And in this prideful idea, we’re being selfish, self-centered, and self-reliant, believing that we know what’s best for us.
Once we receive Jesus’ saving grace, once we accept Him as our Savior, the other side of the coin is to receive Him as our Lord. That means He rules over us. We are to follow His commands. We submit our lives under His Lordship.
“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?
Luke 5:46 ESV
Do we have a choice? Yes we do because of free will. But following Jesus constitutes us making Him Lord over every aspect in our lives, thus choosing to deny ourselves and follow His will.
And chances are, when we follow our own will, we’re still hurting a couple of people—Jesus and ourselves.
2. It’s hard to build relationships when we avoid hurting people.
We try to live in harmony by not minding other’s business, as long as we’re not hurting them. But that actually promotes individuality alone. We shy away from rebuking people when their decisions would lead them to their own destructions just because we don’t want to hurt their feelings. However, when we don’t say anything, we’re not really being “kind”. We’re just being likeable.
That is a big problem because then we would not share the gospel because the gospel is very offensive. A non Jesus follower would really be offended when you tell them they’re sinners who badly need the saving grace of Jesus. It also imposes the same danger to our relationships with other Christians. It’s hard to build healthy relationships when we’re too afraid to hurt people. It’s just impossible. Relationships will always involve a loving rebuke, and a loving rebuke, most of the time, stirs up negative feelings, but that’s actually how we grow both our own self and our relationships with others.
Better is open rebuke
than hidden love.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend;
profuse are the kisses of an enemy.
Proverbs 27:5-6 ESV
3. Loving others sometimes make you unlikeable.
The gospel is very offensive, but it is loving. Sharing the gospel may offend a friend or a colleague, but it’s an act of love. When you take away a sharp object from a child who wants to play with it, you’re showing your love for them not to get hurt, but they see it as deprivation, thus resulting to them resenting you. Many scenarios that involve showing love doesn’t make you likeable.
The problem with us Christians today is we strive to be likeable by the world. (Which is not really a modern/post-modern problem. You can read a lot of stories with this lesson in the Bible.) We try to be careful about what we say too much because we might get cancelled if they don’t align in this world’s culture. But that’s actually the point once we’re in Christ. We live here but we don’t belong here anymore. We’re different, but we’re in the “truth” kind of different. And being a Christian means to love others by sharing the love we receive from Jesus, which might involve them being offended.
And what do we gain from being liked by people, when we do not bring them to the presence of God? The price of one soul cannot be measured by the whole world’s treasures. The blood of Jesus that paid our sins is a currency that nothing else can compare.
“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.
If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own;
but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world,
therefore the world hates you.”
John 15:18-19 ESV
In the end, we’re not called to just live on our own as long as we’re not hurting anybody. We’re called to follow Jesus, build relationships for His glory, and share the gospel (which sometimes offend people and make us unlikeable). I hope this encourages you as much, or more, than it encourages me.
Here are some links you can read/listen to:
1. Dr. Michael Kruger’s What is progressive Christianity?: https://rts.edu/resources/what-is-progressive-christianity/
2. Mike Winger’s Mark Series: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0ds5w4ZOWw&t=711s
3. John 15:18-25
“The gospel is the good news that God became man in Jesus Christ. He lived the life we should have lived and died the death we should have died—in our place. Three days later He rose from the dead, proving that He is the Son of God and offering the gift of salvation to those who repent and believe in Him.”
— Rice Broocks’ summary of the gospel in his book Man, Myth, Messiah: Answering History’s Greatest Question