by Wesley Putnam
They call themselves progressive Christians. Mostly members of "mainline" denominations, they declare they have found new truth. Seminary professors, bishops, members of boards and agencies, pastors and more enlightened laity . . . they are an impressive group.
What they declare is amazing! For centuries, truth has lain undiscovered and unknown. But now, we can all breathe easier. After over 2000 years of Christendom, THEY have discovered the truth. Just take a look at some of what they are teaching.
What if the early Christians had believed what the Ďprogressivesí teach today?
Peterís message would have been much different when he stood and preached the Gospel for the first time in Jerusalem. Instead of insisting on faith in Jesus alone as the way to salvation, he would have had a much more tolerant sermon. He could have told them, "Greetings fellow travelers. We are all on the same road. Letís agree to travel together in peace. I will not attempt to proselytize all of these wonderful committed Jews. That would be terribly intolerant."
And when Paul stood on Mars Hill, he could have addressed the crowd, "I perceive you are a religious people. Good. So am I. Letís form a committee to celebrate our different beliefs."
Just think of the millions of Christians who could have been spared martyrdom if only they had possessed our superior knowledge. There could have been far less of a threat to society if they had not been such radical right wing fundamentalist religious bigots! But, alas, they died in their ignorance.
The progressive Christians tell us:
The truth is, this so-called "progressive" Christianity is really nothing new. These ideas were being fiercely debated as early as the second century. This is the very reason the creeds were written. Think through the Apostlesí Creed with me, one phrase at a time ---
I believe in God the Father Almighty
Each phrase is a definitive declaration of an essential, non-negotiable element of our Christian faith. What is being touted as new is nothing but old heresies recycled to our generation. These teachings have held power in the seminaries and hierarchy of the mainline churches for almost a century now.
How has Godís Kingdom been advanced by their "new" teachings? Every denomination that has embraced these progressive doctrines has seen radical decline. The United Methodist Church has lost the equivalent of a 250-member church every day for the last 30 years. It seems a lost world isnít buying what the progressives are trying to sell in the name of our churches. The shallow, relative truth of the progressive movement has no power to transform lives, so searching souls look elsewhere. The old hymn says it well, "On Christ, the Solid Rock, I stand. All other ground is sinking sand."
Scripture tells us weíre supposed to be guardians of the "faith once delivered to the saints." (Jude 1:3). I believe itís time for the Church to stand and declare the timeless truth of Godís Word. We must not be intimidated into silence. Godís call to "Go into all the world and preach the Gospel" has never been taken back. The methods of going may change, but the message never will.
One word of warning. When you decide to stand for truth, you will be labeled as "intolerant." This is the only sin left in a world where all beliefs and all religions are considered equal. Donít let the label worry you. Wear it proudly.
The Church we leave for our grandchildren depends on our faithfulness at this critical point in our history. Pray for Godís strength and direction. Begin meeting with a small group of like-minded friends to cry out to God for our Church and our Nation. Plan to be in Pittsburgh in April 2004 as a part of the prayer effort for General Conference. God is the only One who can turn this around. He is our hope.
I believe we are on the verge of real revival. Now is not the time to give up. By His grace, we must ". . . make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel."
Click here to email this page to a friend.
<Back to News