Wednesday, July 31, 2019

"Progressive Christianity" Is After You! Watch Out and Do Not Be Deceived!

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
[2 Timothy 3:16-17 (KJV)].

The word, progressive, is being used frequently now and has been applied for quite some time in the arena of politics and in professing Christian circles. Another word which is like a twin to the word, progressive, would be the word, liberal! A number of church groups have church leaders and clergy who claim to be "progressive" in their professed faith.

One example would be the United Methodist Church which has a considerable number who claim to be progressives as opposed to conservatives, evangelicals, etc. As of this writing (19/07/31) the UMC is in a war over the issue of human sexuality with progressives advocating support for those who live a same-sex lifestyle, including marriage. Conservatives are in opposition to this on basis of God's revelation in the holy Scriptures. Progressives claim cultural change, human reasoning methods, scientific studies, etc to establish their case.

Bishop John Shelby Spong is a retired bishop in the Episcopal Church and some time back put together what he refers to as the 12 Theses of progressive Christianity. He summarizes these in brief statements as given below. You will note that these statements are in direct conflict with God's revelation as given through the holy Scriptures.

The problem began to surface in this country at about the beginning of the 20th Century when some theological garbage was imported from Europe, particularly Germany! It boiled down simply to unbelief in God's activities as reported in Scripture. A bit later the controversy at the beginning of the 20th Century came to be known as the "modernist/fundamentalist" controversy. The modernists were those who did not believe certain portions of the Bible, especially where miracles were reported. Fundamentalists were those who did believe the miracles literally happened as reported. One of the miracles attacked early on was the virgin birth of Jesus and you will see Bishop Spong's reference to that in his theses.

The Twelve Theses


Understanding God in theistic categories as “a being, supernatural in power, dwelling somewhere external to the world and capable of invading the world with miraculous power” is no longer believable. Most God talk in liturgy and conversation has thus become meaningless.

2.Jesus – the Christ. If God can no longer be thought of in theistic terms, then conceiving of Jesus as “the incarnation of the theistic deity” has also become a bankrupt concept.

3.Original Sin – The Myth of the Fall

The biblical story of the perfect and finished creation from which we human beings have fallen into “Original Sin” is pre-Darwinian mythology and post-Darwinian nonsense.

4.The Virgin Birth

The virgin birth understood as literal biology is impossible. Far from being a bulwark in defense of the divinity of Christ, the virgin birth actually destroys that divinity.

5.Jesus as the Worker of Miracles

In a post-Newtonian world supernatural invasions of the natural order, performed by God or an “incarnate Jesus,” are simply not viable explanations of what actually happened.

6.Atonement Theology

Atonement theology, especially in its most bizarre “substitutionary” form, presents us with a God who is barbaric, a Jesus who is a victim and it turns human beings into little more than guilt-filled creatures. The phrase “Jesus died for my sins” is not just dangerous, it is absurd.

7.The Resurrection

The Easter event transformed the Christian movement, but that does not mean that it was the physical resuscitation of Jesus’ deceased body back into human history. The earliest biblical records state that “God raised him.” Into what, we need to ask. The experience of resurrection must be separated from its later mythological explanations.

8.The Ascension of Jesus

The biblical story of Jesus’ ascension assumes a three-tiered universe, which was dismissed some five hundred years ago. If Jesus’ ascension was a literal event of history, it is beyond the capacity of our 21st century minds to accept it or to believe it.


The ability to define and to separate good from evil can no longer be achieved with appeals to ancient codes like the Ten Commandments or even the Sermon on the Mount. Contemporary moral standards must be hammered out in the juxtaposition between life-affirming moral principles and external situations.


Prayer, understood as a request made to a theistic deity to act in human history, is little more than an hysterical attempt to turn the holy into the servant of the human. Most of our prayer definitions of the past are thus dependent on an understanding of God that has died.

11.Life after Death

The hope for life after death must be separated forever from behavior control. Traditional views of heaven and hell as places of reward and punishment are no longer conceivable. Christianity must, therefore, abandon its dependence on guilt as a motivator of behavior.

12.Judgment and Discrimination

Judgment is not a human responsibility. Discrimination against any human being on the basis of that which is a “given” is always evil and does not serve the Christian goal of giving “abundant life” to all. Any structure either in the secular world or in the institutional church, which diminishes the humanity of any child of God on the basis of race, gender or sexual orientation must be exposed publicly and vigorously. There can be no reason in the church of tomorrow for excusing or even forgiving discriminatory practices. “Sacred Tradition” must never again provide a cover to justify discriminatory evil.

Source for Bishop Spong's theses in his own words are from Bishop Spong - 12 Theses of Progressive Christianity

It is wise to always weigh what is said in this world with what is said in the holy Scriptures, remembering Jesus' promise in the Gospel of John that the Holy Spirit would come -- He would guide us into the truth, teach us all things and show us things to come. (John 16) Jesus also clearly warned of the time coming when there would be many false prophets and teachers who would appear and deceive many! (Matthew 24).

For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
[2 Corinthians 11:13-15 (KJV)].

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